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Connect Transit Presentation Outlines Growing Financial Needs

Tue, 20 Aug 2013 04:41:25 CDT
By: Rachel Darling

Connect Transit Presentation Outlines Growing Financial Needs During his presentation at last night's Normal Town Council meeting Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson says the growing needs expressed by the community requires more financial support from Normal...

   

"The federal government and the state of Illinois are both in tenuous positions. We are anticipating that in the next few years the funding will be reduced in one way or another."

General Manager Johnson says there are two consequences of a reduction in Federal funding for the Town's public transit system...

   

"We're looking at two different scenarios if we don't find alternate funding sources. And that is either or system will be reduced in one way or another due to funding cutbacks, or our system will pretty much remain the way it is. We'll tweak it as much as we can."

Johnson outlined current and future riders needs in a presentation at last night Normal Town Council meeting...

   

"We need to increase the bus frequency, we need to make it earlier and later. And then also we have a system that runs six days a week. People's lives don't run six days a week, they run seven days a week. We need to figure out a way to provide service on Sundays."

Greater bus frequency, transfer points and weather shelters were also included in rider's list of concerns.

Johnson shared other fiscal news with the Council at last night meeting: the Town qualifies for an additional $540,000 dollars from the Federal Transit Administration, or FTA through its Small Transit Intensive Cities grant program this year...

   

"There are six categories that you can get funding for. We, this year, achieved three of them, which is up from two in (the) previous year(s)."

The monetary increase will be added to the Town's annual federal grant. He says additional funding will help with the continued restructuring of Blommington-Normal area routes, which is now entering the planning stage for Phase Two, but increased financial support from the Town will still be necessary to meet growing rider needs.

General Manager Johnson also shared resident comments about the Double Mapp.The app allows you to track Connect Transit busses in real time. Johnson says users praise the app's time-saving benefits...

   

"You can click on a particular bus stop time point, that we put in there, and it'll tell you how long it will be until the next bus shows up."

The app can be downloaded from the Connect Transit website and the Q-R code on the rider guide. The app is free for iPhone and Android.

   

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