MTD sets bus policies for Unofficial


Ryan Fang | The Daily Illini

A student boards the 220N bus at the Transit Plaza.

By Megan Xu, Contributing Writer

While the bus service on campus is many students’ first choice of transportation, there are certain rules to be aware of on Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.

The rules for Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses will not change on Unofficial and operators are trained to use their best judgment when deciding whether to allow a passenger to ride, wrote Lisa Meid, media manager at MTD, in an email.  

“As long as they can get themselves on the bus, then I think they are okay. If you can’t walk yourself and get yourself on a bus, you are that drunk — they won’t let you get on the bus,” said Chris Laroe, a bus driver at MTD.

The company has a no eating or drinking policy for the buses, so alcohol will not be allowed on Unofficial.

“All policies apply whether it’s Unofficial or a Friday night or a Monday morning. All of our policies are policies,” said Kim Paris, another bus driver at MTD. “But the most important thing is being safe. If we ever have a situation, we can call a supervisor who’ll handle the situation.”

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SafeRides shares the same philosophy of providing assistance and rides, but it does not pick up at bars. Meid said if a person appears to be in need of medical assistance, operators will radio for help, but they may refuse a ride.

“One guideline we have is that if operators witness others helping a passenger who is unconscious or who seems to be coming in and out of consciousness, they radio for supervisor assistance and METCAD is notified so that the person can receive medical care,” Meid said.

MTD has worked with campus police departments, municipalities and University officials to communicate the need for safe practices on Unofficial, including safety messages on WPGU and interior signs with messages from the dean of students.

Usually, there’s an uptick in need for bus services in the Campustown area on Unofficial. Meid said students who participate in Unofficial need to be aware of all vehicular traffic in Campustown, including buses.

“MTD takes our mission of providing mobility to Illinois students very seriously and we work hard to help in any way we can during events like Unofficial. We know that some students will participate in Unofficial and others will not and we plan, staff and act accordingly so that everyone receives the service they need and expect from us,” Meid said.

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