CTA Increasing Service on West Side Bus Routes, Green and Blue Lines

March 12, 2008

Seven Other Bus Routes Made Permanent;CTA to Resume South Side and South Suburban Sub-Regional Study

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a range of service enhancements for the West Side. Ridership on West Side bus and rail routes has grown since service improvements were introduced in 2006. In October 2007, West Side bus ridership was up 5.5 percent, compared to a 5 percent increase on non-West Side routes. October rail ridership on the West Side increased by 5.7 percent compared to a decrease of 2.4 percent outside of the West Side/Suburban area.

Today's board action extends the experimental period for new and improved routing first introduced to customers in 2006. The initial experiment included the launch of CTA's eighth rail line, the Pink Line, increased frequency of the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line, and improvements to 13 bus routes. Several adjustments will be made to service to improve efficiency during the next experimental phase based on customer feedback and ridership trends.

Additional service is being added to Green Line during the peak rush period. In June, evening service will be extended on the #7 Harrison bus route, service will be more frequent on the #12 Roosevelt route, reliability will be improved on the #60 Blue Island/26th route and midday service will be added to the #38 Ogden/Taylor route. Additional bus stops will be added to the #X20 Washington/Madison Express.

These improvements are in addition to West Side bus enhancements approved by the Board last month for the #65 Grand and #8 Halsted.

"The increase in ridership and customer satisfaction throughout the West Side corridor are the key drivers of these service improvements," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "We want to provide the most convenient, reliable and efficient service possible to our riders and will continue to evaluate the growing demand for service on the West Side and Near West Suburbs."

On April 27, service will be added to the Forest Park and O'Hare branches of the Blue Line. But Blue Line service on the 54th/Cermak branch, which operates during rush hour only, will be eliminated due to low ridership. It serves the fewest customers per rail car of any line. Since the introduction of the Pink Line, which operates on the same branch, customers have demonstrated a consistent preference for Pink Line service. Key destinations along the 54th/Cermak branch such as the UIC campus will still be served by the Pink Line, Forest Park Blue Line, #7 Harrison and #38 Ogden/Taylor.

One experimental route, the #127 Roosevelt/Madison Circulator, will not be continued. After evaluating ridership data, the CTA determined that riders in the corridor can be better served by the #20 Madison and the enhanced #12 Roosevelt. These bus route changes will be effective in June.

Improvements were made permanent to seven other bus routes in other areas. The #78 Montrose current routing was permanently adopted. The reconfigured routing provides better connections for bus customers with the CTA's Red Line, and provides closer access to Truman College. The six other routes are subsidized by the University of Chicago and provide convenient access for university and hospital students, employees and area residents. Those routes are the #170 U of C/Midway, #171 U of C/Hyde Park, #172 U of C/Kenwood, #173 U of C/Lakeview Express, #174 U of C/Garfield route and the #192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express.

The CTA also announced that efforts have resumed on the far South Side and South Suburban sub-regional study. Following community workshops held last March to gather information on the travel patterns of residents of the far South Side and South Suburbs, the study was put on hold due to issues related to operating funding. Now that the operating funding issue has been resolved, CTA will resume its review of major traffic generators, other transit connections and demographic and development patterns on the far South Side and South Suburbs. The information gathered will help CTA evaluate and develop recommendations for future transit options for the area.

Experimental Service Details/Effective June 2008

#7 Harrison

Hours of operation will be extended to 10 p.m. and service during the morning and midday will operate more frequently.

#12 Roosevelt

During morning and evening rush periods, buses will improve frequency to operate every six to 10 minutes and during the midday every 10 minutes. On weekends, frequency of service will be every 12 minutes in the morning and evenings, and every 10 minutes during midday weekend service.

#X20 Washington/Madison Express

Establish additional bus stops west of Central Park on Madison to provide more convenient access to customers further west.

#38 Ogden/Taylor

Midday service will be added to the route with service intervals of every 15 minutes to enhance connections between the east and west campuses of UIC and to the Polk Pink Line station.

After reviewing ridership data, the route will also be adjusted to terminate at California/Ogden. Data from the service experiment shows increased ridership east of Western Avenue, and a drop in ridership just west of Western Avenue. Ending the route at California/Ogden will allow for continued service to Mt. Sinai hospital and meet the demand for service along the higher ridership portions of the route.

#60 Blue Island/26th

Adjust running time on weekdays to provide more reliable service on the route.

#127 Roosevelt/Madison Circulator

Service on the #127 will be eliminated and the operational savings used to add service to the #12 Roosevelt route.

During the extended experimental period, customers can continue to provide their comments to the CTA regarding the service.

Permanent Service Adoptions/Routes Currently in Operation

#78 Montrose

The route now operates on Clark between Montrose and Wilson to provide better access to Truman College and better connections to shops on Montrose and Broadway. The reroute also creates better connections for bus customers with the CTA's Red Line.

#170 U of C/Midway

The route operates weekday rush period every 10 minutes from 6:30 until 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. In the mornings it operates counter clockwise around Jackson Park picking up Metra customers on their way to U of C and in the afternoon it operates clockwise around the park, dropping off Metra customers on their way from U of C.

#171 U of C/Hyde Park

Weekday service was increased, with buses operating every four to six minutes during the morning rush and every 15 minutes during the midday. Service operates every day from late August through mid-June (with the last bus leaving at 8:15 p.m. from 60th and Ellis) and weekdays only during the summer.

#172 U of C/Kenwood

Provides later weekday service from 7 a.m. to 7:18 p.m., as well as earlier and later weekend service from 7 a.m. to 7:18 p.m. Increased frequency of midday weekday bus service every 30 minutes instead of every 45 minutes and all day on weekends. In addition, #172 buses operate on East Hyde Park Boulevard rather than traveling to Blackstone, 49th and Woodlawn.

#173 U of C/Lakeview Express

Operates northbound only during the PM weekday rush periods between 59th/Kimbark and Belmont/Sheridan from late August through mid-June.

#174 U of C/Garfield

Provides direct rail station connections between the University and the Hospital and the Garfield Green Line and Garfield Red Line stations. Buses operate every 15 minutes during weekday rush periods. On Friday and Saturday nights between September and June, #174 buses operate every 15 minutes from 7:10 p.m. until 2:10 a.m.

#192 University of Chicago Hospitals Express

Operates in the off-peak direction during the morning and evening rush periods between the Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station and the University of Chicago Hospitals.


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