Public Hearing

Proposed Changes for the 2022– 2023 Service Year

Save the Dates

Monday, May 16, 2022 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Virtual

Virtual Presentation & Feedback

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 5:00p – 7:00p

In-Person

Illinois Terminal, CityView 4th floor 45 E. University Ave., Champaign, IL

Monday, May 16, 2022 through Monday, May 23, 2022

Public Comment Period

A pre-recorded presentation has been posted. Comment period ended 12PM Monday, May 23.

MTD schedules public meetings each spring to offer guidance for the upcoming service year. The 2022-23 service year will begin on August 14, 2022. This year, we will have two live opportunities for the community to learn about the proposed changes and actively engage with our Staff to provide feedback. Comments will be accepted at the events, as well as through a form on our website until 12:00p on Monday, May 23. All questions and comments submitted will be documented, along with MTD’s responses, on this public hearing page.

A live virtual meeting will be held on Monday, May 16, 2022 from 12:00p – 1:00p to present plans for service improvements. Comments will be taken and discussed during this event, which will also be recorded and posted to our public hearing page after the meeting for subsequent viewing. We will host an additional event in-person after the virtual presentation to allow the public to engage with staff face-to-face, if preferred. For those who cannot attend the live events, the materials will be posted and remain open for comment for one week.

Community comments can be submitted in four ways:

Web: Contact Us form

Email: mtdweb@mtd.org

Phone: 217.384.8188

By Mail: Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, 1101 E. University Ave., Urbana, IL 61802; Attn. Karl Gnadt

Following the close of this engagement period, modifications will be considered, and the final version of service changes will be published on MTD’s website, social media, and in the upcoming 2022 - 2023 edition of the Maps & Schedules Book.

Summary of Proposed Service Changes

On January 16 of this year, MTD announced that what had previously been day-to-day service reductions would remain in place until further notice so that we could provide a more reliable, predictable service to our passengers, albeit with reduced frequencies. One outcome of these service reductions has been variable, staggered frequencies on a number of our routes, resulting in up to 60-minute frequencies at times.

With the 2022 – 2023 Service Year, MTD is proposing a restructuring of a number of reductions in order to optimize frequencies on our high-capacity 10 Gold, 12 Teal Daytime, 13/130 Silver Daytime & Evening, and 22/220 Illini Daytime & Evening routes​. This restructuring will be done using existing resources, and will improve schedule consistency for our passengers.

In the previous Service Year, frequencies on:

  • The 22/220 Illini varied between 10 and 20 minutes. For our new Service Year, MTD proposes providing 15-minute frequencies during Daytime service, and 20-minute frequencies during Evening service after 7PM.
  • The 12 Teal Daytime varied between 10 and 30 minutes, and between 30 and 50 minutes at Orchard Downs. For our new Service Year, MTD proposes providing 10 to 20-minute frequencies during Daytime service, and 20- 30-minute frequencies to Orchard Downs.
  • The 13/130 Silver varied between 10 and 30 minutes, with 40-minute frequencies during Evening service. For our new Service Year, MTD proposes providing 15-minute frequencies during Daytime service and retaining 40-minute frequencies during Evening service after 7PM.
  • The 10 Gold varied between 30 and 60 minutes for locations west of Lot E-14 and east of Lincoln Square, and between 10 and 20 minutes for points in between. For our new Service Year, MTD proposes providing consistent 30-minute frequencies for locations west of Lot E-14 and east of Lincoln Square, and retaining 10- to 20-minute frequencies for points in between.

All other routes will maintain their existing, reduced service levels. These routes include the 1/100 Yellow, 2/20 Red, 5/50 Green and Green Hopper, 7/70 Grey, 14 Navy, 16A Pink, 180A Lime, SafeRides, and West Connect. As staffing increases, routes will be considered for restoration based on which routes have the largest frequency gaps, community feedback, and ridership levels.

MTD is also proposing some changes for the 2022 – 2023 Service Year that are unrelated to our current staffing levels: modifications to some school trips, and the relocation and consolidation of some bus stops.

School Trips

  • Due to Urbana Middle School dismissing earlier in the 2021-2022 school year, at 3:35PM, MTD is proposing changing the departure time of the 8W Bronze currently scheduled to leave Lincoln Square at 3:40PM on weekdays. This trip would be changed to leave Lincoln Square at 3:35PM.
  • To improve travel times for students who live in Turnberry Ridge, MTD is proposing that 16 Pink school trips no longer serve the neighborhood. Instead, Turnberry Ridge will continue to be served as the first stop on the 5W Green Express-Copper Ridge after school.

Bus Stop Changes

  • To reduce traffic conflicts between buses and vehicles turning into the Marketview Town Center near McDonald’s, MTD proposes moving the current bus stop at Marketview Dr. at Marketview Center SW further east on Marketview Dr., to the east side of the shopping center’s driveway, Convenience Place. This move would make Marketview Dr. at Marketview Center at Far Side stop. This stop is served by the 1/100N Yellow, and the 2/20C Red.
  • To increase pedestrian and traffic safety, and improve schedule adherence, MTD proposes consolidating four bus stops on Lincoln Ave. near Church and Park Streets into two new stops.
    • The stops on the west side of Lincoln Ave., at Lincoln & Park West Side and Lincoln & Church NW Corner would be consolidated, moved to the north and south, respectively, and named Lincoln & Church West Side. This stop would be located near The Retreat at Illinois townhomes and will continue to be served by the 6W Orange and the 22/220S Illini.
    • The stops on the east side of Lincoln Ave., at Lincoln & Park SE Corner and Lincoln & Church SE Corner would be consolidated, moved to the north and south, respectively, and named Lincoln & Park East Side. This stop would still be located near the Carle Neuroscience Institute and will continue to be served by the 6E Orange and the 22/220N Illini.

MTD thanks our passengers and our community for their continued patience and adaptability during our ongoing staffing shortage and recognizes the frustrating nature of this evolving circumstance. MTD is committed to maintaining reliable transit access, frequent service, and mobility opportunities for our customers. We will continue to work with our Human Resources, Operations, Safety & Training, and Maintenance teams to be responsive and adaptive so we can deliver the safest, most consistent service possible as we move forward on the path to service restoration.

 

Public Comment

At first glance with balancing service levels and cuts, it seems irrational to provide the same frequencies on the 22 Illini - the busiest route by far, including in the passenger revenue hours ratio category, as the 6 Orange Hopper. If another bus could be added to the 22 Illini that would seem to make sense.

We understand your concern with the Illini frequency—it has high ridership and can get very cramped around class changes. Adding an additional vehicle to the Illini is not enough to consistently improve its frequency. An additional vehicle would allow for more recovery time at each end of the route but not necessarily improve schedule adherence along the middle of it. To keep a consistent high-frequency schedule we'd need to add more than one vehicle, which would require further cuts to other routes. The 15-minute Illini will not be as frequent as pre-Covid, but it will provide three more trips during the day than were provided in Spring 2022. As we hire more drivers throughout the year, we plan to have them drive back-up buses on high-capacity routes like the Illini, Teal, and Silver, which should help address heavy passenger loads and improve frequency at the busiest times of day. These trips have not been published in a schedule and will not appear in our Trip Planner because they will only run if Operators are available. If these additional trips do run, passengers can check their real-time arrival information on mtd.org or by texting a stop code to 35890.

Based on my personal observations, it seems that the Red should have more cuts and the extra bus be moved to the Yellow (at least the portion from campus to the Champaign Walmart.)

Our service reductions have not been made purely based off ridership, but also take into consideration geographic coverage and how much passenger waiting time would increase due to the reductions. This accounts for how many riders are affected, and how much those riders are impacted. In this way, a passenger living near a high-frequency route is not prioritized over a passenger living near a low-frequency route. Although the Yellow generally has more ridership, it is also structured differently from the Red. The Yellow has Hopper service, whereas the Red does not. Removing Hopper vehicles on the Yellow reduces frequency from 15-minutes to 30-minutes and does not sacrifice geographic coverage. Removing a Red vehicle would reduce frequencies from 30-minutes to 60-minutes along the core route, and further reduce limited service to Myra Ridge and Ashland Park. MTD is seeking to strike a balance between coverage and frequency.

I am against moving the Marketview/Marketview Center stop to the east. While it is only a short distance, it seems most passengers using this stop would have to walk farther and cross that busy driveway to reach the proposed stop location.

The proposal to move the Marketview Dr. at Marketview Center SW stop was made to reduce bus-automobile conflicts. As there are more commercial destinations on the east side of Neil, we assumed passengers alighting at this stop would want to go to the east side of Neil. Moving the stop to the far side of the driveway minimizes vehicle conflict and benefits passengers destined for the southeast corner of Neil and Marketview. Keeping the stop near-side the driveway as-is benefits passengers destined for the northeast corner of Neil and Marketview but does not minimize vehicle conflicts. As some passengers benefit and others do not from each configuration, we propose to go far side, as it has the benefit of minimizing vehicle conflict.

Please prioritize neighborhoods with high ridership and dependence on bus. I would prefer a longer trip rather than a fast trip with a transfer! Simpler routes are a priority. No more cuts to Orange or Green!

Our service reductions have not been made purely based off ridership, but also take into consideration geographic coverage and how much passenger waiting time would increase due to the reductions. This accounts for how many riders are affected, and how much those riders are impacted. In this way, a passenger living near a high-frequency route is not prioritized over a passenger living near a low-frequency route. Purely community routes, like the 3 Lavender, 4 Blue, 5 Green Express, 6 Orange, 9 Brown, and 11 Ruby have not seen any reductions. Rather, reductions have mainly been to service that has had frequency added by our University Intergovernmental Agreement.

Suggest moving one bus each on 9A & B Brown to serve Clayton (like 180B Lime Saturday) to minimize walking distances in subdivision (Clayton & Pomona).

Thank you for your suggestion. This route change suggestion was reviewed by our Planning team in conjunction with other changes suggested in a study recently completed by the Nelson\Nygaard transportation consulting firm. We’ve designed our routes to serve the community with about every 30-40 minutes, and analysis shows that making this changes would reduce the frequency of the 9A/B Brown to 60-80 minutes in some instances throughout the day. We also consider ease of use when designing our routes, and adding this type of diversion at certain times of day would decrease this feature. Our current policy is to limit route diversions to the end of a route, to minimize confusion, and to implement them where there is a demonstrable need. In the case of the 9A/B Brown, this includes service to DSC Packaging and Caterpillar.

More strategically reinforce the 14 Navy at peak times, though once an hour could be fine in off-peak. Peak times are 10-2, 11-2.

Because our service is structured to operate so efficiently, ‘unravelling’ that service to identify specific trips that have an impact on frequency without sacrificing structure and quality has been challenging, but does take into consideration geographic coverage community-wide, and how much passenger waiting times would increase due to the reductions. Our Planning team is working to balance all of our available resources, and restoration of service to the 14 Navy is at the top of our priority list for the Fall, based on the customer feedback we’ve received.

I just attended the MTD presentation about upcoming schedule changes. The presentation was clear and the proposed changes sound very sensible.

Thank you. We appreciate the community's feedback!

I would like to see the 7:10am 14E Navy put back into service to serve Southwest Champaign I have to walk 3/4 mile and catch two buses to get to Lot E-14. My travel has almost doubled. We need the earlier trip back to properly serve Southwest Champaign in getting into work in the morning.

Because our service is structured to operate so efficiently, ‘unravelling’ that service to identify specific trips that have an impact on frequency without sacrificing structure and quality has been challenging, but does take into consideration geographic coverage community-wide, and how much passenger waiting times would increase due to the reductions. Our Planning team is working to balance all of our available resources, and restoration of service to the 14 Navy is at the top of our priority list for the Fall, based on the customer feedback we’ve received.