Vote to improve CUMTD’s invaluable service

By Daily Illini Editorial Board

Although many students are somewhat adjusted to the seemingly perpetual freezing Illinois weather by now, let’s face it: These last few weeks of winter have been brutal. Snow, ice and bitter cold temperatures are not ideal when walking to class. Luckily, students can, and do, bypass the inclement weather with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District’s bus service. With the high frequency of buses running and variety of routes throughout the week, this is a service we much appreciate.

But, like anything else, there’s always room for improvement, and students have the opportunity to make that happen.

This year’s spring referendum will include two questions related to CUMTD service. The first will renew the bus service until 2018, and students would pay a $2 increase in student fees.

The second aims to increase service to the College of Veterinary Medicine, Florida Avenue Residence Hall and Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall. If it passes, the transportation fee will increase by $1 to provide a more direct route.

Students can vote on these questions and more online March 4 and 5 at vote.illinois.edu.

We strongly support voting “yes” to both questions, despite the increased fees, and we hope other students will follow suit. In the long run, what’s an additional $3 — especially in exchange for such a necessary service for so many of us on campus.

The fee already gives us unlimited access to the service, so if raising the price means improving it, why not?

We’re college students — many of us don’t have cars, so the CUMTD service is a faster (and warmer) way for us to get around. For students who live in the farther corners of campus, the bus service is a reliable way to get to class every day.

Adding another bus route for those corners of campus would also benefit our student body — there’s a reason Florida Avenue Residence Hall is called “FAR.”

Not to mention, the buses are useful beyond just the campus area because the CUMTD service helps students travel off campus as well. This provides more opportunities to get acquainted with the area and enjoy the food, shopping and cultural offerings found outside Campustown.

Even though those buses get crowded during these cold winters, we appreciate the brief moments of warmth and reliable transportation CUMTD provides us. As such, we urge students to check out the spring referendum this coming Wednesday and Thursday and consider voting to improve a service that many of us need and utilize every day.