June 23, 2000

Service downtown on CTA's #6 Jeffery Express buses will start earlier and operate until late every evening as part of a six-month experiment starting Sunday, June 25. Longer hours for #6 Jeffery Express buses were among several service enhancements approved by the CTA Board at its May 3 meeting in response to growing ridership and community support.

"Customers from Hyde Park, South Shore and other communities served by Jeffery Express buses have made it clear for some time that they want later service into downtown," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "By extending service on the #6 Jeffery route, customers from these communities will have more direct transportation home from the many activities that make downtown vibrant at night, particularly on weekends."

?The extension of the #6 Jeffery is incredibly important to this community. The community brought this need to my attention -- and the CTA responded. I look forward to working with them in future," said 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle.

Alderman Leslie Hairston, who represents the 5th Ward, said, "I feel optimistic about the changes that are taking place, but there is still a lot of work to be done."

Starting June 25, the last southbound #6 Jeffery Express will leave Columbus and South Water nightly at 12:30 a.m., adding more than five hours to weekend and holiday service from downtown, and two hours to weekday service.

In addition, the first #6 Jeffery Express bus will now leave 103rd/Stony Island for the Loop at 5 a.m. on weekends and at 3:45 a.m. on weekdays. Buses currently start trips downtown just after 5 a.m. on Saturdays, at 6:40 a.m. on Sundays, and at 4 a.m. on weekdays.

?Customers take almost 19,000 rides on our #6 Jeffery buses every weekday," said CTA President Frank Kruesi," and another 10,000 on our #14 South Lake Shore Express buses that run along much of the same route. Providing 29,000 rides on the CTA is equivalent to keeping 12,390 cars off the road. If driven, these cars would take up nearly 225 miles of road each and every day."

The most recent CTA Customer Satisfaction Survey showed that overall satisfaction with riding the CTA continues to increase. The CTA earned an overall grade of B, up from a C+ in 1997 and a C+ in 1995. The CTA is making significant gains in ridership, improved service quality, customer loyalty and more positive attitudes toward the CTA.

"In an effort to better serve our customers, we are implementing some of the recommendations from our Customer Satisfaction Survey. Through the expansion of #6 Jeffery Express bus service, we aim to improve service performance to ensure on-time performance and continue our increases in ridership," said Kruesi.

"As with we have with the #6 Jeffery, we are continually assessing and improving our service in response to customer demand," added Jarrett.

Other recently approved service improvements include keeping six downtown area 'L' stations and seven station entrances open all hours trains are operating, running Brown Line trains to the Loop every night until midnight, extending X21 Cermak Express weekend bus service to the North Riverside Mall, and having #145 Wilson/Michigan and #146 Marine/Michigan buses make all trips in express service.

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