Chicago Transit Authority experimental bus route enhancements in Rogers Park, Evanston and Skokie are now permanent. Approved by the Chicago Transit Board today, permanency of the routes follows a 180-day experiment implemented in June 2003 and a second experiment in April 2004 to test revised routings. During the course of the experiments, modifications were made to some routes in response to customer input. CTA will continue to monitor the routes for success at meeting customer demands.
?These improvements were designed to provide faster links to and from downtown Evanston, and allow faster and more convenient travel between Evanston and surrounding areas," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The enhancements have improved connections between CTA bus routes and 'L' lines, provided better coordination between CTA, Metra and Pace, and are better suited to the changing demographic and business climate of Evanston. Analysis by CTA staff shows these enhancements to be well received by the community: between fall of 2003 and fall of 2004, weekday ridership increased by 5.9 percent."
?We continually work with the communities we serve to meet their service needs," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?These experiments were successful in creating marked increases in ridership. We will continue to monitor these routes to ensure that we are meeting customer's transit needs. As the General Assembly meets and hopefully addresses the region's transit needs, we hope to be able to continue serving Chicago and the surrounding suburbs as we do today."
Chicago Transit Board by-laws require CTA to make recommendations on experimental service enhancements once the experiment has concluded. The experiment was extended for an additional six months in October 2004 pending the outcome of CTA's proposed budget.
The service enhancements are:
#11 Lincoln This route operates north from Kedzie/Devon along Kedzie to Howard and west along Howard to McCormick.
#93 California/Dodge This route operates from California/Howard north along Dodge to Emerson, Maple, Church, to CTA's Davis station on the Purple Line.
#96 Lunt This route operates on Touhy, through the Lincolnwood Town Center, to McCormick, Devon, and to the Devon/Kedzie terminal.
#200 Main Shuttle This new route operates during weekday rush periods. Buses operate along Main Street between Central Park and Chicago Avenue connecting to the Main Street Metra and CTA Purple Line stations.
#201 Central/Ridge The name of the route changed from #201 Central/Sherman. The route operates on Sheridan instead of Sherman in northeast Evanston to serve Northwestern University. #201 buses provide increased off-peak and Saturday service, operating every 20 minutes instead of every 30 minutes.
#202 Main/Emerson The original route was discontinued. Portions of the route are currently served by the #200 Main Shuttle and #205 Chicago/Golf.
#203 Ridge/Grant The original route was discontinued. Portions of the route are currently served by #201 Central/Ridge and #205 Chicago/Golf.
#204 Dodge The original route was discontinued. Portions of the route currently are served by #93 California/Dodge and #206 Evanston Circulator.
#205 Chicago/Golf This new route operates from the Howard Red Line station via Howard to Chicago, Davis, Asbury, Church, Dodge, Simpson, Bridge, McCormick, Golf, through Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard to Old Orchard Road and to the Cook County Circuit Court. Eastbound trips operate on Church instead of Davis/Asbury. The Bridge Street portion of the route is planned for implementation when the bridge reconstruction is completed.
#206 Evanston Circulator This new route operates during rush periods only to serve Evanston Township High School and the Howard Red Line station. During the morning rush periods, the route operates northbound from the Howard Red Line station via Ridge, Lake, Dodge, Simpson, Ashland, Noyes, Green Bay, Central, to Gross Point. Southbound during the morning rush periods the route operates via the same reverse pattern on Central to Green Bay and Ashland, continuing on Ashland to Simpson, Dodge, Oakton, Asbury, Howard, Clark, Rogers, to the Howard Red Line station.
During the afternoon rush periods the route operates northbound from the Howard Red Line station to Asbury, Oakton, Dodge, Simpson, Ashland, Noyes, Green Bay, Central, to Gross Point. Southbound during the afternoon rush periods the route operates via the same reverse pattern on Central to Green Bay and Ashland, Simpson, Dodge, Dempster, Ridge, Howard, Clark, Rogers, to the Howard Red Line station.
All routes may be included in the 2005 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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