February 9, 2005

The Chicago Transit Board approved a recommendation today to continue bus route service enhancements along the North and South Lake Shore Drive corridors. The changes were implemented to benefit customers by improving bus operations, providing additional transit choices and improving travel times. All changes comply with the Service Standards adopted by the Board in 2001.

Ridership analysis by CTA staff conducted between fall of 2003 and fall of 2004, shows weekday ridership on the South Lake Shore bus routes increased 3.2 percent and ridership on the North Lake Shore bus routes increased 6.2 percent. During this same period Saturday ridership on the South Lake Shore routes increased 8.5 percent and on the North Lake Shore routes 9.2 percent. Sunday ridership increased on the South Lake Shore routes by 4.9 percent and on the North Lake Shore routes 12.6 percent. During the same time period, ridership on the system had increased by 1.2 percent overall.

"This analysis shows ridership gains both on weekdays and weekends. The experiment along the Lake Shore Drive Corridor has been successful and therefore it is appropriate to continue these service enhancements," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

?We continually work to make the best use of our resources to meet customer demand, and restructuring these routes was part of that process," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We will continue these routes going forward. We hope to be in a position following the Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly to maintain our current levels of service and possibly make further service enhancements."

The improvements were originally implemented as a 180-day experiment in August 2003 and a second experiment was implemented in April 2004 to test revisions made to the experiment. The experiment was extended for an additional six months in October 2004 pending the outcome of CTA's proposed budget.

During the course of the experiments modifications were made to some routes in response to customer input. Public comments on the route enhancements were favorable.

The service enhancements are:

South Lake Shore Corridor:

#1 Indiana/Hyde Park Service hours of this route were reduced to rush hour only service operating between 51st/Drexel and Union Station. South of 31st Street, the route operates northbound along Indiana Avenue and southbound along Michigan Avenue.

#2 Hyde Park Express This route provides reverse-commute service between downtown and the Hyde Park/University of Chicago area. This route operates as a loop between 60th/Cottage Grove and Navy Pier, operating express via Lake Shore Drive. In the morning rush, service between downtown and Hyde Park operates express between Roosevelt/Columbus and 57th/Lake Shore Drive southbound, and northbound between 47th/Lake Park and Roosevelt/Columbus.

During the afternoon rush, service operates express between Roosevelt/ Columbus and 47th/Lake Park southbound, and northbound between 57th/Lake Shore Drive and Roosevelt/Columbus. In addition, the northern terminal of the route was extended to Navy Pier from Michigan/Ohio.

#X3 King Drive Express The name was changed from #3L King Drive Limited to provide consistency among the names of CTA express routes. (No other changes were made to this route).

#4 Cottage Grove Weekday service on this route operates northbound via Indiana and southbound via Michigan between 35th and 31st, and in both directions along Michigan between 31st and 22nd.

#X4 Cottage Grove Express This new route provides express service in the Cottage Grove corridor between 95th/St. Lawrence and Michigan/Chicago.

#6 Jackson Park Express This route was renamed from Jeffery Express. The route was shortened, with its south terminal moved to 79th/South Shore instead of 103rd/Stony Island. The route operates between 79th/South Shore and Wacker/Columbus along Lake Shore Drive. Between Roosevelt and Wacker, the route operates via Columbus, Balbo and State.

#14 Jeffery Express This route was renamed from South Lake Shore Express. Service operates all day seven days a week in both directions between 103rd/Stony Island and Madison/Jefferson along Lake Shore Drive.

#15 Jeffery Local This new route operates all day early morning through late evening between 103rd/Stony Island and the Red Line station at 47th Street. Buses operate via Jeffery, Stony Island, Hyde Park Boulevard and East 51st Street. This route provides late evening service linking the 47th/Red Line station with Hyde Park.

#26 South Shore Express This route provides direct service between the far Southeast Side of Chicago and downtown. The route operates between 106th/Buffalo and Michigan/Chicago weekday rush hours, peak direction only. It operates express from 67th/Jeffery to Roosevelt/Columbus.

#27 South Deering This route was discontinued and incorporated into the #71 71st/South Shore route.

#28 Stony Island Local This route provides local service via Stony Island between 103rd/Stony Island and 47th/Lake Park operating via Lake Park Avenue and terminating at 47th/Lake Park.

#X28 Stony Island Express This route provides direct service between the Stony Island corridor and downtown. The route operates between 103rd/Stony Island and Union Station and serves Hyde Park Boulevard from 56th to 51st Streets. The route operates weekday rush hours express from 47th/Lake Park to Roosevelt/Columbus.

#47 47th This route operates between 47th/Lake Park and Cicero/Archer along 47th Street.

#51 51st This route operates between the 51st/Kedzie Orange Line station and the 47th/Dan Ryan Red Line station along 51st Street.

#71 71st/South Shore This route provides a one-seat ride from 112th/Torrence on the Southeast Side to the 69th Street Red Line station, operating along 71st Street.

North Lake Shore Corridor:

#134 Stockton/LaSalle Express This route operates during weekday rush periods, peak direction only, between Belmont/Sheridan and Adams/South Wacker. Buses operate express between Stockton/Arlington and Wacker/ Columbus.

#135 Clarendon/LaSalle Express The name was changed from #135 Wilson/LaSalle Express. This is a rush period route that starts at Wilson/Clarendon and terminates at Adams/South Wacker. Buses operate express on Lake Shore Drive between Belmont and East Wacker Drive.

#136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express This rush period route operates express on Lake Shore Drive between Bittersweet/Marine and East Wacker Drive.

#143 Stockton/Michigan Express This route operates during weekday rush periods, peak direction only between Belmont/Sheridan and Michigan/ Washington. Buses operate express between Stockton/Arlington and Michigan/ Delaware.

#144 Marine/Michigan Express This route operates during weekday rush periods, peak direction only, between the Berwyn Red Line station and State/Congress. Buses operate express between Marine Drive/Bittersweet and Michigan/Delaware.

#145 Wilson/Michigan Express This route operates between Wilson/ Ravenswood and Wells/Congress. The route operates express between Belmont/Lake Shore and Michigan/Delaware. In June 2004, the route was modified to operate westbound on Van Buren instead of Congress, between Michigan and Wells.

#146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express The name changed from Marine/Michigan Express. This route operates between the Berwyn Red Line station and the Museum Campus, running express between Belmont/Lake Shore and Michigan/Delaware.

#147 Outer Drive Express Sunday/holiday service and later evening weekday and Saturday service were implemented. The south terminal is Michigan/ Congress instead of Wells/Congress.

#148 Clarendon/Michigan Express This new route operates express between Irving Park and Michigan/Delaware during rush periods, peak direction only. This route was created to provide express service north of Irving Park when the #145 reverted back to its original routing. Southbound service operates between Wilson/Ravenswood and Michigan/Congress. Northbound trips start at State/Congress. Reverse commute trips are provided by the #145 between Irving Park and Ravenswood.

#151 Sheridan Due to the expansion of #147 service, #151 trips end at Devon/Clark early morning through late evening, Monday through Saturday. On Sundays/holidays only, buses operate to Howard early morning and mid to late evening when the #147 is not running. The #151 operates at all times between Union Station and Foster/Sheridan.

#156 LaSalle Effective December 2003, certain rush period trips in the peak direction were extended to Irving Park/Marine to provide service between Inner Lake Shore Drive and LaSalle Street north of the Chicago River. Due to extremely low ridership on the extended portion of this route, the #156 will return to its original pre-experiment routing with service terminating at Belmont/Halsted.

It should be noted that all Lake Shore Drive routes may be included in the proposed service cuts should the CTA not receive additional funding from the Illinois General Assembly this spring. The proposal includes route elimination, reduced frequency of service and reduced service hours.

The Chicago Transit Authority is the nation's second largest public transit system, serving Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, nearly two million customers use some combination of CTA, Pace and Metra to get to and from destinations throughout the six-county region.

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