February 11, 2004


The Chicago Transit Authority will conduct a second 180-day experiment designed to improve bus service along the Lake Shore Drive corridor. The first experiment, launched August 31, 2003, originally included 23 bus routes. In December, nine of the original routes serving the corridor underwent additional routing modifications and five of the routes underwent frequency modifications. Two additional routes, #156 LaSalle and #148 Clarendon/Michigan Express were added to the experiment in December and January, respectively. The original experimental period ends on February 26, 2004.

Implementing a second experiment will allow CTA staff to continue to monitor and analyze the changes and permit additional customer feedback. The second experiment, which will not involve any routing changes, was approved by the Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today.

Additionally, the Board also approved the creation of a new 180-day experimental route, the #X99 Chicago Manufacturing Campus and a modification to the south terminal of the #37 Sedgwick/Ogden route, so that it will better serve customers.

The #X99 will serve customers between the 95th Street Red Line station and the Chicago Manufacturing Campus at 126th/Torrence. The campus consists of nine companies that supply auto parts to the nearby Ford plant. The service will coordinate with the schedules of three weekday employee shifts at the campus. Approximately 50 percent, or $142,000 of the annual cost for operating this route will be funded by a Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) grant.

The #37 route will move its south terminal from Cermak/Karlov to the newly reopened Pulaski station on the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line. The new bus turnaround at the station is protected from inclement weather and provides a direct connection to the Blue Line, improving customers? overall transit experience.

"The Lake Shore Drive corridor experiment is meeting our expectations and since its launch last August, ridership along the north and south corridors of Lake Shore Drive has increased 1.1 percent," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Experiments allow us to refine and adjust our service to better meet the needs of our customers. In the case of the new experimental #X99 route, it shows our interest in providing a convenient transportation option that will help customers get to their jobs as we strive to provide service that is on time, clean, safe and friendly."

The changes are designed to benefit customers by improving bus operations, providing additional transit choices and improving travel times. All changes comply with the Service Standards adopted by the Board in 2001.

?Experiments such as the one along the Lake Shore Drive corridor affirm our commitment to improve service for our customers," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole L. Brown. ?Today's Board action allows our planning department to continue to work with our customers to evaluate these enhancements before any decision is made to make them permanent."

Lake Shore Drive bus routes included in the second 180-day experiment are: #1 Indiana/Hyde Park, #2 Hyde Park Express, #X3 King Drive Express, #4 Cottage Grove, #X4 Cottage Grove Express, #6 Jackson Park Express, #14 Jeffery Express, #15 Jeffery Local, #26 South Shore Express, #28 Stony Island Express, #47 47th, #51 51st, #71 71st/South Shore, #134 Stockton LaSalle Express, #135 Clarendon/LaSalle Express, #136 Sheridan/ LaSalle Express, #143 Stockton/Michigan Express, #144 Marine/Michigan Express, #145 Wilson/Michigan Express, #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express, #147 Outer Drive Express, #148 Clarendon/Michigan Express, #151 Sheridan and #156 LaSalle.

Information on all CTA service can be found by calling 836-7000 from any local area code or on the web site at www.transitchicago.com.

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