MTD is an economic engine in its own right, not only creating and maintaining jobs, but generating economic impact through the purchase of goods and services and construction of capital improvements. In addition, transit systems provide other economic & social benefits.
- MTD offers a full range of mobility services: Bus service, ADA Paratransit service, C-CARTS rural service, Half Fare Cab, MCORE, Illinois Terminal, and efforts to encourage walking, biking, and ride sharing.
- Free bus service is offered for Senior Citizens over 65, riders with disabilities, and veterans.
- Serves Champaign, Urbana, Savoy and the University of Illinois.
- 114-bus fleet
- Nearly 9 million rides in FY2020.
- $43,232,000 operating budget and $16,675,700 capital budget for FY2021.
- Fleet is 85% hybrid.
- 24th largest employer in Champaign County with 377 employees, nearly 90% of who reside in the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Statistical Area.
- MTD's Maintenance Facility is equipped with a 1200 panel, 297-kilowatt solar array.
- MTD is a transportation provider for Unit 4 and District 116 middle and high school students, saving the school districts and its taxpayers an estimated total of $1.4 million per year in transportation costs.
- MTD is the first in the nation to commercially order 60’ zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell buses for deployment in 2021.
- For every $1 in property taxes received annually for operations, MTD generates $4.43 in external funding.
- For every $1 in property taxes for capital improvement projects, MTD receives a projected $5.23 from non-local public sources (e.g. the Illinois Department of Transportation or the Federal Transit Administration).
- MTD jobs, purchase of goods and services, and capital improvement projects generate a direct annual economic benefit of almost $35 million.
- Cumulatively over a ten-year period MTD will generate nearly $60 million in additional direct local public investment and create an additional 385 local jobs.
Public Transit on Public Roads
The data on buses and their impact on our roads and infrastructure is very clear. Public transit:
- Reduces public costs for road maintenance due to fewer single occupancy vehicles on the roads.
- Reduces public costs for road capacity improvements due to fewer trips on the roads.
- Reduces private costs for vehicle ownership and maintenance.
- Reduces demand for parking.
The availability of transit removes vehicle trips from existing roadways thus reducing maintenance costs. It should be noted that heavier weight vehicles such as buses affect roadway conditions and the need for maintenance. However, studies have found that maintenance costs attributable to buses account for only two to three percent of total maintenance costs brought about by vehicular traffic (albeit with the caveat that local roads are more negatively impacted than system-level roads with the case studies varying by type of community).
To address this impact, MTD has been successful in obtaining approximately $16 million in federal TIGER Grant funding for the MCORE Project to repair and replace core roads for communities in the District. MTD also contributed $5 million of the District's capital funds toward the MCORE Project.
National surveys of transit users have found that if the transit system were not available, 24% of users would drive alone, 22% would carpool, and 10% would take a taxi. The remaining users would walk or not make the trip. Here are some things to know about public transit passengers:
- 46% have no available car
- 71% are employed
- 53% have ridden 5+ years
- 79% are aged 25 to 54, the most economically active years
- 9% of workers in the Champaign-Urbana community use public transit
Sources: TischlerBise Economic Impact Study & MTD