C-U Mass Transit District

C-U Mass Transit District

By The News-Gazette

Don´t have a car to get around? Champaign-Urbana´s Mass Transit District can get you where you need to go.

MTD offers a variety of transportation services, starting with its award-winning bus service, but not ending there. Here´s a quick look at them, courtesy of MTD:

Fixed routes

All MTD regular fixed routes are served by buses equipped with wheelchair ramps that can be lowered to aid boarding. A maximum of two wheelchairs can be accommodated on each bus. The operator will kneel (lower) the bus upon request if you need this assistance to board. All fixed route buses are equipped with a bicycle rack capable of holding two bicycles.

Express Service

This service is a variation of the fixed-route service which typically operates on special routing ONLY during peak hours.

Direct Service

This is a van service that operates within designated areas not served by fixed routes. It provides a connection from outlying areas to fixed-route service.

ADA Paratransit Service

This curb-to-curb transportation service is available to persons with disabilities who are unable to use fixed-route services. ADA Paratransit service is by reservation only, and all reservations must be made at least one day prior to service. All eligible riders must submit an application and be registered prior to using the service. Contact ADA customer service at 384-8188 for application information.

Half-Fare Cab Program

A supplement to fixed-route service for DASH pass holders, the Half-Fare Cab Program offers discounted rides taken within the MTD boundaries.

Please contact ADA Customer Service at 384-8188 for the list of participating cab companies and complete program guidelines.

The starting spot

Illinois Terminal is a hub of not just MTD bus services but also charter and fixed-route long-haul buses, shuttle services and Amtrak train service. Located at 45 E. University Ave., C, the terminal has an MTD Customer Service Center on the first floor, reachable by phone at 384-3577.

Have a question about MTD? Complete information services are available. Free route and schedule booklets are available on all MTD vehicles, at Illinois Terminal, or can be mailed upon request.

Telephone information lines are open whenever MTD buses are operating. The MTD also maintains a Web site with complete route and schedule information as well as multiple functions to aid in planning your trip. In addition to the main customer service number at 384-8188, MTD maintains a number for the hearing-impaired at 384-7433.

The MTD Web site, at www.cumtd.com, is an information-packed resource for regular riders of MTD services, as well as infrequent riders and visitors.
Providing information about MTD routes, services and programs, it is also a great way to keep up to date about MTD activities and projects.

The MTD website also features many interactive components. You can plan your trip, learn when the next bus will depart from your bus stop, and even receive e-mail or SMS messages if there are reroutes or alerts on the routes you use. (See story on STOPwatch services on next page.)


Regular fare is $1 per one-way ride with one free transfer. Operators can make change up to $5 before 7 p.m.; after that time, exact change is required Adult tokens have been discontinued.

An annual adult pass costs $60.

School fare for high school and younger students is $1. Students may purchase six school tokens, each valid for a one-way ride, for $3. School tokens are accepted at all times. Only youths in high school and younger are eligible to use school tokens. Also available is a range of prepaid passes, including special DASH Card passes for senior citizens and riders with disabilities.

Passes can be purchased at Illinois Terminal during normal business hours.


Of course, a big part of MTD´s service is getting people around the University of Illinois campus. All eligible University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff have unlimited access to all routes and services at all times. All eligible students, faculty, and staff are required to present their valid identification card when riding community services.

Employees of allied organizations eligible to rent parking on campus who do not have an i-Card may be eligible for unlimited access. Qualified individuals can obtain an unlimited access card at Illinois Terminal.

For bicyclists who need to bring along their two-wheeled steeds, all MTD regular routes are served by buses equipped with bike racks. A maximum of two bicycles can be accommodated on each bike rack. Bikes ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying passenger. More detailed tips on using the bike rack are available at cumtd.com.


MTD services do not operate in observance of the following holidays: New Year´s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas

No evening service is provided on Christmas Eve or New Year´s Eve.


As with any form of public transportation, reasonable rules of conduct apply. For detailed rules, visit cumtd.com.

Other transportation

Danville Mass Transit

Danville operates a bus service in that city as well as service from Danville to Champaign. You can get more information, including fare and route information, from the city’s website, cityofdanville.org. Discounts are offered for some riders and free rides for seniors, children, and most persons with disabilities.


Champaign-Urbana has several Zipcars, which are available to members on a per-hour basis. The fee covers fuel and insurance. Cars are available in downtown Champaign, the University of Illinois campus, and at Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana.

Rail travel

Amtrak stops in Champaign at the Illinois Terminal for routes going north and south.

Intercity buses

Also at the Illinois Terminal are stops for Greyhound, Burlington Trailways, LEX Express and Megabus. Bus shuttle service also is available from campus to Chicago and suburbs.

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