CTA to Test Express Service Enhancements on Western, Garfield & Irving Park

March 17, 2009

Agency to Increase Frequency of Express Bus Service Beginning March 23

Faster service is coming on several CTA bus routes on Monday, March 23, when more express service will be added to three routes. Frequency of express service will be increased on the #X49 Western Express, #X55 Garfield Express and #X80 Irving Park Express routes. These experimental service enhancements come as part of an effort to improve the overall efficiency of the routes by reconfiguring the amount of express and local service.

The experimental express service enhancements will change the ratio of express to local service along the three test corridors – more express buses will be running along these routes. By changing the ratio, there is no change to CTA’s operating expenses as no additional materials or staff are needed.

CTA research has shown that bus service is most effective when there is a higher ratio of express to local service along corridors that serve as major thoroughfares. A minimum 15-minute frequency will be retained on the local service.

The CTA currently operates nine express routes as limited-stop service on streets that also have local service. In the time since they were introduced, CTA has seen a
16.3 percent increase in total ridership on these nine routes.

Western is the third busiest route in the system with over 36,000 customers per weekday in the corridor. Irving Park routes – both local and express – carry 17,500 people per weekday. Garfield routes carry 16,000 individuals per weekday. The three corridors provide the agency with the chance to study a variety of locations in accessing the impacts of increasing express service.

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