MTD Outlines Service Changes for 2021 -2022 Service Year | August 15, 2021
As the community prepares to welcome students back to in-person learning at both local schools and the University of Illinois, and much of a previously remote workforce readies itself to return to collaborating in person with their co-workers, so too is MTD gearing up to return to full service with our 2021 – 2022 Service Year, beginning Sunday, August 15.
Along with reminding the public of the resumption of fare enforcement and front door boarding, we want to highlight ways our service has changed and improved for this year.
MTD is excited to introduce the new, year-round 24 Link route, approved and funded by the University of Illinois. This new Weekday Daytime route will improve service between the Engineering Campus and Research Park. While the 24 Link works to connect these busy areas of campus with 15-minute service, there are many other benefits.
The 24 Link will take over serving the Research Park section of the previous 1 Yellow Hopper route, continuing to Lot E-14, and on to Fourth Street to serve the new Siebel Center for Design, then up to Wright Street to the Main Quad and the Engineering Quad, and on to University Avenue. From University Ave., the route continues to Lincoln Ave. to Green St., then heads back toward campus where it will serve the Illinois Street Residence Hall – which has a brand-new dining facility – the Illini Union, and more, before returning southbound on Wright. A few other notable benefits of this new route are that it will serve the new Gather development at Lincoln & University, and locations on Lincoln between University Ave. and Green St.
Because Research Park will instead be more consistently served year-round by the new 24 Link route, MTD has changed the 1 Yellow Hopper schedule to run on UI Days only, and it will end at Lot E-14. This will have a positive impact on 1 Yellow on-time performance, because the route will have more recovery time between trips, which will allow buses to begin trips on time more often. This change also removes confusion surrounding 1 Yellow Hopper routing, like which trip ends at Lot E-14 or which trip continues to Research Park. Simplifying our service is always a top priority.
Another change to 1/100S Yellow campus routing will change southbound trips back to travelling from Sixth to Gregory to First, rather than last year’s routing of Armory to Fourth to Gregory. This change is being made due to higher levels of pedestrian and vehicular traffic along the previous routing. This change is for 1/100 Yellow southbound trips only. Northbound trips remain unchanged using Gregory to Fourth to Armory to Wright.
In other areas of the community outside of campus, early morning changes have been made to the 1 Yellow schedule to improve consistency and provide more on-time performance. Because Water Survey is no longer served by the 1/100 Yellow route, the 1N Yellow now begins service at 6:22AM at Lot E-14 on weekday mornings, and arrives at the Champaign Walmart at 7:05AM, rather than 7:12AM. Other 1N Yellow trips starting at the Savoy Walmart between 7:00AM and 11:00AM on weekdays will also begin earlier, by about 10 minutes.
The 1S Yellow now begins service at Illinois Terminal at 6:10AM on weekday mornings, arriving at the Savoy Walmart at 6:50AM, rather than 7:09AM. The 1S Yellow leaving Market Place Mall at 6:20AM becomes a 1S Yellow Hopper at Illinois Terminal, and travels only as far as Lot E-14. Other 1S Yellow trips starting at the Champaign Walmart between 7:00AM and 10:00AM on weekdays will also begin earlier, by about 7 – 10 minutes. Because of these earlier start times, MTD urges passengers to pick up a copy of our updated Maps & Schedules book while on board, or at Illinois Terminal at our Customer Service desk. Passengers can also see updated schedule information on our website, mtd.org.
In another great change this year, the 22/220 Illini Limited route and service frequency will be expanded to serve ARC and Ikenberry Commons at 20-minute frequencies. Last year, the 22/220 Illini Limited route operated every 30 minutes and only traveled as far south as Armory and Wright. This has been a frequent complaint over the years. By applying hours saved from the 1 Yellow Hopper schedule change, an additional vehicle can be added to the 22/220 Illini Limited route to improve frequency to 20 minutes, and extend the route to Ikenberry Commons and ARC. This change provides additional trip possibilities on non-UI days and weekend days when the 22/220 Illini Limited route operates year-round. We believe this will be a very popular change!
Additional changes in the new service year include schedule enhancements to the 180 Lime Weekday Evening and the 110 Weekend Ruby routes, made to maximize transfer opportunities. The 180 Lime Weekday Evening schedule has been enhanced to provide staggered schedules, resulting in six additional transfer opportunities to the 50E/W Green at Round Barn.
Last year, the 180A & B Weekday Evening Limes were both scheduled to depart Round Barn Road at the same time. This year, 180 Lime departure times at Round Barn have been staggered, resulting in 20- to 30-minute service instead of 40-minute service, and aligning with six additional 50 E/W Green departures. By increasing the 180 Lime route’s frequency and transfer opportunities, we hope to reduce passenger wait times at the Round Barn stop.
Plastipak and DSC Packaging are both served by the 180 Lime toward the end of the Weekday Evening service day. This service will remain intact. On the 180 Lime A route, MTD has added a new stop at Duncan & Clark at 10:40PM for Caterpillar employees whose shift changes at 10:30PM. The Lime A will depart Duncan & Clark 2-3 minutes later to accommodate these passengers. The 180 Lime B will also depart Round Barn for Plastipak two minutes later, at 10:50PM. This will allow for transfers from the 10:49PM 50W Green, while still arriving at Plastipak in time for the 11:00PM shift change.
The 110 Ruby Saturday and Sunday schedules have been adjusted to provide additional transfer opportunities at Lincoln Square. At the start of the service day on Sundays, the 110S Ruby Sunday will leave the Airport & Cunningham timepoint at 8:56AM, two minutes earlier, instead of 8:58AM. The 110S Ruby Sunday will leave all other timepoints along the route three minutes early, beginning at Brownfield & Columbia at 9:01AM, instead of 9:04AM. Last year, the 110S Ruby Sunday left Lincoln Square at the same time as the 50W Green. As a result, this transfer could not always be made. By leaving the Airport Road & Cunningham timepoint two minutes earlier, the 110S Ruby Sunday will depart at 20 minutes after the hour instead of 23 minutes after the hour, improving the 50W Green connection. The last two 110S Ruby trips remain unchanged.
The 110 S Ruby Saturday schedule will change, beginning at 2:02PM, when it will leave the Brownfield & Columbia timepoint one minute earlier, at 2:01PM. This change helps support the 70E Grey connection at Lincoln Square at 22 minutes after the hour and will be consistent with the new Sunday Ruby South schedule arriving at Lincoln Square at 20 minutes after the hour beginning at 2:20 in the afternoon.
Select timepoint changes have been made for 7E/W Grey early morning Weekday trips from Parkland and Urbana Walmart. At Parkland on non-Unit 4 school weekdays, a 7E Grey was scheduled to leave at 7:13AM, arriving at Illinois Terminal at 7:35AM for the 7:40AM Universal Transfer. This trip has been changed, and will leave Parkland two minutes later, at 7:15AM, eliminating unplanned layovers while continuing to arrive on time for the 7:40AM Universal Transfer at Illinois Terminal.
At Urbana Walmart on weekday mornings, the 7W Grey will leave at 7:28AM instead of 7:29AM, arriving at Lincoln Square for the 7:40AM Universal Transfer at 7:38AM.
Finally, MTD has moved the current 2U Red bus stop from the NW corner of Toalson & Interstate to the SE Corner of Toalson & Interstate to assist passengers boarding at the Champaign County Housing Authority’s new facility, The Haven, which serves individuals 55 and older, and individuals with special needs. Moving this stop will prevent Haven passengers from having to cross Interstate Dr. when boarding the 2U Red, which serves this stop nine times daily between 7:21AM and 6:35PM.
MTD reminds the public that until further notice, both Operators and passengers on board our buses or entering MTD’s Illinois Terminal are still required to wear a mask/face covering at all times, except while eating or drinking, pursuant to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Directive 1582/84-21-01, “Security Measures – Face Mask Requirements”.
We are excited to continue providing safe, efficient and courteous transportation for all of our passengers as we begin our new service year. Passengers are welcome to call us any time at 217.384.8188 to get the most up to date information on our new service year, or with questions about their trips.