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Get updates on MTD’s summer schedule, Illinois Terminal construction, and latest public hearing

There’s a lot happening with CUMTD this spring including a public hearing scheduled for May, summer service reductions, and a quick update on the construction at the Illinois Terminal.

From the release:

On the upcoming public hearing:

MTD’s annual public hearing on Fall 2015 proposed fare and route & schedule revisions will be Wednesday, May 20 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at CityView on the fourth floor of Illinois Terminal.

MTD staff and members of MTD’s Board of Trustees will be on hand to discuss, answer questions, and hear comments about proposed revisions for Fall 2015.

If you’re not able to attend the hearing, we still want to hear from you! You can submit your comments in writing to MTD’s Managing Director Karl Gnadt at 1101 East University Avenue, Urbana, 61802, send an email to, fill out a feedback form, or call us at 217.384.8188.

The routes marked for improvement are the 1/100 Yellow, 2/20 Red, 5 GREENhopper, 6 Orange, 7 Grey, 9A/9B Brown, and 16 Pink. Some of the revisions only affect the route schedules, not the service path, and will improve on-time performance. MTD is also adding a new campus route thanks to the recent passage of the 2015-2018 University of Illinois student transportation referendum.

On the construction at Illinois Terminal:

April was a month of adjustment for passengers visiting Illinois Terminal, MTD’s intermodal facility in downtown Champaign. Construction took over Platform A as well as the train platform on the second floor as portions of the platform were redone and a retention wall was built for additional support.

A few years ago, MTD staff began noticing cracks along the concrete panels of the train platform. Erosion was the culprit. Around the same time, a rail grinder repair vehicle collided with the platform itself. This caused more damage. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was brought in to assess the damage and provide funds to fix this platform integral to Illinois rail.

“The first week of construction was focused on building the retaining wall,” MTD’s Illinois Terminal Manager, Stu Smith said. “Additional work was done at a later stage to prevent people from standing on the east side of Platform A, but still allow our buses to easily pull in, out, and around.”

The retaining wall was built to support the sloping hill upon which the rail platform sits. The hill was not in a good condition and with multiple Amtrak and Canadian National Rail trains coming through daily it was not getting any better.

“We also had lots of track jumpers,” Smith explained. “These individuals would run up the hill on the east side of the tracks, jump the tracks, and then slide down the opposite side.” In addition to being illegal trespassing, this is incredibly unsafe behavior for the persons crossing the railroad line.

This contributed to the deterioration and the instability of the land as grass and soil were pushed downward. “And that land erosion is where the cracks in the cement panels on the platform came from,” Smith said.

The solution was to construct a retaining wall that makes a support perpendicular to the Chester Street Viaduct. A fence was also built along the rail platform to deter future track hoppers.

To repair the train platform, construction workers replaced cracked concrete panels. The truncated domes, the raised red blocks that customers step on when boarding and alighting Amtrak along the east side of the platform, were replaced along the entire platform.

You’ve likely seen these truncated domes around town at crosswalks. The raised bumps help with traction and serve as detectable warnings that one is crossing into a new area. The truncated domes are felt underfoot as well as heard when a walking device scrapes across them.

The entire project is estimated to be completed in May 2015. All scheduled Amtrak trips have run, and will continue to run, throughout the project.

“This was a compounding problem over the years,” Smith said. “Small repairs were made, but nothing that could really respond to the eroding landscape.”

The retaining wall should prevent future erosion. The repairs to the platform will leave the site in sound condition. And aesthetically, the retaining wall is appealing. Thanks for accommodating the construction, Illinois Terminal guests. We realize this affects more than just MTD buses and we appreciate your patience.

Summer service reductions:

The service reductions begin at the start of the Saturday, May 16 service day. The reductions will lift Friday, August 21 at the start of the service day, the weekend before the University of Illinois Fall Semester.

2 Red Express: There will be no 2 Red Express trips over the summer. These trips are marked in the schedule by “L” and “U” footnotes.

12 Teal: Weekday daytime trips marked with a “U” footnote will not operate. This brings the daytime frequency of the Teal down from 10 minutes to every 20.

13 Silver: Weekday daytime trips marked with a “U” footnote will not operate. This also reduces Silver frequencies to every 20 minutes.

130 Silver Limited: The Limited operates with 20 minute frequencies and an abbreviated route during weekday evenings as well as on Saturday and Sunday.

22/220 Illini Limited: The Limited, with a unique schedule and routing, operates during all daytypes. The Limited operates every 30 minutes on this abbreviated route.

50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini Late Night: All late night trips (after midnight) for these five routes do not operate during the summer.

335 SafeRides: There will be no SafeRides service.

Year round, Sunday evening and late night service is grouped into one schedule. The only Sunday evening and late night service that is ever available is on the 50 Green, 100 Yellow, 120 Teal, 130 Silver, and 220 Illini. But during UI Breaks, including summer, there is no Sunday evening and late night service.

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