CTA to Extend West Side Corridor Service Experiment
#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick and New #132 Goose Island Express Go Into Service Over the New Year
The Chicago Transit Board today approved a six-month extension of the experimental service enhancements for the West Side and near western suburbs. The initial six-month experiment, which began on bus routes June 18 and on the rail system on June 25, include the introduction of a new rail route, adjustments to two existing rail lines and improvements to 13 bus routes.
A preliminary evaluation of the service enhancements during the initial experimental period shows a 1.1 percent increase in bus ridership on the West Side, and in October a 2.2 percent increase. West Side/West Suburban rail ridership has increased 5.9 percent since the service began, and 5.3 percent in October. Ridership on the 54th/Cermak branch now known as the Pink Line has increased 7.1 percent and on the Blue Line Forest Park branch has increased 7.4 percent since the service enhancements were implemented in June.
In addition, CTA has conducted two customer surveys and the most recent survey indicates that 82 percent of customers are satisfied with the route enhancements. More than 7,800 customers participated in the surveys.
?The increase in ridership and information provided by customers has indicated our planning efforts and enhancements are performing as expected," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We will continue to evaluate the routes and make any adjustments needed during this extended period in order to ensure the service meets the needs of our customers."
?Ridership is strong on the Pink Line and customers are benefiting from more frequent service and the direct route to the Loop, as well as better connections," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?In fact, the majority of customers who ride the 54th/Cermak branch, 85.2 percent, are Pink Line customers. Through the substantial investment we have made in additional transit service for the West Side and western suburbs, we expect to see ridership continue to grow."
The additional 180-day experiment includes implementation of the new #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick bus route, a combination of CTA's current #11 Lincoln and #37 Sedgwick. The new route will provide a better connection between the West and North Sides. During the extended experimental period, customers can continue to provide their comments to the CTA regarding the service.
The initial West Side and West Suburban service improvements implemented last summer included the creation of five new bus routes ? three express routes and two local routes ? four existing bus routes were extended and routing and schedule improvements were made for four additional bus routes. In addition, the new Pink Line was introduced, service frequency was increased on the Blue Line Forest Park branch and the 54th/Cermak Blue Line service was adjusted to operate during morning and afternoon rush periods giving customers a choice of either Pink or Blue Line service during busier periods of travel.
The enhancements were implemented based upon the results of CTA's West Side Corridor Study and represented a substantial investment in additional transit service for the West Side and West Suburban portion of CTA's service area.
# 11 Lincoln/Sedgwick
Customers of the new #11 Lincoln / Sedgwick route will benefit from extended service north of Fullerton for current #37 customers, and extended service south of North Avenue during peak hours for current #11 customers.
Additionally, during peak hours the new #11 will extend west along Van Buren from Franklin to Clinton to create a direct connection to the #38 Ogden/Taylor, for service to the West Side and the Illinois Medical District.
Additional 180-day Experiment
#X9 Ashland Express
The new express service improved north-south connections to the Illinois Medical District and to the CTA's Orange, Green and Blue Lines. This route is in addition to the existing #9 Ashland route, which continues to serve customers traveling shorter distances. The new express route serves customers who travel longer distances and make connections at major transfer points.
#X20 Madison/Washington Express
Travel efficiency was improved along the Madison corridor, especially for customers traveling from the far West Side to downtown. The #X20 travels from Austin to Central Park on Madison, and from Central Park to Michigan on Washington in addition to CTA's existing #20 Madison bus route. By operating on Madison west of Central Park, the #X20 reduces waiting times by providing customers at major intersections a choice between express or local service.
The #38 operates from the Pulaski Blue Line station to Metra's West Loop stations, traveling on Canal and Clinton to provide a new connection between Ogilvie and Union stations, UIC, the Illinois Medical District and the West Side.
#X54 Cicero Express
The #X54 travels from the Jefferson Park bus terminal along the Blue Line to the Midway station on the Orange Line, providing connections to O'Hare and Midway airports and improves travel speed along the Cicero corridor.
#127 Roosevelt/Madison Circulator
The #127 provides a link to the Roosevelt station on the Orange, Red and Green Lines, Metra stations and the Illinois Medical District. The #127 Roosevelt/Madison Circulator supplements existing service on the #20 Madison and the #12 Roosevelt bus routes.
The #7 Harrison connects to the Polk station on the 54th/Cermak branch of the Blue and Pink Lines at all times of operation. It continues service to the Greyhound terminal, Domestic Violence Court, the Post Office and other nearby traffic generators. This route provides a transfer point between the Pink Line and the UIC campus.
The route change combined the #21 Cermak and #25 West Cermak service into one route and eliminated the need to transfer for customers traveling to North Riverside Park Mall on weekdays. Previously, the #21 traveled to the mall only on weekends.
A change to the #52 route improved the efficiency of both the #52 Kedzie/California and #52A South Kedzie. Service to 63rd Place now occurs at all times the route is in service. Prior to the experiment, service to 63rd Place occurred only in the early mornings and late evenings. The adjusted route provides a one-seat ride to customers boarding north of the Kedzie Orange Line and traveling south of the Orange Line.
#52A South Kedzie
This route change complemented the #52Kedzie/California adjustment and improved travel in the corridor and the efficiency of both routes. The #52A South Kedzie service terminates at the Kedzie Orange Line at all times. Transfer to the #52 Kedzie/California is required for travel north of the Orange Line. The busiest portion of the routes is supplemented by the extension of the #52 service to 63rd Place.
Service was extended to Milwaukee/Imlay via Nagle. Prior to the enhancements, the route ended at Wright College at Montrose. This adjustment provided a one-seat ride north of Montrose.
The route links the Harlem Blue Line station on the O'Hare Branch to the Harlem/Lake station on the Green Line in Oak Park. Connections to Metra rail stations on the Milwaukee West Line at Mont Clare and the Union Pacific West Line in Oak Park also are provided.
The #90 Harlem extension provides an O'Hare Airport connection via the Harlem Blue Line station for customers who are south of Grand.
The route was modified to provide travel to Jefferson Park at all times and provides a consistent north terminal. The #86 Narragansett/Ridgeland extension (detailed above) travels on Nagle to Milwaukee/Imlay.
The 54th/Cermak Blue Line train was rerouted to travel to and from the Loop via the Paulina Connector at all times of operation. Customers benefit from increased service levels and faster service. Direct service to the Loop elevated provides enhanced connections to the Orange, Brown and Green Lines, Purple Line Express service and Metra. During rush hour commutes, Loop-bound customers have the choice of the regular 54th/Cermak Blue.
54th/Cermak Blue Line to O'Hare via subway
The service to the O'Hare branch from 54th/Cermak via the Dearborn Street subway is maintained during AM/PM rush hours. In addition, bus service on the #7 Harrison provides connections between UIC's east campus and the Illinois Medical District. Enhanced service to O'Hare is possible at other times through a free transfer at the Clark and Lake station.
Forest Park to O'Hare
The frequency of service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line increased, especially during weekday off-peak hours and weekends. Customers who board trains on the Forest Park branch between the Medical Center and Forest Park benefit from increased frequency of service at all times, including weekends, and improved access to CTA and Pace buses along the route.
In addition to extending the experiment for the West Side service enhancements, the Chicago Transit Board approved a 180-day experiment for a new bus route. The #132 Goose Island Express is scheduled to begin January 2, 2007.
The route will operate between the Clybourn Metra station at Armitage and Ashland Avenues and the Metra Van Buren station at Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue during weekday rush periods.
Information on all CTA service can by found by calling 836-7000 from any local area code or on the web site at www.transitchicago.com.
Click for map of #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick# # #
Click for map of #132 Goose Island Express