Agency Will Also Study Feasibility of Offering Bus Service on Eastern Portion of 31st Street
The Chicago Transit Board today approved an extension of experimental bus service on the #35 31st/35th bus route, specifically service that includes 31st Street between Kedzie and Cicero avenues, to allow the CTA more time to determine whether the route extension should be permanent. Also, the Board approved studying the feasibility of implementing bus service on the eastern portion of 31st Street between Ashland and the lakefront.
CTA will continue the 3.4-mile western extension of the #35 route through October 16, 2013. The extension begins at the western edge of the #35 route at Kedzie/36th Place, runs north on Kedzie to 31st Street, west on 31st Street to Cicero; and north on Cicero to West 26th Place. Continuing the route extension will allow CTA more time to study ridership trends and collect more customer feedback, all of which will better inform the agency’s decision on whether to make the route extension permanent.
“We’re committed to continuing to study this trial service on the #35 and better understand the transportation needs of this area,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Experimental service projects like this one are valuable in identifying ways to grow ridership and increase our system’s effectiveness while preserving operational efficiency.”
The route extension is intended to grow ridership and strengthen transit connections for Chicagoans to CTA’s Red, Green and Orange lines, multiple CTA and Pace bus routes and Metra’s Cicero station. The service is provided daily between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. every 10-20 minutes, depending upon the time of day. Early data shows some ridership growth, though more is needed to determine whether to permanently adopt the extension of the route.
Information gathered from the experimental extension will also be used by CTA to determine the feasibility of extending route service on the eastern portion of 31st Street to the lakefront.
The initial 180-day experiment began in September 2012. Today’s action retroactively approves a 48-day extension added to the original 180-day experiment for a total of 228 days of testing; and it also approves a second 180-day trial of the route extension to begin effective immediately.
The trial service is expected to cost CTA $1.2 million for the full year of operation and will be paid for with federal funds from a Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) grant along with local matching funds, which are part of CTA’s annual operating budget.
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