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Connect Transit FAQs

Connect Transit FAQ

Why do you use large buses?

Fixed-route buses in the public transportation industry range in size from 29ft to 60ft articulated, with most agencies selecting the 40ft option for their fleets.  With so many 40ft buses in use throughout the nation, spare parts, service and overall lifetime operating costs are kept lower.  The availability of these parts and services weighed very heavily on Connect Transit’s decision to utilize the larger 40ft bus.


With an average lifespan of 14 years, these larger buses will be able to remain in service much longer than some of their smaller counterparts.  Smaller buses, such as a 30ft option or a purpose built medium-duty bus will only have a lifespan of 7-10 years.  This means that a fleet equipped with smaller vehicles will need to replace them much more frequently than a fleet that is equipped with a 40ft heavy-duty bus.  When combined with proper maintenance practices and route rotation to prevent unnecessary mileage accumulation it is possible to extend the lifespan of these larger buses to 15-17 years.  Also, by adjusting routes to accommodate 40ft buses, we can eliminate the need for a mixed-fleet of 30ft, 35ft, and 40ft buses.  This provides a cost savings by removing the need to maintain separate parts inventories for the different sizes of buses and allows our maintenance personnel to become much more adept at servicing the fleet.



Another factor that was considered is the number of passenger boardings per hour.  At Connect Transit we see anywhere from 35-100 passenger boardings per hour during routine weekday service.  The larger buses allow Connect Transit to transport passengers more efficiently, helping to reduce our fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  Passengers also benefit from the larger buses by having a safe and comfortable riding experience, with ample seating and additional space for groups, families, transported items and personal belongings.

Connect Transit provides service throughout our extended “Service Day”, with buses running from 6:00am until as late as 3:00am.  This means that there may be times of the service day when buses appear to be underutilized.  By maintaining a standard sized fleet, we eliminate the need to adjust scheduling in order to utilize smaller vehicles.  In addition to eliminating the need for a mixed-fleet, this reduces the number of miles driven while the vehicle is not in service and is not providing passenger transportation, commonly called “deadhead” miles.

What does “Average Boardings per Revenue Hour” or “Average Boardings per Hour” mean?

Connect Transit operates 110,000 revenue hours of bus service over the course of a year with most of our fixed-routes have multiple buses in operation. In a given period (day, week, month or quarter) the total number of revenue hours is divided by the number of trips to determine the average boardings per hour.


Connect Transit provides an average of 800 to 900 trips on a weekday during one hour of revenue service, with each of our 27 in-service buses averaging 29-30 boardings.  The weekday service has the highest ridership because this is typically when passengers are travelling to work, school, medical appointments, and for entertainment purposes.

Can public transit be replaced with ridesharing?

Ridesharing has become very popular over the last few years and some individuals use both ridesharing and public transit. Connect Transit conducted a rider survey in April 2018 and 38% of our customers use ridesharing up to twice a week, and 49% do not use ridesharing at all. The survey also revealed 63.9% of customers use fixed route transit five to seven days a week. Many studies have shown that customers use ride sharing for social events between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. and are more likely to use public transit, own fewer cars, and spend less on transportation.


For individuals to use ridesharing they need to own a smartphone and be able to afford the cost of the trip, which can average $8.00 to $10.00. Providing direct or door-to-door transportation is expensive. Some trips are more expensive due to the length of travel and the price can also vary depending on surge pricing that takes place at various times in the day.


Connect Transit’s average operating cost per trip on a fixed route is $4.12 and the average trip length for passengers is 2.94 miles. The efficiency of a fixed route bus network lies in the fact that there many passengers using the same vehicle to travel along a specific path.  By properly structuring a bus route to run in a straight line and by routing the buses through high-density areas we are, when compared to a typical passenger car, able to move many more passengers for each gallon of fuel that is consumed.  Couple that with the reduced number of vehicles on the roadway, as well as the reduced wear-and-tear on the roads and associated infrastructure, and the real cost-savings of public transportation begin to become more apparent. 


2.94 miles – Average Trip Length FY17
$3.98 - Connect Cost per Ride
$6 to $9 - Uber Cost per Ride depending on “Surge” pricing



I need help planning a trip on Connect Transit. What are my options?

The best way to plan a trip is to use our Connect Transit website on your mobile device or PC. You have several other options:


  • Plan it yourself using our trip planner at the top of our homepage

  • Maps & Schedules Book.
  • Connect Transit App - Free Download for Android and iOS
  • Give us a call at 309-828-9833 for assistance.
Does Connect Transit offer a smartphone app?

The best way to plan your Connect Transit trips on your mobile device is to install the Connect Transit app on your home screen. It takes just seconds and offers you real-time information at your fingertips.

What is fare capping?

Fare capping allows individuals with fixed or low income to purchase a monthly unlimited pass within a 30-day period. Customers will be allowed to pay the fare using a mobile ticketing app, once a customer pays $36.00 in one-way fares within 30-days, they are eligible for a 30-day unlimited pass.

Are the fare increases to cover expenses?

Connect Transit uses the fares to cover a portion of the operating expenses. The additional fares collected will be used for our daily operating expenses.