December 11, 2002

Commuters who ride Metra and CTA will benefit from expanded hours and service routes the Chicago Transit Authority is implementing under its rush shuttle fare program. The Chicago Transit Board approved the service enhancements at its monthly meeting today. The changes will take effect Monday, December 23, 2002.

Currently, rush shuttle fare hours are 6 ? 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 ? 7 p.m. Under the new schedule the hours will increase by half an hour in the morning and evening to 6 ? 10 a.m. and 3:30 ? 7:30 p.m. The rush shuttle service offers commuters $1 bus rides on 20 routes between Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, LaSalle Street Station, the Metra Electric Station and designated stops. Because Metra subsidizes each shuttle fare ride, customers using the rush shuttle service are provided a lower fare than the CTA's standard fare of $1.50. Metra's subsidy rate for CTA's rush shuttle amounts to 12 cents per ride, up to a maximum of $184,000 annually.

Additionally, three routes are being added to the shuttle fare program. They are the #22 Clark, #145 Wilson/Michigan Express and #147 Outder Drive Express. Other stops also are being added on existing shuttle fare routes to give customers a choice of more than one bus option at a particular stop.

"We are pleased to bring these service enhancements to the 7.2 million Metra customers who also use the CTA for part of their daily commute each year," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "We evaluate our service regularly and implement changes that benefit our customers. We have experienced real success this year by making our service available where it is needed."

'some Metra commuters choose to complete their trips on the CTA because of the lower shuttle fare and convenience," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?This fare option attracts new customers to the CTA and with the expanded service announced today, we think even more customers will discover the convenience of public transportation for their trips throughout the Loop and downtown area."

The CTA serves 40 suburbs and has developed an extensive network of connections with Pace and Metra. On an average weekday, CTA trains and buses complete an estimated 75,000 rides that begin on either Metra or Pace. This is in addition to the nearly 222,000 rides that also begin in the suburbs, and are provided completely by the CTA.

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