October 9, 2002

Thirteen Bus Routes and Two Rail Lines Revamped

CTA bus and rail customers will soon experience improved service on thirteen bus routes and two rail lines as the result of service changes approved today by the Chicago Transit Board. The bus route modifications reflect the CTA's analysis of customer demand and efforts to reduce travel time and ease traffic congestion. The changes also will add opportunities for customers to connect with other service.

The changes are guided by the CTA's service standards, which use five key measures to determine how services are designed. These include the distance an average customer travels to reach a bus stop or 'L' station; the hours and days a route operates; frequency of service; the level of ridership at the busiest location on the route; and the number of customers a CTA vehicle carries per hour.

?A large part of the CTA's success in gaining new customers has been our ability to respond to the needs of the communities we serve and anticipate where service adjustments may be needed," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "The changes we are introducing today reflect our responsiveness in meeting these needs and will strengthen service to these communities."

?Our recently updated service standards help determine when and where new service may be needed," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The standards also affect changes to existing service, and by using them as a guideline, we are able to improve the quality of our service while remaining fiscally accountable."

Most of the bus changes will take effect December 22. The rail changes will become effective December 29.

The most significant change will be experimental service to downtown on the #X21 Cermak Express route, which currently operates on weekends and holidays between North Riverside Park Mall and McCormick Place. The Blue Line Transit Task Force requested the change to provide direct service to the West Side Medical Center complex and to the downtown area on weekends.

Other Bus Service Changes

#N4 Cottage Grove owl service will be extended from 59th to 63rd to connect with all-night service on the #N63 63rd bus route.

#7 Harrison buses will operate east via Harrison and Canal to Jackson and west via Adams and Clinton to Harrison to better serve Union Station and the Greyhound bus terminal.

The #18 16th/18th route will be connected on the west with the Blue Line at Cicero/Cermak and on the east with the Red Line at Cermak/Chinatown as a six-month experimental project.

#44 Wallace/Racine buses will end their northbound trips at the Halsted Orange Line station daily. #44 buses currently serve the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station on weekends and holidays.

#60 Blue Island/26th buses will operate east through downtown via Harrison and Canal to Washington and west via Madison and Clinton to Harrison to provide better connections between the UIC Campus and both Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center (North Western Station), and to offer additional weekend and evening service to the stations from the North Loop area.

Weekday service on the #73 Armitage route will be modified to operate via Armitage, Racine, Cortland, Hermitage and Armitage at all times.

#78 Montrose buses will regularly serve the Montrose Beach throughout the summer on weekends and holidays.

The north terminal of the #86 Narragansett/Ridgeland route will be extended to Montrose to better serve the residential community north and west of the Wright College campus and to allow connections with #78 Montrose buses.

The #95E 93rd/95th route will be modified experimentally for six months to serve the Stony Island Plaza shopping center at 95th and Stony Island.

#126 Jackson buses will use Adams west to Clinton to serve Union Station before continuing over the regular route west on Van Buren.

#152 Addison buses will end their trips east via Addison and Lake Shore to West Sheridan Road (3900 North) before returning to Addison for trips west.

The #170 University of Chicago/Midway route will be extended on the east to serve a new Metra Electric station at 57th and Stony Island.

Rail Service Changes

The experimental expansion of Orange Line service that began last January will become permanent on weekdays, with trains leaving Midway from 3:55 a.m. until 12:55 a.m., and arriving downtown from 4:19 a.m. until 1:19 a.m. Another 180-day experimental period will be used to determine if revised service hours on weekends should become permanent. Trains on Saturdays will leave Midway from 4:35 a.m. until 12:50 a.m., and on Sundays from 5:35 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., arriving in the Loop about 24 minutes later.

Expanded rush-period Purple Line Express service also will become permanent as a result of experimental testing in place since last December. The first Purple Line Express leaves Linden at 5:24 a.m. and arrives at the Merchandise Mart southbound at 6:04 a.m. The last afternoon rush-period train leaves Linden at 6:29 p.m. and arrives at the Mart at 7:09 p.m.

(Maps of the bus route changes are available to media upon request.)

For details about all CTA service, call 836-7000 (all local area codes).

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