August 17, 2000

Service improvements will be implemented on 13 bus lines throughout the CTA service area, starting Sunday, August 20. The changes are being made to strengthen service in response to growing ridership, which began increasing in 1998 after a 15-year decline. Bus ridership in the first six months of 2000 gained by 3.4 million, or 2.3 percent, compared to the same period of last year.

?It is the CTA's mission to deliver affordable, safe and consistently reliable public transit services that link people, jobs and communities," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett.

?With ridership continuing to increase, it's important to strengthen our service to sustain the growth," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "These improvements are part of a process we?ve been carrying out over the past two years that has included establishing express bus lines on Western and Cermak, reopening the Blue Line subway station at Grand, and enhancing service on five 'L' lines and dozens of bus lines throughout CTA's service area."

Other recent service improvements include extending service to downtown until 12:30 a.m. nightly on the #6 Jeffery Express route, later weekend and all-day Sunday service to the Loop on the Brown Line, and keeping 13 downtown-area 'L' stations and station entrances open at all hours trains operate.

Upcoming changes are listed by service area and route, as follows:

South/Southwest Side Changes

#14 South Lake Shore Express buses (weekday rush periods only) will start operating 30 minutes earlier, leaving 103rd/Stony Island for trips downtown at 4:30 a.m., instead of 5 a.m. Afternoon service from Washington/Jefferson will begin at 2 p.m. instead of at 2:15.

X21 Cermak Express weekend/holiday service will be extended from 54th/Cermak to the North Riverside Mall at Cermak/Harlem, replacing #25 West Cermak buses. Service will operate east from the mall from about 7:40 a.m. until 7:40 p.m., and west from King Drive beginning at 8 a.m. Saturdays and 7:45 a.m. on Sundays. After X21 service ends on Saturday nights, #21 Cermak local buses will provide service to the mall until 10:30 p.m.

All #30 South Chicago buses will operate on Sundays to Brandon/Brainard, instead of ending half of the trips at 118th (Eastside Plaza), providing service from 92nd/Commercial every 20 minutes throughout the day.

#34 South Michigan owl service will operate south from the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line 'L' every 30 minutes, instead of hourly, from 2:08 a.m. to 4:08 a.m., and northbound from 131st/Ellis at the same frequency from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.

#103 West 103rd buses will increase service west of Vincennes on weekends, operating all trips to Pulaski, and providing service every 20 minutes from the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line 'L' throughout the day.

On the #169 69th to United Parcel Service route, there will be one additional departure from the 69th/Dan Ryan 'L' station on weekdays, starting at 9:10 p.m., or 10 minutes after the 9:00 p.m. bus. From the UPS facility in Hodgkins, there will be an additional trip leaving at 10:10 p.m., or five minutes after the 10:05 p.m. departure. Also, the bus currently scheduled to leave UPS at 3:10 p.m. will now leave at 3 p.m. The 3:20 p.m. bus will not be affected.

North/Northwest Side Changes

#97 Skokie service from the Howard Red Line 'L' station on Sundays will start five minutes earlier and include one extra trip to provide service every 30 minutes, beginning at 6:30 a.m. Service from the Dempster/Skokie Yellow Line station will also operate every 30 minutes, starting at 7:03 a.m. On Saturday evenings, the last bus will leave Howard at 10:20 p.m., instead of at 10:03 p.m.

#135 Wilson/LaSalle Express weekday rush period service to downtown will start 15 minutes earlier, leaving Wilson/Ravenswood at 5:40 a.m. Afternoon service will start 15 minutes earlier from Jackson/Franklin, leaving at 3:45 p.m.

#136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express weekday rush period service to downtown will start 15 minutes earlier, with the first bus entering service over the majority of the route from Bryn Mawr/Sheridan at 6 a.m. Afternoon service will also start 15 minutes earlier, with the first bus leaving Jackson/Franklin for a trip to Bryn Mawr/Sheridan at 3:45 p.m. All other #136 buses operate to and from Sheridan/Devon.

#145 Wilson/Michigan Express buses will run express on outer Lake Shore Drive between Belmont and Oak during all hours of service, instead of using Sheridan, Stockton and inner Lake Shore on Sundays and holidays. Local stops will continue to be served by #151 Sheridan buses, which operate at all hours. Service will also operate later on weekends, with the last #145 bus from Wilson/Ravenswood leaving at 6 p.m., and the last northbound trip from Wells/Congress starting at 6:50 p.m.

#146 Marine/Michigan Express buses will run express on outer Lake Shore Drive between Belmont and Oak during all hours of service, instead of making local stops on Sheridan, Stockton and inner Lake Shore late at night and all day Sundays and holidays. Buses will also operate later every night, with the last #146 bus from the Berwyn Red Line 'L' station starting for downtown at 11:20 p.m., and the last bus north from Wells/Congress leaving at midnight.

#147 Outer Drive Express service (weekdays and Saturdays) will start 15 minutes earlier and end 15 minutes later. Southbound buses will leave the Howard Red Line 'L' station from 5:30 a.m. until 6:55 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6:15 a.m. until 6:10 p.m. on Saturdays. The last northbound bus will leave Wells/Congress at 7:45 p.m. on weekdays, and at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

For details about all CTA service, call 836-7000 (all local area codes).

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