Mayor Lightfoot and CTA Announce New Bus Pilot to Improve West Side Transit Connections

June 16, 2020

Extension of the #157 Streeterville/Taylor route latest effort under Mayor’s Invest South/West community improvement initiative

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the start of a new one-year pilot to extend the #157 Streeterville/Taylor bus route to provide greater transit connections and better serve the City’s West Side. The pilot is the latest in CTA’s ongoing efforts to improve bus service and an important component of the Mayor’s Invest South/West community improvement initiative.

“This pilot is a great example of one of the ways that our public organizations can take specific actions to reverse and address years of historic dis-investment,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This is an area that has suffered from high unemployment, a lack of local jobs and limited transit connectivity, but now CTA is taking action to help foster this community’s ongoing revitalization efforts.”

The #157 route will now travel further west making new, direct connections with the #21 Cermak, #52 Kedzie, #53 Pulaski and #82 Kimball/Homan bus routes, as well as the Pulaski and Central Park Pink Line stations. Previous routing for the #157 was between Chestnut Street/Lake Shore Drive and Ogden/California avenues.

For customers and members of the North Lawndale community, this change in service also means improved access to jobs, healthcare, schools and other services, including the Illinois Medical District (IMD), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Mt. Sinai Hospital medical campus, Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and the Lawndale Christian Health Center.

“The return of bus services along this corridor of Ogden Avenue is the latest in a series of investments by the City of Chicago to improve Chicago’s bus network under the leadership of Mayor Lightfoot,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr.  “We look forward to working with the City to identify additional opportunities for improving service and transit connections across the city.”

The #157 pilot was approved by the Chicago Transit Board earlier this year, along with another pilot to improve West Side transit by streamlining bus service along Kedzie and California avenues via the newly renamed and realigned #52 Kedzie and #94 California bus routes. The #52/#94 pilot, which began Sunday, is cost-neutral. The #157 pilot will cost approximately $550,000 for the full-year and is funded with CTA operating dollars.

These pilots are the latest in a series of bus service enhancements implemented under the leadership of CTA President Carter to further strengthen transit system connections and improve service reliability. Recent bus service projects include: reinstatement of Ashland and Western express routes; expanded bus service on several South Side/Far South Side routes; launch of Loop Link; construction of the Union Station Transit Center; launch of the Bus Priority Zones Program with CDOT; plus, the piloting of new services on the #39 Pershing and #31 31st routes.

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