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The longest route MTD operates is the 9 Brown, which totals 17.37 miles. The route that serves the largest number of passengers is the 22 Illini.
Great questions! Thank you for asking them. As a registered Formspring user, you're probably aware that the site is shutting down permanently on March 31, 2013. You can submit questions to us on our Facebook (facebook.com/cumtd) and Twitter (twitter.com/cumtd) pages in the future!
It is pretty much the "luck of the draw," but there are a few variables that factor in.
MTD’s Operations Department designates which vehicles (van, 30-foot, 40-foot, or 60-foot bus) are assigned to each fixed route based on demand. But, as you’re probably aware, a majority of our fleet is 40-foot buses so the vehicle type assignment is a small factor.
Another variable is maintenance needs. Maintenance inspection is scheduled for each vehicle and there are three types: 3,000, 6,000, and 18,000 miles. There are a number of items assigned under each mileage increment respectively so that all parts of the bus are examined and replaced regularly.
Then there is the unscheduled maintenance that includes interior and exterior repairs as well as technological demands like the CAD/AVL system (computer aided dispatch/automatic vehicle location), destination signs, diesel particular filters (DPFs), and so much more. When a vehicle asks for attention, we listen!
Vehicles are also needed for operators in training or review. Trainees must drive every vehicle type in MTD’s fleet for a set number of hours before they can advance in the program. Each day, MTD’s Director of Safety and Training puts in a request for the number of vehicles, as well as the types, his staff requires for the current class and operators in review.
After all of these scenarios, the remaining buses in the fleet come off the street throughout the day and are reassigned after they are cleaned and fueled. Daytime service returns a majority of the fleet from 4-5 pm. Then a second round comes in after the evening service finishes from 11 pm to midnight. And finally, the late night service buses return to base between 2:45 and 3:15 am. This is the schedule during the University of Illinois Fall and Spring semesters when MTD operates nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through the night, MTD’s Maintenance Department refuels and cleans each bus. The ones that are assigned for maintenance and training are held back and the rest are parked in the garage for the morning pull out, which begins at 4:30 am. Maintenance will assign all available buses to each daytime shift and send the bus number assignments to our Dispatchers. As operators report to work in the morning, the Dispatcher gives them their bus assignment so they know which vehicle is theirs when they arrive at our Maintenance Facility.
Thank you for your question! As a registered Formspring user, you may be aware that the site is shutting down permanently on March 31, 2013. You can submit questions to us on our Facebook (facebook.com/cumtd) and Twitter (twitter.com/cumtd) pages in the future!
This is definitely a safety issue! Interior advertising space is used to post safety messaging including exiting out the rear door and looking both ways. We also have on-board audio announcements that share safety messages. One of those audio recordings addresses waiting to cross the street until after the bus leaves the stop.
To bring awareness to safety issues, MTD launched the Bee Scene campaign in January 2013. We are running this campaign through the spring semester. Learn more on our website: http://www.cumtd.com/about-us/news/article/302 and blog: http://www.cumtd.com/the-inside-lane/2013/01/14/bee-scene/
Education and safety are ongoing issues, especially with the constantly rotating community at the University of Illinois. If you have more ideas, feel free to comment below!
Apologies for the negative experience you had. If you'd like to file a complaint, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll collect the details of the trip (route, bus stop, time), details of the incident, as well as a description of the operator. MTD takes customer service seriously and we can pull the on-board recording to take appropriate actions with the operator.
Thank you for contacting MTD and for riding.
MTD does operate during the summer. Summer service reductions will begin after the completion of the Spring Semester on May 13, 2013. This (http://www.cumtd.com/the-inside-lane/2012/05/14/summer-service-reductions-2012/) blog post from last summer will give you an overview of the routes affected.
The 22/220 Illini Limited will operate during all daytypes during the summer. The frequency is reduced and the routing is different from the regular 22/220 Illini. (http://www.cumtd.com/maps-and-schedules/route/22-illini-limited/weekday/daytime) The 1/100 Yellow will operate it's full regular routing. (http://www.cumtd.com/maps-and-schedules/route/1-yellow/weekday/daytime)
If you're volunteering at the Carle Hospital on University Avenue, you have a few options. It depends on where you are starting from. The 22/220 Illini Limited can get you as close Park & Lincoln. The walk is .2 miles (two-tengths). But if you are willing to make a transfer, the 1/100 Yellow or 12/120 Teal can take you to Illinois Terminal. Once there, you can transfer to either the 6 Orange or 7/70 Grey. Both of these routes serve Carle Hospital without leaving you with a walk. Our Trip Planner can assist with your desired departure and/or arrival times as well as the days of the week you plan to volunteer. (http://www.cumtd.com/maps-and-schedules/trip-planner)
Hope this helps! Cheers to you for volunteering!
In general, MTD routes have the most passengers on board in the core of the route (in the downtowns, campus, Neil Street, and North Prospect) and then steadily carry fewer passengers the further east, west, north, or south the route travels.
The 20 Red Saturday operates a shorter route on Saturday, but also provides service to North Prospect (which it does not do during the week). This condensed route serves Sunnycrest, campus, Illinois Terminal, Neil Street, Market Place Mall, and then the north Prospect area. These are all high trip generators that provide a lot of overlap with the 100 Yellow.
The 100 Yellow, during the daytime, runs a much longer route. Starting from north Prospect, it serves Market Place Mall, Neil Street, Illinois Terminal, west campus, and then begins to wind down through Savoy. While trip generators are present (Savoy Plaza, apartment complexes, and Walmart), high demand for the route does not exist throughout its entirety. It is not realistic to switch out a 60-foot bus with a 40-foot once the route leaves campus.
With the route overlap between the Red and the Yellow, choosing what equipment to put on which route is a difficult decision. There are only 16, 60-foot buses in our fleet. In years past, these articulated buses only operated during the week. Service and preventive maintenance was scheduled for the weekends. Now with increased ridership (which we are grateful for), MTD is attempting to match demand with vehicle needs.
MTD is always monitoring ridership in boardings and alightings but also in real-time. Radio Dispatchers are monitoring buses on the street and communicating with operators as they serve the public. Thank you for your question and for riding MTD.
The bus is a shared space. The icons at the front of the bus that prohibit food/drink, smoking, and music are meant to encourage considerate behaviors.
Passengers playing music that is loud, disturbing to other passengers, distracting to the operator, or contains vulgar or inappropriate language must be turned off or plugged in to headphones. This is at the discretion of the operator and can also be enforced by other passengers. A passenger may ask the person directly or ask the operator to talk to the individual.
From your description, it seems the operator could have employed better customer service to address the passenger's loud music. But the operator is operating within MTD policies to ask a passenger to turn their music down.
The determination of music reaching beyond an acceptable threshold is subjective on many levels. But operators must minimize on board distractions and maintain a safe environment for everyone. Thank you for your question and, of course, for riding MTD!
New Flyer does not manufacture a 30-foot diesel electric hybrid. MTD needed additional 30-foots in our fleet, which are used on routes like the 27/270 Air Bus and 6 ORANGEhopper, and Gillig offered a hybrid model and makes a good bus! MTD added five of these in 2009. Thank you for sharing your curiosity with us.
This question and request has been brought to the attention of our Director of Service Delivery. MTD is aware of the finals schedule December 14-15, 17-20 (Friday-Saturday, Monday-Thursday). If professors stick to their assigned final date and time, the University's Office of the Registrar [http://www.fms.uiuc.edu/finalexams/] reports that 353 of the 2,211 finals are scheduled for Saturday, December 15. That is 16 percent.
Thank you for submitting this question and apologies for the delayed response. MTD's Operations Department has not finalized the service reductions schedule. In previous years, the service reductions went into effect on the first day of the UI Winter Break, which this year will be Sunday, December 21. Regular Saturday service will very likely be in operation on December 20 with normal frequency and routing on popular campus routes like the 50 Green/GREENhopper, 120 Teal, and 130 Silver. The second part of your question regarding operating the full Illini during the day on Saturday is yet to be determined. We'll keep our website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts updated with information regarding the transition of service from finals week to Winter Break reductions.
Our apologies for your experiences on the 5E Green. Can you provide trip details? We'd be happy to look into when and where you are boarding to examine the trip history and the loads. Data helps to inform possible service alterations. Formspring allows users to comment under a question, so please put this additional information there to keep your question attached.
If an operator's bus becomes overloaded, MTD's procedure requires he or she to contact a dispatcher. The dispatcher will put an extra bus on that route, if equipment is available. Buses are positioned around the community every service day to help with passenger needs, like bus overloads.
It is unsafe for both the passengers and the operator to be in a bus that is too full. While it is awful to be the person left at a stop, it is equally unpleasant to be squished onboard. Buses are designed for many people to stand, but there are limits. Operators also suffer with reduced visibility. It is unsafe for an operator to not be able to see out of all mirrors.
The operator makes the call on over capacity. A guide all drivers use is the white standee line on the floor of the bus, which is just behind the driver's seat. If passengers are stepping over this line, then the bus is definitely at capacity and it is unsafe for the operator to proceed.
The 5 Green is a high frequency route. Depending on where you are boarding, you may have 15-minute service with the addition of the GREENhopper during the University of Illinois Fall and Spring semesters. High frequency service, like the Green, Yellow, Gold, Teal, Silver, and Illini, gives riders trip options. Many riders, particularly UI students, get on buses 15 to 10 minutes before the top of the hour as they rush to their :00 class. Unfortunately, this often causes overloads.
If the trip you are riding is full, a trip earlier or later than your normal time could be a solution. Please keep in mind that all of our routes get fuller and fuller as they enter the cores of the community, e.g. Illinois Terminal, Illini Union and Transit Plaza, and Lincoln Square. Buses often return to a comfortable amount of passengers after popular stops are served.
Thank you for submitting a question and for riding.
Sounds like a technology glitch. Thanks for reporting it. This question has been forwarded to appropriate MTD staff to look into. Thank you, as well, for riding!
Thank you for submitting your question. This article published in the News-Gazette on January 12, 2012 answers it quite thoroughly. An MTD staff member is also quoted. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to submit another!
It is necessary to push on the rear doors to open them. The operator controls all of the doors and can fully open each of them, but will not always do so.
At iStops on campus, passengers do not need to show an ID or pay a fare to ride. It is simply, board and go! So operators will often open both doors to enable swift boarding and alighting. iStops improve on-time performance on campus where most stops have heavy traffic.
In the case of non iStop routes, like the 5 Green, passengers must enter through the front door to show an ID or pay a fare. The operator will enable the rear door(s) to open but not open it himself/herself. When the green light overhead comes on, that means that the passenger may touch the handles to exit the bus.
On a side note, the doors are connected to the interlock system which prevents the bus from moving when any of the doors are opened. This is why the operator maintains control of the doors.
Hopefully this helps to clear up some confusion. When you are exiting the bus, if the doors do not immediately open when the operator comes to a stop, give those handles a touch. Thank you for riding!
You are correct. For five routes that serve campus, designated stops have been upgraded to iStops where passengers may board at either door and are not required to pay a fare or show an ID. The five routes are the 1/100 Yellow/YELLOWhopper, 10 Gold/GOLDhopper, 12/120 Teal, 13/130 Silver, and 22/220 Illini. (Our website's FAQ section: http://www.cumtd.com/about-us/faqs)
MTD apologizes for the experience you had. The 220 Illini you were attempting to board may have been full and that is why the operator closed both doors to prevent additional boardings. Perhaps her emotion was due to her full bus, which adds additional stress to operations.
Thank you for contacting us, seeking clarification, and of course, for riding.
This blog post from September 26, 2011 (http://www.cumtd.com/the-inside-lane/2011/09/26/sampling-tests-automatic-passenger-counters/) answers your question in detail. Some of the information is dated.
Since the posting, MTD hit another record ridership (which I'd guess is the source of your question) in FY2012 with over 11 million rides. The "BREAKING" news item of 13 more hybrid buses featuring advanced passenger counters is also behind us.
The answer to your second question ("I ride four buses in one day. Am I counted four times?") is yes. Each time a passenger boards MTD, he or she is counted because they are using a MTD route to get to a new location from another new location. Technology is not advanced enough to discern between individual people riding the bus. Our fare collection technology, as you are likely aware, does not track how many times an annual pass or UI iCard is used, so we only rely on bodies boarding and alighting.
MTD's method of ridership tracking is current with industry standards for agencies of our size. Thank you for your question! If something was left unanswered, feel free to add a follow-up question in the comments.
You are correct! The new 2012-2013 service year begins Sunday, August 19. Routes affected include the 1/100 Yellow/YELLOWhopper, 3/30 Lavender, 4 Blue (schedule only), 6 Orange (schedule only), 180 Lime (schedule only), and the Northeast Direct which is being upgraded to a route called the 11/110 Ruby.
For full details read our blog post (http://www.cumtd.com/the-inside-lane/2012/06/18/improvements-for-2012-2013-service-year/) and see the "Documents" section on our website (http://www.cumtd.com/about-us/publicdocuments). Maps and schedules are posted as PDFs under the heading "Public Hearing Documents."
Thank you for your interest and for riding!
MTD offers all-door boarding at designated iStops on campus. iStops are board and go, passengers can board at any door without showing their ID or paying a fare. iStops represent our highest traffic stops where loads are great and time is saved. Other stops outside of campus do not have the same boarding demands.
A majority of MTD's pre-paid trips are University of Illinois faculty, staff, and students. All of these riders show their iCard to ride any day, any time. MTD would need to coordinate (and get approval) with the University to implement this technology into their iCards. For our remaining pre-paid trips, MTD's Annual Pass would also require an overhaul.
Additionally, there is the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining new equipment. Technicians and operators would also require training. Currently, operators have a touch screen computer (which is used for a variety of things including passenger boarding information) and a "dumb" farebox. MTD's fareboxes are inexpensive and easy to maintain because the machines' only tasks are accepting coins and dollar bills. An RFID system would alter all of that and would, for our system, still need to accommodate cash fare.
MTD is committed to implementing an efficient system. Balancing costs versus functionality is always a challenge. Thank you for your suggestion.
Routes that serve that intersection are going to have the same amount of traffic throughout the weekday, beginning 8 am through 5 pm, because most are on a fixed schedule. But you may see slightly more traffic during peak commute times of 8 am and 5 pm. The end of the day may have more buses than the morning because of "turn" buses. Hope this helps!
Thank you for all the compliments! MTD strives to be an industry leader in public transportation and to provide quality service. In a 2011 phone survey conducted by a third party research group, respondents reported a 98 percent customer satisfaction with the rider experience. In FY2012, we set another record ridership year of over 11 million rides! Between 2008 and 2012, MTD ridership has increased 20 percent. MTD is so proud and honored to serve the cities of Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy as well as the University of Illinois.
It's difficult to pick just one next big thing, but one item we're particularly excited about it pursuing ISO 14001 certification. This is an international standard for an Environmental and Sustainability Management Systems (ESMS). The purpose of an ESMS is to reduce environmental impacts through continuous improvement while also preventing pollution and environmental emergencies. Our entire ESMS is designed and fully launched for our Maintenance Facility and Bus Storage area in Urbana. We're currently preparing a RFP (request for proposal) for a registrar to come and audit our property and, hopefully, award MTD with ISO 14001 certification.
For more information: http://www.cumtd.com/gogreen/policy/esms
This is a great question. Currently, MTD has 19 fixed routes in addition to direct services and SafeRides. All operators receive extensive training (http://www.cumtd.com/the-inside-lane/category/training/) to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and learn to operate MTD vehicles. All trainees will drive each route at least once with a trainer and without passengers during training. Once he or she passes the CDL test, the trainee graduates to Line Instruction where in service routes with passengers are driven. The trainee still operates with a trainer but continues to learn the routes while also juggling passengers.
After a number of hours are logged and trainers are confident with the trainee’s skills, he or she is sent on a final drive with our Safety & Training Director. If all goes well, the trainee graduates to an operator! A change fund is issued and uniform clothing is selected. The new operator has the choice to pick a "duty" or shift from the "board" or to “float.”
If a shift is picked, the operator will know that on days X, Y, and Z, he or she will operate Route A from one time to the next. Some operators prefer this because they only need to focus on one or two routes.
If an operator floats, then he or she provides availability and is contacted to fill-in. The floater has the responsibility to be prepared. Some operators like this because there is a lot of variety and they appreciate the challenge.
In either circumstance, a driver is always issued a “master” for the route and particular “block” he or she is operating. This lists the pull out details, all timepoints and corresponding times, and return information. It is not uncommon for an operator to have a copy of the Maps & Schedules Book also folded to the page they are serving. Finally, the touch screen co-pilot to the right of the driver lists upcoming stops. The service path is not detailed, but the operator can easily confirm the next stop.
Thanks for asking!
Champaign-Urbana Mass...’s Bio
Champaign, IL Urbana, IL and Savoy, IL
CUMTD provides public transportation to the cities of Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy as well as the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Illinois.