May 26, 2015
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Proposed Service Improvements 2015-2016

"illinois terminal" "city view" "public hearing"

MTD holds our hearings at our intermodal facility in downtown Champaign, Illinois Terminal.

MTD invites you to give input on our proposed Route and Schedule Improvements for our 2015-2016 service year as well as discuss possible fare changes. We’re hosting a public hearing this Wednesday, May 20 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The hearing will be at MTD’s Illinois Terminal in downtown Champaign in CityView on the fourth floor.

While a formal presentation will not be made, several staff and Board of Trustees members will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the information presented. This format has proven successful over the years. It enables lengthier and more in depth conversations with smaller groups of people. It also yields a more casual environment where conversations are not hampered by a formal meeting process.

Proposed Revisions

1/100 Yellow: A portion of Woodfield Drive in Savoy, between Burwash and Arbour Towne, may close. The routing pictured in the link is the manner in which the route will operate once Woodfield Drive closes.

2/20 Red:  All 2/20U Red trips will automatically enter Kenyon Road to serve the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (C-U PHD). Should passengers want to get off at C-U PHD on a northbound, 2/20C Red, trip they must request the stop immediately upon boarding. The additional C-U PHD service on every southbound Red, will slightly alter the schedule. The 2/20U Red will leave Market Place Mall three minutes earlier.

MTD staff spent many hours analyzing and communicating with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the Champaign County Board about service needs. We want to best answer demand without impacting passengers needs for connecting buses. We hope the result proves beneficial to all!

5 Green: The 5 GREENhopper will no longer serve Horizon Hobby on Springfield & Staley. We propose it instead be served all day by the updated and enhanced 16 Pink. In the new service year, MTD proposes taking the GREENhopper westbound up Country Fair Drive to Parkland College twice an hour.

6 Orange: A small change in the name of schedule adherence, the Orange will no longer serve Camp. The 6 Orange schedule will not change.

7 Grey: The weekday daytime Grey will no longer interline with the 9A/9B Brown. This will not affect the routing or the 30-minute frequency, but the schedule will be adjusted. We believe this will improve on-time performance and make the service easier to use.

9A/9B Brown: As related to the 7 Grey above, MTD proposes eliminating interlining the 9A/9B Brown with the Grey as well as one another. This will change the frequency of the Browns from 30 minutes to approximately every 35 to 40 minutes. MTD also proposes eliminating limited service to the Sawgrass area. The expanded 16 Pink MTD proposes will serve the area.

"CUMTD" "west Champaign" "bus route" "16 Pink"

This is the proposed upgrade to the 16 Pink Weekday.

16 Pink: A 16 Pink expansion is what we’re proposing for 2015! The Pink will become an A/B route (like the 9A/9B Brown and 180 Lime) that operates a 45-minute frequency with staggered arrival times at Country Fair. Each trip would serve Country Fair, run all the way south on Mattis to Windsor, serve the YMCA, Horizon Hobby, the Sawgrass area, and Parkland College. This brings many more connection opportunities for passengers seeking service in west Champaign.

21 Raven: Thanks to the passage of the University of Illinois transportation referendum, a new route will begin operating on campus. The 21 Raven will operate 30-minute frequency during the weekday daytime only. It will service Vet-Med and the approximate parameters of the main and south Quads. As a result, the 13 Silver will not serve Vet-Med during the weekday daytime. During the evenings and weekends, the 130 Silver will continue servicing Vet-Med.

27/270 Air Bus: Farewell, Air Bus. The last day of service will be August 31, 2015. Willard Airport and the Institute of Aviation are not in our operating District. The service has run in previous years thanks to subsidies from outside entities.

Fares: This provides a useful perspective on MTD’s fare history. We believe it puts in context our proposal for a fare increase. We propose a $12 increase for our Annual Pass, which is currently $72 and would go up to $84. We propose a $5 increase for our Monthly Pass, which is currently $15 and would go up to $20. The cash fare of $1 one-way, including a free transfer, will remain unchanged.

Submit Feedback

Unable to attend our public hearing? We still want to hear from you! You can say something in the comments below, submit a feedback form through our website, choose your preferred recipient in our contact list, or give us a call at 217.384.8188. Our service operates best when you’re a part of it.

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Summer Service Reductions 2015

This article was originally published in the April-May 2015 issue of our email newsletter, STOPtalk. Want it to serve your inbox? Sign up!

"Illini Union" "Green Street" "Illini" "MTD" "bus"

A 60-foot articulated bus answers to the higher campus demands during the UI Spring Semester.

Congratulations to all the soon-to-be graduates across Champaign-Urbana! In response to reduced demand on the University of Illinois campus, MTD will reduce some of our services for the summer.

The service reductions begin at the start of the Saturday, May 16 service day. The reductions will lift Friday, August 21 at the start of the service day, the weekend before the University of Illinois Fall Semester.

Affected Service

2 Red Express: There will be no 2 Red Express trips over the summer. These trips are marked in the schedule by “L” and “U” footnotes.

12 Teal: Weekday daytime trips marked with a “U” footnote will not operate. This brings the daytime frequency of the Teal down from 10 minutes to every 20.

13 Silver: Weekday daytime trips marked with a “U” footnote will not operate. This also reduces Silver frequencies to every 20 minutes.

130 Silver Limited: The Limited operates with 20 minute frequencies and an abbreviated route during weekday evenings as well as on Saturday and Sunday.

22/220 Illini Limited: The Limited, with a unique schedule and routing, operates during all daytypes. The Limited operates every 30 minutes on this abbreviated route.

50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini Late Night: All late night trips (after midnight) for these five routes do not operate during the summer.

335 SafeRides: There will be no SafeRides service.

Year round, Sunday evening and late night service is grouped into one schedule. The only Sunday evening and late night service that is ever available is on the 50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini. But during UI Breaks, including summer, there is no Sunday evening and late night service.

School’s Out For Summer

"downtown Champaign" "MTD" "bus" "bike" "bike rack"

Routes like the 6 Orange provide additional trips to transport area middle and high school students.

MTD provides school transportation for Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana School District 116 middle and high school students. The school trips, which are open to the public, are marked in our Maps & Schedules Book with footnotes. These trips are not available when the local schools are out for the summer.

All the routes that serve Parkland College are unaffected by the summer service reductions.

No Service Days

There will be no MTD service on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 as well as Independence Day, July 4. Thank you for making travel accommodations as our employees enjoy these national holidays. Service will not be affected on the days before or after.

Let us know if you need further clarification in the comments below!

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Green Light: C-U Bike Month

May is National Bike Month and the Champaign-Urbana community is in the midst of celebrating! There are several sponsored events throughout the month including seven opportunities to get this year’s t-shirt. This year, registrants who provide a donation to the Kickapoo Rail Trail will be eligible to receive a t-shirt.

"bike to work" "urbana" "bike month"

The downtown Urbana station at Race & Main on Bike to Work Day 2014.

Bike to School and Campus Day

Nationally, Bike to School Day is set for Wednesday, May 6 and C-U Bike Month organizers have adopted the date and added campus to give the University of Illinois and Parkland College the opportunity to participate before their semesters end.

The Champaign-Urbana Safe Routes to School Project (C-U SRTS), Public Health District, and Urbana School District 116 will host stations this Wednesday at Urbana Middle School and Thomas Paine Elementary. Please register so we know how many students, parents, teachers, and community leaders celebrated!

Later that day, according to C-U SRTS, “students that participated in the Ready.Set.Bike! class as part of the SPLASH after school program will spend their last class taking a special bike ride to Meadowbrook Park. Students in this class learned bike safety skills and have been fitted with helmets. Those students without a bike have been given a refurbished bike, bike lock, and bike lights. Students will practice their new bike safety skills during National Bike to School Day with a final on-street bike ride.”

Later in the month, on May 21, Thomas Paine Elementary will continue their bike celebrations with a Bike Rodeo for 5th grade students. The rodeo will teach on-bike safety skills such as proper starting, stopping, scanning, signaling, and turning.

Bike to Work Day

National Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 14. Nine welcome stations are scheduled around Champaign and Urbana to celebrate bike commuters with free food and beverages between 7:00 and 10:00 am.

The stations will be at Brookens Administration Center on Washington Street, Campus Bike Center on Sixth & Pennsylvania, Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE) on the east side of the building, Champaign Public Works building on Edgebrook Drive, downtown Champaign at the Hyatt Place, downtown Urbana on Main & Race in the Busey Bank parking lot, Engineering Plaza north of Green Street, Research Park at First & Hazelwood, and finally at Wolfram Alpha on Trade Center Drive.

Bike to the Urbana Market

Every Saturday in May is Bike to Market Day at Urbana’s Market at the Square. Champaign County Bikes will host a tent on Walnut Street, adjacent to the Market at the Square’s Big Orange tent, on May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30.

Register for a Saturday of your choice and visit the tent to get a local bike map, information about local bike rides, and to learn more about the Kickapoo Rail Trail.

Want to ride to the Market with a group? Members of the Prairie Cycle Club will lead a slow paced ride from Meadowbrook Park’s Vine Street parking lot at 9:00 am every Saturday in May.

Why MTD Supports Bike Month

"bus" "bike" "rack" "bee scene"

MTD loves supporting bicyclists. We’re all in this alternative transportation mode thing together!

Bike Month raises awareness to create safe routes for bicycling and walking. These events provide education opportunities for state bicycling laws and sharing the road, as well as safe riding practices. The emphasis on increasing physical activity, pedestrian safety, reducing traffic congestion, and concerns for the environment are all shared MTD missions.

At some point, every MTD rider is a pedestrian. This rule also applies to cyclists should they choose to use MTD in poor weather, to shorten certain trips, or carry a heavy load. This is why every vehicle in MTD’s fleet is equipped with a bike rack. We’ve got your back!

Public transportation, by nature, is an environmentally-friendly transportation option. MTD has done tons of things to reduce our footprint and make our services as clean and green as possible. This includes a fleet made up of 54% diesel-electric hybrid buses, facility upgrades (including a solar array), and diesel particulate filters installed on every single bus. Learn more about past and current sustainability efforts through previous Green Light posts.

MCORE Project Open House

Tomorrow the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement Project (MCORE) is hosting an open house at the Illini Union from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and again from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. This is a perfect opportunity for alternative transportation users to voice their choice!

The MCORE project is targeting the heart of Campustown. The project consists of five individual projects to improve key urban transportation corridors. Improvements in each corridor will include complete street design components and more efficient travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and vehicles.

Are you going to participate in one of the above events? Let us know in the comments below!

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Grow Illinois Transit

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) began a series of “listening sessions” throughout the state today. They started in Champaign at the Hilton Garden Inn at 1:00 pm. Thanks to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce for hosting!

"infrastructure" "train platform" "cement"

The latest construction project at Illinois Terminal addressed poor infrastructure due to erosion (cumtd.com/the-inside-lane/platform-construction-at-illinois-terminal).

Illinois Infrastructure

Infrastructure includes roads, highways, bridges, rail, and public transportation. These five things allow for access in, around, and out of the state of Illinois. Whether you’re driving your car, riding the bus, bicycling, or walking, maintained and updated infrastructure is necessary to get from point a to point b.

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition is collecting data and arming citizens with a perspective on the infrastructure needs across the state. They warn that if our legislators do not establish an adequate, stable, and reliable funding source, the state of Illinois’ infrastructure will continue to diminish at a rapid rate.

“If there is no new funding, 1 in 3 miles of Illinois’ roads will be in unacceptable condition.”

The Coalition published a report in 2013 about the current state of Illinois’ infrastructure and the unmet needs, which includes a lengthy backlog. Answering these needs results in safer and more efficient intrastate and interstate travel, accessibility for all, and jobs, jobs, jobs.

Public Transportation

The needs for public transportation funding are mounting as demand continuously increases. The Coalition’s report summarized the state and needs of downstate public transit operators:

“Outside of the RTA region, nine additional urbanized mass transit districts and three municipal-run transit systems carry 28.3 million people per year. The Metro-East transit districts of St. Clair and Madison counties, along with the Bi-State Development Agency, serve an additional 9.5 million transit riders. Finally, 46 rural and small urban systems account for an additional 4 million passengers annually. The Illinois Downstate Public Transportation Capital Needs Assessment for 2011 estimated the downstate capital requirement at $674 million. The estimated funding over the next 5-years is $151 million, leaving a 5-year funding shortfall of: $598 million.”

Springfield’s proposed budget cuts to transit would result in reduced frequencies, higher fares, and even cancellations, despite increasing demand for transit in Illinois. Every day, these cuts will lengthen commutes on and off the road, keep people apart, and reduce access to jobs throughout the entire state.

Voice Your Support

"Chester Street" "viaduct" "rust" "infrastructure"

Next time you walk under the Chester Street Viaduct, look up. You’ll see another example of transportation infrastructure in need of repair.

If you want to voice your support for infrastructure funding and transportation, there are several ways.

1) Let your legislators know you want to grow Illinois transit by signing this petition. Simply enter your zip code and a message to your representative, as well as Governor Rauner, will be brought up.

2) If you want to be an advocate for high speed rail in Illinois, we recommend signing on with the Midwest High Speed Rail Association.

3) Connect with the Transportation for Illinois Coalition on Facebook and Twitter. Share the infrastructure needs you see near your home, on your commute, or at places you enjoy spending leisure time. Mention them and use the hashtag #AccelerateIL.

Please share streets and corridors you think need repair and/or development in the comments below.

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Illinois Marathon Impacts Service

The seventh annual Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon returns to Champaign-Urbana this weekend! If you’ll be riding MTD this Friday afternoon and evening or during the day on Saturday, this blog post is a must-read.

"Illinois Terminal" "Illinois Marathon" "reroutes"

Throughout the Illinois Marathon festivities, MTD routes will continue to serve Illinois Terminal.

Friday, April 24

Friday evening reroutes will accommodate the 5K walk/run and begin between 6:00 and 7:00 pm depending on the route. MTD staff and dispatchers make every effort to coordinate with the event live as it happens, so we can impact the least amount of passengers.

The Illinois Marathon’s 5K starting line is on Oak Street between Hazelwood and St. Mary’s. Racers will run St. Mary’s to Fourth to Gregory to Sixth to Green then south on First to the big finish inside Memorial Stadium.

As a result, Friday’s reroutes will be primarily confined to the campus area and affect the 13/130 Silver, 5/50 Green, 22/220 Illini, 27/270 Air Bus, and 1/100 Yellow. The reroutes are expected to last about an hour a half depending on the race’s progression and when the street cleaners get through.

Saturday, April 25

"Illinois Marathon" "reroute" "downtown Urbana"

All three Lincoln Square bus stops will be moved south of the mall to Illinois Street.

Saturday’s races, and the resulting reroutes, are much more involved. Races include the wheelchair marathon, full and half marathons, as well as a marathon relay and a 10K. MTD’s reroutes will start at the beginning of the service day. The changes to Saturday’s service will affect every MTD route. The reroutes will continue through a majority of the Saturday Daytime service.

The full marathon, all 26.2 miles of it, is too long to detail turn-by-turn. But Illinois Marathon organizers provide this terrific two-page map. Go here to view all the event maps, the beltway of open streets, and more.

Just like with the 5K, MTD staff and dispatchers will be in constant communication and observation of the event. This coordination will determine when it is safe to return each route to regular service. The timing will be uncertain. As the racers progress, certain corridors of the community will be reopened to traffic. The reroutes will be lifted accordingly.

The only major transfer point that will be moved is downtown Urbana. Stops around Lincoln Square will be moved to Illinois Street, south of Lincoln Square Mall.

MTD Recommends

If you are travelling during these races, please expect delays and plan accordingly. Details of each route’s alternative service path will be available soon. If you’re subscribed to MyRIDE, you’ll get personally notified when they become available. We’ll also share the information on our website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

STOPwatch real-time information will not be very accurate. In service buses will still be GPS tracked, but the departure times will be based on calculations of the actual route, not the rerouted route. Again, delays are to be expected.

We’re here for you! MTD staff will be on the street, extra personnel will be answering phones, and we’ll post service updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions and let us know how we’re doing.

And to the event participants, good luck! We wish you strong legs. C-U out there.

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Green Light: MTD Employees Celebrate Boneyard Creek Community Day

"Boneyard Creek" "Community" "Clean Up" "Map" "Springfield Avenue"

The Boneyard Creek Community Day is centered around Scott Park. Volunteers will spread out and around the Boneyard Creek.

This Saturday, April 18 is the 10th anniversary of Boneyard Creek Community Day. This event is an opportunity to help protect our local waterways through cleanup and public education activities.

The Boneyard Creek is a tributary of the Saline Branch of the Salt Fork Vermillion River. This important waterway flows through Champaign and Urbana and helps drain the cities. When litter ends up around the Boneyard it causes local flooding, harms aquatic life, and detracts from the natural beauty of our community.

For the past nine years Champaign-Urbana has celebrated Boneyard Creek Community Day. Last April, over 400 volunteers cleaned up litter and non-native plants form 1,459 acres of Boneyard Creek at seven different locations.

MTD Employees Lend a Hand

At MTD we appreciate the value of our local water resources and know that working together to clean-up our community can go a long way. Fittingly, MTD employees are joining in on the fun this Saturday! We have organized a volunteer team of MTD employees and family members to participate. MTD is also pitching in by helping sponsor the event at the Advocate level.

"MTD" "employees" "Adopt Urbana" "safety vests"

MTD employees are no strangers to cleaning up trash! Here’s a group cleaning up our Adopt Urbana stretch along Windsor Road.

After working together to pick up litter for a few hours, volunteers will be thanked with lunch, music, and educational displays at noon at Scott Park. Most importantly, we are all rewarded by helping the local environment and keeping the Boneyard Creek litter-free!

Are you volunteering for Boneyard Creek Community Day this year? Keep an eye out for MTD’s volunteer team wearing our bright yellow “MTD @ Work” vests (pictured above). Volunteer registration closes on Wednesday, April 15. Hope to see you there!

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Stand Up for Transportation

"APTA" "Stand Up for Transportation" "SU4T"

Stand Up for Transportation on April 9, National Transportation Infrastructure Day!

MTD invites you to Stand Up for Transportation this Thursday, April 9. Stand Up for Transportation Day is a day for education and outreach to the public and our elected officials. Our goal is to raise awareness for our local, regional, and national long-term transportation infrastructure funding plight.

This is the Problem

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) expires this May 31. MAP-21 was originally a two-year bill authorized for $10.6 billion in FY2013 and $10.7 billion in FY2014 for federal transit programs administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Long-term, sustainable, and reliable transportation funding is not available without a replacement of MAP-21 which provides funds for the Highway Trust Fund. Current revenues for the Highway Trust Fund will not fully fund current demands for public transit or highway programs now or in future years.

As you can see, there is a major funding problem. Our public transportation systems, highways and interstates, roads and bridges, cannot plan for the future or ensure safe and up-to-date operations without adequate funding.

This is why public transportation agencies are joining hands to advocate for a long-term funding bill. This is why we are asking citizens nationwide to Stand Up for Transportation #standup4transportation #SU4T.

This is the Local Impact

When infrastructure and transportation are funded, everyone benefits. Safe roads, sidewalks, and complete streets enable all people regardless of ability or age to get where they need to go.

Quality transit and infrastructure allow mobility for all residents of our area. Safety is improved as crumbling infrastructure is repaired and upgraded. Jobs are created for construction as well as new and maintained developments. The economic benefits are proven to accrue for the entire region. Every $1 invested in infrastructure returns $4 in economic benefits.

A dedicated funding source allows for certainty in the projects MTD and other local agencies plan. This builds upon itself as agencies can continually assess and tackle our region’s long-term needs.

These are the Local Projects

To maintain a fleet that answers to the demands of our community, MTD needs funds to upgrade and expand our fleet.

To maintain a fleet that answers to the demands of our community, MTD needs funds to upgrade and expand our fleet.

MTD depends on federal funding to replace and expanded our fleet. The facility upgrade beginning at our Maintenance Facility was possible thanks to federal funds. But other local agencies and projects depend on these federal funds, too, including the cities of Champaign and Urbana, Village of Savoy, Champaign County, and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Four future highway, road, and bridge projects that are only possible with infrastructure funding are:

1) I-57/I-74 Interchange (Champaign): This cloverleaf type interchange is experiencing safety and traffic operational issues due to deficient geometric features. Phase II and Phase II of this project are currently not funded.

2) Prospect Avenue Reconstruction Project (Windsor to Curtis – Champaign and Savoy): Complete street reconstruction from Curtis Road to Windsor Road.

3) Curtis Road/Canadian National Railroad Grade Separation (Savoy)

4) Bradley Avenue and Kirby Avenue Bridges Bike/Pedestrian Amenities (Champaign)

These are many other local highway and road projects which require Federal funding. The list above includes only those unfunded projects that are planned in the near term whose completion is critical to the mobility needs of the community.

This is What You Can Do

If you believe Congress should enact a mutli-year authorization bill that provides dedicated funding for the Highway Trust Fund to pay for the current federal transit programs and the growth of the program for transit and highway infrastructure needs, please sign this petition. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will deliver the signatures to Congress.

Stand Up for Transportation Day is April 9. MTD will be hosting a press conference on the second floor of Illinois Terminal at 10:00 am. Representatives from the cities, University, IDOT, and local elected officials will be in attendance to voice their support for infrastructure funding. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

There are two other ways to show your support. Sign up your Twitter and/or Facebook account to send out a message via Thunderclap. This service will schedule the exact same message to go out from all registered accounts at exactly the same time. The result is a social media “thunderclap” of support.

You can also share a commuter selfie on Facebook or Twitter. Let your followers know you’re a transit supporter by sharing an image from your bus stop, onboard a bus, on your bike, whichever mode you prefer! Use the hashtag #commuteselfie.

Thanks for reading this post. Getting informed is the first step! Let us know in the comments below if you take on any additional actions to Stand Up for Transportation.

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Platform Construction at Illinois Terminal

"Illinois Terminal" "bus" "train" "platform"

MTD buses cannot serve Platform A as construction work is done to repair and reinforce the train platform.

Construction vehicles and personnel have taken over Platform A of MTD’s Illinois Terminal. The construction is for the Amtrak platform and the land beneath it. Workers are shoring up the sloping hill beneath the platform north of the walkway, as well as building a retention wall for additional support.

Beginning last Monday, March 23, the closure shifted all bus boardings and departures down a platform. Platform A loads/alights on Platform B. Platform B is now Platform C. And Platform C has shifted to Platform D. Thanks for accommodating this temporary shift!

"Illinois Terminal" "retaining wall" "train" "viaduct"

The retaining wall construction began March 23, 2015. The raised structure the construction worker is standing on also provides support for the train platform.

The Why

About three years ago, MTD staff began to notice cracks along the concrete panels of the Amtrak platform. Erosion was the culprit identified. Around the same time, a rail grinder repair vehicle accident resulted in a collision with the platform itself. This caused additional damage.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was brought in to assess the damage and provide the funds to fix this platform integral to Illinois rail.

The When

“Last week was entirely focused on building the retaining wall,” MTD’s Illinois Terminal Manager, Stu Smith said. “These guys are working really fast and hopefully, as weather permits, will continue to do so.”

The retaining wall is being built to provide support to the sloping hill the rail platform sits upon. The hill is not in a good condition and with multiple Amtrak and Canadian National Rail trains coming through several times a day, it was not getting any better.

“We also had lots of track jumpers,” Smith explained. “These individuals would run up the hill on the east side of the tracks, jump the tracks, and then slide down the opposite side.” In addition to being illegal trespassing, this is incredibly unsafe behavior for the persons crossing the railroad line.

This contributed to the deterioration and the instability of the land as grass and soil were pushed downward. “And that land erosion is where the cracks in the cement panels on the platform came from,” Smith said.

The solution is to construct a retaining wall that makes a support perpendicular to the viaduct. A fence will also be built along the rail platform to eliminate future track hoppers.

"truncated domes" "Illinois Terminal" "Amtrak" "train platform"

This construction worker is removing the former truncated domes. These run all long the platform and will be replaced.

Work began today, March 30, on repairing the platform itself. Construction workers will replace the concrete panels that have cracked. The truncated domes, the raised red blocks that customers step on when boarding and alighting a train, along the east side of the the concrete, will be replaced all along the entire platform.

You’ve likely seen these truncated domes around town at crosswalks. The raised bumps help with traction and serve as detectable warnings that one is crossing into a new area. The truncated domes are felt underfoot as well as heard when a walking device scrapes across them.

If all proceeds to plan, the retaining wall will be complete this Friday, April 3 and Platform A will reopen for MTD riders. The entire project is estimated to be completed in May 2015. All scheduled Amtrak trips will run throughout the project. The only inconvenience customers will experience is shifting to the varying available train doors as construction progresses up and down the train platform.

The Benefit

“This has been a compounding problem over the years,” Smith said. “Small repairs were made, but nothing that could really respond to the eroding landscape.”

The retaining wall should prevent future erosion. The repairs to the platform will leave the site in sound condition. And aesthetically, the retaining wall is appealing.

Thanks again for accommodating the shift, Illinois Terminal customers. We realize this affects more than just our buses and appreciate your patience.

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Maintenance Facility Upgrade

"801" "building" "illustration"

An illustration of MTD’s first built facility at 801 East University Avenue.

After seven years of consecutive ridership growth, the time has come. With over half of our bus fleet comprised of hybrid buses, the time has come. As we continue to hire a growing workforce across departments, the time has come.

In just a few weeks, construction begins for MTD’s Maintenance Facility in Urbana. MTD’s first-ever built facility, located at 801 East University Ave, is getting torn down. The facility was built in 1974 and was expanded in 1979. For decades, the building housed MTD’s administration, operations, and maintenance departments. Many memories and accomplishments were made within those walls, but they’re beyond showing their age.

Gradual expansion and purchasing of the neighboring building at 803 East University began in 1991 and continued through the 1990s. In 2003, MTD’s Administration and Operations moved out of the original 801 building and into a larger facility located nearby at 1101 East University Avenue.

Facility Upgrade

"cumtd" "mtd" "construction site"

MTD employees surveying the construction site in 1974.

The demolition of 801 East University, and the subsequent expansion of the current Maintenance Facility at 803, answers several District needs. The project went out to bid in November 2014 and is estimated it will take 15 months to complete.

The first need the project answers is vehicle storage. MTD is at 100% storage capacity. Our fleet of 102 buses and 12 large passenger vans can barely fit inside our facilities. A storage challenge arose when we began purchasing hybrid buses. Because of the battery pack on the roof of the coach, the hybrid buses are taller than their diesel counterparts. This limits their storage to our newer Maintenance Facility only. The old storage at 801 cannot fit the hybrid buses. Indoor storage is critical to maintaining the fleet in good repair and operational condition, particularly during winter.

Over the years, MTD has grown our hybrid fleet to make up 54% of our fixed-route vehicles. And as we look to retire 33 buses from 2003, now over a decade old, their replacements will be hybrid buses. The expansion will add 67,600 gross square feet of bus storage that will be tall enough to accommodate the fuel saving hybrid bus battery pack.

The second need is additional office and training space. MTD instructors train and certify all employees who operate a vehicle in house. Our Safety and Training Director is responsible for new employee and review training for bus operators, technicians, service workers, and staff. A team of classroom, road, and line instructors support his work. Training simulators are also a regular part of the program, and they too require space and manpower.

The Maintenance Facility Upgrade will add 11,600 gross square feet to the mezzanine (second floor) of Maintenance. This will allow MTD’s Safety and Training activities to be moved from our Operations and Administration Building. This opens their former space for some much needed offices and conference rooms. (We’re hiring all over the place!)

"

Thanks for the memories, 801 East University Avenue! This photo was taken in 1985.

There are three more benefits of the upgrade. The first is a protected interior wash and dry space for our vehicles. Currently, vehicles exiting the wash bay are driven outside and then back into storage (if it’s available). During the winter months, this requires a tremendous amount of salt to combat ice buildup from water runoff. The upgrade will keep vehicles indoors from start to finish. A second benefit is new and improved indoor battery storage. This will be used for both old and new batteries, both of which contain volatile materials. Finally, the expanded facility will allow us to keep all vehicles in the present and future connected to the Stinger System – a system that yields time and environmental savings.

Funding

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) awarded $6 million to MTD for this project. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded another $2.35 million. These grant awards bring state and federal dollars back to our area!

The FTA  funds come from the Urbanized Area Formula Program, which is authorized under the provisions set forth in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Under this program, the transportation secretary may make grants to assist states and local governmental authorities in financing capital and planning projects, job access and reverse commute projects, associated transit improvements, and certain operating costs.

These funds constitute a core investment in the enhancement and revitalization of public transportation systems in the nation’s urbanized areas, which depend on public transportation to improve mobility and reduce congestion.

The funds used for the 803 expansion are a portion of our appropriations from FY2012. MAP-21 expires May 31, 2015. If Congress does not act to restore national transit infrastructure funding, projects like these will not be possible. Stay tuned as we share information on how YOU can Stand Up for Transportation on a national advocacy day set for April 9.

Updates to Come

Demolition and construction are scheduled to begin in the first full week of April. Check back here as well as our social media pages for construction updates, pictures, and more!

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Spring Break Service Reductions 2015

"bus" "Transit Plaza" "Silver" "Brown" "kiosk"

The flurry of activity along Transit Plaza on Wright Street will certainly diminish next week!

The service reductions for the University of Illinois Spring Break begin this Saturday, March 21 with the start of the day’s service. The reductions run until the end of service the following Saturday, March 28. What’s affected? Glad you asked…

Limited Service

12 Teal: Weekday daytime trips of the 12 Teal marked with a “U” footnote will not operate March 23-27. The routing remains the same, but this reduces the frequency from 10 minutes to service every 20.

13/130 Silver: Weekday daytime trips of the 13 Silver marked with a “U” footnote will not operate March 23-27. The routing remains the same, but this reduces the frequency from 10 minutes to service every 20. The 130 Silver Limited will operate in the evenings and weekends from March 21-28. It operates every 20 minutes with a shortened route.

22/220 Illini: The 22/220 Illini Limited will operate March 21 until March 29 at 6:00 pm across all daytypes (weekday daytime, weekday evening, and weekend). The frequency is reduced to every 30 minutes and the route is shortened.

335 SafeRides: From 7:00 pm until midnight, 335 SafeRides will take reservations and schedule pick ups. SafeRides will operate until 12:30 am between March 21-28. The number of vans will be reduced and designated pick up locations (Illini Union, Armory & Wright, and Illinois Street Residence Hall) will not be served.

No Service

2 Red Express: Trip marked with “L” and “U” footnotes will not operate March 23-27. These trips resume operation March 30.

Late Night: All fixed-route service after midnight will not operate March 21-28. Late night trips on the 50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini will resume March 29.

"easter" "no service" "MTD" "bunny"

Just a friendly reminder: there will be no MTD service on Easter Sunday.

Sunday Evening and Late Night: On Sunday, March 22, all scheduled evening and late night service will not operate. This affects scheduled service on the 50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini. All routes scheduled from approximately 9:00 am until 6:00 pm will operate. 335 SafeRides will not operate at all this night.

Easter Holiday

There will be no MTD service all day on Easter Sunday, April 5.

Happy spring break! And to those of us without a regularly scheduled break, enjoy the warmer weather!

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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 East University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802-2009
(217) 384-8188
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