Planned changes to MTD bus routes take effect

A+120W+Teal+MTD+bus+arrives+at+the+Pennsylvania+Avenue+Residence+Hall+on+April+10%2C+2021.+MTD+has+announced+changes+to+bus+routes+22%2F220+Illini%2C+12+Teal%2C+13%2F130+Silver+and+the+10+Gold+as+the+beginning+of+the+school+year+approaches.+

Brigida Dockus

A 120W Teal MTD bus arrives at the Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall on April 10, 2021. MTD has announced changes to bus routes 22/220 Illini, 12 Teal, 13/130 Silver and the 10 Gold as the beginning of the school year approaches.

By Willie Cui, News Editor

As a result of an ongoing shortage of bus drivers, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District decided to make changes to the bus service on several of its high-traffic routes, which went into effect on Sunday.

These changes affected the 22/220 Illini, 12 Teal, 13/130 Silver and 10 Gold bus routes, and mainly consisted of making bus frequencies on those routes more uniform.

“We’ve made improvements to fill in frequency gaps to provide a more consistent and reliable service during this recovery period,” said Autumn Soliman, marketing manager for MTD, in an email statement. 

According to an MTD press release, buses on the 22/220 Illini route now run with a frequency of one bus every 15 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during the evening, rather than the varied 10 to 20 minute frequencies of previous years.

Similarly, buses on the 12 Teal bus route run every 10 to 20 minutes during the day and every 20 to 30 minutes to Orchard Downs. In previous years, the route’s bus frequency varied between 10 and 30 minutes for its daytime service and its Orchard Downs service had a bus frequency between 30 and 50 minutes.

The 13/130 Silver route previously saw buses run every 10 to 30 minutes during the day and every 40 minutes in the evening. With the new changes, the buses servicing the 13/130 route now run every 15 minutes during the day, while keeping the 40-minute frequency for in the evenings.

For the 10 Gold route, MTD plans to run buses every 30 minutes for stops west of Lot E-14 and east of Lincoln Square, while retaining the same 10 to 20-minute frequency from previous years for stops in between those two locations.

Additionally, MTD consolidated several bus stops on Lincoln Avenue into two new stops named Lincoln & Park East Side and Lincoln & Church West Side.

These changes came after MTD made a series of service reductions in the past few months, which it then announced would remain in place until further notice in January 2022. 

With that in mind, MTD began considering ways to restructure service on its most-used bus routes in order to improve service the following year. The proposed changes were presented at a hearing on May 16 for public comment. 

“Annual modifications vary in scope and may include schedule adjustments, updated route paths and changes to bus stops,” Soliman said. “Great care is taken whenever adjustments are made to ensure both safety and customer service remain a top priority.”

 

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