December 10, 2003

The Chicago Transit Authority announced improvements that include making service enhancements on three routes permanent, and adding a second 180-day experiment to downtown shuttle routes, north suburban routes and the #56 Milwaukee and #124 Navy Pier routes. The adjustments are in response to customer feedback, as well as observation and analysis by CTA staff and were approved by the Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today.

Most of 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.

Three of the experimental changes that took effect this past June will become permanent. These include: extending late night and early morning trips on the #55 Garfield to Midway Airport from 55th and St. Louis, routing the #120 North Western/Wacker Express to Lower Wacker Drive and rerouting the southern rush period terminal of #9 Ashland buses to reduce travel delays and better serve customers.

A second 180-day experiment serving West Rogers Park and the northern suburbs of Evanston and Skokie will modify two routes to provide more direct service for customers.

#96 Lunt buses will operate west on Touhy to the shopping and job centers in the Lincolnwood Town Center and south along McCormick to the Devon/Kedzie terminal instead of through the southeast Skokie Industrial District. This improvement will provide access to the shopping centers along McCormick and facilitates transfers between the #96 and #82 Kimball/Homan.

#201 Central/Ridge buses will be rerouted from Sherman to Sheridan. This change will link Northwestern University to multiple traffic generators, and provide access to the beach at Central. It also will remove service on Benson and Oak in order to simplify and streamline service through downtown Evanston.

These changes will be implemented in March 2004.

The other routes in this experiment which include: #11 Lincoln, #93 California/Dodge, #200 Main Shuttle, #205 Chicago/Golf and #206 Evanston Circulator will remain as they are currently.

A second 180-day experiment will be implemented on the #56 Milwaukeewhich now terminates at Michigan and Madison instead of Navy Pier. This has resulted in greater reliability of the route. At the same time the experiment on the #124 Navy Pier route will be continued and service will be extended one-half hour later to 10:30 p.m. during the fall, winter and spring (midnight during summer months) and begin one-half hour earlier at 8:30 a.m. The route name will officially change to #124 Navy Pier, dropping the term ?Express," to reflect its local operation through the Loop.

Three routes serving West Loop Metra stations will undergo a second 180-day experiment.

#121 Union/Wacker Express buses will board customers on the south side of Jackson between Clinton and Canal to help ease congestion at Union Station.

#122 Illinois Center/North Western Express buses will operate on street level instead of returning to Lower Wacker Drive.

#123 Illinois Center/Union Express buses will operate on street level instead of returning to Lower Wacker Drive and customers will now board on the south side of Jackson between Clinton and Canal to ease congestion at Union Station.

The board also agreed to eliminate the routing of the #95E 93rd/95th into the Stony Island Plaza due to low ridership. This routing was implemented as an experiment in December 2002.

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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