The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

MTD Board meeting covers ridership numbers, Eagle Express route 

Candice Zhou
An MTD bus arrives at Transit Plaza on Thursday.

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District exceeded pre-pandemic ridership numbers for the first time this August, alongside a record-breaking enrollment year for the University. 

The statistic was announced on Wednesday at the MTD Board’s monthly public meeting at 3 p.m. in the Illinois Terminal.

“We’re seeing increases in ridership across all fare types, so I don’t think that’s isolated to the University, but that’s a major contribution,” said Amy Snyder, chief of staff of MTD, between scatterings of applause.

August recorded a total of 779,102 riders compared to August 2019’s 708,465. During the pandemic, 2020’s August ridership reached a low of 266,497.

The University’s enrollment report, which is released on the 10th day of every fall semester, reported its own record-highs for the 2023-24 enrollment period. The number of enrolled applicants (8,325) attending the University broke every other enrollment number since 2014. 

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    The acceptance rate for the 2023-24 year was the lowest it has been since 2014 as well, with only 43.7% of applicants being admitted.

    The board also voted to continue the Eagle Express service for Rantoul with no opposition. The service, which has steadily increased its ridership to 2,000 riders a month since its implementation in 2016, was originally set to end in October. The service has been extended to 2026.

    “This, I think, is one of the better services we provide as an agency,” said Phil Fiscilla, member of the board. “There’s a lot of people who live in Rantoul but work or attend Parkland College here in Champaign or vice versa.”

    The Village of Rantoul will continue to pay a portion of the cost of the three buses, known as C-CARTS, for the remainder of the service.

    The board meeting and its board packet, which includes further statistics on the information disclosed during the meeting, can be found and watched online on the MTD website

    The next public meeting will be held on Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Illinois Terminal.


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    About the Contributor
    Candice Zhou, Assistant Photo Editor
    Hey! My name is Candice Zhou, and I’m a junior majoring in accounting and finance. I joined The Daily Illini in spring 2022 as a photographer and am now the assistant photo editor. I love music and singing (I am currently in a band called Too Soon!). I also like traveling, watching movies, playing tennis, etc. Fun fact about me: I am a DJ! If you have any questions, feel free to email me!