December 23, 2014
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Transportation to the Heart of Dallas Bowl

Service Reminder: There will be no evening MTD service on Christmas Eve, December 24. There will be no MTD service at all on Christmas Day, December 25. Thank you for your understanding and Merry Christmas!

Congratulations to the Fighting Illini Football Team who were chosen to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl this Friday, December 26 at noon! MTD’s transit friends in Dallas, DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), provided us with detailed travel information for incoming Illini fans.

"DART" "light rail" "Fair Park Station"

DART’s Fair Park Station Photo Credit: DART

Green Line is Your Green Light

DART provides fans with an easy and stress-free means of travel to the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium. DART light rail provides service directly to the “heart” of the game featuring Louisiana Tech from Conference USA and Big Ten Conference member Illinois. Here’s a spotlight on transport to the stadium.

Fighting Illini fans can purchase a $5 Local Day Pass, which works for both DART Rail and buses, by cash or credit card at ticket vending machines located at all DART stations. You can save a step and purchase a day pass in advance with DART’s GoPass℠. This free mobile ticketing application is available for download through Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Fans can get to the stadium by way of two different Green Line stations. One is called Fair Park Station (pictured) and is located on Parry Avenue at the fairgrounds entrance. The second is called MLK, Jr. Station and is located south of R.B. Cullum Boulevard. Both stations provide convenient access to the Cotton Bowl Stadium.

If you need to transfer to the Green Line from the Red, Orange, or Blue lines, you can do so at any of the four downtown Dallas rail stations: West End, Akard, St. Paul, or Pearl/Arts District.

DART’s website has all the additional information you need or you can call their Customer Information at 214.979.1111. Safe travels, and GO ILLINI!

Transport to Willard Airport

Dallas/Fort Worth is one of the two locations American Airlines serves out of Willard Airport in Savoy. Very convenient.

The 27/270 Air Bus serves Willard and operates Monday through Saturday. The route and timetable are not affected by the University of Illinois Winter Break Service Reductions with the exception of two days. There is no evening service on Christmas Eve December 24 and New Year’s Eve December 31. As a result, the final trip of the 27 Air Bus will end at Illinois Terminal at 6:18 pm on both those days. And, of course, as with all MTD service, as with all MTD service, there is no service all day Christmas Day (December 25) or New Year’s Day (January 1).

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UI Winter Break Service Reductions

It seems like just last week we were blogging about UI Fall Break Service Reductions (four weeks to be exact)! The routes affected are the same as Fall Break but we’ll quickly run through everything with the corresponding dates. All the service reductions listed below will go into effect at the start of our Saturday service on December 20, 2014. The reductions continue through the end of scheduled service for Saturday, January 17, 2015.

"cumtd" "hybrid bus" "Market Place Mall"

Lose the stress of parking and driving around the crowded streets of north Neil and Prospect. Ride MTD and get door-to-door service!

Reduced Services

These routes will operate during the UI Winter Break, but they offer less frequency and/or abbreviated routing.

12 Teal: Trips marked with the “U” footnote do not operate Monday through Friday. This reduces the Teal’s frequency to every 20 minutes. The routing remains the same.

13 Silver: Trips marked with the “U” footnote do not operate Monday through Friday. This reduces the Silver’s frequency to every 20 minutes. The daytime routing remains the same.

22/220 Illini Limited: This is an abbreviated route and will operate throughout the UI Winter Break reductions. The frequency is every 30 minutes.

130 Silver Limited:  A shortened Silver route will operate evenings and weekends during the Winter Break. The frequency is the same as the regular 130 Silver – every 20 minutes.

27/270 Air Bus: The Air Bus will operate it’s regular route and schedule Monday through Saturday with two exceptions. There will be no Air Bus evening service on Christmas Eve, December 24 and New Year’s Eve, December 31. The route will end at 6:18 pm at Illinois Terminal.

335 SafeRides: The reservation van service continues operation through the break, but is reduced. SafeRides is available from 5:00 pm until 12:30 am beginning December 20 through January 17. Designated pick up locations are not served. There will be no SafeRides at all on Sunday, December 21 and December 28, 2014 as well as January 4 and January 11, 2015.

No Service

The 2 Red Express and all trips after midnight, late night fixed route service, do not operate.

2 Red: Express trips, marked with “L” and “U” footnotes will not operate Monday through Friday. These trips will resume operation on Monday, January 19.

50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini: During the UI Fall and Spring Semesters, these five routes offer late night trips after midnight. These routes will not operate these late night trips during the Winter Break or any University break for that matter (Spring, Summer, nor Fall).

"no mtd service" "christmas" "new years"

Our no service reminder that is posted behind the driver on all of our buses.

Holidays

MTD will operate weekday daytime service on Christmas Eve Wednesday, December 24. There will be no evening service. There is no MTD service all day on Christmas Day so employees may enjoy time with their families.

The same formula applies to the New Year. There will be weekday daytime service on New Year’s Eve Wednesday, December 31, but not evening service. There will be no MTD service all day on New Year’s Day.

MTD will operate full regular service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 19.

MTD wishes you the happiest of holidays, however you choose to celebrate! Thank you for your continued support of public transportation. We look forward to providing you with another year of quality service.

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MTD Employee Committees

"conference room" "employees" "CUMTD" "MTD"

MTD’s Wage and Policy Committee

MTD is committed to accepting feedback in order to continuously improve our services. The opportunity is also extended to our internal customers. There are over 340 MTD employees that are spread across three shifts and three facilities. We need to stay connected and on the same route! This is why MTD has year-round employee committees.

More Than Meetings

There are nine employee committees and each is led by a staff member. The committees meet monthly and are open to employees across departments who have been with the District for at least one year. By becoming a member of a standing committee, an employee has a formal opportunity to share ideas, communicate concerns, and serve as a peer representative. Employees who are not scheduled to work during the meeting times are paid to attend. Those who are scheduled to work are relieved. Annual sign up is in December and coincides with the December Board Pick. Board Picks happen three times a year and this month’s pick assigns the work schedules for December 21, 2014 through May 16, 2015. So while employees are picking their work shifts, they also have the opportunity to participate in an area of interest!

Alphabetically, the first committee is called Awards. This committee agrees upon the criteria for various awards and recognition that are given across positions. These recognitions are celebrated at an annual employee banquet planned in detail by members of the committee.

Next is the Newsletter Committee. This committee puts together a monthly publication called Bus Lines. Committee members research and write articles. The internal newsletter covers what’s new and exciting across the District as well as what’s going in the lives of employees.

The Routes and Schedules Committee meets with our Director of Service Delivery and Planner to discuss opportunities for improvement in our fixed route service.

"conference room" "meeting" "CUMTD" "MTD"

Members of the Routes and Schedules committee meet.

Safety and Training examines how to best execute the defined routes and schedules. The committee addresses safety issues and security issues for the system. What information and tools are needed to provide quality service? How will the District safely resolve hazardous situations?

The School Task Force Committee targets the middle and high school transportation that MTD provides. Members of the committee visit area schools to teach incoming middle school students how to ride and evacuate in case of emergency.

Social Committee speaks for itself – they’re about being social! The group plans our company-wide Holiday Party as well as company get-togethers and trips to area amusements.

Sustainability Committee, also self-explanatory, gathers a group of environmentally-minded employees to investigate ways MTD’s employees and facilities can reduce our impacts.

The Wage and Policy Committee is headed by our Managing Director, Karl Gnadt. Major District-wide initiatives, like wages, are brought to this group for vote. Seats on this Committee, as well as Routes and Schedules, are so coveted that elections are held every year to determine which employees will earn the seats.

Finally, the Wellness Committee manages our on-site fitness center and works to improve the health and well-being of MTD employees. They earned MTD a bronze level in the Illinois Healthy Worksite Designation!

The result of these meetings is difficult to measure, especially because the topics covered by all nine committees are so vast. But what is certain is that lines of communication are multiplied and ideas, concerns, and challenges are addressed regularly.

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Green Light: Race for Zero Waste

This post was written by Jane Sullivan, MTD’s Grant Manager/Sustainability Planner.

Like any proud organization, MTD enjoys a little friendly competition, especially when it benefits our community and the environment. Fittingly, the District’s Administration and Operations Facility in Urbana is participating in the Race for Zero Waste. This competition has been designed by Green Purpose to promote the importance of recycling in the workplace.

Protecting Our Landfills

The Race for Zero Waste is in line with MTD’s ongoing environmental sustainability efforts. These efforts include decreasing the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill from all three of our facilities.

"white office paper" "mixed paper" "plastic bottles" "green purpose" "recycling" "MTD"

Recycling containers, thanks to Green Purpose, are customized under each staff person’s desk to encourage convenient and sorted disposal.

MTD has always been especially conscientious about ensuring that hazardous materials are properly disposed. Our Maintenance Facility reuses as many materials as possible, including waste oil, antifreeze, and water from our wash bay. Batteries and fluorescent light bulbs are recycled in a safe and responsible manner. A local certified hazardous waste manager disposes of any other hazardous materials that cannot be recycled internally.

Our recycling efforts in our Administration and Operations Facility got serious when we completed a Waste Audit earlier this year. After the waste audit, we began working hard to advance the recycling efforts at this facility. We have incorporated new signage and improved receptacles so that recyclables can be separated properly. This facility separates office paper, mixed paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum to ensure that all materials have the greatest potential to stay out of a landfill.

The Race is On!

"white paper" "mixed paper" "cardboard" "garbage" "mtd" "recycling"

Shared, high traffic areas, are supplied with large bins for convenient and sorted recycling.

Of course, MTD is not the only company in the area working to improve its recycling efforts. MTD has joined Kraft, Rockwell Automation, Plastipak, and Silgan White Cap to compete in the Race for Zero Waste over the next few months. Each facility’s progress in four categories will be assessed to determine the winner of the Race. Categories include the facility’s monthly waste statistics, saturation levels, educational promotion, and employee participation.

Follow the competition on raceforzerowaste.com where overall standings can be viewed. The competition begins today December 1, 2014 and the final winner will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. Good luck to all the competitors!

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MTD is Hiring

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to bring you this service reminder: There will be no MTD service all day on Thanksgiving, November 27.

MTD is hiring! There are several positions for which MTD is currently accepting applications. If you or someone you know is interested in one or more of these positions, please encourage them to apply. An application must be submitted for every position an applicant is interested in pursuing. Cover letters and resumes are not required, but welcomed. MTD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates for any position must pass a drug test.

"MTD" "bus operator" "street relief"

MTD is hiring bus operators for our fixed-route service.

Bus Operator

This is the position with the most availability. Don’t have your Commercial Driver’s License? No problem! We’ll pay you while we train you. Not sure if the position is right for you? Read the blog posts in our Training Section to get an inside look at the position. Here is the official posting:

The District is looking for self-starting, friendly individuals to become bus operators. Applicants must have an excellent driving record and be 21 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent. Must pass a physical exam and have outstanding customer service skills. Operators must complete up to 8 weeks of training with pay and then pass multiple parts of the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) exam.

During training wage is $11.00 per hour. Following training, starting wage is $13.54 per hour. Bus operators are eligible for vacation, uniform allowance, life insurance, and credit union membership with many additional benefits available after completing one year of service.

Operators work a minimum of 20 flexible hours per week with opportunity for additional hours, and must be available weekends.

Part-Time Technician

MTD is proud of our top-notch Maintenance Department. The facility is ISO 14001 certified, which means the Maintenance employees are committed to an efficient operation with little environmental impacts. The Maintenance Department’s commitment to quality is also evidenced in the delayed retirement of our buses. Successful management of the fleet has kept buses in service five plus years over their expected life. Here is the official posting:

"Maintenance" "bus" "technician" "lift" "bay"

Technicians service a 40-foot bus up on a lift.

The District’s Maintenance Department is accepting applications for a highly motivated and a career minded part-time technician. Candidates are expected to have a basic understanding of diesel and gas engines and the ability to diagnose and repair all associated vehicle systems. Individuals must have a clean driving record, be able to obtain a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and pass a Type II and Type III Refrigeration exam. This position requires a minimum Associate’s Degree in Diesel Mechanic or Trade School or military mechanical equivalent.

Applicants will maintain Public Transportation vehicle systems which include Hybrid technology. Starting pay is $16.54/hr. After training, hours for this position will be overnights/weekends.

Specialized Services Operator

This position operates MTD’s ADA Paratransit Service. Operators receive special training to provide our curb-to-curb service for qualified passengers who are unable to ride MTD’s fixed route service. Here is the official posting:

The District is hiring for the position of Specialized Services Operator. Must be at least 21 years of age; have a high school diploma or equivalent; and have an excellent driving record. Applicants must be able to pass a physical exam; are required to take a drug test; and have outstanding skills in dealing with the public. Operators must successfully complete four weeks of paid training.

Starting salary is $12.15 per hour following training. Operators are eligible for earned time, uniform allowance, life insurance, and credit union membership. Operators are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week and be available on weekends.

Part-Time Operator (C-CARTS)

As covered in a previous post, MTD is the manager of rural service in Champaign County. The Champaign-County Area Rural Transit Service (C-CARTS) is looking for operators to transport residents county-wide in small vans. Here is the official posting:

C-CARTS is looking for part-time vehicle operators. Candidates must be at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have an excellent driving record. Applicants must pass a physical exam and drug screening. Outstanding skills in dealing with the public are a must.

Starting salary is $11.00 per hour. Operators are eligible for earned time, life insurance, and credit union membership. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.

MTD is thankful for the over 340 employees we have now. The District’s employees are committed to yes, which means quality service on the street, behind a counter, over the phone, and behind the scenes. We hope you’ll join us and give MTD even more reasons to be thankful!

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Fall Break Service Reductions 2014

"tranSPORT" "Fighting Illini Football" "MTD" "bus"

Cheer on the Illini for their last season game! Ride the 280 tranSPORT Champaign or Urbana starting at 9 am.

The first University of Illinois Break for the 2014-2015 academic year is five days away! Fall Break is the last week in November and MTD will reduce services beginning this Saturday, November 22. Reductions continue through Saturday, November 29.

Service Reductions

2 Red: The Express trips, marked with “L” and “U” footnotes will not operate Monday through Friday. These trips will resume operation on Monday, December 1.

12 Teal: Trips marked with the “U” footnote do not operate Monday through Friday. This reduces the Teal’s frequency to every 20 minutes. The routing remains the same.

13 Silver: Trips marked with the “U” footnote do not operate Monday through Friday. This reduces the Silver’s frequency to every 20 minutes. The daytime routing remains the same.

22/220 Illini Limited: This abbreviated route will operate all eight days of the UI Fall Break reductions. The frequency is every 30 minutes.

27/270 Air Bus: The route will operate all scheduled trips Monday through Saturday.

50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini: During the UI Fall and Spring Semesters, these five routes offer late night trips after midnight. These routes will not operate these late night trips during the Fall Break.

"University of Illinois" "Main Library" "13N Silver" "bus"

The 13/130 Silver is one of the campus routes that adapts reduced service during University of Illinois Breaks.

130 Silver Limited:  This shortened route will operate evenings and weekends during the Fall Break. The frequency is the same as the regular 130 Silver – every 20 minutes.

335 SafeRides: The after-dark van service continues operation through the Fall Break, but is reduced. SafeRides is available from 5:00 pm until 12:30 am. Designated pick up locations are not served. There is no SafeRides at all on Sunday, November 23.

Sunday Evening & Late Night: Year-round, MTD’s Sunday service groups evening and late night routes. When the UI is in session, five routes operate evening and late night service. They are the 50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini. When the UI is not in session, these routes do not operate late night service, as detailed above, but they also do not operate evening service on Sundays.

Final Notes of Note

There will be no MTD service all day on Thanksgiving, November 27. We hope you enjoy the holiday and hope to see you at the Parade of Lights! The 14th annual parade will be Saturday, November 29 in downtown Champaign and it walks off at 6 pm.

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Champaign County Area Rural Transit Service

"rural transit" "champaign county" "c-carts"

Champaign County Area Rural Transit Service (C-CARTS) Logo

MTD became the operator of rural transportation in Champaign County on October 1, 2014. Formerly managed by CRIS Rural Mass Transit District, the Champaign County Board asked MTD to operate the service when CRIS declined their annual contract renewal.

MTD’s Special Services Manager, Drew Bargmann, said CRIS offered to get the program up and running but did not plan to manage the service long-term. “CRIS managed the system for three years and got it off the ground. Prior to FY2011, there was no rural transit service in the County – at all.” Bargmann will now manage the rural transit system out of MTD’s Administration & Operations Facility.

Division of Services

Champaign County is the recipient of federal and state grants to provide transportation to rural residents. MTD agreed to operate the service as the County designed it. Rural transportation in Champaign County is newly branded Champaign County Area Rural Transit Service (C-CARTS). Their website went live today! If you’d like to schedule a trip, please call 217.344.4287. This is the same phone number CRIS used. The offices have moved from 801 East University Ave in Urbana, to MTD’s Facility located at 1101 East University Avenue.

There is a distinct line between MTD operations and the added rural, C-CARTS operations. “MTD is not contributing any money to C-CARTS,” Bargmann said. “MTD operators will not be asked to operate the rural service and vice versa. No rural operator will be asked to operate MTD services.” 15 former CRIS Rural Transit employees became employees of the District.

MTD’s Maintenance Department has been servicing and maintaining CRIS’s eight vans. They will continue to do so and the payment for their labor will continue to come from the County. Just like with employees, no MTD vehicles will be put in service for rural transportation. Everything is kept separate.

Services Available

"C-CARTS" "Champaign County" "rural transit" "service" "map"

C-CARTS serves rural Champaign County. This map details their service area.

So what service is available to rural Champaign County residents? C-CARTS operates Monday through Friday from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Passengers need to schedule their trips 48 hours (two working days) in advance. The fare varies depending on the passenger’s age and destination.

An advisory group is managed by Champaign County to determine the needs of the service, develop it, and guide it as it grows. The service is structured around color-coded zones. Passengers wishing to take a trip within one zone pay less than passengers seeking to travel between two zones. Ridership in Rantoul is strong. Passengers travelling within the Rantoul-area pay $2 each way. Passengers wishing to go from Rantoul to Champaign-Urbana, for example, pay $5 each way.

“We’re keeping the current system structure as it exists with CRIS and as is determined by the County,” said Bargmann.

Thanks to the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission for their oversight and support with this transition!

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Green Light: Saving Green in Winter Months

Cold weather is upon us, Chambana! There are seven weeks left of fall, but the heaters are already turned on. The cold months can be one of the most difficult times to save energy. Here are three ways MTD works to save energy on heating our facilities:

"rapid roll" "doors" "safety cones"

Rapid roll doors have been installed on the east side of the building, the direction of pull out.

Rapid Roll Doors:  There are eight large openings through which buses enter and exit the storage area of MTD’s Maintenance Facility in Urbana. Buses are constantly entering and exiting this area throughout the day, which poses a challenge to our energy conservation efforts in the winter. Each time the doors open on either end of the garage, a tremendous loss of warm air occurs. Thankfully we don’t cool the garage in the summer, so this is only a challenge for part of the year.

To combat heat loss, MTD installed rapid roll doors on both sides of our Maintenance Facility. These fast moving doors save energy by helping to minimize the heat loss each time a door is opened. Read more about these special doors in this blog post.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "geothermal"

Tom Costello, Assistant Managing Director, monitoring construction of the geothermal HVAC system back in 2011.

Waste Oil Heaters: Waste oil is recovered from vehicles during oil changes and inspections. But instead of disposing of it, MTD stores it. We burn the waste oil to heat MTD’s Maintenance Facility, specifically our work bays. Since 2003, two waste oil heaters have been used to safely and cleanly burn waste oil, heating over 75 percent of the maintenance shop every winter. Learn more about this sustainable initiative in this blog post.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Geothermal energy is used to heat MTD’s Administration & Operations Facility. This system significantly lowers our natural gas demand by accessing the stored, renewable energy that already exists in the ground. Read this blog post to learn more about how this system works and the energy savings that we have experienced from it.

You probably know how green our fleet is since over half our buses are hybrids. But now you know we’re as green on the street as we are back at home! Here’s to an efficient, and hopefully not too cold, winter.

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MTD Service After Dark

"CUMTD" "MTD" "urbana meijer" "solar lighting" "bus shelter"

To increase night-time safety, MTD installed solar lighting at 10 bus shelters.

Campus and community safety are a topic of constant concern. Recent crimes on and off campus are encouraging many to redouble their efforts to be safe after dark. This blog covers the services MTD provides in the evening and late night hours.

Evening Fixed Route Service

MTD’s fixed route daytime service wraps up by the end of the 6 o’clock hour all seven days of the week. There is more evening service Monday through Friday than on the weekends. Evening fixed route service begins at approximately 7 pm and runs through the 11 o’clock hour.

Monday through Friday, evening service is available on the 50 Green, 70 Grey, 100 Yellow, 110 Ruby, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, 180 Lime, and 220 Illini. It’s important to check the route and timetable for evening service as there is often some variation from the weekday daytime version of the route. The routing and frequency can also change whether or not the University of Illinois is in session or on break. All variations are detailed on the schedule and map. You can always contact us for clarification!

The same routes that operate evening service Monday through Friday operate Saturday evenings. Again, there is some variation in the routes and timetables, so please reference the appropriate schedule.

Sunday evening service is combined with late night service and fewer routes operate. In the 7 o’clock hour, passengers can ride the 50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini.

Late Night Fixed Route Service

"Wright & Green" "22 Illini" "uiuc" "mtd" "cumtd"

Photo Credit Siyao Luan

Service that operates after midnight is categorized as late night. Thanks to the needs and funding from University of Illinois students, five routes operate seven days a week during the University of Illinois Fall and Spring Semesters.

The 50 Green  Late Night operates between Lincoln Square and Illinois Terminal only with 20 minute frequency. The 100 Yellow Late Night operates between the Champaign Walmart and Lot E-14 with 30 minute frequency. The 120 Teal Late Night operates between Orchard Downs and Illinois Terminal with 20 minute frequency. The 130 Silver Late Night operates between Lincoln Square and PAR/FAR (Vet-Med every other trip with the last trip at 1:42 am) with 20 minute frequency. Finally, the 220 Illini Late Night operates the same routing and maintains 10 minute frequency.

These late night routes cease operation between 3 and 5 am. The final trip depends on the route as well as the day of the week. Four of the five routes operate later on Friday nights to respond to demand.

335 SafeRides

335 SafeRides is a demand response service that operates seven days a week during the UI Fall and Spring Semesters. A common saying at MTD when explaining the service is, “It’s not FastRides, it’s SafeRides.”

We inform riders to expect wait times of 15 minutes during the week and up to 30 minutes on the weekend. The purpose of the service is to provide safe transportation to individuals who are travelling alone and when no other means (read: not along fixed-route service) of safe transportation are available within the designated boundaries. Sunday through Wednesday three vans operate the service and divide the boundaries into distinct service areas. Thursday through Saturday four vans operate the service. The vans meet every 30 minutes at the Illini Union to transfer passengers, if needed, to each other’s service area.

The Illini Union, Armory & Wright (Main Library), and Illinois Street Residence Halls (ISR) offer designated pickups twice an hour. You do not need to schedule a pick up if you are boarding at one of these locations.

Daylight Saving Time Ends at 2:00 am this Sunday, November 2. As a result of fewer daylight hours, MTD pushes the start time of SafeRides from 7:00 to 5:00 pm. The 5:00 pm start time will run from November 3, 2014 through March 9, 2015.

SafeWalks

SafeWalks is a terrific resource on campus for late night travel. The service is operated by students and managed by the University of Illinois Police Department. The UI Police Student Patrol will meet faculty, staff, and students and walk with them to their home, a nearby bus stop, etc. The Student Patrollers receive training and have radio communication with police officers. You can contact SafeWalks at 217.333.1216.

To close, please read this post from earlier in the year on things to do when riding at night. Be aware, be alert, and be seen. Be part of the Bee Scene! See you on the street.

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FAQs from the Disability Resource Expo

MTD attended the 8th Annual “disABILITY Resource Expo: Reaching Out for Answers” Saturday, October 18 at the Fluid Events Center. The 70 Grey and our ADA Paratransit service brought many community members to the event! After five hours of connecting with riders, inquiring riders, and community agency representatives, we began to see a trend in the questions asked. Here’s an FAQ from the 2014 disABILITY Resource Expo.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "bus" "lincoln square" "kneel" "ramp"

All MTD buses can kneel, lower to the ground, and a ramp. Just ask your operator if you need the assistance!

Fixed Route Service

All buses in MTD’s fleet can be kneeled, lowered to the ground, and a ramp deployed. No explanation required, please just ask the operator! Many attendees had concerns that the route and vehicle they would ride would not be equipped with these resources. We assured them, as we are assure you reader, you can board a route with confidence that these tools will be available to you.

Professionals from across disciplines attended the expo to collect resources for their clients. We told many representatives that MTD is at their service! If you want a box of Maps & Schedules Books delivered, information pamphlets, or an in-person presentation on “How to Ride,” please give us a call! You’re also welcome to visit our Administration & Operations Facility to collect resources in person or just to connect with the appropriate staff person.

Seniors Ride Free

This conversation happened countless times at the expo.

Attendee approaches MTD table and sees brochure titled, ‘Seniors Ride Free.’

“How old do you have to be to be considered a senior?”

“65 years of age,” MTD representative replied.

“Oh wow, I’m [insert age that’s 65 or older]! How do you get a pass?”

“You need to go to Illinois Terminal, MTD’s intermodal facility in downtown Champaign. Just

"CUMTD" "bus" "seniors"

Seniors age 65 or older ride MTD for free! All day, everyday.

show them proof of age and you’ll be issued a DASH Card. It’s good for three years and you can ride any time, any day.

We often say to seniors that acquiring a DASH Card is like a transportation insurance policy. You may not need it now, but it’s a resource during bad weather and when health and family plans change.

DASH Card for Riders with Disabilities

Medicare Card holders and persons having significant difficulty boarding or alighting from an MTD vehicle may qualify for a DASH Card as a rider with disability. The DASH Card is issued at no cost and provides unlimited access to our fixed route service. Dozens of attendees asked how people qualify and how they can renew their card.

Individuals need to present a letter from the Social Security office that confirms they are receiving aid because of a disability. The Customer Service Center at Illinois Terminal can take the letter and then issue a DASH Card. The letter must be dated within the last 30 days. This letter can be used for a first time DASH Card passenger or for someone who is renewing their pass.

There are also four certifying agencies locally who can issue a verification letter. They are Community Elements, Developmental Service Center (DSC), Division of Rehabilitation Services, and PACE Center for Independent Living.

Once issued, the DASH Card is valid for three years.

Rural Transportation

Many expo attendees read or heard that rural transportation in Champaign County was no longer operated by the CRIS Rural Mass Transit District. They were correct! MTD was asked by Champaign County to take over management of the service beginning October 1, 2014. Champaign County rebranded the service as the Champaign County Area Transit Service (C-CARTS).

Outside of the name change, the service is relatively the same. Champaign County receives the state funding and defines the service. All of the current C-CARTS employees are former CRIS employees.

The differences are that the service is now managed by MTD’s Special Services Manager, Drew Bargmann, and operations are based out of 1101 East University Avenue instead of 803 East University Avenue. If you have any questions about C-CARTS or want to schedule a ride, please call 217.344.4287. MTD’s Customer Service phone line, 217.384.8188, will not be able to provide trip information or schedule assistance.

ADA Paratransit Service

This curb-to-curb van service is available for qualifying individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act who are unable to access fixed route service. An application must be completed, and approved, before passengers can schedule a trip. Trips must be scheduled a day in advance and cost $2 each way. ADA applications are available for pick up at our Administration & Operations Facility in Urbana. If you have general questions about the program, or need an application mailed to you, please call 217.384.8188 and ask to speak to someone regarding ADA.

Those are the highlights! Thanks to everyone who organized and attended the EXPO. It is a wonderful event. Also thanks to all the riders we met!

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