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35 tion standard (18), and explored alternative configurations in November 1970, and the ChampaignUrbana Mass Transit that would meet the needs for the BC Transit fleet. District (MTD) began operations in August 1971 (20,21). The resulting designs are discussed in detail in a previous A 1993 trade journal article listing reasons and conditions TCRP synthesis report (19), but a standard approach when transit agencies should consider articulated buses emerged from these efforts. Figure 20 illustrates this standard prompted MTD's interest in articulated buses. Because the approach as it appears on the current generation of low-floor MTD met all of the needed conditions, a search began. double-deck buses. There are two wheelchair positions: Owing to limited capital funds, new buses were not feasible, and 13 1981 Crown Ikarus articulated buses were purchased A roadside "combi design" position where the wheel- from the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky. One bus chair can be positioned in either a forward-facing or a was cannibalized for parts, and the remaining 12 were placed rear-facing direction, and in revenue service on July 1, 1994. The Crown Ikarus vehi- A curbside rear-facing position. cles were replaced with new low-floor diesel-powered artic- ulated buses in 2001. The rear-facing position includes a padded backrest and a The MTD in 2007 operates a fleet of 100 buses of which wall-mounted retractable belt to prevent tipping of the wheel- 12 are articulated buses. The ridership in 2006 was approx- chair. The rear-facing position provides more independence to imately 9.6 million. The total service area is about 30 square customers in wheelchairs, provides a more rapid positioning of miles, and there are 24 week-day day-time routes, which are the wheelchair, and is generally preferred by customers. The divided into community service (18 routes) and campus rear-facing wheelchair position has been valuable in reducing service (6 routes). dwell time and maintaining schedule on the double-deck buses. Why Higher Capacity Buses CHAMPAIGNURBANA (ILLINOIS) MASS TRANSIT and How They Are Used DISTRICT: SMALL SYSTEMS CAN EFFECTIVELY USE HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES The primary reason MTD chose the articulated bus was to The twin cities of Champaign and Urbana have a combined save on labor costs. Because operator cost is approximately population of approximately 110,700 and are the home of a 70% of total operating costs, the HC articulated bus appeared large university, the University of Illinois, with a student pop- to be an obvious choice. A secondary reason for using artic- ulation of more than 42,700. The combined population of ulated buses was to reduce street congestion. The articulated faculty, staff, and students of approximately 53,700 makes the buses are used on two campus and two community routes. campus area a busy and challenging transportation issue to solve. Buses began operating on the streets of the small twin The major use of the articulated buses is to handle the heavy cities as early as 1925. National City Lines, which operated the campus loads on the 21 Quad and the 26 Pack routes. On each system through World War II, was later sold to Westover route, four articulated buses replaced eight 40-ft buses. During Transit Management, which suffered the familiar decline in peaks, an articulated bus and a 40-ft bus are used in mixed- public transit ridership in the years after the war. A referendum vehicle service on the 13 Silver route, which provides service to create a mass transit district was overwhelmingly approved from an off-campus housing and commercial area to the main campus. One articulated bus is used in an afternoon supple- mental service on the 7 Grey route. Two articulated buses are held in reserve and for scheduled maintenance. Reasons Higher Capacity Buses Work So Well: Fare Collection and Short Dwell Times All University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff have un- limited access to all MTD routes and services at all times by presenting a valid I-card to the operator. All campus routes are "open" service; that is, no fare is collected, enabling all three wide doors to be used for boarding and exiting, mini- mizing dwell times. Many of the community service routes intersect with campus routes, which provide excellent con- nectivity for the students with community services and for commuting by the faculty and staff. Fares are collected on FIGURE 20 Wheelchair positions on BC Transit low-floor double-deck buses: Combi system roadside and rear-facing community routes and boarding is limited to the first door. system curbside. Note: Both wheelchair positions have About 87% of the community routes fares are prepaid. As a backrests with flip-down seats. result, about 92% of all fares are prepaid for MTD.

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36 Campus Service Operations MTD currently has STOPwatch passenger information dis- plays at 14 major stops. Six are in the Champaign and Urbana The 22 Quad and the 26 Pack are similar campus routes that communities and eight are located along campus routes. The provide access from large student residence halls to the main STOPwatch sign displays the minutes to a bus departure in real campus buildings. Both provide 5-min headway service from time (integrated with an automatic vehicle location system) for 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 7-min headway service from 4:30 the routes using that particular bus stop. The display is essen- p.m. to 7:17 p.m.. The weekday passenger ridership for tially a countdown to the next bus departure for a given route. 21 Quad is 5,700 and 5,200 for 26 Pack. MTD experiences MTD also has STOPwatch Plus at two locations, the Illinois peak periods throughout the day (approximately 20 min be- Terminal and the Lincoln Residence Halls, that display time fore and after the hour), with loads of 129 per bus on 21 Quad and date, and messages for re-route and safety information. and 118 per bus on 26 Pack. A typical peak-period dwell time is approximately 34 s. Figure 21 shows a map for the 21 Quad. The information displayed on STOPwatch is available in a number of ways: cell phones, PDAs, and laptops may ac- The route is approximately 4 miles in length and average cess the information through a wireless application protocol, travel time for the route is approximately 15 min. The buses or by text messaging to the MTD number or by widget.web have brief layovers at the student residence halls. using a browser. Figure 22 shows a STOPwatch display at a stop served by all campus and several community routes. The 13 Silver route provides transportation for students from an off-campus residential community to the main Mass Transit District Articulated Bus: campus. This route is assigned one articulated bus, and one High Loads and Short Dwell Times 40-ft bus is added during peak periods. During weekdays, a 30-min scheduled service is provided in both directions from The buses are equipped with 47 seats and hip rests in the ar- 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.. ticulated joint. The decision to use of hip rests versus seats FIGURE 21 Map for 21 Quad route.

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37 FIGURE 24 21 Quad articulated bus at student residence hall stop. four looking forward and aft covering the entire interior, and one looking forward through the windshield. The buses have FIGURE 22 STOPwatch display at Wright Street stop. two or three (articulated has three) strobe lights (light emit- ting diodes) on each side of the bus that flash when the left or was to accommodate more passengers. The hip rests are right turn signal or 4-ways flashers are on. The reason for the shown in Figure 23. Eight passengers can easily use the hip flashing lights is to alert motorists and pedestrians that the rests compared with two double seats, which would accom- bus will be turning and to reduce incidents at intersections. modate only four. Because trips are short, having a majority MTD buses are also equipped with an audio "beep" signal as standees is not a problem. The buses have three doors; the that is activated when the right turn signal is on to alert pedes- second and third doors are extra wide (44 in.) to facilitate trians that the bus is making a right turn. The capital cost of shorter dwell times. The entire right (curb) side of the articu- the bus was $425,000. MTD articulated buses are shown in lated bus kneels to facilitate quicker dwell times. Crush loads Figures 24 and 25. In Figure 24, a 21 Quad bus is waiting at as high as 130 have been observed on the buses. the residence halls stop with all doors open for boarding. Fig- ure 25 is a 13 Silver bus at the Illini Union stop with side The wheelchair ramp is installed in the first door so that the strobes flashing. Passengers are only boarding at the first operators can observe the operation without leaving their seat door because this is a community service bus. and, if assistance is requested, the operator would not have to work through a crowded interior to get to a second door. Mass Transit District Maintenance Facilities The articulated buses used by MTD are New Flyer D60LF equipped with Cummins ISL330 engines and Voith trans- At the time articulated buses were being considered, MTD missions. MTD uses a 5% blend of bio-diesel with their low was constructing a new maintenance facility that was de- sulfur diesel fuel. MTD buses have eight closed circuit tele- signed to accommodate MTD 30- to 60-ft vehicles. MTD vision cameras installed in the bus: one for each doorway, has one pit that is 60 ft in length and equipped with a mov- FIGURE 23 Hip rests used in MTD articulated buses. FIGURE 25 13 Silver articulated bus at the Illini Union stop.

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38 able axle jack. They also have one three-post in-ground would take the bus air compressor to fully charge the bus air hoist. The two end posts are movable and can accommodate system). vehicles of 30 to 60 ft in length. MTD hoist equipment is shown in Figure 26. With the addition of articulated buses to the fleet, some bus stop zones and layovers were lengthened to accommo- date the added length of the articulated bus. For some stops Modifications Made to Accommodate this required the loss of some on-street parking. The maneu- Articulated Buses verability of the articulated bus was equal to the 40-ft bus, so no roadway modifications were required. Only a few modifications were done after the facility was built. One was to extend the paint booth approximately 6 ft to accommodate the articulated buses. All MTD buses are Mass Transit District Operating stored in a garage. The only change implemented to accom- and Maintenance Costs modate the articulated bus was to relocate the air hose drops Overall, MTD is pleased with the performance of their artic- for the three rows assigned to these buses. Four articulated ulated buses. On a vehicle-mile basis, the maintenance buses require the same length that six 40-ft buses require; expenses compared with that for a 40-ft bus are higher. How- therefore, the entire garage space is utilized. MTD maintains ever, that is to be expected because there is more equipment a full air charge on all buses in storage. This reduces opera- (e.g., door, axle, brakes, and tires) to be maintained on an tor time for pull out by approximately 4 to 6 min (the time it articulated bus. MTD articulated buses had traveled approx- imately 79,700 miles; however, there had not been any brake maintenance required, because of the effectiveness of the retarder. Table 31 provides a summary of operating and maintenance costs for MTD articulated and 40-ft buses on a vehicle-mile basis. The total costs include all operational costs except for the operator costs. Because MTD has been able to replace two 40-ft buses with one articulated bus, the articulated bus operating and maintenance costs on a passen- ger transported basis look good. TABLE 31 MTD OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE EXPERIENCE WITH ARTICULATED BUSES Total Operating Fuel Maintenance and Maintenance Bus Type Consumption Parts Cost Cost (mpg) ($/vehicle-mile) ($/vehicle-mile) Articulated 2.58 $0.27 $1.05 40-ft 4.04 $0.11 $0.60 FIGURE 26 MTD hoist equipment for articulated buses. Source: MTD.