The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced it will extend a pilot of bus service on 31st Street through June 2018 to provide CTA with more time and data to evaluate ridership demand and collect more community feedback on the service.
Working closely with local residents and business owners, the CTA began testing new #31 bus service in September 2016 between Ashland Orange Line and 33rd/King Drive. The #31 provides valuable connections to schools, shopping centers, entertainment, as well as the Orange, Red and Green lines and several north-south bus routes.
The #31 pilot is among a series of improvements that have been implemented by Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. to improve CTA bus service. Those efforts include the expansion of bus service on the South Side, the restoration of express service on Ashland and Western avenues, launch of Loop Link, and new bus service pilots that allow customers to prepay bus fares before boarding to improve boarding times and service reliability.
Ridership on the #31 route averaged 674 rides each weekday in November – a 23 percent increase year over year. The target daily ridership goal is 830 rides, based on how comparable routes perform. The #31 operates Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Extending the pilot service will allow CTA to further evaluate ridership trends and gather additional feedback from the surrounding community before a decision is made whether to conclude the pilot, extend it or make the service permanent.
CTA continues working closely with the local community to help promote and generate awareness of the service, which so far includes two extensive marketing campaigns to promote awareness of the service and encourage people to ride.
The 31st Street pilot follows the expansion of CTA service on the #35 31st/35th route in 2013, when CTA extended the route to Cicero Avenue on 31st Street and added weekend service to the 31st Street beach during the summer months. For more information about the #31, please visit: transitchicago.com/31pilot/.
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