Dear Passengers. You Deserve an Apology. | October 1, 2021
Dear MTD Passengers,
You deserve an apology. We know we have not been meeting your expectations in recent weeks as we’ve made daily cuts to service. Staff shortages are a challenge for many industries right now, and public transit has been hit particularly hard. From childcare concerns to retirements, our Operator pool has been dwindling and we need more people to keep our service running at planned frequencies.
Due to daily fluctuations in staffing, we’ve been forced to make service reductions on a day-to-day basis. Daily reroute alerts have gone out through MTD’s website, personalized alert system, and social media channels. We understand that this does not always allow our passengers enough time to make alternative arrangements.
The shortage has put undue strain on our frontline, with many hardworking Operators logging overtime to help us fill the gaps; some of our qualified administrative staff have also been driving buses to reduce the service impact of the shortage. Through all of that, MTD is still unable to provide all of our scheduled service.
As a result, beginning Monday, October 4, these reductions are being put in place until further notice. This will help us to provide the most reliable and predictable service possible as we focus on restoring our workforce. This was a difficult but necessary decision, and we hope to return to our regular service soon.
What does all of this mean for you, our passengers?
This means that our online Trip Planner tool, route schedules published on our website, and trip information displayed in third-party apps will be stabilized and updated to more accurately reflect the service being provided on the street. This means you can rely on these tools, along with our electronic kiosks and real-time departure information, to plan your lives around.
More specifically, this means that trips on the 1 Yellow and 1 Yellow Hopper, 2 Red, 5 Green and 5 Green Hopper, 10 Gold and 10 Gold Hopper, 12 Teal, 13/130 Silver, 16 Pink, 22/220 Illini, 24 Link, and 180 Lime Evening routes will be less frequent, but more consistently scheduled each day.
This means passengers should check our updated online route schedules for scheduled trip times, and use our updated online Trip Planner to re-plan trips you take most often, to learn how these reductions will impact your travel.
- The 1 Yellow Weekday will operate at approximately 30-minute frequencies due to a reduction in 1 Yellow Hopper trips.
- The 2C Red leaving Lincoln Square at 7:40AM, and the 2U Red leaving Market Place Mall at 6:43AM and 8:57AM will not be in operation.
- The 5 Green Weekday will operate at approximately 30-minute frequencies due to a reduction in 5 Green Hopper trips.
- The 10 Gold and 10 Gold Hopper will operate at approximately 30-minute frequencies, with 60-minute frequencies on a few select trips. Passengers should check our updated online route schedules for trip times.
- The 12 Teal Weekday will operate at generally 20-minute frequencies, though more frequent and less frequent trips will operate at select times throughout the day. The adjusted frequencies put in place on September 15 to trips serving Orchard Downs remain unchanged. Passengers should check our updated online route schedules for trip times.
- The 13 Silver Weekday will operate at generally 20-minute frequencies, though more frequent and less frequent trips will operate at select times throughout the day. Passengers should check our updated online route schedules for trip times.
- The 130 Silver Evening and Late Night will operate at 40-minute frequencies. The adjusted frequencies put in place on September 15 to trips serving Vet Med remain unchanged.
- The 16A Pink will not be in operation. The 16B Pink will operate as scheduled, beginning at Round Barn at 6:35AM.
- The 22/220 Illini will operate at generally 10-minute frequencies, with 20-minute frequencies at select times throughout the day. Trips on the 22/220N Illini serving Oak & Anthony will operate at 6:58a, 7:42a, 8:42a, 12:22p, 3:22p, 4:22p, 5:12p, 5:22p, 6:12p, 6:22p, 7:22p, 7:31p, 8:41p, 11:15p, 11:35p. Trips to Oak & Anthony at 3:12PM, 4:12PM, and 8:32PM will not be in operation. Passengers should check our updated online route schedules for trip times.
- The 24 Link will alternate between 15-minute and 30-minute frequencies throughout the day. Passengers should check our updated online route schedules for trip times.
- The 180A Lime Evening will not be in operation. This includes the 180A Lime Evening trip serving DSC and Caterpillar scheduled to leave Round Barn at 10:10PM. The 180B Lime Evening will operate as scheduled, beginning at Round Barn at 7:15PM. The 180B Lime Evening trip serving Plastipak, leaving Round Barn at 10:50PM, remains unchanged. Passengers should check our updated online route schedules for trip times.
We are, and have been, actively training new Operators. It takes time, about eight weeks per class, because safety is our top priority. We must also use existing Operators as experienced instructors, which further draws on resources. To recruit quality talent, we increased the starting wages of our new Operators. In addition to our competitive benefits package, MTD is currently ranked #9 in the country for top paid bus Operators - and they absolutely deserve it. The people who join our team are committed to providing a public service that is essential to access, mobility, and opportunity.
We share in your disappointment and recognize your frustration, and we will continue working to overcome this shortage. In the meantime, we ask that our passengers please sign up for personalized service alerts at mtd.org/account to get updates in real-time. You can also follow us on social media (@rideMTD) or call 217.384.8188 for the latest information.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and continued ridership.