Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) will make several route changes going into effect April 3rd in response to rail construction closures, surface conditions, and timing issues. All changes can be found with corresponding maps at www.SMTD.org.
Beginning Wednesday, April 5th, Madison and Jefferson Streets will be closed between 9th and 11th Streets for underpass construction that will last upwards of 14 months. On Monday, April 3rd a new schedule will go into effect that accounts for these closures and makes some adjustments to other routes in the system.
The changes include several detours near the Transfer Center downtown affecting routes 1, 2,7, 12, 901, and 903. Other routes that will experience more substantive changes will be Route 1 in the Sand Hill area, Route 7 being extended to the YMCA on W. Iles, Route 8 at Park Towers/Villas at Vinegar Hill, Routes 10 and 902 at Capitol City Shopping Center, and routes 13 and 16.
Downtown Detours - Routes 1, 2, 7, 12, 901, and 903 will have slight detours to get around the closure on Jefferson. Five stops nearby will need to be closed for the duration of the construction. Though five of the routes will still be able to pass by the stop at 11th & Reynolds while traveling northbound, the increase in traffic along that corridor will make it difficult for a bus to service that stop and still be able to get into the turn lane at Carpenter.
Route 1 - Sand Hill Area - The condition of the frontage road between Sand Hill and Peoria Road has deteriorated to the extent that buses can no longer safely use it. Buses are now only using Sand Hill and stops will be added behind the Pioneer Motel. This is the current detour but will now be shown on the bus tracker and Google Maps.
Route 7 Extension - Route 7 will undoubtedly have even more trouble staying on time with the outbound detour in place, so we have extended the route’s runtime to 90 minutes and added service to the YMCA on Iles Avenue. The route will run every 30 minutes Monday through Saturday, with the last trip leaving the transfer center at 5:30 PM and returning at 7 PM on Weekdays, and the last trip leaving at 5:00 PM and returning at 6:30 PM on Saturdays. Time checks at White Oaks Mall have been adjusted to make transfers more reliable.
Route 8 Scarritt/Allen Loop - The segment of Route 8 that loops from Scarritt to Pasfield to Allen will be removed from the outbound half of the route. Stops in that area will only be serviced by Route 8 buses heading to the transfer center. These changes are a result of ridership trends and the detour currently in place causing passenger confusion with boardings.
Route 10 And 902 At Capitol City Shopping Center - Due to the poor condition of the Capitol City Shopping Center parking lot, buses will no longer be able to enter the lot. Route 10 and 902 will instead take Dirksen to Stevenson to Adloff, with a stop at the rear entrance of the shopping center behind Big Lots. Another stop will be added in front of the Arby’s on Dirksen to provide access to businesses on the east side of the lot, but the high speed of traffic and curved nature of that part of Dirksen make it unsafe to add more stops further south - cars coming around that curve might not have time to react to a bus stopped in the right-hand lane.
Route 13 - The segment of 13 that diverts to Scheels before returning to the Junction Circle transfer point has been moved to the end of Route 16. Taking this segment off of Route 13 allows the time check at White Oaks Mall to be moved to :05/:35 of the hour and make transfers to/from Route 7 and Route 13 more reliable.
Route 16 - Portions of Route 16 will be optimized to allow for it to take over servicing Scheels. 16 will no longer service the stops on International Parkway west of Wabash/Old Route 54. The segment that looped from Pleasant Run to Acer Grove to Meadowbrook will take an earlier left onto Birch Grove to Meadowbrook instead. Stops along that segment were not seeing enough ridership to warrant continued service. Similarly, the stop at the AMC 12 theater will be removed from the route. A new stop will be added at Ash Grove & Hamlin Parkway to service the Ash Grove Apartments.
Changes should go LIVE on Google Maps and Bus Tracker on or very near the date the changes go into effect. More detailed information and maps can be at www.SMTD.org.