CTA, Elected Officials and Local Business Leaders Celebrate Upcoming Enhancements
Community leaders from Evanston and Skokie joined President Frank Kruesi of the Chicago Transit Authority today to announce major bus service enhancements that become effective on Sunday, June 22 for the area. The six-month experimental restructuring includes creating three new bus routes that will replace three existing routes, and modifying four additional routes. Three routes instead of two will serve Evanston Township High School, while two routes rather than one will service St. Francis Hospital.
The changes will also include trips to serve shift changes at two senior centers in northern Evanston and will provide direct CTA service from Evanston to the Rush North Shore Medical Center, Westfield Shoppingtown (Old Orchard) and the Cook County Court House in Skokie.
The end result will improve connections between CTA bus routes and 'L' lines, increase service frequency, establish Saturday service on Ridge and Dodge Avenues, and improve coordination between CTA, Metra and Pace.
"Employment patterns, residential corridors and other key demographics have changed since the CTA began serving this community 30 years ago," said Kruesi. ?New industrial and commercial developments, which existing bus routes were never designed to serve, are attracting workers and shoppers from neighboring communities. This plan will provide an increased level of connectivity and convenience for CTA bus customers."
The CTA held meetings with local elected officials, school districts, Northwestern University, local business and transportation organizations, and the community at large, as well as also soliciting written comments on the plan from the public. In addition, CTA staff collected data as part of a comprehensive study of local transportation needs and existing transit service, and followed recommendations from the 2001 RTA Transit Oriented Development study.
The Evanston Chamber of Commerce, the City of Evanston and the Village of Skokie endorsed the plan. Evanston City Council voted to approve the bus route restructuring on March 31, 2003.
"CTA applauds the community involvement and support that has paved the way to improved bus service for residents," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?Because of this collaborative process, CTA customers will soon enjoy improved connections, increased service frequency and more Saturday service."
Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton and other elected officials and business leaders joined President Kruesi to show their support for the restructuring.
"Public transportation provides essential services to Evanston residents, connecting the homes, businesses, schools, and medical facilities throughout our community," said Evanston Mayor Lorraine Morton. ?The CTA's new routes will mean even better access and service to those who live, work, and shop in Evanston. We appreciate the CTA's efforts to better serve our community."
The #93 California/Dodge route is a modification of the former #93 North California route that will serve Evanston from the Brown Line terminal at Kimball/Lawrence. The new routing north on California and Dodge (Evanston) to Emerson, and east to the Purple Line and Metra stations at Davis, will link the West Rogers Park community with downtown Evanston, replacing #202 Main/Emerson service on Emerson and #204 Dodge service on Dodge. #93 buses will provide service every 15 minutes during peak periods and every 20 minutes at other times on weekdays and Saturdays.
A new #200 Main Shuttle route will provide weekday rush period service on Main between the Purple Line and Metra stations on Main at Chicago Avenue and the Rand McNally Corporate Headquarters on Central Park Avenue in Skokie, replacing #202 Main/Emerson service on Main.
The #201 Central/Ridge route, previously called #201 Central/Sherman, will be extended west from Central/Crawford to Westfield Shoppingtown (Old Orchard). The routing from the Howard Red Line station will be via Howard, Ridge and the Davis Purple Line station, and then via Sherman, Central and Old Orchard Road to Old Orchard, replacing #203 Ridge/Grant service on Ridge. #201 buses will provide increased off-peak and Saturday service, operating every 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes apart.
A new #205 Chicago/Golf route will operate every 20 minutes on weekdays between the Howard Red Line station and the Cook County Court House on Old Orchard Road in Skokie. The routing from Howard will include service on Chicago, Davis, Dodge and Golf in place of #201 Central/Sherman service on Chicago south of Greenwood and #203 Ridge/Grant service on Grant. Certain #205 trips will operate on Grant during rush periods to serve shift changes at two senior centers. These special trips also provide direct access to the high school that are timed with the start and end of the school day.
A new #206 Evanston Circulator route will provide rush period service every 15 minutes between the Howard Red Line station and Central/Crawford. The routing will include Howard, Ridge, Dodge and Central, and will serve both St. Francis Hospital and Evanston Township High School outbound from Howard in the mornings and inbound in the afternoons.
Two other CTA bus routes will be modified to serve suburban locations.
The #11 Lincoln route, which currently operates daily to Devon/Kedzie via Lincoln, McCormick and Devon, will be extended north from Lincoln via Kedzie to Howard and McCormick, replacing #96 Lunt weekday-only service on Kedzie south of Touhy and serving the shopping center at Howard/Kedzie in Evanston.
The #96 Lunt route, which currently operates via Lunt, California, Touhy and Kedzie to Devon, will be modified to remain on Touhy to provide new service to an industrial district in Skokie west of McCormick between Touhy and Howard.
In addition, the #97 Skokie route, which connects the Howard 'L' station and Old Orchard Shopping Center via the Yellow Line station at Dempster, will go from 12 minutes between buses at peak periods to 15 minutes.
For details about all CTA service, call 836-7000 (any local area code) or visit the CTA web site at www.transitchicago.com.# # #