Bloomington Transit set for Uber/Lyft pilot in May, to send city council memo on local income tax increase

On Tuesday night, the five-member Bloomington Transit (BT) board voted unanimously to go ahead with a pilot program starting in early May that will use Uber or Lyft—with a subsidy for the rides taken under BT’s banner—to replace late night service on some existing routes.

The board also discussed a proposal by Bloomington mayor John Hamilton to increase the local income tax paid by all Monroe County residents and to use some of Bloomington’s share of the additional revenue to fund new BT transportation initiatives.

The tax package includes around $5 million in public transportation projects, including a new east-west route with 15-minute frequency.

Board members expressed concern that the funding for the kind of transportation proposals described in the tax package would require some kind of long-term commitment by the city of Bloomington to BT. A memo with that message is supposed to be forwarded to the city council before Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

On Wednesday (April 20), the city council could take a final vote on the 0.855-point tax increase, which would raise the overall local income tax to a total of 2.2 percent.

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, BT announced that masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus would no longer be required on BT buses. That was the same approach that most transit providers seem to have taken after a federal judge struck down US President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring mask wearing. [text of US District Court Middle District of Florida ruling] Continue reading “Bloomington Transit set for Uber/Lyft pilot in May, to send city council memo on local income tax increase”