- What is The Connector?
- Why is it important?
- What are we doing?
- How can I get help from The Connector?
- Will The Connector work for me?
The Connector, a Fox Cities regional transportation initiative, was developed in partnership with Valley Transit to address the needs of individuals with lower incomes relying on public transportation for employment purposes. The Initiative was created to address the current limitations of Valley Transit's geographic service areas and operating hours.
The service area consists of key transfer points to cover the central, northern, southern, eastern and western areas of the Fox Cities. The Connector also provides late evening (10 P.M. to midnight) and early morning (4 A.M. to 6 A.M.) service to better serve second- and third-shift workers. The expanded geographic areas and operating hours are provided through a contracted service arrangement between Valley Transit and Running, Inc., a local transportation provider.
Ensuring that individuals have reliable transportation resources will contribute to their ability to be self-sufficient and have their basic needs met. Removing transportation as a barrier to employment or potential employment opportunities promotes self-sufficiency and reduces isolation for those in the community reliant on public transportation.
According to the 2006 LIFE Study, a community assessment of the Fox Cities, the growth of urban and rural areas of the Fox Cities is resulting in limited access to public transportation services. Along with community growth, there is a growing segment of the population in our community considered the working poor, as employment shifts to the service sector. With the release of the more recent 2011 LIFE Study, data continues to identify transportation as a critical need in the Fox Cities.Based on the results of a 2006 studied conducted by local nonprofits, 66% of individuals who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless do not own a car and 63% rely on the bus as their primary form of transportation. Key concerns of the public transportation system pertain to Valley Transit operating hours not supporting individuals working 2nd or 3rd shifts, and inaccessibility to the Valley Transit services if an employer is not located on the bus route.
More than 90% of the rides have been employment-related in supporting individuals with overcoming transportation barriers. Other reasons for use are for education and medical appointments. As an initiative launched in October 2007 to remove transportation as a barrier to employment opportunities, The Connector has provided over 105,000 rides to more than 2,000 individuals in the Fox Cities through the end of 2014. Over 18,000 rides are now provided each year with more than half of the rides occurring during early mornings or late evenings.
During the initial pilot year, feedback from individuals using The Connector indicated that 84% of individuals were able to apply for more jobs in outlying areas of the Fox Cities, 82% were able to apply for more jobs that were 2nd and 3rd shifts, and 75% were successful in obtaining a job.
These results reflect the success of this initiative and efforts are underway to ensure the continued operation of The Connector in the Fox Cities area.
Do you need to get to your job, school or an appointment, but live or work outside of Valley Transit's regular bus route locations? Are you looking to get somewhere before or after normal bus operating hours? The Connector could be your convenient solution. Through a partnership with Valley Transit, this unique service was designed to help provide safe, convenient and affordable access to public transportation. The service is particularly designed for Fox Cities residents who work second- or third-shift schedules or who need to travel throughout the community beyond regular Valley Transit bus routes.
The Connector transports you from a location outside of the bus route to one of six bus transfer points. Transportation through The Connector is available 20 hours a day, six days a week. (The Connector does not operate between the overnight hours of midnight and 4 a.m., on Sundays or on holidays.)
To help determine if The Connector will work for you, refer to this map and answer the following questions:
- Does your starting point or destination fall within The Connector Zone?
- Do you need to travel before or after the regular Valley Transit bus hours?
If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, The Connector may work for you. To find out more about how the service works call Valley Transit at 920-832-5800 or visit their website.