Bloomington Transit will receive at least $3.8 million a year for the next five years from the city of Bloomington, under an interlocal agreement approved by BT’s five-member board at its final meeting of the year, on Dec. 20.
The agreement still needs to win approval from Bloomington’s city council.
The deal is expected to appear on a city council meeting agenda sometime in January, based on remarks from BT general manager John Connell at last week’s board meeting.
The money is coming from the increase to the local income tax that was approved by the city council in May of 2022.
The big initiative that the money is supposed to help fund is an east-west crosstown express route.
Some other specific initiatives that the money is supposed to pay for include: implementation of Sunday service in the first quarter of 2023; enhancement of the paratransit microtransit services; increasing frequency of weekday service; and development of a ridership subsidy program.
The new transit initiatives come as BT is clawing back ridership on its regular fixed route service, after a big drop when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020. Continue reading “Bloomington Transit OKs 5-year deal, will get $3.8 million annually from city’s local income tax”
An all-electric bus bus already in BT’s fleet.
From left: BT general manager John Connell, BT bus rider Scott Ferrell. (May 17, 2022)
Monthly ridership stats.
Bloomington Transit (BT) is confronting several short-term challenges even as it looks ahead to a future flush with new revenue.
The new revenue will come from the city of Bloomington’s planned allocation to BT using some of extra money from the local income tax increase that was enacted by the city council two weeks ago.
The range of short- and long-term issues was evident at Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the BT board.
Continue reading “BT Roundup: mid-June for Uber/Lyft night runs, new bus routes in August, strategic plan contract OK’d, 8 new electric buses requested, still 14 drivers short”
Bloomington Transit bus plies its route on Feb. 3, 2022.
Bloomington Transit drivers got some recognition from general manager John Connell at the five-member board’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday night.
About the performance of drivers during the snowstorm and its aftermath on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, Connell said, “I think our drivers did an incredible job. They had the toughest challenge.”
The debriefing on how things went during the snow was one of several topics BT staff reported to the board at their meeting.
One of the main business items appearing on the agenda was the annual financial agreement with Indiana University to allow affiliates of the school—students, faculty and staff—to board buses without paying a fare. That had been put off from the previous month’s meeting, because IU had not yet agreed to terms.
The agreement approved by BT’s board on Tuesday night reflects a 2.5% increase—which is half the 5-percent increase that BT was looking for from IU.
In pre-pandemic times, about 70 percent of ridership came from IU affiliates.
Ridership on fixed routes is still down compared to pre-pandemic times. For January this year, the 152,000 fixed route rides were three times the number given in January 2021, but about half the number in January 2020. That was was the next-to-last month before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt. Continue reading “Transit notebook: Snowstorm debrief, deal OK’d with IU, ridership still down, strategic plan moves forward”