Understanding how the transportation system currently works with regard to the quantity of the infrastructure and frequency of use, planners can better assess how the system should evolve into the future.
The following sections provide an overview of transportation behavior in the community including each mode in the local transportation system. Data regarding infrastructure, safety, and ridership are included where available.
According to commuting data for workers 16 years and over, the majority of MPA residents choose to drive alone to work over walking, biking, or transit, but at significantly different rates depending on the municipality. In the cities of Urbana and Champaign, commuters choose to walk, bike, and take transit to work at significantly higher rates than the other local municipalities and national averages. Only 52 percent of Urbana commuters and 65 percent of Champaign commuters choose to drive alone to work compared with 86 percent of commuters in Mahomet and 76 percent of commuters nation-wide. Alternatively, commuters in Urbana and Champaign choose to walk, bike, and use transit at much higher rates than other municipalities and the national overall. The wider range of employment opportunities located in the Cities of Champaign and Urbana and the lack of mode choices to travel to and from the surrounding villages contribute to the heavy reliance on personal motor vehicles in these areas.
The average commute time in MPA municipalities ranges from 15.6 minutes to 20.9 minutes. Despite higher than average rates of walking, biking, and taking transit to work, over 90 percent of Champaign and Urbana workers commute less than half an hour. The longest commute times are in Mahomet followed by Tolono where 16 and 18 percent of worker’s commutes exceed 30 minutes. For most workers in the MPA, average commute times have changed little since 2012. Savoy has been the most affected with average travel times increasing by almost 4 minutes, followed by Bondville where worker commutes decreased by almost 3 minutes.
In 2012 the Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study (CUUATS) adopted a Complete Streets Policy that promotes “Complete Streets” principles for all transportation infrastructure projects carried out within the Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area, whether by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Champaign County, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the Cities of Urbana and Champaign, the Village of Savoy, or the University of Illinois. The principles of this Complete Streets Policy are to design, build, maintain, and reconstruct public streets in order to provide for the safety and convenience of all users of a corridor, including pedestrians, cyclists, users of mass transit, people with disabilities, motorists, freight providers, emergency responders, and adjacent land users; regardless of age, ability, income, or ethnicity.
Pedestrians and Persons with Disabilities
Walking has many advantages for those without physical or environmental limitations; it is healthy, sustainable, and free. Some people may choose to walk only during exceptional weather days, or when a short travel distance reduces the efficiency of other modes. For others, walking may play a more extensive role in their everyday lives. Regardless of the extent, nearly everyone relies on the pedestrian network to some degree.
The ACS estimates 14 percent of Urbana workers and 11 percent of Champaign workers walked to work in 2017, compared with just three percent in the U.S. overall. Although ACS commuting data is the only reliable dataset available for transportation mode choice in our region, it does not likely paint a full picture of walking behavior. According to the 2012 National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, more than 70 percent of walking trips were for exercise, personal errands, or recreation purposes.
Pedestrians and people with disabilities are some of the most vulnerable people using the transportation network due to lack of protective gear and slow travel speed compared with buses, cars, and even bicycles. In the MPA, more than 30 percent of motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians result in a fatality or incapacitating injury. Local pedestrian crashes, while rare at about 2 percent of overall crashes, account for 18 percent of traffic fatalities and 9 percent of serious injuries. Pedestrians more often cite feeling threatened by motorists than by poor surface conditions, animals, or the potential for crime.
The map below shows pedestrian crashes in the MPA from 2012 to 2016. The majority of pedestrian crashes occurred within the city limits of Champaign and Urbana. There were a total of eight fatal pedestrian crashes during these years, with 5 occurring in Urbana, two in Champaign, and one in Mahomet. Both fatal pedestrian crashes in Champaign occurred along Bradley Avenue. Two of the fatal pedestrian crashes in Urbana were located directly south of Crystal Lake Park on University Avenue. The remaining fatal crashes in Urbana occurred on Lincoln Avenue near the University of Illinois, at the intersection of Race Street and Washington Street, and north of Interstate 74 on Cunningham Avenue. Mahomet’s fatal pedestrian crash occurred on Oak Street.
The accessibility of the pedestrian network is vital to local mobility. Families with young children, the elderly, and people with disabilities become more independent when pedestrian infrastructure is more accessible. An accessible pedestrian network enables all people to experience the surrounding community while decreasing the risk of injury for all transportation network users.
The Sidewalk Network Inventory and Assessment for the urbanized area, carried out by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, began with baseline data collection in 2014. This data has been updated every summer to monitor improvements and progress towards increasing compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The main components of sidewalk accessibility include various characteristics of sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals. Current overall compliance and condition scores for each of the facility types assessed are provided in the tables and charts below. Compliance scores determine the extent to which a feature meets standards set by the ADA, while the condition scores capture relevant qualitative features not covered in the compliance evaluation.
Crosswalks in the metropolitan planning area had the best compliance scores with 95 percent of crosswalks scoring above 90 out of 100. Pedestrian signals and sidewalks received the lowest compliance scores with a small fraction of these features receiving scores above 90. Half of pedestrian signals and nearly 30 percent of sidewalk mileage received the lowest range of compliance scores. Many curb ramps also need improvement, but they performed better than the pedestrian signals and sidewalks with about 40 percent of compliances scores in the top range.
Condition scoring was completed for sidewalks and curb ramps. Condition scores account for conditions such as deteriorating surface conditions, grass over-growth, faults, and cracks. One-third of sidewalk mileage and almost two-thirds of curb ramps received condition scores above 90.
The chart below illustrates the percent change in compliance scores for each of the sidewalk network features between 2015 and 2018. The greatest positive change occurred with pedestrian signals. There was over a 50 percent increase in pedestrian signals with compliance scores between 80 and 90 out of 100. Substantial progress also occurred in many curb ramp features. Curb ramps decreased in all lower compliance score ranges and scores in the highest range (above 90) increased by about 15 percent. Sidewalks did not show the same positive change. Sidewalks in the lowest compliance score ranges increased while decreasing in the higher compliance score ranges.
The ACS estimates six percent of Urbana workers and three percent of Champaign workers rode a bicycle to work in 2017 compared with less than one percent in the U.S. overall. As with other commuting data, these percentages do not include children under 16 years of age, or bicycle trips associated with recreation, exercise, and personal errands. Based on results from the 2012 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors, approximately 78 percent of bicycle trips related to recreation, exercise, or personal errands.
The map below illustrates the location of various types of bicycle facilities in the MPA. Champaign and Urbana host the majority of the facilities, but Mahomet and Savoy have also established a smaller but growing network of bicycle facilities. Within the municipality boundaries of Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy, nearly 60 percent of bicycle facilities are shared-use paths, followed by bike lanes at about 25 percent while all of Mahomet’s facilities are shared-use paths. There are currently no designated facilities for bicycles in Tolono or Bondville.
The chart below tracks the change in mileage of each type of bicycle facility, and illustrates the dominance that shared-use paths and bicycle lanes have in the local bicycle network. The other four facility types, bicycle paths, sharrows, shared bicycle/parking lanes, and bicycle routes, collectively comprise about 15 percent of the network mileage. Bicycle paths are the only facility type that has decreased in mileage, attributed to the conversation of several University of Illinois bicycle paths to other types of facilities since 2010. The metropolitan planning area currently contains about 124 miles of bicycle facilities, representing a 22 percent increase since 2015.
Like pedestrians, bicyclists are some of the most vulnerable people using the transportation network, travelling in close proximity to much heavier and faster motorized vehicles. Only five percent of reported bicycle crashes result in no injuries in the MPA. Due to this vulnerability, prioritizing bicycle safety is fundamental to encouraging and supporting bicycling.
The map below shows bicycle crashes in the MPA from 2012 to 2016. The majority of bicycle crashes occurred within the city limits of Champaign and Urbana including two fatal crashes. The first fatal crash was near the intersection of Springfield Avenue and Country Fair Drive in January 2012, and the second was along Olympian Drive west of Market Street in January 2016. During the same time period, the University of Illinois and nearby areas experience a greater frequency of bicycle crashes, including crashes resulting in severe injuries. Other areas of concern include many major street corridors such as University Avenue, Cunningham Avenue, Kirby Avenue, Mattis Avenue, and Bradley Avenue.
Over 50 percent of crashes involving a bicycle in the MPA between 2012 and 2016 resulted in a “B-injury” meaning one or more people involved in the crash received apparent, moderately severe injuries that were not disabling in nature. Fifteen percent of crashes resulted in one or more “A-injuries” meaning one or more people involved in the crash received an incapacitating injury, while one percent of all reported bicycle crashes were fatal.
The bar chart below graphs the age distribution of bicyclists involved in crashes from 2012 to 2016. The largest number of bicyclists involved in crashes were ages 20 to 24, which is not surprising given the large number of students in that age range attending the University of Illinois. Across multiple age groups, male bicyclists had significantly greater involvement in bicycle crashes than female bicyclists. Although national statistics on gender participation in bicycle crashes also reflect this pattern, there is insufficient local data on male and female bicycling rates to discern whether males overall are more likely to be involved in bicycle crashes than females.
Buses are an excellent and inexpensive option for traveling around the Champaign-Urbana community. Buses accommodate more people than personal vehicles with fewer resources. Fewer single-occupancy vehicles on the road lead to fewer emissions, less parking demand, less traffic congestion, and better population health. Public transit is considered a form of “active transportation,” along with bicycling and walking, due to the additional physical activity required to get to and from bus stops. Studies show that transit riders get 8-33 additional minutes of physical activity each day compared with non-transit riders.
The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) provides a full range of mobility services to the urbanized area. The main fixed-route bus service includes over 2,000 bus stops and 70 different daytime, weekend, night, and late-night routes. MTD also provides ADA Paratransit service, C-CARTS rural service, Half Fare Cab, SafeRides, and MTD Connect to make sure people of all ages and abilities can safely get where they need to go. In addition, MTD is the local transportation provider for the University of Illinois as well as Champaign and Urbana public middle and high school students. MTD provides around twelve million trips annually, though ridership has declined slightly since its most recent peak in 2014, as seen in the chart below.
In 2019, the price for an annual bus pass is $84 and a one-way ride with a free transfer is $1. Rides for veterans, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and children ¬under 46 inches in height are free. All eligible University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff have unlimited access to MTD service with their valid University-issued ID card. University students pay a mandatory fee each semester for this unlimited access, which was $62 per semester during the 2018-2019 academic year. A 2015 MTD survey determined that 46 percent of MTD riders do not have access to a vehicle, and 53 percent of users have ridden for over five years.
According to ACS 2017 data, almost 12 percent of workers in Champaign and Urbana took the bus to work each day which was more than double the national average of five percent. The rate of workers taking the bus to get to work in the overall metropolitan planning area was similar to the national average, around five percent, due to the fact that the villages of Bondville, Mahomet, and Tolono are outside the MTD service area. In order to increase mobility and the use of buses for commuters in the urbanized area, the MTD service area should be expanded to be coterminous with the urbanized area as much as possible.
Because of the multimodal nature of transit, MTD works with local agencies to support walking, biking, and ride share activities. Recent collaborations include Residents Accessing Mobility Providing Sidewalks (RAMPS), C-U Safe Routes to School (SRTS), Zipcar car share, VeoRide bike share, and most recently, Multimodal Corridor Enhancement Projects (MCORE). In 2015, MTD, with the support of the City of Champaign, City of Urbana, and the University of Illinois, applied for and received $15.7 million from a competitive federal grant program, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant (TIGER), for the construction of MCORE within the University District.
The goal of the MCORE project is to construct complete street corridors connecting the Cities of Champaign and Urbana to the University of Illinois. The MCORE project will improve transit travel between the cities and the campus, create new economic opportunities in the surrounding commercial areas, and improve local quality of life. The project includes a multimodal network of roads, on-street bike lanes, shared lane markings, bus-only lanes, and other transit services that will enhance mobility for residents and visitors, particularly non-drivers, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and economically disadvantaged populations.
MTD has also been a leader in adopting new technologies to reduce the environmental impact of the local transportation system. In 2018, 80 percent of their bus fleet was hybrid diesel-electric, up from 9 percent in 2009. These vehicles consume 25 percent less fuel than their diesel-only vehicles, emit fewer greenhouse gases, and produce less noise when in operation. MTD is currently working on installing infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel cell technology in the community and was the first transit agency in the nation to order 60-foot, zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell buses which are expected to be operating in 2020. In addition, MTD installed a 1200 panel, 297-kilowatt solar array in 2013 that provides approximately 20 percent of the power used by the MTD maintenance facility and bus garage in Urbana.
Champaign County Area Rural Transit System
Community planning efforts to establish a Champaign County rural public transit system have been ongoing since the 1970s. In 1995, a preliminary needs assessment identified a significant need for rural public transportation and a more comprehensive study was completed in 2004, which confirmed the need for rural public transportation and suggested the need would continue to grow as the population ages.
CRIS Rural Mass Transit District began operating rural general public transportation in Champaign County in February 2011 Mondays through Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Initially, service was provided in the northeast quadrant (Village of Rantoul and surrounding areas) of the county where surveys demonstrated the highest need for rural transit service. In May 2013, CRIS expanded service to the entire rural Champaign County and service hours were extended to Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In February 2014, CRIS ceased providing service to Champaign County. In order to continue to meet the need for rural public transit service in Champaign County, on October 1, 2014, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) began operating a new rural transit service under the name Champaign County Area Rural Transit System (C-CARTS). C-CARTS currently provides general public rural transportation in Champaign County, Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In November 2016, C-CARTS expanded rural transit services in Rantoul after forming a service contract with the Village. C-CARTS currently operates fixed-route and demand-response services in Rantoul. The fixed-route stops at designated bus stops along three established routes. Passengers can board at any of the 65 bus stops in Rantoul. Input from the public, employers, and employees helped create the fixed-route system. Residents who desire a custom trip, also known as a ‘demand-response’ trip, may call 48-hours in advance. Demand-response trips are not available during the times that C-CARTS operates the fixed-route system. Riders under the age of 12 may ride for a reduced rate at $1 one-way.
|Service Name||Service Type||Cost||Hours of Operation||Area of Operation|
|C-CARTS||Demand-Response||$2 to $5 one-way||Demand-Response: 8:00am to 3:00pm||Trips must begin or end in rural Champaign County|
|Eagle Express||Fixed-Route, Demand-Response||$2 one-way||Fixed-Route: Monday-Friday 5:00am to 8:00am, 3:00pm to 6:00pm; Demand-Response: 8:00am to 3:00pm||Within Rantoul Service Area|
|Rantoul Connector||Fixed-Route||$5 one-way||Fixed-Route: Monday-Friday 5:00am to 8:00am, 3:00pm to 6:00pm||Between Rantoul and the Champaign-Urbana-Savoy Urbanized Area|
The Rantoul Connector links Rantoul to specific stops in Champaign-Urbana Urbanized area. Most riders utilize this route to go to medical appointments or work in the urbanized area. The service increases the economic capabilities and improves the health of Rantoul residents who would otherwise not be able to make trips to the urbanized area. The Rantoul Connector service operates approximately every 60 minutes from 5:00am to 8:00am and again from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.
Both fixed-route and demand-response trips in Rantoul have increased since 2016. Fixed-route ridership increased from 382 trips in November 2016 to 1,165 trips in November 2018. Demand-response trips increased from 176 to 840 during the same period. In 2019, C-CARTS utilized thirteen, 14-passenger buses.
According to C-CARTS data, the majority of all rural transit trips are for the purpose of getting to work and visiting medical facilities. Other trip purposes include social, educational, shopping, and personal reasons.
Human Services Transportation
Human services transportation providers help meet the transportation needs of the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and persons and families with low income(s). Often, these individuals and families have four types of limitations that preclude them from driving:
- Physical: old age, blindness, paralysis, developmental disabilities, acute illness, etc.
- Financial: Unable to purchase or rent a personal vehicle
- Legal: Too young, loss of driver’s license, or driver’s license not obtained
- Self-imposed: Choose not to own or drive a vehicle
In order to meet the transportation needs of these populations, there are numerous human services transportation providers in the region and many opportunities exist to improve how these services function. In terms of accessibility, there are issues concerning ease of use, under-served and unserved areas, and a lack of centralized information. In terms of availability, issues of scheduling and temporal limitations are present. The reliability of the system is also an issue because of the frequency of service, in addition to restrictions that result from program eligibility requirements and trip purposes. More detailed information can be found in the Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area Human Services Transportation Plan.
Champaign-Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Providers
General Public Providers
|Urban Transit||Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD)|
|Rural Transit||Champaign County Rural Transit System (C-CARTS)|
Human Services Providers
|Medical Vans||A Precious Cargo Carrier|
|Medical Vans||Carle Arrow Ambulance|
|Medical Vans||OSF PRO Ambulance|
|Medical Vans||Quality Med Transportation|
|Specialized||American Cancer Society|
|Specialized||Carle Foundation Hospital|
|Specialized||OSF Healthcare/Faith in Action|
|Persons with Disabilities||Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation|
|Persons with Disabilities||Developmental Services Center|
|Persons with Disabilities||MTD Paratransit|
|Persons with Disabilities||Swann Special Care Center|
|Persons with Disabilities||University of Illinois Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES)|
|Senior||Family Service of Champaign County (volunteer)|
|Senior||Faith in Action (volunteer)|
|Senior||Various Senior Living Facilities (see transportation directory)|
|School Districts||Champaign Unit 4 Yellow Buses|
|School Districts||First Student (contracts with USD 116 and Unit 7)|
|School Districts||Head Start (Savoy & Rantoul only)|
|Public Transportation||MTD (contracts with Champaign Unit 4, USD 116, & University Student/Faculty Passes)|
|Other||Willard Airport (American Airlines)|
Automobiles are convenient for allowing people to travel freely and connect them to long-distance destinations within and outside the community. However, the expense of purchasing, maintaining, and operating an automobile is prohibitively expensive for many households, underscoring the potential for multimodal transportation choices (i.e. car-sharing, public transit, bicycling, walking) to reduce household transportation costs. Moreover, all people within the community experience the byproducts of widespread automobile use including safety risks, emissions, noise, infrastructure costs, and traffic congestion. Within the metropolitan planning area, anywhere from 52 to 86 percent of municipality residents drive alone to work each day, with another 7 to 13 percent of workers carpooling. There are many other trips not included in these numbers such as trips for shopping, visiting the doctor, and taking children to school.
Annual vehicle registration numbers from the Illinois Secretary of State provide an estimate of the total number of motor vehicles on local roadways. Motor vehicles listed in the Illinois vehicle registrations include an aggregation of passenger cars and trucks, motorcycles, B trucks*, fiscal trucks**, and other*** vehicles. Accounting for the number of out-of-county university students owning personal vehicles is one limitation to this dataset. According to the latest numbers, the total number of registered vehicles has increased by 16 percent within the last 18 years. Fiscal trucks witnessed the greatest change in number of vehicle registrations with a 396 percent increase from 2000 to 2018. Registered passenger vehicles increased by 8 percent during the same time period.
In 2017 the Illinois Secretary of State also started recording electric vehicle ownership by county. The number of electric vehicles in Champaign County increased from 88 vehicles to 152 vehicles, a 72 percent increase, from December 2017 to December 2018. Increasing electric vehicle ownership coincides with an increasing number of alternative fueling stations. According to the CUUATS Annual LRTP 2040 Report Card, Electric charging stations in the MPA have increased from 27 to 47 from 2015 to 2018. Other alternative fueling options in the region, E85 and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), have decreased slightly during the same timeframe.
Household access to motor vehicles is an ACS dataset that can help illustrate the relationship between income and mobility. Not all households have access to a vehicle for a variety of reasons, including lack of money to purchase and maintain a vehicle, lack of a driver’s license, or lack of desire or physical ability to drive or own a vehicle. For households and individuals without access to a vehicle, mobility depends on safe walking, bicycling, and transit infrastructure to participate in the activities that structure daily life, like work, school, social engagement, shopping, physical exercise, and more. For households with good access to other forms of transportation, the lack of vehicle ownership can be a significant cost savings.
The ACS estimates over 8,300 households in the MPA did not have access to a motor vehicle in 2017, which is an almost 7 percent increase over 2012. This increase could be attributed to rising vehicle ownership costs, University efforts to minimize student vehicles in the campus district, and improvements in walking, biking, and transit infrastructure that reduce reliance on vehicles. Champaign, Savoy, Tolono, and Mahomet saw increases in zero-vehicle households between 2013 and 2017 while zero-vehicle households in Urbana and Bondville decreased. The percent of zero-vehicle households in Champaign and Urbana is significantly above the national average, which speaks to higher levels of walking, biking, and transit infrastructure as well as higher numbers of university students and higher levels of poverty in those cities.
Roadway Network Characteristics
Functional classification is a process of categorizing roads primarily based on mobility and accessibility. Mobility relates to operating speed, level of service, and riding comfort. It is a measure of the expedited traffic conditions between origin and destination. Accessibility identifies travel conditions with increased exit and entry locations. IDOT uses the following classifications for roadways throughout the state:
- Principal arterials have the highest level of mobility and the lowest level of accessibility. Interstates and other major arterials serve trips through urban areas and long-distance trips between urban areas.
- Minor arterials serve shorter trips between traffic generators within urban areas; they have more access but a lower level of mobility than interstates and other principal arterials.
- Major and Minor Collectors provide both mobility and access by gathering trips from localized areas and feeding them onto the arterial network.
- Local streets are lower-volume roadways that provide direct land access but are not designed to serve through-traffic.
The map below distinguishes roadway functional classification within the metropolitan planning area. Approximately 20 percent of roadway mileage in the MPA is categorized as arterials, 11 percent as collectors, and 69 percent as local roads or streets. Two interstates, I-74 and I-57, traverse the MPA. A third interstate, I-72, terminates in Champaign. US-45 and sections of Springfield Avenue, Prospect Avenue, and Mattis Avenue are examples of other principal arterials in the area.
Annual Average Daily Traffic
IDOT counts and publishes annual average daily traffic (AADT) volumes for interstates and selected major arterials and collectors. The AADT map for the metropolitan planning area uses the IDOT data to display the most frequently travelled roadways in the area. Interstates I-74 and I-57 have the highest AADT volumes. After interstate traffic, the highest volumes were recorded along portions of the following roadways: Prospect Avenue, Mattis Avenue, University Avenue/US-45, Neil Street/US-45, and Cunningham Avenue/US-45. From 2011 to 2017, the highest AADT volumes for the interstates have increased by 11 to 16 percent, while volumes for Mattis Avenue, Neil Street, and Cunningham Avenue have decreased by 5 to 11 percent.
Crash Rates per Vehicle Miles Traveled
One measure of automobile safety performance is the number of crashes per the total vehicle miles traveled (VMT). By using VMT, the resulting crash rate accounts for the variance of motor vehicle usage between different regions. The table and chart below use Illinois Department of Transportation data to compare the MPA crash rate to the Illinois crash rate. In 2016, for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the MPA, there were 254 crashes. The crash rate in the MPA increased each year from 2012 to 2016, but has remained consistently lower than the statewide crash rate.
Fatal Traffic Crashes
The following map shows the fatal crash locations in the MPA from 2012 to 2016. Crashes were most frequently located within municipal boundaries. The City of Champaign had the most fatal crashes in the MPA, many of which were in the northern part of the city. The majority of the MPA’s fatal crashes outside municipal boundaries occurred between Mahomet and northwest Champaign.
The five-year rolling average of total fatalities per 100 million VMT in the MPA has been relatively stable since 2012, but has increased approximately 11 percent from 0.69 in 2014 to 0.77 in 2016. In 2016, the Champaign-Urbana MPA saw 1.03 fatalities per 100 million VMT, higher than the statewide rate of 1.01.
A large part of the local economy relies on the freight transportation system. An estimated 20.7 million tons of goods, valued at about $20.9 billion, were moved on the region’s freight system by trucks and trains in 2017. Eighty-five percent of the total goods tonnage, accounting for 94 percent of total goods value, were moved by trucks.
There are three types of truck routes designated in the MPA: - Class One: Interstates I-57, I-72, and I-74 - Class Two: Segments of U.S. 150, Bloomington Road, Mattis Avenue, Prospect Avenue, Springfield Avenue, US 45/Neil Street/Dunlap Avenue, High Cross Road, Guardian Drive/Butzow Drive*, and IL 47 in Mahomet - Class Three: Airport Road west of U.S. 45/Cunningham Avenue*
*Truck routes locally designated by the City of Urbana
The heaviest truck traffic volumes occur along the Class One truck routes. These interstates have also experienced increases in overall traffic volumes in the past 5 years. In addition to the interstates, segments of Market Street, Lincoln Avenue, University Avenue, Prospect Avenue, Mattis Avenue, and Bradley Avenue saw an average daily truck traffic of more than 1,000 in 2018.
Freight trucks in the Champaign-Urbana region also facilitate the transportation of goods throughout Illinois and the United States. In terms of tonnage, the map below shows Champaign County traded the most tonnage with Iowa in 2017, at 803 tons. McLean County was the next largest trading partner at 770 tons, followed by Indiana and Cook County.
The map below highlights the County’s 10 largest truck trading partners by tonnage followed by a graph that includes the 20 largest truck trading partners by tonnage.
When it comes to trading partners by value, Iowa was still Champaign County’s largest partner in 2017 at $1,169 million. Cook County was the second largest trading partner at $1,056 million, followed by Indiana and Missouri.
The map below highlights the County’s 10 largest truck trading partners by value followed by a graph that includes the 20 largest truck trading partners by value.
The four railroad lines in the metropolitan planning area are owned by two rail companies: Canadian National Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railroad. Canadian National owns the north-south line with the heaviest traffic as well as the east-west line from downtown Champaign through Bondville. Norfolk Southern owns and operates the east-west line connecting Mahomet to Champaign-Urbana and the east-west line running through Tolono.
On the MPA’s north-south Canadian National line, Amtrak operates three passenger train routes that stop at Illinois Terminal in downtown Champaign: the Saluki, Illini, and City of New Orleans. Each of these three routes has one daily trip northbound and one daily trip southbound. The Saluki and the Illini provide service between Carbondale and Chicago, and the City of New Orleans provides service between New Orleans and Chicago.
Amtrak ridership has generally increased since 2000, with the greatest increase between 2006 and 2007 corresponding to the addition of the Saluki route. In the four years since 2013, Amtrak ridership has declined. At least part of the decline can be attributed to consistent delays experienced by riders. According to the latest Amtrak Host Report Card, 90 percent of local Amtrak trains were delayed in 2017 due to Canadian National freight trains receiving priority. The north-south Canadian National rail line supports both passenger and freight traffic, though freight traffic generally has priority over passenger traffic.
CCRPC has been working with Champaign County First to obtain support from legislators to increase Amtrak on-time performance for trains traveling through Champaign. In November, Senator Durbin introduced the Rail Passenger Fairness Act to improve Amtrak on-time performance in Illinois and around the country.
All rail traffic also results in delays for local roadway traffic at at-grade railroad crossings. The table below provides general information on train activity at the at-grade railroad crossing located on Curtis Road in the Village of Savoy. In 2017 the railroad gates were down and blocking roadway traffic while trains were passing for an average of 52 minutes each day in 2017.
Two airports, Willard Airport and Frasca Field, are located in the MPA. Willard Airport is a public airport owned by the University of Illinois and located southwest of Savoy in between I-57 and U.S. 45. Frasca Field is a private airport open for public use located north of Interstate-74 in Urbana.
Willard Airport provides non-stop service to three destinations: Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. All Willard flights are currently operated by one carrier, Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Airlines. Similar-sized airports in the region generally have three to four carriers. The charts below show enplanements and flights at Willard Airport between 2000 and 2017.
The following charts show on-time performance and causes of delays at Willard Airport. The main causes of delays in 2015 were aircraft arriving late from previous destinations (34.4 percent), air carrier delays (28.2 percent), national aviation system delays such as heavy traffic volume (23.4 percent), and weather conditions (14 percent).