June 22, 2004

Upcoming Community Workshops Key Component of Study

The CTA today announced plans to conduct a series of community workshops to gather information on the travel habits of residents of the West Side and the Near West Suburbs. The workshops are the next phase in a comprehensive study of West Side rail and bus service that is already in progress. The study, which resulted from discussions with local aldermen and community leaders, is similar to recent studies on Rogers Park/North Suburban service and Lake Shore service.

The workshops are designed to complement the data collection and survey analysis currently underway.

?We recognize the strong interest among some community organizations in adding service to the West Side including extended service hours to the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line. We would like to give them, and other interested parties, the opportunity to sit down with us and work through specific proposals, including costs," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The information gathered through the workshops and West Side Corridor Study will help us evaluate and develop recommendations for future transit options for the area."

The workshop sessions, which are in the process of being scheduled, will occur in late July and throughout August. In an effort to reach out to as many community members as possible, sessions will be scheduled during both daytime and evening hours and will take place at various West Side locations. To allow for meaningful participation, the CTA plans to hold approximately a dozen separate workshops and each session will include up to 25 community participants.

Each session will begin with a brief overview of the West Side Corridor Study then participants will be asked to work in groups to develop suggested service plans. Ideas generated at the workshops will be reviewed and evaluated by CTA staff in conjunction with the West Side Corridor Study. Recommendations that result from the study will also be evaluated for cost.

The West Side Corridor Study is a comprehensive, scientific study that includes a review of major traffic generators, such as the Illinois Medical District, other transit connections and demographic and development patterns. For purposes of the study, the boundaries of the West Side Corridor are 26th Street north to Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street west to the end of the Congress Blue Line. For more information or to sign up as a participant, please call 312-681-2716.

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