MTD buses provide rides to students on and off campus

When there’s somewhere you need to go, whether you are rushing for class or heading out for the night, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, commonly known as MTD, buses will get you there.

Especially during the winter months, MTD saves students from the harsh winters by providing transportation all around campus and into downtown Champaign, Urbana and even out to local grocery/shopping centers.  

The 22 Illini makes stops throughout the entire campus, from the Illini Union to the Activities and Recreation Center to Siebel Center, and will be commonly used by those living near the Ikenberry Commons. If you’re headed out to see a football game, the 280 tranSPORT will take you to Memorial Stadium. 

In most cases, it is easiest to ask a resident adviser which buses are the best to get you to your dorm the fastest, as it truly depends on which dorm you live in. The sooner you learn basic routes to get to and from classes and popular spots, the better off you’ll be. Free books are available at the front of the bus that lay out each route. 

There are several apps to download from your mobile device which will either give a time-table of when busses approach stops or real-time updates on how many minutes it’ll take for the bus to arrive. For iPhone users, I recommend using the app “Illini Bus.” 

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Bus etiquette is quite simple. Depending on which bus you take, the bus driver might ask to see your iCard, so always keep it handy. 

If you don’t have an iCard, you can pay a $1 fee to ride the bus. When you’re hoping off, don’t forget to thank your driver. 

If the bus is packed and tons of people are standing, feel free to sit in an empty seat rather than take up space standing. Pull the yellow rope when you’re approaching your stop, and push the back doors’ handles for them to open. 

Additionally, MTD provides a service called SafeRides, which can be used when one does not have a reliable way to get home. The services begins once the sun sets and continues until 6:30 a.m. By calling (217) 265-7433, the shuttle will pick you up and drop you off within the buses’ boundaries. 

MTD also offers SafeWalks, a service where one can call (217) 333-1216 and patrols will meet you at your location and walk you home. This service is available from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Saturday, but it does start at 7 p.m. after Oct. 20 because the sun sets earlier.  

After a late night during the first week of my freshman year, I used SafeRides to bring me back to my dorm, which was an easy option compared to walking through Champaign-Urbana at night. 

Ultimately, the buses practically run the streets and make campus life incredibly manageable without a car. 

Megan is a sophomore in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @MeganAsh_Jones.