The Chicago Transit Board Wednesday approved the permanent extension of weekday CTA bus service to the United Parcel Service facility in southwest suburban Hodgkins. The service was established on an experimental basis one year ago.
The CTA's #169 69th ? UPS Express buses are subsidized by UPS and serve shift changes at the UPS facility Monday through Friday, though the service is open to all customers. The service has improved the express route along 79th Street and has far exceeded the initial ridership expectation of 180 riders per day and now carries an average of 885 riders per day.
"Our partnership with UPS has been very successful and makes a perfect fit with our mission to deliver quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "With employment at this facility expected to grow in the coming years, #169 buses will provide an ever increasing number of workers from the South Side of Chicago and other communities with a convenient and economical way to reach their jobs."
UPS Employee Transportation Manager Dan Bujas said, "I am happy that we were able to partner with the CTA to provide a reliable, affordable, safe and efficient transportation solution for our employees. I look forward to opportunities to expand our partnership in the future."
Buses on the #169 69th ? UPS Express route leave the 69th/Dan Ryan Red Line station at specific times weekdays between 2:31 a.m. and 9:10 p.m. The 50 to 55-minute trips are geared to bring employees to the facility for shift changes. Regular fares apply, and only limited stops are made between the Red Line station and Hodgkins. Return trips start between 3:31 a.m. and 10:10 p.m.
#169 buses leaving the 69th/Dan Ryan station operate west on 69th to Halsted, south on Halsted to 79th, and west on 79th to Archer. From there they travel southwest to Willow Springs Road and north to the UPS facility. Stops are made on Halsted at 79th, and on 79th at Ashland, Western and Pulaski in both directions so customers can connect with other bus lines.
UPS and other employers know that public transit provides a cost- effective way to bring large numbers of employees to work. Establishing the #169 route is part of the strategy of developing new ways to serve markets that may not be served by CTA's traditional routes. The CTA successfully expanded on that strategy last fall when the agency began implementing new and innovative services to speed up transit time through express bus service such as the X49 Western Express and the X21 Cermak Express.
CTA President Frank Kruesi said, "The CTA is looking for ways to make public transportation the link that connects customers to employment opportunities and providing this area's workforce with affordable travel options.
Developing creative ways to partner with the business community to better serve customers is just one more way the CTA is working to provide quality transit services to this region."# # #