Reinstatement of express service on one of the city’s busiest routes will help meet ridership demand
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the reinstatement of the #X4 Cottage Grove Express route, the latest in a series of bus and rail improvements made under the leadership of CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. to strengthen and improve transit services on Chicago’s South and Far South sides. The return of this express bus route also compliments Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s signature community development initiative Invest South/West, which seeks to align government, community and corporate resources towards investing in 10 neighborhoods on the City’s South and West sides.
“Throughout the pandemic, the local Cottage Grove bus route maintained consistently high levels of ridership, demonstrating the need for this vital service,” said Carter. “The reinstatement of the #X4 route shows our increased commitment to serving areas of Chicago that have not been invested in historically. The return of express service on the Cottage Grove corridor reduces travel times of up to 17 minutes in an area with limited access to CTA’s rail system.”
The new express service will operate during the morning and afternoon rush period on weekdays, in both directions from approximately 6:15-9:45 a.m. and from 2-6 p.m., every 12 minutes. Service will begin August 22.
The #4 Cottage Grove route ranks No. 8 in ridership among CTA’s 128 bus routes. The #4 route ranks near the top for both long (more than three miles) and short (less than two miles) customer bus trips. Maintaining service levels on the #4 route along with the re-introduction of the #X4 route will ensure that all customers on the corridor are well-served, for those making longer trips as well as those making short trips.
Nearly half of the daily ridership on the Cottage Grove corridor already boards at stops that the #X4 route will serve. The bus stop spacing of the express route will be similar to that of the #X9 Ashland Express and #X49 Western Express; all downtown stops will remain on the express route.
The return of the #X4 marks the third express bus route to be re-introduced by CTA President Carter during is his tenure. In August 2015, he also re-introduced the #X9 Ashland and #X49 Western express routes, which have proven very popular with customers.
The #X4 Cottage Grove Express previously operated from 2003 to 2010 and was discontinued in 2010, along with all other arterial express routes in the network, due to a significant funding shortfall.
Costs associated with the operation of this new express bus routes will be covered by CTA’s annual operating budget.
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