August 28, 2016
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What You Missed at Quad Day

"university of illinois" "quad day" "henry administration building" "cumtd" "mtd" "bus"

We were perky and rarin’ to go at 10:30 am for Quad Day 2016! Thanks to the thousands (yes, thousands) of students who visited our tables.

Did you miss Quad Day? Read this post to learn our top six suggestions to be an easy MTD rider.

1. Get an App

There are several different apps available across multiple device platforms. Visit our App Garage, peruse the offerings, download a few, and see which one you like best! We recommend apps that have a trip planning feature. This enables you to put in a starting and ending points for specific trip information.

Did you know that all of these apps are powered by MTD’s data? We released an API (Application Programming Interface) in 2011 and are thrilled so many local developers have designed functional tools for all to use. Want to be the next bus app developer?

"cumtd" "mtd" "hexagon" "orange" "i" "istop"

This is our iStop logo. When you see this for an MTD bus stop it means our Operators are not looking for an iCard or fare payment. Just board and go!

2. University of Illinois Students Ride Fare Free

Show your iCard and go! The semesterly fees you pay cover your transportation all day, every day. Whether you’re riding on campus or heading up to north Prospect for shopping and a movie, your iCard has you covered.

If you see the iStop symbol (pictured left), you do not need to show your iCard. You can hop on the front or back door. Six routes that serve campus (1/100 Yellow/YELLOWhopper, 10 Gold/GOLDhopper, 12/120 Teal, 13/130 Silver and Silver Limited, 21 Raven, 22/220 Illini and Illini Limited) offer iStops. These expedite the boarding process so MTD can keep moving through campus and get you to your destination more quickly.

3. Get to Know the Streets

Understanding which streets run north/south versus east/west is valuable knowledge for navigating both the buses and campus itself. The order of these streets will also be helpful as you learn our bus routing. Don’t be intimidated, be informed!

4. Our Trip Planner Knows Campus

Our Trip Planner, which powers the apps, can take addresses, intersections, and landmarks. That means you can enter a campus building, like Lincoln Hall, and the Trip Planner will point you to the closest bus stop.

"21 raven" "bus" "30-foot" "quad"

The 21 Raven now serves PAR/FAR! The circulator route runs all around the Quad plus goes to Vet-Med.

5. Additional Service to PAR/FAR

The 21 Raven now serves College Court. Every 30 minutes, residents of Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall (PAR) and Florida Avenue Residence Hall (FAR) can hope on this circulator route, which runs a complete loop around the Quad. The 21 Raven also serves Veterinary Medicine on Lincoln.

6. No Service to Chicago or Chicago Suburbs

People ask us all the time if MTD provides transportation to downtown Chicago or the suburbs. We’re sorry but no, we do not. There are, however, several providers that do and many of them pull out of our multimodal facility called Illinois Terminal. These include Amtrak, Burlington Trailways, Greyhound, and Peoria Charter. If you picked up a copy of our Maps & Schedules Book, the back cover features the latest bus schedule for Peoria Charter.

What did we miss? Share your tips in the comments below.

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Back to School, But First Outdoor Fun

MTD’s new service year began Sunday, August 14! As we ring in the new year, we’ll also enjoy the final days of summer with several community outreach events. Please visit us and grab a copy of the new Maps & Schedules Book, take some FUNctional giveaways, and let us know your thoughts on MTD’s services.

Events on UI Campus

Last week and this week, MTD staffed and will staff information tables to get students, faculty, and staff oriented to our service. Affiliates of the University of Illinois ride fare free all day and every day. Simply show your iCard (at non-iStops) and go!

This week you can find us on campus at:

  • Illinois New Faculty Orientation (INFO) Resource Fair at the iHotel on August 16
  • International Incoming Student Orientation Fair at Newman Hall on August 17
  • MSBA & MSTM Advance Track Student Resource Fair at the Business Instruction Facility on August 17
  • Engineering GradFest at Engineering Hall on August 18
  • Move-In Safety Fest at the Ikenberry Quad and at CRCE/Allen Hall on August 18
  • New Student Sessions at David Kinley Hall on August 20
  • Quad Day on the Quad on August 21
"bus" "mtd" "cumtd" "corny" "urbana sweetcorn festival"

The Urbana Sweetcorn Festival’s mascot, Corny, is a big fan of MTD.

Community Events

Two big annual festivals return this weekend and next! MTD will be out for the entirety of both and hope to C-U there!

  • Taste of Champaign-Urbana at West Side Park on August 19 and 20
  • Urbana Sweetcorn Festival in downtown Urbana on August 26 and 27
    • MTD will reroute around the Festival, so please look for the associated reroutes! The main Lincoln Square stops will be moved to Illinois Street between Broadway and Vine.

Campus Move In

University of Illinois Students have begun moving back to our community, but the official start of University Housing move in is Thursday, August 18. MTD will have a few minor reroutes in effect that day to keep our buses moving through campus. We suggest avoiding the area if possible!

Summer service reductions will lift on Friday, August 19. At the start of that service day, MTD will be back to regular service including the full 22/220 Illini route and 10 minute frequencies on the 12 Teal and 13 Silver. This Friday will also be the first night of late night (trips after midnight) and 335 SafeRides.

Happy New School Year

This week, local schools also start a new academic year. Urbana and Champaign middle and high school students who have been determined to be eligible can ride MTD to school. We enjoyed meeting many of you at your school’s registration!

Families are encouraged to call (217.384.8188) or visit our website if you have questions about your transportation. Eligibility of MTD transportation is determined by the school and administrators will add stickers to student IDs. All school trips are open to the public.

"cumtd" "mtd" "bus stop" "sign" "illinois" "dodson" "urbana"

MTD created and installed nearly 100 bus stop signs to mark every designated stop across all Green routes.

Designated Stops on 5/50 Green/GREENhopper/Green Express

We summarized all the changes to the 2016-2017 service year last week, but while we’ve got you…

If you’re riding the Green or Green Express during any daytype, MTD instituted designated stops across the entire route. Simply look for a bus stop sign to know if you’re at a valid stop. You can also reference this complete list. We recommend typing “Control + F” to search for a bus stop by name.

As always, share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. We hope you enjoy the tweaks to the service as well as the last few weeks of summer!

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New Service Year

"champaign" "urbana" "state farm center" "krannert" "alma mater" "bus" "van" "meadowbrook park"

MTD’s 2016-2017 Maps & Schedules Book cover pays homage to all things Champaign-Urbana in a fun coloring book style.

MTD’s new service year begins Sunday, August 14. The 2016-2017 service year brings a few changes to our fixed route service, most notably route-wide designated stops on the 5/50 Green/GREENhopper/Green Express. Copies of our updated Maps & Schedules Book were made available on our buses and at Illinois Terminal beginning Friday, August 5.

MTD has worked, and continues to work, to update all public information accordingly. From our Maps & Schedules Book to our shelter boards, from our bus stop signs to our website, from updated Operator information to our destination signs, hours upon hours of work are poured into a new service year.

Designated Stops on Green Route

Let’s start with designated stops across the entire 5/50 Green/GREENhopper/Green Express route. We covered this in our post on May 16, which fell before the Public Hearing on Proposed Changes. We also elaborated on MTD’s Stop Placement Guidelines, which inform the placement of and logic for consolidating bus stops.

The Green Route currently has designated stops between Green & Race and downtown Champaign. This leaves seven areas where stops will be added. Those areas are downtown Urbana, east Urbana, Scottswood and Lierman Neighborhoods, Stone Creek, Springfield Avenue, Holiday Park, Maynard Lake Area, Cherry Hills, and Rolling Acres.

Our website has a complete list of all bus stops for the entire 5/50 Green/GREENhopper/Green Express routes effective this Sunday. Each of these bus stops will have a bus stop sign installed if one is not there already.

If you have any questions or concerns about the placement of bus stops, see a need for attention at a particular bus stop, or whatever else please send us your feedback.

Weekday Daytime Orange and Grey

"lincoln square" "mtd" "courthouse" "urbana"

The 6 Orange Weekday route will exit Lincoln Square to head east in an altered service path.

There is a minor routing change for the 6E Orange/ORANGEhopper and 7E Grey weekday daytime trips as they depart the Lincoln Square area. Beginning Monday, August 15, these routes will operate Broadway to Elm to Race to Main to regular route. This new routing eliminates the need for a left turn onto Vine off of Elm, which will improve route efficiency.

Gold in Northeast Urbana

"Gold" "urbana" "cunningham" "perkins" "kerr" "midday"

There are now only two routings to reference when riding the 10 Gold in northeast Urbana.

The 10 Gold in northeast Urbana has a small routing change. During the morning and afternoon trips, the Gold currently operates counterclockwise in the morning and clockwise in the afternoon. To reduce confusion for both our passengers and operators, the 10 Gold will operate in a clockwise direction in northeast Urbana in both the morning and afternoon. The clockwise routing operates Brownfield to Airport Road to High Cross to Perkins. Riders are advised that this will alter the beginning and ending times for the midday loop.

Saturday Red to C-U PHD

Due to limited hours at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the 20 Red Saturday will serve the stop upon request only in both directions.

The Raven

MTD’s newest route, the 21 Raven, will serve College Court, between the dormitories on Pennsylvania and Florida Avenues. The frequency will remain the same, every 30 minutes, but the schedule will be altered. The University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine bus stop will also be changed to an iStop where no fare, pass, or ID is required to ride.

Evening and Weekend Yellow

"yellow" "route" "campus" "savoy"

Routing for all 100 Yellows as they operate south of First & Gregory.

To improve route consistency, the 100 Yellow Evening, 100 Yellow Saturday, and 100 Yellow Sunday will operate the same routing across daytypes south of First & Gregory. The routes will operate First to Stadium to State to Fox/St. Mary’s to First to Windsor and then on Lyndhurst south of Windsor and north of Burwash.

Downtown Urbana Designated Stops

MTD added designated stops in the Urbana Central Business District (University and Water between Race and Cunningham/Vine) and Downtown Urbana (Main and Elm between Race and Vine). Buses will only serve designated stops in these areas. This affects the 2 Red, 5/50 Green/GREENhopper, 6 Orange/ORANGEhopper, 7/70 Grey, 8 Bronze, 10 Gold/GOLDhopper, 11/110 Ruby, and 13/130 Silver.

iStops

iStops were added at Capstone Quarters on North Lincoln Avenue and at Vet-Med on the UI Campus. iStops will be removed south of Lot E-14, in particular in Research Park and at Gerty & First.

Happy Riding!

As summarized above, a lot of detailed work is put into designing and implementing a new and updated service year. But we’re nowhere near perfect! Please let us know how we’re doing and if you see opportunities for correction and improvement.

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Green Light: Sustainability Committee Explores the Local Community

The community we serve is full of wonders—a vibrant arts scene, delicious eats, unique events, beautiful outdoor space, and countless hidden gems. MTD’s Employee Sustainability Committee has made an effort to learn about the environmentally sustainable treasures found along the streets our buses travel.

MTD Employee Committees

Employees who have been with the District for at least one year have the opportunity to join one of MTD’s nine employee committees. The Sustainability Committee has been meeting monthly to discuss and learn about all things related to environmental sustainability since 2010. Throughout the past year, though, the committee has focused attention on our local community. This year’s Sustainability Committee members include Bus Operators, Maintenance employees, and an Illinois Terminal employee. We’ve highlighted some of our recent committee activities below.

Zero Net Energy House

"champaign" "solar panels" "residential"

MTD’s Sustainability Committee visited a zero net energy house in Champaign.

Last fall the Committee took a field trip to a zero net energy house in Champaign. The homeowners have made changes to convert their 1929 colonial style home into one that does not use any outside energy sources. These changes included adding solar panels to the roof of the house and the garage, adding a geothermal heating and cooling system, applying weatherization techniques to reduce the need for heating and cooling, and utilizing high-efficiency appliances to reduce the demand for electricity. It was very exciting to see the progress that these homeowners have made, especially right here in Champaign-Urbana!

Common Ground Food Co-Op

"go green" "buy bulk" "frontier" "co op" "urbana"

Common Ground Food Co Op is located in Lincoln Square Mall – very bus accessible!

This spring, the Committee hopped on MTD’s 6 Orange route, alighted at Lincoln Square, and took a tour of Common Ground Food Co-Operative. Some of Common Ground’s sustainability initiatives that we learned about include efforts to reduce waste by offering a bulk section as well as incentives to customers who bring a reusable bag, offering organic and locally sourced products, and supporting community sustainability efforts with the monthly “Round of For Good” initiative.

Landscape Recycling Center

"dirt" "pallets" "landscape" "recyclin"

MTD’s Sustainability Committee toured the City of Urbana’s Landscape Recycling Center.

This summer, we ventured over to the Landscape Recycling Center (LRC). LRC is a not-for-profit facility operated by the City of Urbana Public Works Department. This is the place for Champaign County residents to go to drop off yard debris to be recycled and to purchase recycled landscape products. Organic materials brought to LRC are processed into mulches and composts that are 100 percent natural with no additives or chemical dyes. Mulches are made from indigenous woods that are by-products of local tree maintenance.

Adopt Urbana Clean Up

Committee members spent a nice hot day in July this year tending to MTD’s adopted street. We walked down Main Street between Vine Street and Glover Avenue in Urbana, picking up litter. We separated trash from recycling and even found a small (damaged) electronic device to be recycled through our internal electronic recycling program. Our clean-up efforts were well-worth the sweat!

We are grateful for all of our top-notch tour guides for their time and efforts—we’ve learned a lot! Do you know of any local businesses or organizations that you think the Committee should learn about? Let us know!

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Preparing Local Students to Ride MTD

MTD is investing big time in local middle and high school registrations this year. New year registration is the perfect opportunity to connect with families early and get their child’s school year, and school transportation, off to a solid start.

"champaign" "urbana" "school" "transportation"

All through the town, through all kinds of weather, MTD is equipped to serve!

All Through the Town

We will send one Staff member and one Bus Operator or Information Assistant from our Customer Service Department to every single school registration. How many registrations are there? There are two days of registration for Urbana School District #116 totaling 14 hours. There are five days of registration for Champaign Unit 4 School District totaling 96 hours (Champaign middle and high schools each host their own registrations).

Many of these dates are considered make-up registration dates. But any student on any given day could be a rider! This year, MTD’s table will be equipped with:

  • A laptop with Wi-Fi connection to look up transportation options on our public website.
  • A school-specific binder filled with single sheet handouts for each morning and afternoon school tripper for distribution.
  • A magnet with “fill-in” space for the student’s customized morning and afternoon trip information.
  • A wide ruled notebook that features MTD’s school rules of riding on the inside front cover. These will be distributed to middle school students.
  • A FAQ about school transportation to answer general questions about valid school IDs, subsidized transportation eligibility, fare payment if the student is less than a mile and a half from their school, etc.

Community Partnership

"notebook" "welcome aboard' "magnet" "bus" "transportation" "school"

2016 Registration will feature customizable magnets and notebooks for families to take home and stay informed about their transportation service.

Providing transportation to the local middle and high schools is a significant undertaking that necessitates a lot of MTD’s resources on a daily basis. From our Maintenance Department providing extra vehicles to scheduling Operators to fill school runs, from Street Supervisors going to each school at dismissal to our Control Center locating lost book bags and musical instruments, this is a valuable community partnership.

The annual contracts for these services are negotiated by our Managing Director Karl Gnadt. He sits down with Urbana School District #116 and Champaign Unit 4 separately to agree upon contract terms. Both school districts appreciate the flexibility and opportunities our bus services provide. Not to mention, both Districts save significant amounts of money annually in transportation costs. How much? About $1.4 million annually for both Districts combined.

There are more opportunities to continuously improve the local school transportation MTD provides. For 2016, we’re focusing our efforts on school registration. What are your ideas for what we should focus on next?

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Designated Stops and How to Place Them

MTD’s 2016-2017 service year begins soon on Sunday, August 14! We covered the changes in May when a public hearing was held for public comment. Please be sure to check our website or reference an updated Maps & Schedules Book prior to riding in the new service year. Your usual trips may be unchanged but they may not be!

A significant change is the introduction of designated stops across the entirety of the 5/50 Green/GREENhopper/Green Express. On this blog, we referenced MTD’s Stop Placement Guidelines. This is a well-researched document that outlines how stops will be placed, consolidated, modified, and evaluated in the future.

Designated stops are not new to MTD’s service. But there are a lot of variables that go into designing our system and the bus stops that fill it in. So today we’re going to cover the four types of stops.

Nearside Stop

This type of stop is the most common in our system.

"nearside" "bus stop" "cumtd" "mtd" "designated stops"

Nearside bus stops are the most common in our system.

Advantages:

  • Eliminates potential for double stopping at signalized intersections
  • Allows closest crosswalk access to buses for passengers
  • Allows for boarding and alighting while bus is stopped at a red light
  • Provides the driver entire width of the intersection to pull away from curb and maneuver back into traffic
  • Minimizes traffic interference on the far side of the intersection
  • Buses enter intersection at lower rate of speed, increasing time for corrective action to avoid potential collision

Disadvantages:

  • Increases conflicts with right-turning vehicles
  • Increases sight distance problems for crossing pedestrians
  • Increases sight distance problems for other vehicles traveling in the same direction
  • May congest traffic in the through-lane during peak traffic hours
  • May encourage pedestrians to cross in front of the bus rather than behind the bus
  • May result in stopping at green light to board passengers and then sitting at a red light

Farside Stop

These stops, as you’ll read, can combat some of the disadvantages of a nearside stop.

"farside" "bus stop" "designated stops" "cumtd" "mtd"

Farside bus stops are a good choice when a left turn needs to be made or the intersection is broken up by a turn lane.

Advantages:

  • Minimizes conflicts between right turning vehicles and buses
  • Provides additional right turn capacity by making curb lane available to other traffic
  • Minimizes sight distance problems on approaches to intersection
  • Encourages pedestrians to cross behind the bus rather than in front of the bus
  • Allows for shorter deceleration distances for buses since the bus can decelerate in the intersection
  • Allows bus drivers to take advantage of gaps in traffic created at signalized intersections
  • Can greatly improve travel times if coordinated with Traffic Signal Priority
  • Eliminates buses sitting at green lights to board passengers

Disadvantages:

  • Could cause traffic to queue into the intersection when stuck behind a bus stopped in the travel lane
  • May obscure sight distance for crossing vehicles and pedestrians
  • Can lead to buses stopping far side just after stopping for a red light
  • May increase rear-end accidents due to motorists not expecting buses to stop immediately after a red light
  • Buses enter intersection at higher rate of speed, decreasing time for corrective action to avoid potential collision

Midblock Stop

These stops are somewhat rare in our system. A recently added example of a midblock stop is at Campus Circle, the new apartment complex on University between Lincoln and Goodwin.

"mtd" "cumtd" "bus stop" "designated stops"

The general layout of a midblock bus stop.

Advantages:

  • Minimizes sight distance problems for both vehicles and pedestrians
  • May result in waiting areas that experience less pedestrian congestion
  • Allows multiple stops to be combined at a midpoint distance

Disadvantages:

  • Requires more distance for no-parking restrictions
  • Encourages pedestrians to cross the street illegally at mid-block
  • Increases walking distance for passengers crossing at intersections

Off Street Stop

These stops are also rare. An example of this type of stop is Country Fair.

"cumtd" "mtd" "bus stop" "designated stops"

Off-Street bus stops are less common but offer a safe and convenient place to pull out of traffic and board/alight passengers.

Advantages:

  • Provides safe access to bus stop
  • Can help generate additional ridership due to more customized service
  • Provides a safe layover point for buses at the end of a line
  • Lower chance of rear end collisions

Disadvantages:

  • Adds time to schedule to pull off of main roads to serve the bus stop
  • Creates potential conflicts with motorists and cyclists when merging back into traffic

When to Use Which Stops Where

An excerpt from our Stop Placement Guidelines:

The exact placement of a bus stop is influenced by several factors including safety, accessibility, comfort, and efficiency. The following chart lists several different scenarios that may be encountered along a bus route and identifies the preferred stop placement given that particular situation. While these preferences take into account a wide variety of issues, exceptions may be made in certain circumstances. Each bus stop should be evaluated in the context of that stop alone and the determination shall be made based on that evaluation.

And said chart:

"MTD" "CUMTD" "bus stop" "placement" "designated stops"

This table provides scenarios and how MTD tends to place the stop along a route.

Bus Stop Signs

Every designated stop along the 5/50 Green/GREENhopper/Green Express will have a bus stop sign. You can reference a complete list of all the bus stops to see where you can board or alight come August 14. Be sure to be aware of whether you’ll be traveling on weekdays, weekday evenings, etc. as routing changes for different dayparts. This means every stop won’t necessarily serve every daypart. You can also rest assured that if a bus stop sign is there, you’re good to go!

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Green Light: Environmental System Audit 2016

MTD’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) Team will entertain our ISO 14001 Auditor this week.

MTD was certified in the ISO 14001:2004 standard in September 2013. This certification is a big deal. To keep our certification, the ESMS Team is audited annually, usually in July, to prove compliance to the standard, a commitment to pollution prevention, and to show efforts towards continuous improvement.

"cumtd" "environmental " "sustainability" "iso" "14001" "audit"

These magnets are created for employees to increase their awareness of the ESMS. They can be found all over our Maintenance Facility.

What is an ESMS?

We’ve blogged about this a lot, so please peruse our archive for more details and examples of our past environmental accomplishments.

Basically, any ISO standard is going to focus on this four step process.

  1. Plan – What do we need to improve? What’s a risk to our environmental performance? After identifying an opportunity for improvement, what steps are we going to take? How will we monitor and measure our progress?
  2. Do – This is where we get our hands dirty. Based on the aspect we’re working on, this step can involve developing standard operating procedures, emergency procedures, training, and purchasing new equipment or technology.
  3. Check – How’d we do? This step involves monitoring progress and measuring results.
  4. Act – How did that plan to reduce risk/improve go? Do we need more time? Resources? Training? If we accomplished our goals, we get to move on, if we didn’t, we need to go back to the planning step.

This system challenges the District to standardize our work as well as improve our environmental stewardship. This Environmental Policy applies to every employee of the District!

So when our auditor visits MTD this week, he’ll be looking through our documentation and records for evidence of the Plan, Do, Check, Act process.

"oil" "aboveground" "storage" "emergency" "ESMS" "CUMTD" "14001"

An example of an emergency response procedure written for our ESMS for the Maintenance Facility’s Aboveground Storage Tanks.

Maintenance Facility

In the past year, our Maintenance Facility has worked on several aspects. They included:

  • Increasing the lifespan of coach batteries with new procedure
  • Reducing the amount of Freon used with premature hose replacement
  • Decreasing the amount of nonburnable oil (the more burnable oil we have the better!) with new procedure
  • Work to eliminate all single-use batteries by phasing in rechargeable batteries
  • Replace 25% of energy used at our Maintenance Facility with renewable energy (hey, solar!)
  • Reduce paper consumption with new procedures

Illinois Terminal

MTD’s multimodal facility is also certified to the ISO 14001:2004 standard. Here’s what they’ve been working on:

  • Improve recycling by establishing a 1:1 ratio of recycling and waste containers throughout the building
  • Reduce energy consumption by installing LED lighting
  • Reduce paper consumption with new procedures

What’s Next

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released an update to 14001. The ESMS Team has begun work so we may transition to, and receive certification in, ISO 14001:2015. There were several significant changes in the 2015 standard, but we’ll leave that for another post.

For now, wish us thorough documentation and strong employee interviews this week! And please, share your questions and thoughts in the comments.

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Freedom Celebration Parade 2016

"MTD" "CUMTD" "Champaign County" "Freedom Celebration Parade"

MTD’s float was pulled by our Maintenance Tow Truck! It also sported our “1st Place Judge’s Choice” sign.

The Champaign County Freedom Celebration celebrated its 67th in this year’s Independence Day festivities! The 2016 parade theme was “Celebrate America.” A team of MTD employees came together to create a float entry that celebrated, you guessed it, America. Specifically, our float celebrated the landmarks across our great nation including the the Gateway Arch, Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore, the Space Needle, the Statue of Liberty, , the Washington Monument, and MTD’s Illinois Terminal.

We were honored to be given First Prize in the category of Judge’s Choice! Here are some pictures from the annual parade on July 4.

"MTD" "CUMTD" "float" "parade" "America" "Illinois Terminal"

This view of the float displayed the landmarks of Illinois Terminal, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the Gateway Arch. Happy Independence Day, America!

" cumtd" "MTD' "Illinois Terminal" "bus" "trophy" "Champaign County Freedom Celebration"

A close view of MTD’s Illinois Terminal alongside a miniature bus and the Champaign County Freedom Celebration trophy!

"cumtd" "MTD" "float" "parade" "champaign county"

This side of the float displayed the Washington Monument, Golden Gate Bridge, the Space Needle, and the Gateway Arch. Happy 4th of July, America!

"cumtd" "mtd" "parade" "float' "independence day"

The back side of MTD’s float.

"cumtd" "mtd" "bus" "parade" "independence day"

We brought a 2013 hybrid bus to the parade as well! Of course, it was also decorated with red, white, and blue.

"champaign county" "parade" "bus"

A round of thanks to all the volunteers and community groups! They put forth a patriotic effort every single year to make the Freedom Celebration so spectacular.

"mini bus" "cumtd" "mtd" "parade" "float" "champaign county"

We’ll C-U next year!

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What is Illinois Terminal?

Put simply Illinois Terminal is MTD’s multimodal facility in downtown Champaign located at 45 East University Avenue. But this 17-year-old building offers more than meets the eye.

MTD Bus Services

Almost every route in MTD’s fixed-route service serves Illinois Terminal. The indoor and outdoor waiting areas provide a comfortable and sheltered places for passengers to wait for their connecting buses. Restrooms, vending machines, payphones, and an ATM are available for the convenience of our passengers. Buses board and alight on three different platforms – A, B, and C.

A Customer Service Center, located on the first floor, is staffed seven days a week with helpful representatives to assist in trip planning and navigation. They sell MTD’s Annual and Monthly Passes as well as All Day Passes for Saturdays and Sundays. The Customer Service Center also sells school tokens and rolls of adult tokens for community groups. Passengers who ride our ADA Paratransit Service can also purchase ride tickets at Illinois Terminal. We accept cash, credit cards, and checks.

This area also manages our Lost and Found Items. They put a lot of effort into sorting incoming items and returning them to their owners. Items not claimed after the two-week holding period are donated to local agencies like the Salvation Army and Lion’s Club.

"bike" "lockers" "bus" "illinois terminal" "chester street" "viaduct" "Champaign"

Bike lockers are available for rent! They are located at the Chester Street Viaduct in close proximity to Illinois Terminal and downtown Champaign.

Local Transportation Connections

One of the pieces to MTD earning our status as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business was our extensive offering of bike services at Illinois Terminal. There is ample bicycle parking on the west side of the building, right next to a bicycle repair station. Bike storage lockers are available for rent under the Chester Street Viaduct.

These amenities give cyclists options. Combine these with bike racks on every MTD vehicle and the transportation flexibility only gets deeper.

Area taxi companies and ride sharing service, Uber, frequently serve Illinois Terminal on the west side of the building.

Regional Transportation Services

Amtrak pulls into the second floor of Illinois Terminal six times a day with three northbound trips and three southbound trips. There is an Amtrak Customer Service Desk as well as an electronic ticketing kiosk which are both located in the second floor waiting area. There are two routes that pull into Champaign. The first is the City of New Orleans and the second is called Illinois Service.

Burlington Trailways operates charter bus services. Illinois Terminal serves as a great meeting place for large groups embarking on regional travel!

Danville Mass Transit (DMT) operates fixed-route service, paratransit service, and evening dial-a-ride trips for residents in Danville, Georgetown, Tilton, and Westville. DMT also operates a service to and from Champaign-Urbana six days a week. It is called “10 Danville-Champaign.” You can purchase tickets for this DMT route at the Illinois Terminal Customer Service Center.

Greyhound has about five buses a day departing Illinois Terminal for locations in around Chicago as well as service to Kankakee and Markham. They have a ticketing office at Illinois Terminal on the first floor. It’s open seven days a week from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm.

Peoria Charter operates bus charters to several Illinois locations. There are 12 daily shuttles that connect riders to the Midway and O’Hare Airports and various locations in the Chicago suburbs. You can purchase charter tickets online and at our Customer Service Center. We accept cash and credit cards for these tickets.

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CityView hosted the February 2016 Champaign County Chamber of Commerce After Hours.

Offices and Shops

The remainder of Illinois Terminal is filled with tenants that include Subway Sandwich Shop (first floor), State Senator Scott Bennett‘s District Headquarters (second floor), and R.E.A.D.Y. School (second and third floor).

The fourth floor is home to MTD’s CityView, a banquet and meeting center with beautiful views of downtown Champaign. There is a north and south end of the space that is available separately or together for wedding receptions, corporate or club meetings, luncheons, or whatever event you’ve got in store. Visit the Facebook Page to see pictures of the space.

What services do you use at MTD’s Illinois Terminal? What questions can we answer in the comments?

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How to Ride a Reroute

You love to hate them, but reroutes are an inevitable square in MTD’s service quilt. Here are six steps to navigating a reroute.

Step One: Create a MyRIDE Profile

MyRIDE is our way of providing a customized transit experience. A pick your own fabric, if you will, of MTD’s route information. Little is needed when you sign up and MTD promises not to share your information with any other companies or organizations.

When you sign up, you’ll also get the opportunity to receive STOPtalk. This is our email newsletter filled with the latest happenings, updates on community projects, and useful information delivered once every two months to your inbox.

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Signing up for MyRIDE Alerts is the best way to get timely notifications about the routes you ride.

Step Two: Sign up for MyRIDE Alerts

Once signed up and in, MyRIDE will prompt you to select your favorite bus stops. These will follow you around our website whenever you visit and are logged in. The stops are clickable and will direct you to the latest bus stop departure information.

Next, you can select “My Alerts.” This enables you to select for which routes you’re interested in receiving reroute information. You can get the reroutes by email, by text message, or both!

When you select email alerts, you’ll receive an email with the reroute information as soon as it published. The full text of the reroute will be presented in the email. If you sign up for text message alerts, you will receive the subject of the reroute but not the full text. The full text includes all the routes affected, the expected duration of the reroute, and the alternative routing for each route.

Step Three: Check the Reroute Banner

The homepage of MTD’s website features a red “Reroute Alert” banner at the center. All routes currently impacted by a reroute and/or service reduction are reflected in the banner. This is an excellent way to, at a glance, see if the routes you’re riding are affected. All routes are clickable for further detail.

Step Four: Get the Whole Story

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This is the view of all reroutes in full detail. Note the option to view a specific route at top. Routes not currently impacted by any reroutes are grayed out.

If you click on “Reroute Alert,” you’ll be directed to a complete listing of all active reroutes in full text. You can narrow the view from “all” to a single route by using the subnavigation bar at top.

Reroutes usually begin with a short description of what streets and intersections are affected and why. An estimated end date is usually provided but this date may change due to factors like weather delaying construction and other unexpected variables.

Some reroutes are simple like a bus stop previously available is no longer available. Others, like those related to campus construction, can affect several routes and each route is given its own alternative service path.

Step Five: Determine if Your Stop is Affected

The initial description will detail the corridors that are impacted. If your origin or destination is within these corridors, then you’ve got some work to do. If not, then rest easy!

Depending on your familiarity with surrounding streets, you’ll need to read the reroute turn by turn to determine where your alternative bus stop will be. We recommend orienting yourself on Google Maps. This is an elaborate tool that offers zooming, street views, and more. MTD’s map and schedule data is published on Google Transit. You can view our data when you plan a trip by selecting the transit option or by clicking on the blue buses scattered throughout the map. The times presented are all scheduled departures not real-time, GPS-informed, departure times. Please note that the reroute will not be reflected on Google Maps – the data sources for short-term reroutes are not reflected in our data nor are they shared with Google.

MTD Street Supervisors also sometimes post physical signs at various stops along a route to help passengers at the stop navigate to the appropriate place. The signs are usually posted at the bus stop that is temporarily closed and detail where the passengers should go to board the bus.

You can also call us for help at 217.384.8188, send us a tweet or Facebook message, or submit a Website Feedback Form. We know you gotta get there and reroutes are just a temporary roadblock.

Step Six: Use Real-Time Tools with Caution

Departure times for bus stops affected by reroutes can be misleading. For long-term reroutes, ones that last more than two to three weeks, the alternative routing is put into our data sources. This means Bus Stop Lookup, our Trip Planner, and the data that powers our community-built mobile apps, will reflect the alternative routing and resulting bus stops. And when you’re checking for departure times or planning a trip, the impacts of the reroute will be adequately calculated.

But on the flip side, when we’re dealing with a reroute of short duration, a few days or one week, MTD will not update our data. This means departure times will still be displayed for bus stops that may be temporarily not served.

So what questions have we left you with? Post in the comments and let us know how we can make navigating reroutes easier.

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