CTA Enhances Bus Service, Renews Service Agreement With University of Chicago

August 18, 2005

The Chicago Transit Board today approved the modification of bus service on four bus routes to improve efficiency and better tailor service to customer travel patterns. In addition, the Board renewed its agreement to provide bus service to the University of Chicago.

Service changes will occur on the #15 Jeffery Local, #78 Montrose, #X80 Irving Park Express and #125 Water Tower Express. The enhancements are a result of customer feedback, as well as observation and analysis by the CTA. The changes will take effect on Sunday, August 28. All changes comply with the Service Standards adopted by the Board in 2001.

?We are continually evaluating our service and looking for ways to improve the transit experience for our customers," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?These enhancements will benefit customers by improving bus operations, providing additional transit choices and improving travel times."

?It is important that we continue to find ways to provide the best service possible for our customers and to attract new customers to the convenience of public transit," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Giving our customers additional transit options helps customers choose public transportation for their commutes therefore, relieving traffic congestion in the region and helping customers avoid the high cost of parking."

The modifications are:
A 180-day experiment rerouting the #15 Jeffery Local to operate on Lake Park instead of South Hyde Park Boulevard between 56th Street and East Hyde Park Boulevard. #15 buses currently operate on South Hyde Park Boulevard between 57th Street and East Hyde Park Boulevard. Both analysis from CTA staff and requests from the community show a strong preference for operating #15 service on Lake Park.

A 180-day experiment will be implemented on the #78 Montrose route to operate eastbound and westbound service between Clark and Broadway on Wilson instead of Montrose. Eastbound #78 buses currently operate via Montrose, Broadway and Wilson, connecting with the Wilson Red Line station. The new routing will take customers directly to the Wilson Red Line station without requiring them to cross the street to enter the station. Operating on Wilson also will provide closer access for customers to Truman College. This improvement enables bus operators to make an easier turn from Clark onto Wilson.

The current routing of the #125 Water Tower Express was made permanent. Buses have been operating southbound via Wacker, Randolph and Clinton rather than via Wacker, Lake and Clinton, due to reconstruction projects. The reroute has been effective in providing safer turns from Wacker onto Lake and improved service to customers in offices at Wacker/Randolph.

A third 180-day experiment was approved for the #X80 Irving Park Express route adjusting weekend service hours on the #X80 route. The experiment originally began on August 30, 2004, adding midday and weekend service hours along Irving Park so customers who need to quickly travel between the lakefront, and Red, Brown and Blue Lines will have more options for doing so. The hours of service on the #X80 will be adjusted to operate from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Currently the route operates from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Note: This improvement will not take effect until the winter on a date as yet to be determined.

The Chicago Transit Board also approved an agreement with the University of Chicago to continue providing bus service to students, residents and employees of the area. CTA and the University entered into a five-year agreement September 18, 2000, whereby the school subsidizes service on the #170 U. of Chicago/Midway, #171 U. of Chicago/Hyde Park, #172 U. of Chicago/Kenwood and #173 U. of Chicago/Lakeview Express routes. Today's action extends the agreement until September 17, 2006.

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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