Students adjust to changed bus schedules

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, or CUMTD, is ready for another school year of college students in and around campus.

And as is the case every year, the company expect students new and old to adjust to the bus routes.

Jan Kijowski, marketing director for CUMTD, said she expects the transition from summer to fall to go well.

“We’ve been doing this for many years. Business has gone smoothly and everyone is very prepared,” Kijowski said.

Last year was strong for CUMTD, with ridership surpassing ten million passengers.

Kijowski said that unlike last year, when certain bus routes went through dramatic changes, as part of the transit system’s “Extreme Makeover MTD Edition” campaign, this year’s changes are minimal.

The Orange route is the main route affected. Instead of stopping on campus, it will travel from the Urbana Walmart, 100 S. High Cross Rd., through the Illinois Terminal, 45 E. University Ave. in Champaign.

“There were significant changes last year. While they were significant, ridership was as effective and efficient, and this year will be no different,” Kijowski said.

While CUMTD is trying to make the routes as clear to understand as possible, a few new students say that they are having some troubles.

Kyle Grage, freshman in Aviation, said he has experienced a few hassles with the bus routes.

“There’s a few inconveniences. To get to the airport, for example, there are quite a few transfers to take from my dorm,” Grage said.

John Seo, sophomore in Engineering, said he could remember how difficult it was to get used to the bus system last year.

“It is complicated to know where to go and know what to take,” Seo said. “It’s just easier to walk.”

Ryan Labedz, freshman in DGS, recalled how he and a group of friends missed a bus because they were waiting at the wrong stop. Labedz, though, said that many of the resources available to passengers are very helpful.

“It helps that all the bus route information is online,” Labedz said.

Rick Deering, freshman in Engineering, said he uses the bus route guidebooks that can be picked up on any CUMTD bus.

Kijowski said to reduce confusion, MTD has updated its website, revised the designated stops for routes on bus stop posters and has put in place street teams at key locations to answer any questions and concerns.

“Don’t be afraid to ask an MTD employee. They are willing to help,” Kijowski said.