The CTA board on Wednesday signed off on an ambitious plan to relieve overcrowding and hopefully shorten travel times on 48 bus routes and six rail lines. As I've noted before, it's the execution of the plan that really matters now.
Despite strong objections from organized protesters of cuts planned for the #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick and #145 Wilson/Michigan Express, the board blessed the original plan as presented in mid-August.
The CTA says the plan is "the equivalent of $16 million in added service to bus and rail routes at no cost whatsoever to taxpayers." Well, except to the taxpayers whose routes are being eliminated or restructured.
Personally, I think if the plan works, then it's worth the sacrifice that a small number of riders have to make. And you can bet we'll be monitoring the results after the plan takes effect on Dec. 16.
Here are the details:
Overview of bus changes:
- Adds service to 48 routes, including the busiest and most crowded bus routes in the city, by increasing service during peak times on congested routes and extending two other routes.
- Discontinues 12 duplicative and low-ridership routes and discontinues route segments on three routes.
Overview of rail changes:
- During weekday peak travel times, 17 rail trips will be added to all six lines, mostly on the Blue, Red and Brown lines, the CTA’s busiest train routes.
Bus routes with added service:
Rail service improvements:
- Blue Line, weekday and weekend
- Brown Line, weekday and weekend
- Green Line, weekday
- Orange Line, weekday
- Purple Line, weekday
- Red Line, weekday and weekend
Bus route "restructuring":
Routes to be discontinued
- #X28 Stony Island Express (send #28 downtown during peak instead)
- #64 Foster-Canfield (Alternative #90 and Pace #209)
- #69 Cumberland/East River (reroute #81W)
- #122 Ill. Center/Ogilvie Express (extend #120 into Streeterville)
- #123 Ill. Center/Union Express (extend #121 into Streeterville)
- #129 West Loop/South Loop (Alternative #1, #29 and Green Line)
- #144 Marine/Michigan Express (Add service to #148)
- #145 Wilson/Michigan Express (Add service to #146)
Routes to be discontinued that are served by Pace
- #17 Westchester (Alternative Pace #317)
- #49A South Western (Alternative Pace #349)
- #56A North Milwaukee (Alternative Pace #270)
- #90N North Harlem (Alternative Pace #423)
Route segment eliminations
- #1 Indiana/Hyde Park (Discontinue south of 35th)
- #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick (eliminate service between Western & Fullerton and rename segments #11 Lincoln and #37 Sedgwick)
- #111 Pullman/111th/115th – split into two new routes: #111 111th/King Drive and #115 Pullman/115th
Privately contracted routes – Renegotiate subsidy or eliminate route
- #10 Museum of Science & Industry
- #33 Mag Mile Express
- #X98 Avon Express
- #132 Goose Island Express
- #169 69th-UPS Express
- #170 U of C/Midway
- #171 U of C/Hyde Park
- #172 U of C/Kenwood
- #192 U of C/Hospital Express
- #N201 Central/Sherman – Owl service (1:00 a.m. to 5:15 a.m.)
Schedule Integration with Pace
- #95W West 95th (coordinate with Pace #381)
Goals to reduce overcrowding
- Buses: Reduce current 70 passengers in a bus to 45-55 passengers
- Trains: Reduce from current 90+ passengers in a rail car to 70 - 75 passengers per train-car