Chicago Transit Board Approves Permanent Addition of West Side/West Suburban Service Enhancements

December 4, 2008

Improvements to #60, #65 Bus Routes and Green Line Service Also Adopted

The Chicago Transit Board today approved the permanent adoption of service enhancements for the West Side/West Suburban Corridor which were first introduced in 2006. Following the initial enhancements, the experimental period was extended in order to make adjustments based upon customer feedback, ridership trends and evaluation by CTA staff.
“The service enhancements have successfully provided additional transit options designed to meet the demand due to both residential and commercial growth on the West Side and Near West Suburbs,” said CTA President Ron Huberman. “Service improvements such as these not only benefit customers, but also the communities in which they live and work.”
“CTA has worked hard to use the resources available to design service that is focused on customer needs,” added Huberman. “As a result of our efforts, CTA ridership continues to increase and through this substantial investment in additional transit service for the West Side and western suburbs, we expect to see ridership continue to grow.”
Since the initial experiment began, bus ridership within the corridor has increased 14 percent, compared to a 7 percent increase on non-west side bus service. Specifically, new express routes such as the X54 Cicero have helped improve convenience for riders and contributed to ridership increases on the route (a 16.8 percent increase since 2006). Improved frequency on the #12 Roosevelt route has resulted in a 36 percent increase in ridership since 2006. Rail ridership increased 19.4 percent compared to 2.9 percent on non-west side rail service.


Pink Line - Service operates from the 54th/Cermak station to the Loop elevated daily from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Blue Line - The frequency of service has increased on the Forest Park and O’Hare branches. Trains to O’Hare operate approximately every 7 to 8 minutes during the morning rush and throughout the day, and every 4 to 7 minutes during the evening rush.  Trains to Forest Park operate every 5 to 10 minutes during the morning rush and every 6 to 8 minutes during the evening rush, improved from every 15 minutes.   


#7 Harrison - Connects to the Polk Street station on the Pink Line at all times of operation. It continues service to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Greyhound bus terminal, Union Station, the Main Post Office and Domestic Violence Court. Hours of operation have been extended to 10 p.m. and service during the morning and midday operates more frequently.
#X9 Ashland Express - This route provides weekday express (limited stops) service between the Irving Park Red line station and 95th and Ashland. The service improves north-south connections to the Illinois Medical District and to the CTA’s Blue, Green, Orange, Pink and Red (Sheridan station) Lines. In addition, the Paulina station is one block west of Ashland on the Brown Line.
#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick - Service on the #11 Lincoln / Sedgwick route extends north of Fullerton and south of North Avenue during peak hours. Additionally, weekday service on the #11 extends west along Van Buren from Franklin to Clinton to create a direct connection to the #38 Ogden/Taylor, for service to the West Side and the Illinois Medical District.   
#12 Roosevelt - Morning and evening rush period service operates more frequently running every 6 to 10 minutes during the morning rush period, every 7.5 to 10 minutes during the evening rush period and every 10 minutes during midday. On Saturdays, frequency of service is every 12 minutes in the morning and evenings, and every 10 minutes during midday. Midday service operates every 12 minutes on Sunday.
#X20 Madison/Washington Express  - The route provides service from Austin to downtown with fewer stops along Madison, Warren, Washington and Randolph. Additional bus stops west of Central Park on Madison have been added to provide more convenient access to customers further west. Eastbound the #X20 travels from Austin to Central Park on Madison, and from Central Park to Michigan on Warren and Washington. Westbound to Austin the #X20 travels from Michigan Avenue on Madison, Jefferson, Randolph, Ogden, Washington, Central Park and back to Madison. By operating on Madison west of Central Park the #X20 reduces wait times by providing customers a choice between express or local service on the existing #20 Madison.
#21 Cermak - The route combines the #21 Cermak route and former #25 West Cermak service into one route and provides service to North Riverside Park Mall from approximately 5 a.m. until 11 pm.
In addition, on weekends (instead of every other bus) all #21 Cermak buses operate to the North Riverside Park Mall during mall business hours. The change will provide more frequent service to the mall and improve connections to Pace bus routes #304, #305, #307, #311 and #322. 
#38 Ogden/Taylor - Midday service operates every 15 minutes enhancing connections between the east and west campuses of UIC and to the Polk Pink Line station.
The route terminates at California/Ogden, which allows for continued service to Mt. Sinai Hospital and meets the demand for service along the higher ridership portions of the route.
#52 Kedzie/California - Service to 63rd Place and Kedzie operates at all times the route is in service.
#52A South Kedzie - This service complements the #52 Kedzie/California and improves travel in the corridor and the efficiency of both routes. The #52A South Kedzie service terminates at the Kedzie Orange Line at all times. Transfer to the #52 Kedzie/California is required for travel north of the Orange Line. 
#X54 Cicero Express - The #X54 travels from the Jefferson Park station and bus terminal on the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line to the Midway station on the Orange Line, making connections at the Cicero stations on the Green Line, Forest Park branch of the Blue Line and Pink Line.
#86 Narragansett/Ridgeland - Service operates to Milwaukee/Imlay via Nagle and continues to serve Wright College and the Green Line from the far Northwest Side. This routing provides a one-seat ride along Narragansett/Nagle between the far Northwest Side and Oak Park, later evening service along Nagle and connections to CTA bus routes #56A, #68, #81W, #88 and Pace #270.
#90 Harlem - The route now extends south to CTA’s Harlem/Lake Green Line station and Metra’s Oak Park station, and provides a connection between the Harlem Blue Line station on the O’Hare branch and the Green Line in Oak Park. The extension also provides an O’Hare Airport connection via the Harlem Blue Line station for customers who are south of Grand, and connects to Metra rail stations on the Milwaukee West Line at Mont Clare and the Union Pacific West Line in Oak Park. The route also provides connections to CTA bus route #72 and Pace bus routes #305, #309, #313 and #318.
#91 Austin - This route serves CTA’s Jefferson Park Blue Line station on the O’Hare branch and Metra’s Jefferson Park station. When school is in session select buses travel to Taft High School via Nagle.
In addition, service enhancements for the #60 Blue Island/26th, #65 Grand and the Green Line were made permanent as well.
#60 Blue Island/26th - Running times have been adjusted on weekdays to provide more reliable service.
#65 Grand - Evening hours from Navy Pier have been extended from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and more frequent weekend service has been added. These improvements enhance access to jobs on Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier on the east, and to the new employment centers at Wal-Mart and the rebuilt Brickyard Mall on the west.
Green Line - The frequency of service has been increased during the morning and evening rush periods. Service to Harlem/Lake, and Ashland/63rd and East 63rd is now every 7 to 10 minutes.
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