Pros & Cons of Using the CUMTD Bus System

 

 

The University of Illinois campus and surrounding area is served by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, or CUMTD for short. Chances are if you’re an Illinois student, you’ve used this public transportation system and can relate to these pros and cons!  

PROS

A lot of buses come every 5-10 minutes.

 

 

If you need to catch a certain bus, you probably won’t have to wait long, especially since the more popular routes come every couple of minutes.

 

 

The bus routes and schedules are integrated with Google Maps.

If you need to know how to get from Point A to Point B, simply type where you’re at and where you want to go into the Google Maps app and choose “transit” as the travel mode. It will tell you how to get to the bus stop, which bus to board and at what time, where to get off the bus, and how to get to your destination (if the bus doesn't drop you off right there).

 

 

Real-time updates with SMS messages and the MTD mobile site.

These options will keep you updated for traffic conditions and arrival times with information coming directly from the buses.

It’s better than walking across campus.

Hopping on a bus is a whole lot simpler than trying to run from Point A to Point B and waiting for a hundred different walk signs, especially when you’re on a time crunch! It also beats braving inclement Illinois weather.

You can leave Campustown even if you don’t have a car on campus.

The U of I campus is great, but sometimes you just need a Target run! With the bus system, you can still travel to just about anywhere you might want or need to go, even if you don’t have a vehicle on campus (let’s face it---paying for a parking space is expensive).

It’s free with an i-Card.

Illinois students have access to tons of resources for free with i-Cards, and the MTD bus system is one of them!  

CONS

Figuring out the bus schedules can be confusing.

There are a LOT of different bus routes that run through Campustown!

Waiting for the bus in the cold.

Waiting around for a bus is no big deal when it’s warm outside, but it’s an entirely different story when chilly East Central Illinois winds are blowing in the winter months! The bus shelters can shield the wind to an extent, but the cold still gets in. Pro tip: if there’s a building nearby the bus stop, camp out in the entryway until your bus comes. Transit Plaza is a great place for this with the Illini Union Bookstore’s huge foyer!

How packed the buses are during the winter.

It's no coincidence that everyone suddenly rides the bus as soon as the weather starts to get cold...people are suddenly packed into the bus like sardines!

The buses can run late and be unexpected.

Buses running late = you running late.

There’s lots of germy surfaces.

This is especially gross during flu season---try to touch as few things as possible, and use hand sanitizer after getting off!

When you have to stand up because all the seats are full.

There's nothing like almost falling over or bumping into someone else, desperately clinging to a plastic strap on the ceiling every time the bus driver puts on the brakes.  

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