Safety and Security
At the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit, safety and security are the highest priority. Safety and security are the focus of many operational policies, training programs, and commitments. Personnel from Homeland Security, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) visit MTD facilities on a regular basis to perform safety and security audits. Homeland Security visits twice a year and APTA and FTA come every three. Recommendations from these visits help MTD ensure that safety and security measures are up-to-date and effective.
The security of MTD visitors, customers, and employees is critically important. MTD encourages all passengers and visitors to contact MTD personnel or law enforcement when they have any concern about security. Signage posted at Illinois Terminal, on MTD buses, and on electronic kiosks with the messages "Is This Yours" and "Be Alert" are frequent reminders for everyone to keep their eyes open for suspicious behavior.
A network of security cameras generates footage of activity at every MTD facility. MTD has more than 200 interior and exterior security cameras at all facilities including Illinois Terminal, the Operations and Administration building, and Maintenance facility. Video surveillance equipment is also present at key boarding locations. MTD personnel can watch live feeds of video from any of these locations but footage is primarily used for post-incident review.
In addition to facility security cameras, MTD has audio and video recording equipment on every MTD vehicle. The equipment enables MTD to review footage and audio recordings to investigate and troubleshoot incidents. Onboard communications equipment allows operators to quickly and directly communicate with supervisors when incidents occur.
MTD personnel, including Illinois Terminal security staff, operations supervisors, and managers, are specifically trained to deal with suspicious or inappropriate behavior. MTD has close relationships with local police departments and coordinates with them when incidents occur.
Safety is an inherent part of the MTD culture. From the first day of hire, employees are indoctrinated with the message that Safety Always Comes First.
Training is an important and ongoing activity at MTD. Newly-hired bus operators complete an extensive and rigorous training regime beginning with classroom instruction. MTD's two bus simulators allow new operators to first experience driving from a safe environment. Eventually, trainees move to one-on-one driving training with skilled trainers and then line training with senior operators. During new operators' first two years of employment, their performance is routinely reviewed for safe operation. Maintenance personnel receive training and retraining in safe operation of equipment and emergency response.
Retraining takes place every year for veteran operators when safe operating procedures are reviewed and reinforced. A difficult bus "roadeo" course is part of the retraining; critiques of operator performance are yet another opportunity to discuss safe operations. Bus simulators are used to recreate examples of challenging scenarios to facilitate instruction in proper handling of the situations. Safety messages are routinely iterated in internal postering campaigns, employee communications like the monthly newsletter, and reminders through MTD's intranet system. Every spring, MTD acknowledges and rewards employees who have met certain safety expectations during the course of the previous year.
Safe riding behaviors and procedures are also communicated to MTD passengers. Each spring, MTD personnel visit all of the area's middle school students to teach them how to ride MTD buses and how to ride safely. Students are shown MTD's Student Evacuation video and a Learn to Ride video. These videos are also available on MTD’s YouTube channel for any member of the public to review. New riders can watch the Learn to Ride video and get riding instructions on the website.
MTD works with local organizations and groups to encourage safe behaviors from pedestrians and bicyclists. Every fall, MTD partners with local bicycling organizations and the University of Illinois to distribute bicycle lights for nighttime biking. MTD is committed to safe bus/bicycle interactions on the University campus and has studied the issues on campus. MTD heavily supports the C-U Safe Routes to School program and participates each year in Walk 'n Roll School Day. MTD is a member of the Campus Area Transportation Study along with the Cities of Champaign and Urbana and the University of Illinois and its Campus Safety Task Force. MTD strongly supports infrastructure improvements that make it safer for buses to interact with automobiles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
MTD encourages feedback about safety and security issues. Please contact with any comments or concerns.