Mayor Emanuel Joins Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool to Unveil New LED Bus Tracker Displays For Bus Shelters

September 30, 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Forrest Claypool today to unveil the first of 400 Light Emitting Diode (LED) Bus Tracker displays that will be installed at select JC Decaux bus shelters throughout all 50 Aldermanic Wards.

“As Mayor, my goal is to make Chicago the best city in the nation to live, work and raise a family with a high quality of life,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the site of the first LED installation at Lake Park Avenue and east Hyde Park Boulevard.  “Every day, approximately 1.6 million riders take CTA to and from work, school or for recreation, and providing those riders with clean, reliable, safe and modern transportation, maintains a high quality of life for our residents.”

The displays will provide four lines of text via CTA Bus Tracker with bus arrival information, and eventually important customer alerts affecting the respective route and surrounding transfer points. The LED signs will be installed on the sides of bus shelters and face outward to serve as many riders as possible – both those at the stop and within the vicinity of the shelter.

“The installation of these signs will help simplify commuting by providing highly visible information on bus arrivals at that stop, including places where there are transfers to bus or rail service,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The availability of these signs also will extend the benefits of CTA Bus Tracker to those who may not be familiar with the service or may not have the tools to access it while on the go.”

Installation of the first 150 signs begins today, and will be completed by March 2012.

The full list of locations for the first 150 signs will be posted of the CTA’s web site.

The locations were selected based on ridership, stops serving multiple bus routes, bus-to-bus transfers, and locations providing transfers to Metra and Pace. 

After testing, the remaining 250 signs will be installed by September 2012.

Funds for the purchase and maintenance of the signs are made available through $1.4 million of CTA funds, a $1.8 million Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) grant and a $640,000 Federal Transit Adminstration, Congestion Mitigation and Quality (CMAQ) grant.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), which oversees the JC Decaux contract and maintains the public right of ways, will be the CTA’s partner in the operations and maintenance of the LED screens.

“These investments in mass transit, bike lanes and our neighborhoods all attracts new residents to Chicago, which helps us continue moving forward as a world-class city,” added Emanuel.

Earlier this month, the Mayor joined Claypool to announce a new station renewal initiative, designed to provide a facelift to 100 CTA rail stations over the next 12 months.

In July, the Mayor also joined CTA to announce it would invest $10 million to hire 50 full-time police officers to patrol rail and bus stations across the city. The police officers are scheduled to begin the Police Academy in the fall, and are expected to be detailed to the Public Transportation Section by spring 2012.

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