Riders MUST be Represented on the Connect Transit Board

Riders MUST be Represented on the Connect Transit Board

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Citizens to Ensure Fair Transit started this petition to Mayor of Normal Mayor Koos and

It's come to our attention that this month Ryan Whitehouse will be put forward as the new Chairman of the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The Bloomington City Council is expected to vote on the change at their July 13 meeting. 

Mr. Whitehouse has been on the board since 2012. During his tenure the system has repeatedly cut services and created a premium service that charged people with disabilities 4 times what riders of the fixed route bus were charged. The system was recently asked for documentation on the accessibility of their bus stops and equipment as it came to light that the majority of stops were not ADA compliant which was forcing people with disabilities onto the more expensive Connect Mobility service – a practice that is strictly against FTA guidelines.

He, current chairman Mike McCurdy, and most of the current board members voted for and passed an across the board 25 percent rate increase and the elimination of the monthly pass for riders of Connect Mobility as well as route cuts just last year.

After much public outrage, Connect Transit has changed course. They are now lowering rates for Connect Mobility riders, though the route cuts remain. They are requesting more money from the municipalities to ensure that everyone in our community has access to transit services and we MUST ensure that people on this board prioritize the basic needs of riders BEFORE tackling projects like the $15 million transfer station.

It’s obvious to us that those who were supposed to be the community’s voice at Connect Transit over the past decade were not listening to the community. If the board consisted of actual transit riders, people dependent on the system for their transportation, it would not require a huge public outcry and spending tens of thousands of dollars for a moderator to realize the system is on the wrong track.

We do not believe Mr. Whitehouse is a good choice to lead the transit board. We continue to urge the mayors and city and town council members to appoint actual transit riders – including people with disabilities – to the transit board and to positions of leadership on that board. Ideally Mr. Whitehouse would step down and allow for members of the community that are sorely under represented to have their place at the table.

You can contact your city or town council representative as well as your mayor to let them know who you think should be your voice on the transit board.

Bloomington City council contact info can be found at https://www.cityblm.org/government/city-council

Normal Town council contact info can be found at: https://www.normal.org/1135/Meet-the-Council

 


 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!