April 19, 2015
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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

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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!)

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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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UI Students Vote Yes for Transportation

"CUMTD" "MTD" "transportation" "flyer" "vote"

MTD distributed this flyer to inform students of the election and provide details on the two transportation questions.

The ballots were cast and the results are in. There were two referenda on the Illinois Student Senate’s annual ballot regarding students fees for the maintenance and possible expansion of MTD’s campus bus service. The Spring 2015 University of Illinois Student Election and Referendum saw 4,362 voters cast their ballots.

And the winners are…

YOU!

The first referendum asked, “Do you recommend an increase to the Transportation Fee…to fund the continuation of existing CUMTD Bus Service under the Campus Transportation Plan through June 30, 2018?”

This ballot measure passed with 84.6% of “yes” votes.

The second referendum asked, “Do you recommend an increase of one dollar ($1) to the Transportation Fee, separate from the increase presented in Question 3 [first referendum], to provide a new bus route and enhancement of an existing route to serve Central Campus, Florida Avenue Residence Halls, Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls, and the College of Veterinary Medicine?”

This ballot measure passed with 70.1% of “yes” votes.

Thousands of Thanks

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition to get these two questions on the 2015 ballot. And more thanks to everyone who voted and to those who voted yes. Here’s what you can expect for the 2016 through 2018 service.

With the passage of the first referendum, MTD will maintain all current campus service. This includes 10- to 15-minute frequencies during the weekday daytime on the 1 Yellow/YELLOWhopper, 5 Green/GREENhopper, 10 Gold/GOLDhopper, 12 Teal, 13 Silver, and 22 Illini.

Your transportation fee also covers extensive evening and weekend service. In particular, the fixed-route service after midnight (during the fall and spring semesters) on the Yellow, Green, Teal, Silver, and Illini as well as 335 SafeRides (fall and spring semesters plus fall, winter, and spring breaks) are funded with the fee.

Your semester fee also helps fund and maintain those “bendy,” “accordion,” or as we call them, 60-foot articulated buses that answer to high capacity demands. Funds also support the electronic STOPwatch kiosks of which there are currently 18 across campus.

New Campus Route

The passage of the second referendum will fund the addition of a new route which will circulate around the Quad. It will operate every 30 minutes during the weekday daytime. The proposed routing is pictured below. The route will begin operating in fall 2015.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "campus" "election" "2015" "route"

The proposed routing of the new MTD campus route which will begin fall 2015.

We’ve already begun brainstorming route numbers and names! Put your suggestion in the comments below. Thanks, upon thanks, upon thanks for voting yes to maintain MTD’s campus transportation services. Here’s to three more years!

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Green Light: Expanding Our Fenceline, Reducing Our Impact

The journey of MTD’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) began in 2011 and the Maintenance Facility was officially certified to the ISO 14001:2004 Standard two years later in 2013. Two years later, our ESMS is still going strong and we are ready to go bigger!

In addition to continuing sustainable practices, a certified agency must continually improve upon its ESMS. One way MTD plans to exercise our commitment to continual improvement is by expanding the scope of our certification by increasing the fenceline of our ESMS.

The Current Fenceline

The ISO 14001:2004 Standard requires the certified agency to specifically define and document the scope of its ESMS. Defining the scope means specifically identifying the location of the area included in the ESMS and listing the activities that occur in this area—we call this the “fenceline.”

The scope of MTD’s ESMS was originally defined as:

The boundary of MTD’s fenceline is the Maintenance Facility at 803 E. University Ave. in Urbana and the grounds on which this building resides. This site includes a fueling station, bus wash, body shop, light and heavy maintenance bays, a machine shop, tire shop, parts storage, and bus overflow storage. MTD has a total of 53 employees operating in this department, spread out over four shifts.

"ESMS" "ISO 14001" "fenceline" "IGW"

The current fenceline of MTD’s ISO 14001:2004-certified ESMS is enclosed by the red lines. Image credit: IGW Architecture

An auditor visits our facility every year to assess whether or not MTD is continuing to adhere to all of the requirements of the ISO 14001:2004 Standard. This annual audit determines whether or not MTD is able to continue our certification. This year when the auditor visits, he will assess a second facility in addition to the Maintenance Facility: Illinois Terminal.

Expanding to Illinois Terminal

Upon successful completion of the audit, the scope of MTD’s ESMS will be defined as:

In addition to the Maintenance Facility the boundary of MTD’s ESMS fenceline will include Illinois Terminal at 45 E. University Ave. in Champaign, and the grounds on which the building resides. The site at Illinois Terminal includes, MTD bus stop platforms, passenger waiting areas, MTD customer service center, public restrooms, Amtrak train station with waiting area and ticket office, Greyhound ticket office, commercial space, office space, classrooms, banquet and meeting center, kitchens, basic facility maintenance, and a parking lot. MTD has a total of eight full time and 10 part time employees operating in this facility, spread out over three shifts.

"Illinois Terminal" "ESMS" "ISO 14001" "fenceline" "IGW"

The additional fenceline is enclosed by the red lines. “Parking Lot G” and “Central Railroad” are not included in the fenceline because MTD does not own those properties. Image Credit: IGW Architecture

Why Bother?

MTD has experienced significant environmental benefits from the establishment of our ESMS and achievement of ISO 14001:2004 certification. We believe that our passengers and the community benefit as well from reducing our impact on the environment.

The ESMS has helped MTD’s Maintenance Facility reduce resource consumption, standardize emergency response procedures for both employees and contractors, establish a District-wide environmental policy, and build an overall sustainably-minded culture. While the sustainability culture is evident across all of MTD, we see importance in officially including all of our facilities into the certification.

Starting with Illinois Terminal later this year, with plans to work toward including MTD’s third facility, the Administration & Operations Building at 1101 E. University Ave. in Urbana, we hope to have all MTD properties certified to the ISO 14001 Standard in the future.

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UI Student Signatures Needed for Petitions

"buses" "mtd" "buses" "cumtd" "campus" "university of illinois"

No matter the weather, we’ll be there. Photo Credit Siyao Luan

Since 1989, the University of Illinois and MTD have contracted for unlimited bus access for students, faculty, and staff. Service is revisited every three years when the contracts are up for renewal and renegotiation.

We covered the last contract renewal in 2012 on the blog. One of the main additions to the 2012-2015 approved contract was the expansion of 335 SafeRides service.

2015 Referendum

For the 2016-2018 service contract, the Illinois Student Senate (ISS) prepared a petition for signatures to put two referendum questions on the March 4 and 5 ballot. In order to be included on the ballot, UI student signatures are needed! The questions are the result of months of work and research completed in coordination between the UI’s Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, ISS, and MTD.

The petition addresses maintenance of existing service and/or provision of more service. By signing, students ensure the two questions are on the ballot. Actual support of the two measures will be collected during the election.

The first question is, “Do you recommend an increase to the Transportation Fee to fund the continuation of existing CUMTD Bus Service under the Campus Transportation Plan through June 30th, 2018?”

As the supporting documentation provided by the ISS details, this increase covers inflationary costs of the current service with a $0 increase in 2016, a $1 increase for 2017, and another $1 increase in 2018. The current semester fee for 2014-2015 is $59. The Campus Transportation Ad-Hoc Committee of the ISS recommended that “all current services be continued.”

The second question asks, “Do you recommend an increase of one dollar ($1) to the Transportation Fee, separate from the increase presented in Question 1, to provide a new bus route to serve Central Campus, FAR/PAR, and the College of Veterinary Medicine?”

"par" "far" "buses" "mtd" "cumtd" "university of illinois"

Students swarm buses servicing PAR/FAR.

The Campus Transportation Ad-Hoc Committee concluded that this additional route would “improve timely arrivals for students travelling to classes to or from VetMed.” The route would essentially operate in a circle to the locations listed in the question above on a 30-minute frequency during the weekday daytime. The benefits of the new route would go beyond the students of Vet-Med. This circulator route, pictured in the supporting petition documentation, would alleviate high capacity demands during peak times.

A petition to put those questions on the ballot opened Thursday, February 19. Five percent of the total student body must vote “yes” in order for the questions to come to a vote at all.

MTD and the ISS have until 4:59 pm on Tuesday, February 24 (tomorrow!) to get the signatures needed for the election on March 4 and 5.

If you’d like another perspective, MTD posted the petition link on the UIUC sub Reddit and a healthy conversation resulted. Thanks for helping us spread the word and here’s to a continuation of great campus bus service!

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New Flooring at Illinois Terminal

Users of Illinois Terminal, MTD’s intermodal facility, are in for an aesthetic treat the next time they visit the second floor. Installation of new granite flooring and mosaic tiling began last Monday, February 6. The project’s completion is targeted for Friday, February 20.

"Illinois Terminal" "Amtrak" "waiting area" "second floor" "granite"

The second floor of Illinois Terminal with the new granite flooring.

Utility Meets Inspiration

The second floor of Illinois Terminal, like the first floor, is a high traffic area. Most visitors come to the second floor for Amtrak. The ticketing, waiting area, and platform are all located there as well as MTD staff offices. Another significant tenant is the R.E.A.D.Y. program.

“The former cork flooring had really taken a beating,” said Illinois Terminal Manager, Stu Smith. “We wanted to invest in something that would look great and last.”

Illinois Terminal opened in 1999. The second floor was originally covered in carpet that was later replaced by cork flooring. “Neither material stood up well to the volume of traffic on the second floor,” Smith said. “With Amtrak now providing over 400,000 trips to Illinois Terminal each year, we thought it was time to invest in something that really left a good impression with our guests and tenants.”

Soozie Robinson, owner of Zoom Productions, was brought on to design the flooring update. “I wanted to put in a material I’d seen in buildings that lasted through history,” said Robinson. “I wanted it to be something that was made to last a lifetime.”

The result was a 100% all natural and recyclable granite flooring. “Granite floors don’t wear out,” Robinson said. “They wear in.” Also on measures of durability and pricing, the granite won out against similar, but softer, materials like limestone, slate, and porcelain.

"mosaic" "Illinois Terminal" "second floor"

A work in progress! Here’s the start to the pathway mosaic tiling.

At heavy wear areas, mosaics will be placed to provide a visual identification of a path change. These areas include the elevator doors, the top of the stairs, and the Amtrak counter. The mosaic designs will be striped and pinwheel.

“We’re hoping the mosaics will slow people down at these areas as well as provide more grip with the extra grouting,” Robinson explained.

A Shared Upgrade

Illinois Terminal Manager Stu Smith views his facility as a gateway to Champaign-Urbana. There are, of course, the local passengers utilizing MTD’s fixed-route service. But then there are the tens of thousands of passengers each year who visit Illinois Terminal to take Amtrak, Burlington Trailways, Greyhound, and Peoria Charter.

“We think this new flooring makes a great first impression that the employees of Illinois Terminal will only add to,” Smith said.

“This upgrade is adding an aesthetic moment to the city, a beautiful staging and background to inspire,” Robinson said.

Please visit Illinois Terminal and let us know what you think!

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A Guide to MTD’s How-Tos

The first post we published on our blog, The Inside Lane, was on March 18, 2011. We’ve come a long way, MTD-ers! After nearly four years of weekly blog posts, we’ve built a robust and informative archive of instructional posts.

How Tos: General Knowledge

How to Find Designated Stops in Downtown Champaign

How to Find Your Lost Item

How Hoppers Work

How to Ride the 280 tranSPORT to Memorial Stadium

How to Ride and Use MTD’s Special Services

How to Submit Feedback to MTD

How Tos: Maps & Schedules

How to Find Your Boarding Point

How to Identify Timepoints vs. Stops in Between

Why it’s Important to Read a Bus Schedule

How Tos: Technology

How to Adjust to MTD Reroutes

How to Find Routes Serving a Bus Stop

How to Use STOPwatch Real-Time

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The 7:40 am universal transfer at MTD’s Illinois Terminal.

How Tos: University of Illinois

How to Be the Best Student Bus Rider

How to Love SafeRides and Let it Love You Back

How to Maximize Routes Serving Campus

How Tos: Local School Passengers

How to Be the Best Student Bus Rider

How to Reference Area School Trips

How Tos: Alternative Transportation

How to Use the Bus Bike Rack in 10 Steps

How to Share the Road

How Tos: Weather and After Dark

How to Ride MTD After Dark

How to Ride MTD in the Winter

How to Ride Safely at Night

The Ws and an H: Rider Requests

How Do Buses Handle Potholes?

When Can You Pass a Bus?

When to Pull the Stop Request Cord?

Why Can’t Buses Kneel When It’s Below Zero?

Why Does the Bus Go Beep?

What should we cover next? Share your suggestion in the comments below.

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