September 15, 1999

The CTA Board Wednesday approved the extension of service on the #77 Belmont bus route to the Chicago Academy of Sciences' new Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on Cannon Drive at Fullerton in Lincoln Park. The museum is scheduled to open October 23, and is expected to attract from 200,000 to 400,000 visitors during its first year of operation.

Buses on the fully accessible #77 Belmont route will operate to Cannon and Fullerton only during hours the museum is open to the public, or from about 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. At other times, #77 buses will end their trips at the existing terminal on Lake Shore Drive at Diversey. Most #77 buses operate on Belmont from Cumberland to Lake Shore Drive, while others turn back west at Halsted.

"Chicago's parks, beaches and museums are the city's most treasured attractions," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "This summer we extended service to the beaches at 63rd Street and North Avenue, and our #10 Museum of Science & Industry and #146 Marine-Michigan buses have been serving Jackson Park and the Museum Campus in Grant Park for quite some time. Construction will start soon on a new Green Line station near the Garfield Park Conservatory. This new bus extension will enable customers to get directly from the 'L' not only to the Notebaert Museum, but to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory as well."

Founded in 1857, the Chicago Academy of Sciences was the city's first museum. For more than 100 years, it occupied a building at 2001 N. Clark, at the foot of Armitage, about five blocks south and west of its new location.

"The old museum was served by five CTA bus lines," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "At the new building we've got an ideal situation because the Academy has built a bus turnaround right in front that will allow customers to board and alight our #77 buses away from street traffic. The museum will also be served daily by #151 Sheridan buses, on weekdays by the #156 LaSalle, and on Sundays only by #145 Wilson/Michigan and #146 Marine-Michigan buses using Stockton Drive."

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