March 15, 1999

Extra buses and/or additional service are being provided on 10 bus lines throughout the CTA service area during weekday rush periods and on weekends in response to increased demand and to improve service reliability, effective immediately.

To rebuild ridership we have to strengthen service where the demand calls for it, and the changes we are implementing reflect that demand," said CTA Chairman Valerie Jarrett. "The ridership increase we experienced last year shows this policy is working, and we're determined to keep the momentum going."

CTA President Frank Kruesi said, "Changes in travel patterns occur constantly throughout our service area, and we are committed to responding to our customers' needs. Late last year we started express bus service on Western Avenue and Cermak Road, and made a number of other service improvements. Now we are starting service earlier, adding trips or extending service to more distant terminals on several other routes because we know customers are out there to use it."

Increased ridership has led to the addition of two extra buses on both the #3 King Drive local and the #3 King Drive Limited routes for trips downtown from 95th Street during morning rush periods.

Customer requests for earlier #20 Madison service to Illinois Center has resulted in moving up the start of service from Austin to 4:22 a.m. instead of 5:28 a.m. The first bus will now reach Illinois Center at about 5:09 a.m.

To maintain regularity of service on the #22 Clark route to and from Howard during afternoon rush periods, three buses that had been ending their northbound trips at Devon will now operate all the way to Howard and then return south to Foster.

To provide better connections with Pace buses serving the west and northwest suburbs, two early morning buses on the #72 North route will operate west to Harlem instead of ending their trips at Narragansett. The first bus to Harlem will leave Clark at 4:00 a.m. weekdays instead of at 4:30. The first eastbound bus will leave Harlem at 4:53 a.m. instead of at 5:32.

Increased early morning ridership on the #136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express route led to moving up the start of service from Devon and Sheridan to 6:07 a.m., or 10 minutes earlier than before, and there will be three extra buses during the first hour of service.

Along the south portion of the #136 route, heavier boardings on LaSalle Street prompted the addition of 11 more trips from North Avenue to the Loop between 7:10 and 8:55 a.m. The extra trips will be made by buses returning from earlier trips downtown.

In response to other increases in early morning ridership on the Far North Side, four buses on the #147 Outer Drive Express route are starting their downtown trips from Howard instead of from Morse between 6:54 and 7:50 a.m., supplementing regular service from Howard that begins at 6:00 a.m.

On three other bus routes where heavy weekend traffic has resulted in longer travel times, one extra bus has been added to each route to improve service reliability. The extra buses will be in service Saturdays on the #50 Damen and #82 Kimball/Homan routes, and Sundays on the #60 Blue Island/26th route.

For details about all CTA service, call 836-7000 (all local area codes).

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