At its regular Wednesday meeting, Bloomington’s city council changed local law to give Bloomington Transit authority to operate anywhere in Monroe County.
That city council decision meant a rejection of the approach advocated by the board of the Area 10 Agency on Aging, which operates Rural Transit, also a public transportation agency. Rural Transit provides service in Monroe County as well as three other counties—Putnam, Owen, and Lawrence.
Rural Transit wanted the city council to allow Bloomington Transit to expand service outside of the city limits—but only to include all of Monroe County’s “urban area.” The “urban area” is defined by the US Census and used by the Federal Transportation Administration to allocate funding.
Allowing Bloomington Transit to operate anywhere inside Monroe County, sets up a scenario where any ride provided by Rural Transit could also be provided by Bloomington Transit.
But on Wednesday, BT general manager John Connell told the city council that BT is not interested in trying to supplant any of the rural-to-urban and urban-to-rural service that Rural Transit can still legally provide.
In a resolution dated July 28, 2023, the Area 10 board expressed support for the expansion of Bloomington Transit’s service outside the city limits of Bloomington, but only to include the additional “urban area.”
In an email dated July 29, 2023, Area 10 executive director Chris Myers sent a copy of the board’s resolution to all city councilmembers.
Responding to a question from The B Square after the council’s Wednesday meeting, Myers indicated that she did not receive a reply to her email message from any city councilmember. She did not attend Wednesday’s meeting. Myers indicated she had not been notified that the council would that night be taking up the ordinance changing BT’s service area.
Attending the meeting on behalf of Bloomington Transit were general manager John Connell as well as board members Doug Horn and James McClary. Continue reading “Countywide authority for Bloomington Transit OK’d by city council, without Rural Transit in the room”