More frequent bus and rail service will create more comfortable commute
The Chicago Transit Authority will begin offering additional bus and rail service on the transit system’s most crowded routes starting Sunday, December 16, as part of a previously announced plan to reduce uncomfortable crowding and help meet growing ridership demand. The plan is the equivalent of $16 million in added service to bus and rail routes that are used by more than 76 percent of CTA’s customers – and comes at no additional cost to taxpayers and riders.
For commuters on Monday, December 17, the Crowding Reduction Plan will add service to 48 of the busiest and most crowded bus routes during morning and evening rush hour periods. It will also add 17 rail trips to the Red, Blue, Brown, Purple, Orange and Green lines on weekdays to ease crowding on trains. The service additions will reduce the time between trains and buses and lower peak crowd loads by 10 to 15 percent in most cases. For customers on the weekends, the plan will increase Red, Brown and Blue Line train service to accommodate growing weekend train ridership.
“With these changes, the CTA will offer more frequent bus and train service and less crowded conditions during rush hours on bus and rail routes that are used by three out of four customers,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said. “We look forward to being able to serve more riders in the future and to create a more pleasant, efficient commuting experience.”
Last year, CTA had 532 million riders and ridership was nearly 3 percent higher the first 10 months of 2012. Ridership has increased 19 out of 20 months.
The additional service and convenience for passengers will be paid for from savings that will come from discontinuing 12 duplicative or low-ridership routes and discontinuing segments on four routes. Nearly every one of those routes has a nearby transit alternative, including other CTA bus or train routes or Pace service.
The plan was developed in partnership with Northwestern University’s Transportation Center (NUTC), which analyzed ridership and other data to determine the best course for the CTA system.
More information on the changes can be found at http://www.transitchicago.com/news_initiatives/projects/decrowding.aspx.
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