April 2, 2003

Service improvements affecting ten bus routes were approved today by the Chicago Transit Board. The route modifications are designed to better serve employment, shopping and recreational destinations, reduce travel time or traffic congestion, and are in compliance with the Service Standards adopted by the CTA in 2001. The changes will become effective June 22.

CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, ?The changes we are making today will provide more opportunities for customers to get to employment generators and other destinations along the entire length of a route earlier in the morning and later in the evening. We know our customers will appreciate this added convenience, especially during off-peak hours."

?One of our goals is to build on the momentum that has brought ridership increases over each of the past five years," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?We are taking the initiative in our effort to attract more customers by examining all aspects of our service to make sure current needs are addressed, and what we are doing today will help serve those needs."

Weekend service on the #3 King Drive route will be improved by operating most buses from 95th to Fairbanks/Ontario. The increased frequency of service will provide trips downtown every 7? minutes from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and every 10 minutes from 8 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Sundays. Currently, every other #3 bus terminates northbound at 29th, and buses to downtown operate 12 minutes apart on Saturdays and every 15 minutes on Sundays. Service to downtown will continue to operate from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturdays and from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sundays.

More trips to Midway Airport will be provided on the #55 Garfield route as part of a 180-day experimental plan to operate buses along the entire route from the Museum of Science and Industry to Midway from 5 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. daily. Currently, #55 buses serve Midway until 11 p.m., and later trips terminate at St. Louis Avenue (3500 West). Besides serving growing activity in and around the airport, the change will provide better connections with #53A South Pulaski buses, which operate on weeknights until 1:15 a.m., and will improve Sunday service to the airport, where the first #55 bus currently arrives at 8:45 a.m.

An experimental 180-day service modification will provide new routing and daily service to Navy Pier on the #124 Navy Pier Express route, replacing service east of Michigan on the #56 Milwaukee route. #124 buses currently operate nonstop to Navy Pier from Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center for special events and on summer weekends. #124 buses will now serve Navy Pier from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily (midnight during summer), operating north on Canal from Adams, east through downtown on Washington to Michigan and then via Michigan, South Water, Columbus and Illinois to Navy Pier. Return trips will use Grand, Columbus, South Water, Michigan, Madison and Clinton to Jackson.

#56 buses will end trips east on Washington at Michigan before returning west on Madison. CTA surveys indicate that very few #56 customers travel to Navy Pier from the Northwest Side. Most customers with destinations east of Michigan start their trips at the Ogilvie Transportation Center or at stops farther east, which #124 buses will now serve. #56 customers traveling to Navy Pier can transfer to #66 Chicago, #65 Grand or #124 buses to complete their trips.

#120 North Western Express, #121 Union/Wacker Express, #122 Illinois Center/North Western Express and #123 Illinois Center/Union Express routes serving Union Station or the Ogilvie Transportation Center (North Western Station) will be modified for a 180-day experimental period to reflect changes resulting from the reconstruction of Wacker Drive and/or to reduce congestion around Union Station. #120 and #121 buses will use lower Wacker, while #122 and #123 buses will operate on upper Wacker. Currently, #121 buses use lower Wacker, while #120, #122 and #123 buses use upper Wacker. #121 and #123 buses will start and end trips at Union Station eastbound on Jackson at Canal instead of using the reverse-flow lane on Canal between Adams and Jackson.

The #62 Archer route, which operates 24 hours daily, will serve the Midway Orange Line terminal at all hours that Orange Line trains are not operating. Currently, some late-night #62 buses stay on Archer to the terminal at Harlem.

In summer, #63 63rd buses serve the 63rd Street beach during the hours the beach is open. When roadway changes are made in Jackson Park, #63 buses will end their trips east in a counterclockwise routing via 63rd, Hayes, Richards, Marquette and Coast Guard Drive to a stop at Hayes Drive before starting new trips west, instead of operating clockwise.

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