The Chicago Transit Board today approved a 180-day experimental restructuring of bus routes serving Evanston, Skokie and Chicago's far north side. The changes, which will take effect June 22, are designed to provide better links between employment generators, improve transit service between Chicago, Evanston and Skokie, meet customer demands and improve efficiency. They will also improve connections between CTA bus routes and 'L' lines, increase service frequency, establish Saturday service on Ridge and Dodge, and provide better coordination between CTA, Metra and Pace. The changes reflect ongoing efforts to better link traffic generators at other locations within the CTA's service area.
Bus routes in Evanston have remained relatively unchanged since the CTA took over operation of service from the Evanston Bus Company 30 years ago. The proposed changes are supported by the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, the City of Evanston and the Village of Skokie.
?The CTA has been exploring ways to improve bus service in Evanston, Skokie and the far north side of Chicago in response to a 2001 Regional Transportation Authority study that outlines needs based on community development over the past several years," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?The CTA has collected data to analyze existing routes and held meetings with local officials, business leaders and community groups to determine the most effective way to meet these changing needs."
?Over the course of three decades, employment patterns and residential corridors change," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?New industrial and commercial developments, which traditional bus routes were never designed to serve, are attracting workers and shoppers from neighboring communities. This plan adjusts routes that the CTA operates in both the city and nearby suburbs, and improves travel to better serve all our customers."
Reconfiguring the existing routes will allow for more frequent service in major traffic corridors. The restructuring includes the establishment of three new bus routes to replace three existing routes and the modification of four routes. Three routes instead of two will now serve Evanston Township High School, while two routes rather than one will serve St. Francis Hospital.
The changes will also include trips to serve shift changes at two senior centers in northern Evanston and will provide direct CTA service from Evanston to the Rush North Shore Medical Center, Old Orchard Shopping Center and the Cook County Court House in Skokie.
The #93 California/Dodge route is a modification of the former #93 North California route that will serve Evanston from the Brown Line terminal at Kimball/Lawrence. The new routing north on California and Dodge (Evanston) to Emerson, and east to the Purple Line 'L' and Metra stations at Davis, will link the West Rogers Park community with jobs and entertainment in downtown Evanston, replacing #202 Main/Emerson service on Emerson and #204 Dodge service on Dodge. #93 buses will provide service every 15 minutes during peak periods and every 20 minutes at other times on weekdays and Saturdays.
A new #200 Main Shuttle route will provide weekday rush period service on Main between the Purple Line 'L' and Metra stations on Main at Chicago Avenue and the Rand McNally Corporate Headquarters on Central Park Avenue in Skokie, replacing #202 Main/Emerson service on Main.
The #201 Central/Ridge route, previously called #201 Central/Sherman, will be extended west from Central/Crawford to Old Orchard Shopping Center. The routing from the Howard 'L' station will be via Howard, Ridge and the Davis Purple Line 'L' station, and then via Sherman, Central and Old Orchard Road to Old Orchard, replacing #203 Ridge/Grant service on Ridge. #201 buses will provide increased off-peak and Saturday service, operating every 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes apart.
A new #205 Chicago/Golf route will operate every 20 minutes on weekdays between the Howard 'L' station and the Cook County Court House on Old Orchard Road in Skokie. The routing from Howard will include service on Chicago, Davis, Dodge and Golf in place of #201 Central/Sherman service on Chicago south of Greenwood and #203 Ridge/Grant service on Grant. Certain #205 trips will operate on Grant during rush periods to serve shift changes at two senior centers. These special trips also provide direct access to the high school that are timed with the start and end of the school day.
A new #206 Evanston Circulator route will provide rush period service every 15 minutes between the Howard 'L' station and Central/Crawford. The routing will include Howard, Ridge, Dodge and Central, and will serve both St. Francis Hospital and Evanston Township High School outbound from the Howard 'L' in the mornings and inbound in the afternoons.
Two other CTA bus routes will be modified to serve suburban locations.
The #11 Lincoln route, which currently operates daily to Devon/Kedzie via Lincoln, McCormick and Devon, will be extended north from Lincoln via Kedzie to Howard and McCormick, replacing #96 Lunt weekday-only service on Kedzie south of Touhy and serving the shopping center at Howard/Kedzie in Evanston.
The #96 Lunt route, which currently operates via Lunt, California, Touhy and Kedzie to Devon, will be modified to remain on Touhy to provide new service to an industrial district in Skokie west of McCormick between Touhy and Howard.
The #97 Skokie route, which connects the Howard 'L' station and Old Orchard Shopping Center via the Yellow Line station at Dempster, will go from 12 minutes between buses at peak periods to 15 minutes. For details about all CTA service, call 836-7000 (any local area code) or visit the CTA web site at www.transitchicago.com.# # #