CUMTD eliminates stops on Lincoln Avenue bus routes

By Julian Scharman

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District changed bus routes in the east and southeast regions of campus to ease traffic on Lincoln Avenue, said Mike Stubbe, assistant director of service delivery for the CUMTD.

Between Nevada Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, traffic on Lincoln will decrease from four lanes to three, but there will only be one bus stop across the Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls, Stubbe said. The bus routes affected by the Lincoln Avenue changes are the 22 Illini, the 2 Red on weekdays, and the 24 Scamp.

Prior to the stop-consolidation, five potential stops were available for passengers and pedestrians along Lincoln Avenue.

CUMTD will also be implementing real-time stopwatch timers, like the ones in the Transit Plaza next to the Illini Union Bookstore, in the shelters that will be built on the east and west sides of Lincoln. The shelters and timers will be completed by the end of September.

“We really worked on improving the amenities, so despite the fact that people may have to walk an extra block or two, when they get to that location they will have a fixed facility for their wait,” Stubbe said.

Some students are not happy with the changes. Megan Osterman, junior in LAS, said the CUMTD has not done enough to inform pedestrians and students of the changes.

“The other day I tried to wave down a bus on Lincoln Avenue at a usual stop and it passed me entirely,” said Osterman. “It’s just kind of frustrating how they are informing the student population. I haven’t heard anything about it yet.”

“Our primary goal is to help create fewer stops and help make the buses travel more efficiently,” said William Gray, director of public works in Urbana. “I think the bus shelters are attractive. I think they’re well-received and helpful, especially for the upcoming winter weather.”

Some of the ancillary changes made to other routes are on the southern portion of campus, including the Shuttle West route, which serves the University Research Park. “The route used to include several turns in and around the park, and during peaks hours would create delays compounded with the traffic on First Street,” Stubbe said.

“What we’ve done in that area is kind of streamline that particular route so it operates in a mainly clockwise direction to research park,” Stubbe said.

The project is costing the CUMTD about $75,000, which is funded by public funds and property taxes.