MTD board meets to discuss fare prices

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board of directors met Wednesday afternoon to discuss budget and fare issues.

The board reviewed updated information on lower annual pass fares. An annual pass for adults currently costs $235, but would cost between $50 and $75 under the new plan, said Managing Director, Bill Volk.

Passes for high school students would go from $145 to $30 and would allow students to ride MTD buses after 4 p.m. on school days and all day when class is not in session.

Although community fares will be lower under the proposed plan, Board Chairman Willard Broom stated that this would mean University students would be paying more than the cost of an annual pass. The current student fee for the MTD system is $38 per semester, but will go up to $50 a semester, pending approval by the University Board of Trustees.

Volk stated that only $10 of the $50 fee would go towards community bus routes. The remaining $40 would be used exclusively for the campus bus system, he said.

The MTD board remains hopeful that student fee negotiations with the University will be resolved in a satisfactory manner.

“We’ve been working together for a long time, so we’d like to get it resolved,” said Tom Costello, assistant managing director for the MTD. “If not, it has the potential to affect service in the fall, but we’re not imagining it will.”

Volk also reported that April ridership was the highest ever in 2009 for that month.

For fiscal year 2009, the MTD reported expenses $1.76 million under the planned budget, mainly a result of lower-than-expected fuel prices.

“We were planning on higher fuel prices, but they did not get there,” Volk said.

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on June 8 at Illinois Terminal to discuss the budget for fiscal year 2010.