Springfield, IL – With the Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) on the verge of multiple changes that will impact passengers, operators and everyone interacting with public transportation in the Springfield area, SMTD is providing an additional avenue for the public to make their own suggestions on the website.

“We are just weeks away from releasing a new Passenger Guide, we are implementing new onboard technology, demolition is underway at the area of the new off-street transfer center, which will necessitate a change in several of our current bus routes, and following the completion of the current technology upgrade, we are planning to upgrade fare collection,” said Steve Schoeffel, Service Planning & Marketing Specialist for SMTD.

Schoeffel explains the new Passenger Guide will replace SMTD folding maps and schedules with an easier-to-use booklet containing all of the information from the maps and schedules along with other information passengers would have to visit the website for currently. The onboard technology upgrades will include real-time information for passengers, GPS-controlled destination sign changes and automated stop announcements. The new Transfer Center will provide a safer base of operations for daytime and nighttime service, and a re-design of SMTD’s routes will allow for more-efficient service, more consistent schedules and overall better bus service geared toward current and projected demand.

“As an agency that deals with public transportation day-in and day-out, we obviously have ideas on how to make improvements,” Schoeffel added. “But now, early in the process, we want to open up an avenue for passengers and the general public to tell us what they would like to see as we update the system. What would make them use the system more, and what would make residents not currently using transit consider SMTD as a viable transportation option?”

While the SMTD website has allowed for general comment for a while, a special “Share Your Ideas” link and page has been built, including an online form where passengers can make suggestions or requests. The information collected will be seen regularly by staff, and will be collected and included with any public comment records kept for the associated changes.

“We see this as an opportunity for stakeholders in SMTD’s area of service to make the kind of suggestions for larger changes that aren’t often on the agenda of a typical public comment session set up for a narrowly-defined individual project,” Schoeffel continued. “We still will have to work within – or possibly with less than – our current budget, but this is one of the few opportunities we, as an agency, have had to encourage and collect feedback on our overall system so early in the process – long before statutory public comment requirements.”


Posted
AuthorSMTD

On Saturday, May13, 2017 at 6:00am, due to the 5K event downtown,
the transfer center will be located on the south side of Monroe (State Capitol side) between
2nd & College, returning to the regular transfer center at 5th & Capitol at 11:45am. Routes will
stage as follows:

  • Between College and Spring on Monroe:
    • 1 N. 5th
    • 2 N. 9th
    • 3 Grandview
    • 4 W. Jefferson
    • 5 N. Walnut
    • 7 W. Washington
    • 13 MacArthur/Westchester
    • 16 Bergen Park/Sand Hill
    • 18 Lawrence/Knox Knolls
  • Between Spring and 2nd Streets on Monroe:
    • 6 E. Cook
    • 8 1st/Highland
    • 9 M.L. King
    • 10 Southern View/Laketown
    • 11 UIS
    • 14 Wabash/Prairie Crossing
    • 15 So. 11th/UIS/LLC

In November, the Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) Board of Trustees, responding to delays in state payments and continued uncertainty in the state budget moving forward, approved reductions in night service hours proposed in the previous board meeting. Those changes will go into effect Monday, January 9th and include:

  • Elimination of Saturday Night Service
  • Elimination of Night Service Route 904
  • Reduction of all Night Service Monday through Friday by one hour.

Night service after the change will consist of one-hour trips at 6:45, 7:45, 8:45 and 9:45 on the current routes 901, 902, 903 and 905. The nighttime UIS Express to the west side will continue to run Monday through Thursday at 7:15p, 8:15p, 9:15p and 10:15p. Passengers will still be picked up at the bus shelter at Farnham and Lindsay in front of Founders Hall Bookstore.

“Some perceived these cuts as SMTD reducing costs solely by reducing service,” said Steve Schoeffel, SMTD Service Planning & Marketing Specialist. “In fact, these service reductions are just one of several avenues we are exploring to reduce costs.”

Over $600,000 in savings from everything from administrative contracts for items such as office cleaning to millions in capital projects requiring hundreds of thousands in matching local funds being put on hold are being considered. The roughly $180,000 in cost savings from the night service reductions are less than one third of what is already being done while SMTD awaits delayed payments and a clearer budget picture from the state. In addition, technology improvements already approved have been scaled back to still allow for the project to move forward without risking loss of the federal grant funding already committed, but on a longer implementation schedule to allow SMTD more financial flexibility.

“All of these measures add up to a significant amount, and, hopefully, this will get us through for a while without further, more substantial cuts,” Schoeffel added. “We believe this is the least-painful way we can reduce costs and still maintain core services moving forward.”

Should the district’s funding stabilize in the next few months, SMTD plans to re-evaluate these reductions and would consider re-starting services where appropriate.


Posted
AuthorSMTD

The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) announced today details for upcoming holiday hours.
SMTD will have regular night service on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, December 31st, with the last buses leaving the night transfer center north of the Old State Capitol for their final trip at 10:45pm.

SMTD does not provide service on Sundays, and there will be no service on Monday, January 2nd for the New Year Holiday. We wish our employees and customers a safe and Happy New Year, and we look forward to 2017!


Posted
AuthorSMTD

The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD) Board of Trustees, responding to delays in state payments and continued uncertainty in the state budget moving forward, approved reductions in night service hours proposed in the previous board meeting, with one exception. Weeknight Night Service will be reduced by only one hour rather than two hours, as was previously proposed.

  • Elimination of Saturday Night Service - Saturday Night Service is a new service which began just two months ago. While passengers who have begun to use the service will be inconvenienced, this service requires extra maintenance, dispatch and paratransit staff in addition to the operators required on the routes.
  • Elimination of Night Service Route 904 - Night Service Route 904 runs opposite the 903 along the same route on the west side. Route 904 passengers may be inconvenienced, but route 903 ensures night service will remain in one direction along that route. The change will reduce overall night service by 20% while still leaving passengers another option.
  • Reduction of all Night Service Monday through Friday by one hour - The elimination of the last current trip of weeknight service reduces all aspects of SMTD operational costs by one hour five days a week. Similar to Saturday service, this service requires extra maintenance, dispatch and paratransit staff in addition to the operators required to run the route. Night service after the change would consist of one-hour trips at 6:45, 7:45, 8:45 and 9:45 on the current routes 901, 902, 903 and 905.

“Dozens of passengers commented either at one of our three meetings or online, and, as is always the case, those comments were presented to the board for their review and consideration,” said Steve Schoeffel, SMTD’s Service Planning & Marketing Specialist. “While no one wants service reductions, the vast majority of public comment dealt with hardships that would be caused by the 40% reduction in weeknight service hours.”

He added SMTD is taking other steps to reduce cost outside of service reductions.

“Some perceive these cuts as SMTD reducing costs solely by reducing service,” continued Schoeffel. “In fact, these service reductions are just one of several avenues we are exploring to reduce costs.”

Over $600,000 in savings from everything from administrative contracts for items such as office cleaning to millions in capital projects requiring hundreds of thousands in matching local funds being put on hold are being considered. The roughly $180,000 in cost savings from the night service reductions are less than one third of what is already being done while SMTD awaits delayed payments and a clearer budget picture from the state. In addition, technology improvements already approved have been scaled back to still allow for the project to move forward without risking loss of the federal grant funding already committed, but on a longer implementation schedule to allow SMTD more financial flexibility.

“All of these measures add up to a significant amount, and, hopefully, this will get us through for a while without further, more substantial cuts,” Schoeffel added. “We believe this is the least-painful way we can reduce costs and still maintain core services moving forward.”


Posted
AuthorSMTD

As usual, buses will be in service on Veterans Day (Friday, November 9th) but will be running Saturday schedules which means some routes will run every hour instead of every half-hour. We have included this holiday service in our GTFS data so that supported navigation apps will be able to give you the correct information.

Additionally, the daytime transfer center will be moved one block south to 5th & Jackson during the Veterans Day parade, from approximately 8:15 AM to 11:45 AM. After the parade concludes the transfer center will be moved back to its normal location at 5th & Capitol


Springfield, IL – The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD), as it prepares to take public comment on Friday, Nov. 4th, at Lincoln Public Library in Springfield, is adding a public comment meeting on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS).

Public Comment Meeting
Wednesday, Nov. 16th
4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Public Affairs Center
Room H
UIS

The meeting is intended to facilitate comment by UIS students, who make up a large percentage of SMTD passengers. However, the meeting is open to the public as well.
Public comment is being accepted on proposed reductions in service due to delayed state payments and uncertainty in future state funding. Proposed reductions are as follows:

  • Elimination of Saturday Night Service - Saturday Night Service is a new service which began less than two months ago. While passengers who have begun to use the service will be inconvenienced, this service requires extra maintenance, dispatch and paratransit staff in addition to the operators required on the routes.
  • Elimination of Night Service Route 904 - Night Service Route 904 runs opposite the 903 along the same route on the west side. Route 904 passengers may be inconvenienced, but route 903 ensures night service will remain in one direction along that route. The proposed change will reduce overall night service by 20% while still leaving passengers another clear option.
  • Reduction of all Night Service Monday through Friday by two hours - The proposed elimination of the last two current trips of weeknight service reduces all aspects of SMTD operational costs by ten hours per week. Similar to Saturday service, this service requires extra maintenance, dispatch and paratransit staff in addition to the operators required to run the routes. Night service after the change would consist of one-hour trips at 6:45, 7:45, and 8:45 on the current routes 901, 902, 903 and 905.
  • Impact on Access Springfield paratransit service - Reductions in SMTD regular service hours will impact Access passengers as well. Access paratransit service runs the same hours as SMTD mainline service. So, any reduction in service hours at the end of that day on weekdays and on Saturdays will reduce paratransit service hours by an equal amount.

Passengers and other interested Springfield area residents not able to attend one of the public meetings can also provide comment by filling out the online form here.


Posted
AuthorSMTD

Springfield, IL – The Springfield Mass Transit District (SMTD), responding to delays in state payments and continued uncertainty in the state budget moving forward, will collect public comment on proposed changes to night service. Passengers and other interested Springfield area residents can provide comments online on this page or by attending one of two sessions open to the public at Lincoln Library on November 4th. The sessions will take place in the Carnegie Room North from Noon to 1:30 PM and from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM Friday, November 4th. Following are the proposed changes:

  • Elimination of Saturday Night Service - Saturday Night Service is a new service which began less than two months ago. While passengers who have begun to use the service will be inconvenienced, this service requires extra maintenance, dispatch and paratransit staff in addition to the operators required on the routes.
  • Elimination of Night Service Route 904 - Night Service Route 904 runs opposite the 903 along the same route on the west side. Route 904 passengers may be inconvenienced, but route 903 ensures night service will remain in one direction along that route. The proposed change will reduce overall night service by 20% while still leaving passengers another clear option.
  • Reduction of all Night Service Monday through Friday by two hours - The proposed elimination of the last two current trips of weeknight service reduces all aspects of SMTD operational costs by ten hours per week. Similar to Saturday service, this service requires extra maintenance, dispatch and paratransit staff in addition to the operators required to run the routes. Night service after the change would consist of one-hour trips at 6:45, 7:45, and 8:45 on the current routes 901, 902, 903 and 905.
  • Impact on Access Springfield paratransit service - Reductions in SMTD regular service hours will impact Access passengers as well. Access paratransit service runs the same hours as SMTD mainline service. So, any reduction in service hours at the end of that day on weekdays and on Saturdays will reduce paratransit service hours by an equal amount.

The downtown Lincoln Library at 7th & Capitol was selected for reasonably easy access for bus passengers, with the Transfer Center just two blocks west and nearby bus stops at 8th & Capitol on Routes 2, 9 and 15 outbound, and at 7th & Monroe on Routes 3 and 16 outbound. Click here for directions (via Google Transit).

“SMTD is required to collect public comment which is then submitted to our Board of Trustees before a vote is taken on service reductions,” said Steve Schoeffel, Service Planning & Marketing Specialist. “With an online option and meetings scheduled over the lunch hour and after work hours in a central location like the library, we are providing multiple avenues for the public to make their voices heard. If the state budget situation is not resolved, this could be just the first of further reductions needed in order to still be able to provide core services.”

In addition to submitting public commit, SMTD is asking passengers and supporters of public transportation to contact local legislators and leaders up to the State Comptroller and Governor’s Office to voice their concerns over state funding delays and how the loss of these and any other SMTD services would affect them.


The Route 66 Mother Road Festival will be taking place this weekend, from Friday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 25th. As a result both the day and night bus transfer centers will be moved to the 5th & Jackson area (about a block south of the usual daytime transfer center) on Friday and Saturday. Any regular stops contained within the street closures will not be in operation.

Here's a map showing the stops for each route and the street closures (click here to open in new window):

More information about the Route 66 Mother Road Festival:


Posted
AuthorSMTD
CategoriesTransfer Center

August 27th will be the first night of Saturday night service, extending current Monday through Friday night service to now include Saturday nights. 

“Tight budgets can make expanding service a challenge, but we have discussed Saturday night service for some time, and we are pleased to be able to offer Springfield this additional transportation option,” said SMTD Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Brewer. 

SMTD currently runs five hourly night service routes Monday through Friday beginning at 6:45PM and ending at 11:45PM. Night service routes are designed to be longer but still travel to popular destinations like the University of Illinois Springfield, Lincoln Land Community College, both hospitals as well as dining and shopping across the city. 

“SMTD strives to provide the best service possible with the resources we have,” Brewer added, “and we look forward to continuing to improve our system with new technology, new equipment and carefully-designed system changes that will benefit passengers now and well into the future.” 

Routes and details can be found at the website SMTD.org, where passengers can also choose to use SMTD’s trip planner to find the best route to take to their destination. 


Posted
AuthorSMTD