CTA BUS AND RAIL SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS REFLECT CONTINUING RIDERSHIP GAINS

May 3, 2000
05/03/00

The CTA Board Wednesday approved a series of service improvements to meet the needs of increasing ridership on CTA buses and 'L' trains. The changes are being made throughout the system, and will be implemented over the next several months as part of a continuing CTA effort to serve an expanding market systemwide.

The improvements will provide greater consistency for key bus and 'L' service, especially at night and on weekends, allowing customers to make easier connections with existing service on other lines. Altogether, 14 'L' stations, nine bus routes, and an 'L' line will be affected. These are in addition to improvements made over almost two years that include adding trips or service hours on several dozen other bus routes and six 'L' lines. (See last page for details)

A six-month experimental plan will begin Sunday, June 25, to expand both morning and evening service downtown on the #6 Jeffery Express route. Express buses will start their first trips north from 103rd at 3:45 a.m. weekdays, and at 5 a.m. on weekends, and will make their last trips south from downtown at 12:30 a.m. nightly. Service from downtown presently ends at 10:30 p.m. weeknights, and just after 7 p.m. on weekends. The change will greatly improve service to Hyde Park and the entire Southeast Side from downtown on weekend evenings. The later express service will replace #6 Jeffery local late evening service between 103rd and 63rd/Cottage Grove.

"Like any good business, the CTA constantly evaluates how it delivers service to its customers," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "The changes we are making are in response to changing demands and growing ridership. Being responsive is essential to good management, and will keep us heading in the right direction."

Also effective Sunday, June 25, #111 Pullman/111th/115th buses will operate north on King Drive instead of St. Lawrence between 115th and 111th in response to requests from the community to end service on St. Lawrence.

Starting Monday, June 26, one early morning bus on the #34 South Michigan route, instead of ending its trip at 131st and Ellis, will serve employees starting the 6 a.m. shift at the Calumet Industrial Disposal plant at 137th and Doty. Before returning to the regular route, another #34 bus will serve employees who leave the plant at 2:30 p.m.

To provide Brown Line customers with weekend service equal to that offered on the Orange Line, Brown Line trains will serve the Loop until 11:50 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, starting Sunday, July 16. This will not only allow better weekend connections with other trains, but will extend service to six stations north of the Loop that are now closed when trains stop running south of Belmont after 8 p.m. on Saturdays and all day Sundays/holidays. The longer hours will help serve growing areas along the route which have off-peak commercial and entertainment activity, and where ridership quickly increased when service was extended from 10:30 until 11:50 p.m. during the week.

The operating hours of six stations and eight station entrances are being expanded on the Red and Blue Lines and the Loop ?L." Besides providing added convenience for customers, the changes will in effect keep all Loop subway and 'L' stations open during the hours trains are operating throughout the week.

Loop 'L' stations being expanded to all hours of train operation that are currently closed on Sundays/holidays:
Madison/Wabash
Washington/Wells
LaSalle/Van Buren

Subway stations to remain open 24 hours daily that are currently open only on weekdays:
Blue Line
"?" Chicago
LaSalle/Congress
Red Line
Harrison

Secondary station entrances to remain open 24 hours daily that currently are closed mainly at night and on weekends and holidays:
Blue Line
Van Buren/Jackson (Jackson station)
Adams/Monroe (Monroe station)
Madison/Washington (Washington station)
203 N. LaSalle Building (Clark/Lake station)
Peoria (UIC-Halsted station)
Loomis (Racine station)

Red Line
Adams/Monroe (Monroe station)
Madison/Washington (Washington station)

Other service changes scheduled for later this summer include having #145 Wilson/Michigan and #146 Marine/Michigan buses remain in express service during all operating hours. Currently, #146 buses use inner Lake Shore, Stockton and Sheridan, evenings and all day Sunday, instead of running express on outer Lake Shore between Oak and Belmont. #145 buses use the local route on Sundays. These changes are expected to save CTA operating funds by providing faster, more reliable service between Belmont, North Michigan Avenue and the Loop.

Also this summer, service on the X21 Cermak Express route, which runs on weekends and holidays, will be extended west from the 54th/Cermak Blue Line terminal in Cicero to the North Riverside Mall, at Cermak and Harlem, replacing weekend service on the #25 West Cermak route. On Saturday evenings, after X21 service ends, the mall will be served by #21 Cermak local buses until 9:30 p.m.

Special events at Navy Pier will be served by CTA's newly renumbered #124 Navy Pier Express buses from Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center (North Western Station). The route had been numbered #121, but was changed to avoid confusion with #121 Union/Wacker Express buses, which operate between Union Station and Navy Pier only during weekday rush periods.

"All these improvements are important to our customers," said CTA President Frank Kruesi, "and they will help us build upon the ridership gains we have made over the past two years through our commitment to providing on-time, clean, safe and friendly service. By responding to changing needs, we?re providing a flexibility that our customers appreciate."

While the service changes approved Wednesday will result in net costs of $539,000 annually, increased ridership is expected to more than make up the difference. These changes are the latest in a series of service enhancements that have been introduced over the past two years, as listed below:

8/98
76 Diversey service extended Saturday evenings for Brickyard Mall
#54B South Cicero service improvement

12/98
X49 Western Express weekday bus service begins from Berwyn to 95th
X21 Cermak Express buses start weekend service from King Drive to 54th
#129 West Loop/South Loop routing changed to better serve downtown

X21 Cermak Express buses start weekend service from King Drive to 54th
#129 West Loop/South Loop routing changed to better serve downtown
Service improvements made on 23 other bus routes (#6 Jeffery Express,#9 Ashland, #14 South Lake Shore Express, #21 Cermak, #47 47th, #49 Western, #49B North Western, #53 Pulaski, #62 Archer, #66 Chicago,#71 71st, #74 Fullerton, #77 Belmont, #79 79th, #81 Lawrence, #85 Central, #92 Foster, #100 Jeffery Manor Express, #111 Pullman/111th/115th, #126 Jackson, #147 Outer Drive Express, #151 Sheridan, and #156 LaSalle)

Brown Line service to Loop extended weekdays from 10:30 to 11:50 p.m.

3/99
Service improvements begin on 17 bus routes (#3 King Drive, #3 King Drive Limited, #20 Madison, #21 Cermak, #22 Clark, #49 Western, X49 Western Express, #50 Damen, #54A North Cicero, #60 Blue Island/26th,#72 North, #82 Kimball/Homan, #87 87th, #125 Water Tower Express, #129 West Loop/South Loop, #136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express, and #147 Outer Drive Express)

Extra rush period trips added on Red and Orange Lines

5/99
#129 West Loop/South Loop bus route changed to serve wider area
#63 63rd bus route extended to 63rd Street Beach through Labor Day
#72 North bus route extended to North Avenue Beach through Labor Day

6/99
Grand Avenue Blue Line subway station reopened for service

Bus service improvements on #24 Wentworth, #49B North Western, #60
Blue Island/26th, #76 Diversey, and #87 87th routes

9/99
New entrance opened at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line station
#19 United Center Express routing changed to avoid traffic on Madison

12/99
#77 Belmont bus extended to Notebaert Nature Museum at Fullerton Service improvements begin on 12 other routes (#3 King Drive, #28 Stony Island,#52 Kedzie/California, #78 Montrose, #81 Lawrence, #85 Central, #92 Foster, #93 North California, #94 South California, #126 Jackson, #129 West Loop/South Loop and #152 Addison)

1/00
Service improvements on Green, Red, Blue, Brown and Purple Lines

3/00
Service improvements begin on 17 bus routes (#12 Roosevelt, #14 South Lake Shore Express, #22 Clark, #52A South Kedzie, #53 Pulaski, #56 Milwaukee, #57 Laramie, #63 63rd, #66 Chicago, #72 North, #79 79th, #92 Foster, #135 Wilson/LaSalle Express, #145 Wilson/Michigan Express, #146 Marine/Michigan Express, #147 Outer Drive Express, and #151 Sheridan)

New #169 69th to United Parcel Service bus route enters service
Evening service on #36 Broadway route extended to Central Post Office

5/00
#82 Kimball/Homan rush period trips extended to Tech Lighting in Skokie

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