December 17, 1998

CTA began a new weekend express bus service on Cermak Road Saturday, December 19, to serve growing ridership needs. The express service will supplement bus service on the #21 Cermak local route, which is being expanded.

Buses on the new X21 Cermak Express route will make limited stops along Cermak from the Blue Line terminal at 54th Avenue in Cicero to McCormick Place on King Drive at 24th Place, mainly at streets with connecting bus lines. The buses will operate every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. both Saturdays and Sundays. All Cermak buses will be accessible to persons with disabilities.

"We have seen encouraging growth in ridership this past year on Cermak," said CTA Chairman Valerie Jarrett. "The express buses we are introducing are a response to the increased demand. We will continue to monitor ridership trends throughout our system to strengthen our service to meet the demand."

Ridership on #21 Cermak buses increased an average of 48 percent on Saturdays and 47 percent on Sundays and holidays from August, 1997, through August of this year. Average increases of 10 percent have been seen on crosstown bus lines from Ashland west to Cicero on weekends during the same period.

Earlier this year, service was boosted on the #21 Cermak local route by reducing the interval between buses from 15 to 12 minutes during the heaviest ridership periods on both Saturdays and Sundays. The hours of this extra service are now being increased to include the period between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

"We are turning the corner on a 15-year downward trend to the point where ridership has actually increased by 2.2 million this year," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Our positive initiatives are taking hold, and the results are evident. We are providing a better product through the efforts of our employees to make our service on-time, clean, safe and friendly, and customers are responding. The addition of express buses on Cermak and on Western are two more examples of how we are answering our customers' needs."

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