The Chicago Transit Authority today reminded customers that beginning the week of April 27, the agency will increase the frequency of Blue Line service during morning and evening rush periods on the Forest Park and O'Hare branches. In addition, weekday morning and evening rush service will be eliminated on the 54th/Cermak Blue Line branch due to low ridership.
Key destinations along the 54th/Cermak branch such as the UIC campus will continue to be served by the Pink Line, Forest Park Blue Line, #7 Harrison and #38 Ogden/Taylor.
The 54th/Cermak Blue Line branch serves the fewest customers per rail car of any rail line. Since the introduction of the Pink Line, which operates on the same branch, customers have demonstrated a consistent preference for Pink Line service. The 54th/Cermak Blue Line operates weekdays only from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 2:25 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Customer alerts have been posted in rail stations and announcements have been running on Blue and Pink Line trains to inform riders of the change in service. In addition, flyers continue to be distributed to customers at the affected stations, print advertisements have been placed to notify riders and available LED screens at affected stations have been running reminder notices. Information has also been posted on CTA's web site at transitchicago.com with details on Pink Line service in an effort to make the transition as smooth as possible.
The changes to rail service were approved by the Chicago Transit Board in March and are a part of the West Side Corridor service experiment. Ridership on West Side bus and rail routes has grown since service improvements were originally 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 2007 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. # # #