MTD sets record for passengers

CHAMPAIGN — Unofficially, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses carried a record number of passengers in October.

Approximately 1.36 million riders boarded MTD buses in October, Managing Director Bill Volk told the MTD board on Wednesday, the last day of the month.

October 2004 was the previous monthly record-holder with 1.3 million riders.

Although Champaign-Urbana generally has poorer weather in November, December and January, those months also have fewer attendance days by University of Illinois students, faculty and staff, who account for the majority of MTD riders.

"October and February traditionally are our highest months of the year. October has 31 days and depending on how those days come about in terms of the maximum number of weekdays, it can be a big month," Volk explained. "And there are no holidays in October. This year we've got the maximum number of weekdays and our ridership is up anyway. So we will get in the neighborhood of 1,360,000 rides for this month."

Last October the MTD carried 1.2 million riders.

Last weekend was an unusually busy one for the bus system, Volk said.

"We had over 30,000 rides on Saturday. A normal Saturday is 23,000 to 24,000. We had (University of Illinois) homecoming, football traffic and just a lot of activity around town and around campus," he said.

MTD buses carried another 13,000 riders on Sunday as well.

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