July 6, 2015
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Green Light: Environmental System Audit

This time last year, we blogged about this very same audit for our ISO 14001:2004 certified Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS). And as that post detailed:

MTD’s ISO 14001:2004 certification is “good” for three years. Part of the certification agreement is annual auditing to ensure we are still adhering to the International Standard. Because the ESMS MTD created had never been certified, MTD’s ESMS Team underwent three audits [in the first year]…[and] for years two and three, MTD will only undergo one audit per year. We are scheduled for Surveillance Audits in July 2014 and July 2015.

So what’s on the agenda for our final surveillance audit?

Maintenance Facility

In Green Lights past, we’ve covered the significant aspects we identified and targeted for our ESMS. An aspect is an element of our organization’s activities, products, or services that has the potential to interact with the environment. Therefore a significant aspect is one that has or can have a, you guessed it, significant environmental impact.

Shop Batteries

MTD’s Maintenance Department recycles just about everything possible. This includes burnable oil, fluorescent light bulbs, ink cartridges, small electronics, Freon, and batteries.

We recently identified our battery recycling as something that can be improved upon. Batteries are used in the Maintenance Facility to power flashlights, power-tools, and other equipment. Even though we are diligently recycling this material, waste is still created. We have established the goal to replace all single-use batteries with rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be reused multiple times and are much less wasteful. This means less of an environmental impact for MTD’s operations.

Renewable Energy

A 296.94 kilowatt solar array was installed on MTD’s Maintenance Facility in early 2014 and went online in August 2014. Our goal is to replace 25% of the Maintenance Facility’s energy consumption with solar energy generated on site.

As of June 2015, MTD had decreased this facility’s non-renewable energy usage by 30% since September 2014! See how much energy the solar array is producing in real-time.

"solar" "array" "energy" "consumption"

This chart displays our Maintenance Facility’s total energy consumption – both non-renewable and renewable.

Illinois Terminal

We announced on the blog earlier this year that work was in motion to add Illinois Terminal to our Environmental and Sustainability Management System’s fenceline. This upcoming audit, then, is the first opportunity for an auditor to review the aspects and programs we’ve developed for MTD’s downtown intermodal facility.

Recycling

The fast-paced, customer-driven environment at Illinois Terminal makes recycling a little more challenging than MTD’s other two facilities. Illinois Terminal is a facility with a variety of activity including MTD’s bus stop platforms, passenger waiting areas, our Customer Service Center, Amtrak platform and waiting area, Greyhound ticket office, commercial space, office space, classrooms for R.E.A.D.Y. School, CityView Banquet and Meeting Center, and a catering kitchen.

We established the goal to increase the number of recycling bins throughout Illinois Terminal. Specifically, we hope to establish a one-to-one ratio of recycling containers to waste containers by August 1, 2015.

"recycling" "illinois terminal"

The recycling receptacles available on the first and second floor of Illinois Terminal.

Energy Use

Last year, fluorescent lighting on the first two floors of Illinois Terminal, as well as the exterior of the building, was replaced with LED light fixtures. We wrote about this retrofit in this Green Light.

We are now working to reduce energy consumption even further by replacing lighting on the fourth floor with LED bulbs. The fourth floor of Illinois Terminal is home to the CityView Banquet and Meeting Center as well as a catering kitchen. Replacing the fluorescent bulbs with LED lighting fixtures will further reduce the environmental impact of this facility.

The auditor arrives next week and will be reviewing our system’s documentation, touring our facilities, and interviewing employees throughout the week. Wish us luck!

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Independence Day and MTD

There will be no MTD service this Saturday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. Thank you for making adjustments as MTD employees enjoy the holiday with their families. Service will be unaffected on Friday, July 3 and we’ll return at the start of the regularly scheduled Sunday, July 5 service. Summer service reductions remain in effect until Friday, August 21.

The Champaign County Freedom Celebration is coordinating its 66th year of patriotic festivities! Along with an early morning 5k and evening fireworks, the annual parade will walk off at 11:05 am. This year’s theme is Flying High for Freedom. The construction at our maintenance facility is causing lots of adjustments, leaving us with less and less extra space. Because of this, MTD was unable to build a float this year nor store floats for community groups. But we’ll still be at the parade cruising in a 2013 diesel electric hybrid bus. Make sure to wave!

In honor of parades and floats of past, here’s a walk down Independence Day Memory Lane.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "veterans" "parade" "float"

For the 2008 parade, MTD built a float to seat our employee veterans. Serving our country, serving our community.

"parade" "float" "birthday" "urbana" "cake"

In the same parade in 2008, MTD built a birthday cake to wish the City of Urbana a happy 175th birthday!

"cumtd" "mtd" "parade" "float" "Lincoln" "national mall"

The theme in 2009 was “Lincoln’s Lasting Legacy.” MTD built a recreation of the Lincoln Memorial.

"cumtd" "float" "parade" "community" "bus"

MTD built a miniature town (with a toy bus to serve it, of course) to celebrate our community’s everyday heroes.

"cumtd" "ridership" "public transportation" "float" "parade" "service"

MTD celebrated it’s 40th year in 2011. This float paid homage to record ridership and the community. Note the sweetcorn, Memorial Stadium, former Assembly Hall, and Illinois Marathon banner!

"cumtd" "parade" "float" "youth"

To celebrate the 2012 theme of our community’s youth, MTD built a school house and playground! There was a lot of detail and moving parts (a swing, see saw, roundabout, and MTD bus) that all contributed to the title “Our Youth Always on the Move.”

"cumtd" "bus" "antique" "go kart" "parade"

In 2013 and 2014, MTD went back to basics and decorated our anitque bus, the Green Weenie, and our miniature go-kart bus. This year we’re taking a slightly different twist!

Happy Independence Day!

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Developing a Quality Management System

"cumtd" "mtd" "bus" "Country Fair" "stopwatch" "kiosk" "real-time"

Improving the customer experience at our bus stops with accurate STOPwatch real-time information is part of this process.

MTD is committed to quality service. We tell you we’re working towards constant improvement, value feedback, and seek to provide the best customer service possible. Efforts are made every day to answer these calls, but there is also an international standard MTD is working toward.

ISO 9001

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops and maintains workplace standards with the collaboration of 163 member countries. They explain it like this:

“International Standards make things work. They give world-class specifications for products, services, and systems to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency.

ISO has published more than 19,500 International Standards covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare.”

MTD certified our Maintenance Facility in September 2013 under the ISO 14001:2004 standard. This standard develops an environmental and sustainability management system for a chosen fenceline. We found the program to be so worthwhile, we’re expanding to Illinois Terminal.

MTD decided to develop a second ISO standard, an ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS), in November 2012. In order to receive certification in this standard, an organization must:

“…demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements…aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”

A lot of long words to simply say the 9001 QMS standard works towards constant improvement and consistent customer service.

International to Local

With the structure of this international standard, MTD is hoping to accomplish many things. Consistently providing our customers a high quality of service is a top benefit. MTD is also using this system to respond to the strains of increased ridership, retirements, growing demands from our community and stakeholders, and the development of our current workforce.

A Core Team of 11 MTD staff identified 31 possible processes to work to improve. A survey was distributed to all staff and the four processes voted most in need of attention were customer service, employee training, safety, and schedule adherence.

The Core Team was then divided to lead small groups of MTD staff to work on each of the aspects respectively. The four aspect teams have worked on developing standard operating procedures, updating current processes, implementing new training programs, and more.

Four Aspects

"cumtd" "bus" "supervisor" "street" "training"

MTD Street Supervisors provide support to our operators and passengers around the clock. Improving and augmenting their training is part of this process.

The Customer Service Team is currently focused on improving the entry level customer call experience at all three MTD facilities. Specific efforts we’re addressing are the lost and found procedure and complaint taking process.

The Employee Training Team is addressing new training opportunities for our Street Supervisors. Whenever MTD is operating, there is at least one Street Supervisor on duty to monitor service on the street and in our Control Center. They are step in to make judgement calls and support difficult situations. So this aspect team targeted and implemented additional training for them. This included verbal judo and mental health training.

The Safety Team is developing an updated and advanced method for employees to document accidents and incidents. They are also addressing enhanced safety opportunities at our facilities as identified by the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration’s threat and vulnerability assessment.

The Schedule Adherence Team worked on standardizing the procedure for inserting a Turn Bus into service. Turn Buses are extra buses strategically placed around the community to restore on-time service and respond to the unexpected. Passengers would complain about “phantom or ghost buses” disappearing from our STOPwatch real-time data. These Turn Buses, we discovered, were causing a (albeit) late bus to disappear from STOPwatch completely. The bus would disappear because it was replaced by a bus that was augmenting the route so that it would return to being on time! So by initiating a new procedure we call Drop Off Only, the case of the phantom buses is closed.

Slow and Steady

The Core Team and Aspect Teams are making progress, but MTD’s QMS is still in its early stages. We are reporting to MTD’s Board of Trustees Service Delivery Committee on a biannual basis about our progress.

The ultimate goal is develop a robust quality management system ready for an auditor to certify to the 9001 standard. This will take more documentation, records, and baselines to track improvement. The best part for our customers is a continued effort to improve our output across departments. Would you like to make a suggestion to one of the aspect teams? Please share it in the comments below!

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37th MTD Employee Awards Presentation

"Awards" "employee" "ceremony" "plaque"

A portion of the certificates and awards for employee recognition including operators, technicians, service workers, and more.

MTD employees and members of our Board of Trustees gather annually to celebrate the District’s commitment to service excellence and safe operations. This year’s ceremony was on Sunday, June 7 and celebrated the accomplishments of 2014. We blogged about last year‘s celebration, too.

And the honorees are…

Service Awards honor employees with employment of 20 years, 25, 30, etc. This year we recognized Operator Chris Bell for 20 years of service. 25 years of service were recognized for Maintenance Service Workers Craig Avery and Mike Humphrey; Operators John Bedient, Paul Taylor, Greg Williams, and Pam Zindars; and MTD’s Control Center Supervisor Tom Conrad. Bus Operator Ed Durkin celebrated 35 years along with MTD’s former Maintenance Director Dave Moore. And last, but certainly not least, MTD’s recently retired Managing Director Bill Volk and Assistant Managing Director Tom Costello were recognized for their 40 years of service. A thousand wows and thanks to all!

20-Year Safety Awards went to five MTD operators. This recognition is based on a lengthy list of criteria and cumulative years of safety awards, not consecutive years.

Outstanding Operator Awards are also based on a robust list of criteria. This year, 67 bus operators achieved outstanding status. Seven operators were recognized for Master Outstanding Operator. This means they were awarded outstanding in five separate years. Three were acknowledged for Senior Outstanding Operator, which is ten years of outstanding. And two more were recognized for 20 years of outstanding.

The same applies for our ADA Paratransit operators who run our door-to-door service for qualifying individuals. In 2014, four ADA operators made the outstanding cut. Many retired MTD bus operators return for part-time work. We want all of our operators to strive for outstanding and this year we recognized ten of them.

A separate set of outstanding criteria is established for MTD’s Illinois Terminal and Maintenance employees. In 2014, two Illinois Terminal employees received outstanding. There were 12 Maintenance employees – three foremen, five mechanics, four service workers – who were awarded outstanding. A Service Worker was recognized for ten cumulative years of outstanding recognition and a Foreman received an award for 15 outstanding recognitions.

Farewell, Retirees

MTD bid happy retirement to ten employees in 2014. Their time with the District ranged from as early as 1971 to as recent as 2006 or 43 years of service to nine years. The average years of service between the ten retirees was over 24 years!

New Staff

"CityView" "Chief Operating Officer" "Bryan Smith" "presentation

MTD’s Chief Operating Officer, Bryan Smith, was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

This year’s Awards Ceremony was the first for MTD’s new Chief Operating Officer, Bryan Smith. He played the role of emcee and started the evening by sharing a sampling of public compliments MTD received in the last year. Here’s an abbreviated sample of his sample:

I was riding on the Teal…Brian was very pleasant and very helpful. Please let him know he did an awesome job!

…He deserves recognition for taking the time to stop and help as best he could…

I just have to let you know how thankful I am for one of your drivers…I was so tired today that I zoned out and just about missed my stop…this great man signaled to me and got me up and out to work on time. Thank you for having such an awesome staff!

…Express her gratitude for the lengths that we go to…She was very impressed that we would go out of our way to do something so little.

…Eric’s attempt definitely showcased what a model MTD drive should represent – attentive, patient, and generally conversational. I would like to commend Eric for his great customer service.

…Wanted to compliment her ADA operator. She said that they showed great skill operating the vehicle and that the young woman was very friendly and polite.

…I wanted to say thank you and commend him on his helpfulness, his consideration, and his assistance during Tuesday’s storm…

…He was very friendly and pleasant to ride with and made the ride very enjoyable.

…Bus driver named Peete was fantastic last night. He welcomed us onto the 22N with a huge smile…even had the bus singing happy birthday to my friend. It is quite refreshing to see people who truly love their job.

Bus driver…on the Silver bus is great at his job. Very friendly and kind, deserves employee of the month!

Bus driver on the Green route is always very courteous and nice.

Thank YOU for submitting your gratitude and letting MTD know when you had a stellar experience. We post often on this blog about projects and endeavors we’re undertaking in the name of constant improvement. But tt’s nice for at least this one post to sit back and soak in the hard work and dedication. Thanks for your support, Champaign-Urbana and beyond!

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Bus Operator Summer Review 2015

"cumtd" "mtd" "maintenance" "safety" "training" "cone" "60 foot" "articulated bus"

Operators skills will be tested in all bus sizes including our 60-foot articulated buses.

This year’s bus operator summer review is double the length and double the education! If you’d like some background, we blogged about our annual operator review program in 2013 and 2014.

Classroom Curriculum

The two day review will result in two classes of operators each week. There will be about 12 operators in each group. This summer will yield a record number of operators getting through the review program!

The days begin at 7:00 am and end at 3:00 pm. The first day of classroom material includes presentations on safety and training, customer service, results of our annual phone survey, updates from our Maintenance Department, and wrap with Street Supervisor feedback and pointers.

The second day of classroom presentations include another safety and training session, information technology update, news from Illinois Terminal, MTD’s downtown Champaign intermodal facility, a word from our Chief Operating Officer Bryan Smith, reminders from our Accounting Department, and then our Planner will review the route and schedule changes for 2015.

In-Between Curriculum

Operators will review the standard pre-trip inspection as well as the official Commercial Driver’s License air brake test. The trainers will also take them through some simulated incidents with our super cool computer training simulators.

Road Curriculum

"commercial drivers license" "CDL" "judgement stop" "bus" "cones"

One of the maneuvers drivers will execute is called a judgement stop.

The 12 operators spend the afternoon with six MTD instructors for an afternoon of skills review and road supervision. The instructors are all MTD operators, but have at least five years of operating experience (many have much more) as well as a stellar driving record. Many of these instructors have also taken additional training and received certification from the Secretary of State’s Office. The trainers will lead operators through a safety and training roadeo! This will include basic as well as advanced maneuver review. The below tests will be done over the course of the two review afternoons.

The safety drive evaluation will score 28 maneuvers executed in a 40-foot bus. Some of these include turns, lane operation, starts and stops, mirror scans, lane sharing and awareness, following distance, and more. The trainers will rate the operator’s execution on a scale of 0 (fail) to 5 (exceeds standard).

Execution of the Smith System, a defensive driving program MTD uses, will be tested in a 30-foot bus. The trainers will check for 30 different safety precautions and rate the operator’s execution on the same 0 to 5 scale.

Finally, operators will test their skills in a 60-foot articulated bus. They will be scored on a judgement stop (pictured above), parallel parking, forward and backward serpentine (zig zag), straight back, and more.

After a collective full day of classroom and full day of operating analysis, these drivers will be refreshed for another year of safe operating!

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Green Light: MTD Adopts Main Street

"MTD" "employees" "safety vests" "clean up" "Boneyard

A group of MTD employees and their families at the Boneyard Creek Community Clean Up in April 2015.

Keeping our streets clean is something we value at MTD. The streets of our community are the threads that stitch together MTD’s system. These are the streets along which our passengers wait. These are the streets that encompass our operators’ scenery while they are on their route. These are the streets that we all use and enjoy every day.

We hate to see litter diminish the beauty of our streets and have a negative impact on our community. Litter tends to breed other litter; it sends out the message that people don’t care. MTD makes an effort to do our part cleaning up the streets. We recently organized a volunteer group for Boneyard Creek Community Day in April and have been participating in the City of Urbana’s Adopt Urbana Program since 2011.

Adopt Urbana: Rounds One and Two

Four years ago MTD signed on to the Adopt Urbana Program. We committed to taking care of our adopted area along Windsor Road between Philo Road and Race Street. As an organization, we committed to conducting litter cleanups on our adopted street at least three times each year for two years. We fulfilled this commitment for two rounds of the program and are now moving our efforts to another location in Urbana.

"MTD" "clean up" "Adopt Urbana" "safety vests"

A past MTD clean up at our old Adopt Urbana site along Windsor Road.

Adopt Urbana: Round Three

With construction taking place on Windsor Road, we are not able to give our adopted street the attention it deserves. The City of Urbana has our volunteers’ safety in mind and we don’t want to be in the way of the construction.

Therefore we have adopted a new street in Urbana: Main Street between Vine Street and Glover Avenue. We chose this new area because it is near our Maintenance and Administrative facilities and also along an MTD bus route. MTD employees are excited to conduct our first cleanup at the new location. It is scheduled for June 17 at 5:00pm. Be sure to give us a wave if you see us out there!

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Tips for New and Transfer University of Illinois Students

"CUMTD" "MTD" "bus" "pedestrian" "bike" "bus stop" "shelter"

A popular campus stop, Green & Mathews is served by several MTD routes including the Teal, Silver, and Illini.

Fall registration season has begun at the University of Illinois. Transfer students were getting registered last week and soon incoming freshmen will do the same. MTD revs up at the opportunity to attend registration fairs put on by UI Admissions along with other campus resources. Our destination is to serve incoming bus riders with the tools they need for years of successful riding. Here some of the things we’re saying to each student.

Ride Fare Free

UI students pay a fee each semester that provides unlimited access to MTD’s fixed-route service as well as 335 SafeRides. While riding in the campus core, for the most part, students can just board and go thanks to the ease of iStops. However, some routes do require students to show their iCard as proof of fare. Knowing your route’s designated stops, and whether they are iStops or require a flash of an iCard, is a good first step to successful riding. So how do new student riders answer these questions?

Pull In to Our App Garage

For most university students, a smartphone app is the best way to plan trips, find where to board, and if their stop is an iStop or not. All the apps featured in our App Garage are built by community developers. You can select an app from our Staff Picks or enter search criteria such as platform and free/paid and browse through the filtered results. Downloading an app ensures that you always have with you all the information that you need to ride anywhere you need to go.

The data within an app comes from MTD’s Application Programming Interface (API). This is beneficial for our customers because it preserves the integrity of the apps while also enabling anyone to build a custom rider tool.

"m.cumtd.com" "real-time" "GIF" "bus stop lookup"

If you just want to check STOPwatch real-time departure information, MTD’s mobile website is super easy.

Start with the Big Five

There are five routes that primarily operate on campus, provide terrific frequency, and encircle the Quad. These routes are the 1/100 Yellow/YELLOWhopper (west side of campus), 10 Gold/GOLDhopper (east and south Quad), 12/120 Teal (east and north Quad), 13/130 Silver (south, west, and north Quad), and 22/220 Illini (everywhere in between plus north Lincoln). For most new students, these routes will provide a one-seat ride from their dorm or apartment to class.

We’ve also had the opportunity to introduce students to the 21 Raven. This new Quad-centric route will add connections and help alleviate peak-time loads.

Community Beckons

We also emphasize the opportunity to ride routes off campus to go shopping, run errands, and volunteer. No car? No problem. When the University is in session, MTD operates seven days a week nearly 24 hours a day.

OK to be honest, we don’t give this entire pitch to every single person that visits the MTD table. We hand them a four-page intro guide to MTD service that helps fill in the details. We recommend they  visit us on Quad Day once they’re settled into their dorm, know where their classes are, and can grab a copy of our 2015-2016 Maps & Schedules Book.

What would you add? Share your must-know rider know-how in the comments below.

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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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