CUMTD Safety Initiatives

The following constitute many of the transit safety initiatives of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District since the adoption of the Campus Area Transportation Study (CATS) Short Term Safety Recommendations adopted in November 2005.

1. On November 27, 2005, two bus route changes were initiated. The 22 Illini and 25 Loop changes eliminated 460 bus turning movements and 58 daily trips on Wright Street.

2. Strobe lights replacing standard turn signals have been installed on the District’s entire fleet. Installation was completed by the end of December, 2005. The District is the first transit system in the country to do this.

3. Audible signals on right-turning movements were implemented in January 2006 on two campus routes primarily operating 60-foot articulated buses. Only one other transit system in the country has taken this action.

4. The District’s extensive eight-week training program has been modified to include additional time emphasizing turning movements and driving in congested areas. New operator trainees are required to have a minimum of 200 total driving hours during training. A minimum of 64 of these driving hours are required to be campus specific. The training program was also modified to include the “Smith-System” defensive driving course.

5. Operator refresher training was also initiated during the summer of 2006. Topics included, among others, defensive driving, distracted driving, blind spots/mirrors, intersections and turning movements, emergency management, and fire life safety and evacuation of the bus.

6. Buses have been operating at 20 mph in the central campus since November 2005. District supervisors are monitoring speed with radar guns.

7. Consolidation of bus stops on Lincoln Avenue between Illinois and Pennsylvania was completed August 2006. Bus stops were relocated to deter alighting passengers from crossing in front of stopped buses.

8. Planning is underway with University staff to consolidate bus stops on Green Street which will deter alighting passengers from crossing in front of stopped buses. This is also being studied on Gregory Street by the Library.

9. The City of Champaign and Facilities and Services have installed “LOOK” signs at many intersections based on locations where bus turning movements are made. 10. One issue included in the CATS recommendations was to develop a Safety Awareness Program. Two local firms were contracted by the District to begin this process. The “liveUP Campaign for Campus Safety” began in January 2006. Current sponsors of the program include CATS, the Illinois Student Senate (ISS), Illini Media (Daily Illini, WPGU, and Buzz), Crime Stoppers, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Internet Radio Academy, Champaign-Urbana Walk to School Day Committee, and Domino’s. Discussions are ongoing within CATS to more fully develop this program to encompass broader safety aspects.

11. The District has sponsored various speakers and community forums designed to increase safety awareness. Topics have included items such as walkable communities, innovative bicycle treatments, and traffic calming. The District is the major sponsor of the local “Walk to School Day” program and has sponsored speakers at the UIUC Planning Institute. Topics of speakers at the Institute include street design within community design and pedestrian planning.

12. The District continues to evaluate its services and route structure in an attempt to further reduce turning movements. It is also participating in a number of ongoing studies that affect the relationship of pedestrians, bikes, buses, and autos. The University’s Intermodal Study, The Benekohol Intersection Study, Champaign’s Update of the Transportation Element of their Comprehensive Plan, and the District’s Mobility Implementation Plan of CUAATS’ Long Range Transportation Plan.

13. Advisory Board of Trustee positions were established by the District’s Board of Trustees in July 2006 for the University of Illinois, the Student Senate, the City of Champaign, and the City of Urbana.

These ongoing efforts are a continuation of the District’s dedication to safety and community involvement. For over 33 years the District was fortunate to operate without a single fatality. Fourteen of those years was during the operation of the extensive University of Illinois service. The District’s insurance carrier, St. Paul/Travelers, has reviewed the District’s operation closely and did not identify any significant deficiencies in the District’s training program or operations. Additionally, the District is one of only 22 transit systems to voluntarily submit to an on-going peer review audit of its safety and training program by the American Public Transportation Association.