Bloomington, Indiana – October 28, 2023
Rural residents of Monroe County are facing changes in their public transportation options starting on January 1, 2024. A recent announcement from the Rural Transit service has left many in the community perplexed and concerned about their future mobility.
“I was given a letter from (Area 10 Agency on Aging) Rural Transit regarding urbanized changes within Ellettsville, and Bloomington. After 12/31/23 they will no longer be providing services from one urbanized place to another, now that creates issues for me and many others because they have a lot of people that rely on them to get from point A to point B,” said Dylan Parks, who reached out to the Bloomingtonian.
In a letter dated October 13, 2023, Chris Myers, a representative of Rural Transit, explained the forthcoming changes to local residents. The main alteration is that Rural Transit will no longer provide transportation when both the pick-up and drop-off locations fall within the Urbanized Area of Bloomington. This change marks a shift from the previous boundary, which was defined by the City of Bloomington.
The Urbanized Area, encompassing more than just the city limits of Bloomington, is larger than many residents had previously believed. To provide a visual reference, Rural Transit included a map showing the Urbanized Area outlined in blue, as defined by the 2020 Census. The map can be accessed at this link for those seeking more detailed information.
While this change has raised concerns among many residents, Rural Transit has provided some clarity on specific scenarios:
- For non-Stone Belt trips, Rural Transit can continue to provide transportation if one of the pick-up or drop-off locations is outside of the Urbanized Area.
- For Stone Belt transportation, Rural Transit suggests a transfer at the Northwest YMCA location, which may involve boarding a different bus to reach Stone Belt.
The announcement has prompted residents to explore alternative transportation options. Rural Transit advises contacting Bloomington Transit (BT Access) at 812-336-7433 (option 3) to inquire if they intend to extend services to cover the Urbanized Area. Additionally, for non-emergency medical transit within the Urbanized Area, Be Loved Transportation can be reached at 812-287-2610. Residents are also encouraged to consider popular rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, which can be accessed via their respective websites: www.lyft.com/rider and www.uber.com.
Recently, the Bloomington City Council voted to expand Bloomington transit services to Ellettsville: