April 3, 2002

Changes on five CTA bus routes were approved the CTA Board at its monthly meeting Wednesday. The changes included extending daily service to a West Side senior housing center and weekend service during the summer to the Montrose Beach.

#126 Jackson buses, which normally operate through Garfield Park in both directions along Jackson Boulevard, will be rerouted westbound off Jackson via Central Park, Congress, Independence and Hamlin back to Jackson to serve a Chicago Housing Authority senior apartment building on Congress, starting Sunday, June 23. Eastbound service will not be affected.

#78 Montrose bus service will be extended to the Montrose Beach during the hours the beach is open on weekends from Sunday, June 23, through the Labor Day weekend. Routing to the beach will be via Wilson and Simonds Drive to Montrose. Return trips will be via Montrose and Clarendon back to Wilson, where the buses will resume their regular routes west.

#72 North buses that begin operating to the North Avenue Beach in May will stay on North to Clark instead of using LaSalle to reach LaSalle Drive en route to the beach. The change will provide service to Clark at all hours for easier connections to buses on Clark.

#203 Ridge/Grant buses will operate on Grant west of McCormick during weekday rush periods only, eliminating off-peak service to Crawford at the request of the community, starting Monday, June 24. This change was requested by the local community and supported by the City of Evanston.

#19 United Center Express buses, which provide service to the United Center for all Bulls and Blackhawks games and for certain other events, will be rerouted. To avoid congestion on Madison, westbound #19 buses will operate via Madison, Jefferson, Randolph, Ogden, Washington, and Damen before stopping for the United Center on Madison. Return trips will be via Madison, Wood, Warren, Washington and Michigan to Chicago. No bus stops are affected and this change goes into effect immediately.

These improvements are an example of an ongoing effort by the CTA to regularly evaluate routes and service levels and make adjustments as needed. Since 1998, nine new bus routes have been established. Four routes were extended to make it easier for workers to reach their jobs. Hours or frequency of service have been extended for 70 routes.

The CTA is also making its mainline bus service more convenient for customers with disabilities. Presently, 80% of routes and 92% of buses are accessible. On the rail side, 44% (or 64 out of 144) stations are accessible to customers with disabilities. Upgrades have been made at 25 rail stations, making them more attractive and convenient to use and a new station opened last summer on the Green Line near the Garfield Park Conservatory. Additionally, 13 downtown 'L' stations that were open part-time are now open at all hours trains are in operation.

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