VetMed students, staff hope for a CUMTD route to south campus

By Charlotte Collins

Clinical professor Michael Biehl said he constantly has students come to his class late because of the far distance of the College of Veterinary Medicine from the Main Quad.

A typical Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus makes more than a few stops throughout campus and short delays, traffic jams or changed routes can add up by the time students reach the final stop: the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Illinois Student Senate is trying to give students more traveling options. The student senate passed a resolution at its Feb. 18 meeting, adding two questions onto the spring student referendum. The first question aims to renew CUMTD’s service until 2018. Students would pay a $2 increase in their student fees, increasing $1 in the 2016-2017 academic year and $1 in 2017-2018.

The second question aims to improve service to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Florida Avenue Residence Hall and Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall by splitting the 13 Silver bus line to offer a more direct route.

Biehl spoke during public comment, stating a line created specifically with VetMed students in mind could help expedite travel and help keep the buses from being as crowded.

“We have worked with MTD very closely and they’ve tried, but they’ve done about all they can do,” Biehl said. “The end of the silver line is frequently late to our location or sometimes when they get there they’re totally filled by the time they get to us, and they have to wait for the next bus and are sometimes 30 to 40 minutes late.”

If approved by the student body, the transportation fee would increase by $1 to provide an additional route. The 13 Silver would run every 10 minutes on school days, and the new route providing service to VetMed would run every 30 minutes.

Student Body President Mitch Dickey, who sponsored the bill, broke down the costs in the proposal.

“(The primary $1 increase)’s just inflationary, to keep it at the exact same level,” Dickey said. “The second is for another bus route to be created to serve VetMed down in the southern part of campus because right now the service down there is really terrible.”

Vice President-External Matt Hill said the amount of signatures needed to put questions on the ballot were obtained, and students can vote on March 4 and 5 online at vote.illinois.edu.

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