MTD Transit Will Operate as an Essential Service During Shelter in Place Order
Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued a "Stay at Home" Order beginning Saturday, March 21, 2020. This order will restrict all non-essential travel and business across the State. Residents will still be able to leave their homes to perform tasks essential to the health and safety of themselves and family members, including pets. This involves getting groceries and food items, gasoline, and obtaining healthcare services, including medical supplies, professional treatment, and medications.
For some people, public transportation is their only means to access these essential services. It would be devastating to those who rely on the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) if our vehicles were not available to connect them to these critical needs. Many public services, such as Police, Fire, and Medical, have been deemed as “essential services” by the Governor, Public Health Districts, and the Department of Defense; public transportation is included as an essential service. MTD is honored to serve alongside other essential personnel in our community – to transport their employees, bring patients to their lifesaving appointments, provide access to prescriptions, and help families maintain access to food. All passengers riding the bus have a critical need to do so, and as public servants, we are proud to stand up and serve our community in this time of great need.
Our ridership is down this week, which for the first time, we can celebrate as a victory. Fewer passengers allows more social distancing to keep everyone safe; this "Stay at Home" Order will further aid efforts to reduce contact and limit service to essential travel. We ask that our riders maintain a safe distance from operators and other passengers by utilizing the entire space of the bus for seating and positioning themselves appropriately at bus stops and shelters.
We will continue to operate our reduced service schedule and address changing needs and circumstances as things evolve. Our services will remain fare-free to eliminate the need for our passengers and Operators to exchange cash, coin, or transfers and also encourage social distancing by preventing crowding at the farebox.
To protect our passengers and Operators, MTD is positioning backup vehicles throughout our community to prevent crowding and allow social distancing on fixed-route buses, ADA Paratransit, and C-CARTS. Operators have been instructed to radio for additional vehicles if their passenger loads require more space.
To ensure capacity and social distancing opportunities are maximized, we will be employing the use of our large 60’ articulated buses on popular routes to give our passengers more space, and 30’ buses can be upgraded to 40’ models when needed to ensure adequate space for passengers to spread out safely. An additional vehicle will be available for our SafeRides service to promote social distancing. SafeRides will continue to operate reduce hours - beginning at 7:00 pm and taking final trip requests at 12:00 am. We are also continuing our deep cleaning services with electrostatic sprayers to disinfect the buses.
We thank all of our passengers for their patience, support, and understanding. To stay up-to-date on the latest, please visit our website; COVID-19 related articles are featured all in one place.