Board Also Approves Extension of Additional Service on #43 43rd and #65 Grand Bus Routes
Today the Chicago Transit Board approved an extension of the test period for service enhancements on the Yellow Line, the #43 43rd and #65 Grand bus routes. In February, the Board approved a 180-day experiment to add weekend service for the Yellow Line, evening weekday service for the #43 43rd and evening service daily on the #65 Grand bus routes.
Ridership on the Yellow Line recorded an average of 1,300 boardings on Saturdays and 1,000 boardings Sundays in July 2008. Yellow Line ridership to date is up 14.7 percent over the same period last year.
Ridership also has increased on the #43 43rd and #65 Grand routes. For July 2008, the #43 average weekday ridership increased 35 percent from the previous year. Weekday #65 ridership increased 21 percent, Saturday ridership increased 33 percent and Sunday ridership increased 63 percent from the previous year.
"Weekend ridership on the Yellow Line and increased ridership on the two bus routes demonstrates the need for the service," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "By extending the test period, it gives us the opportunity to gather additional data and feedback, and make adjustments if needed. This will help determine if these services would make a viable and cost-efficient permanent offering for customers."
"Although the CTA is faced with budget challenges, these service improvements demonstrate ways the agency is still working within the resources available to ensure that service matches the demands of increased ridership," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. "For these changes, grant funding is available to offset the costs of the increased service."
Yellow Line trains operate on Saturdays and Sundays from 6:10 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. at 15-minute intervals. Funding for the additional service is from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) grant. Yellow Line boardings on an average weekday are just over 2,700.
On the #43 43rd route, hours of operation were expanded to midnight during weeknights, with service intervals of every 20 minutes. The #43 connects the residential area along 43rd Street with the 43rd Street Green Line Station, 47th Street Red Line station and the #3 King Drive and #4 Cottage Grove bus routes. Prior to the pilot, no east-west service had existed east of the Red Line between 39th Street/Pershing Road and 47th Street after 7 p.m. Average weekday ridership on the #43 is just over 1,700 rides. The additional service is being funded by Federal Job Access Reverse Commute funds (JARC) designated by the RTA to the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development who has worked with Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC) on the project.
On the #65 Grand, evening hours from Navy Pier were extended from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and more frequent weekend service was added. These improvements enhance access to jobs on Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier on the east, and to the new employment centers at Wal-Mart and the rebuilt Brickyard Mall on the west. Federal Job Access Reverse Commute funds (JARC) are subsidizing the cost of the additional service. Average weekday ridership on the #65 is approximately 8,200 rides.
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