CTA's bus rapid transit plan gets $1 million more in funding from Rockefeller Foundation

The CTA's efforts to develop a meaningful and successful bus rapid transit (BRT) system got a nice shot in the arm last week with another $1 million in financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation for research, technical support, project management and community engagement, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the CTA announced in a news release.

According to the release:

The Rockefeller Foundation has provided nearly $1.8 million towards the Chicago BRT program for various activities, including:

  • Technical assistance of a System Network Plan and overall coordination;
  • Branding and communications;
  • Outreach and education to city and community leaders, chambers of commerce, neighborhood groups and the general public;
  • Land-use planning around the Western/Ashland corridors.

This support from The Rockefeller Foundation has been able to leverage approximately $80,000 in matching support from the Chicago Community Trust (CCT), direct technical assistance from Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), and additional support from the Boeing Foundation.

Some of the BRT improvements aimed at speeding bus traffic and boarding include:

  • Colored pavement markings and enhanced signage clearly delineating the bus lanes.
  • Level-boarding and off-board fare collection.
  • Signal priority for buses at key intersections. Distinct bus shelters at locations served by designated routes.
  • “Next Bus” arrival signs at bus stops and nearby locations.
  • Sidewalk improvements.
  • The installation of protected bicycle lanes.

The CTA is currently testing what its president calls "BRT light" on Jeffery Boulevard with the Jeffery Jump. The CTA reports that additional BRT plans are in the works for the Central Loop East-West Transit Corridor  includes withdesignated bus-priority lanes on two miles of streets:  Madison, Washington, Canal and Clinton.  The corridor would serve Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, the CTA Red and Blue Line subways, Streeterville and Navy Pier.  A new, off-street transportation center just south of Union Station is also part of the concept.


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  • In short, the Rockefeller Foundation believes in welfare for the consultants, too, as there is no seed money for a PPP construction start. Since it is private money, that's their privilege.

  • Now that the "Jeffrey Jump" has been running for a little while, can anyone speculate on how many Jobs it has caused to be created in the neighborhoods South of 67th St.; and how much local Economic Development it has spawned?

  • According to darkwing, Luminator got some big bucks for the bus shetler signs.

    There is sewer construction at 100th and Paxton.

    And Nordstrom has built a store at the superstation at 71st. Forget the last one. Also forget that anyone is transferring there to the ME.

  • In reply to jack:

    I still waiting to see what happens as we get closer and closer to the shutdown.

    And of course no one WOULD be transferring to the ME Now.

  • Your economic development and last post reminded me of the point I made before that even though a "super station" was supposed to be built at Garfield on the Green Line, no economic development has occurred there, or basically anywhere else because of the Green Line rebuilding in 1996. I'm still waiting for Carson's to open at 51st St., for instance. ;-)

    I doubt that even though Garfield is supposed to be the transfer point from the free shuttles, there will even be a Dunkin Donuts there, although I wonder how the Dunkin Donuts at 95th is going to do if there is no reason to enter that station, except maybe as a bus waiting shelter.

    And nobody is going to be transferring at 71st in the conceivable future, either, certainly not in either of our lifetimes. Especially when the whole point of the J14 was to accommodate people on the far south side getting downtown. About as likely as Mel Reynolds winning the 2 CD race (if you are going to another candidates' forum and if he is still in that race).

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not going to anymore -- because I won't put that stress on my 24yo Olds Custom Cruiser.

    I saw an article saying CTA/CDOT are Re-hiring Traffic Assistants for the Shutdown; as the time gets closer this will become a much hotter topic on the South Side.

    Terry Peterson at the South Shore Cultural Center (it's probably on Video somewhere), promised that CTA would work with Metra to have Metra trains running at regular (?) intervals during the Shutdown.

    I'll see if I can get a copy of the testimony>

  • In reply to jack:

    One reason I keep fighting for this thing is that I lived on 77th & South Shore Dr. for 2 yrs.

    Using the Red Line to get downtown (especially weekends) involved riding the 79th St bus 45 min West to State St. crossing 2 unused MED lines (after a 30min wait for the bus sitting there to leave the Terminal - actually 2 or 3 at once).

    An hour and 45 minutes and I'm STILL on 79th St. with over 1/2 my transfer time gone.

    OR I could get off at Jeffrey and wait 45 min for that.

    However since there is NO Corporate Welfare for connected Construction Company and Consultant Campaign Contributors involved in.......... Oh forget it.

  • Or now take either the 6 or 26 bus (latter rush direction only). That's why they did the 2003 (or so) restructuring.

  • In reply to jack:

    On Saturday and especially Sunday the 6 runs every hour to hour and a half -- I LIVED THERE (Great when it's 5deg outside) but I'm told that's "anecdotal". There was no 26 then.

  • Current #6 schedule indicates every 10 to 15 minutes on weekends to or from 79th.

    Even if the ME beefed up schedules on the South Chicago branch to the degree you advocated 12 years ago, that would be once every 20 minutes.

  • THAT is exactly what I was talking about jack -- the "schedule" "says" 10 to 15 minutes.


  • Mike:

    Well, if the ME derails at the 71st and Exchange curve, or hits some car trying to go around the gates, it isn't going to be on time either. Ask Phil Pagano, if you can.

    And, since you say you don't live there any more, have you stood in the cold there since the 2003 restructuring?

  • I forgot to mention the 71 bus, which goes directly from that area to the 69th station, or once that is shut down, the Garfield one.

  • In reply to jack:

    Stay tuned Sports Fans -- I talked to a Metra source who said they ARE actually working with CTA for some type (?) of alternative Metra Rail service during the Red Line Shutdown.

    They will start having Community Meetings once things are more finalized.

    I am going to finally make everybody Happy and SHUT UP -- And wait and see what they come up with.

  • Based on that Pace said what replacement service it was providing after the Dec. CTA cuts, and CTA didn't, I believe that any announcement would come from Metra, not CTA.

    But I also believe that they will only be good for the 6 months. I also don't believe that CTA will be subsidizing Metra for providing the service, just as it didn't subsidize Metra for providing extra service on the UP N line during 3 track. More than likely, those passengers will have to buy Metra tickets.

    BTW, Pace has had a survey posted about alternative service for several months now, including whether people want additional trips to Metra stops, or the 353 bus to stop at 103rd to transfer to the J14. Results have not been posted yet.

  • In reply to jack:

    Stupidity, I say - they need to have express bus shuttles running from several Green Line stations from 55th west/east down to the furthest south location that the corresponding N-S bus runs to. Examples - an X4 running from 63rd/Cottage to Altgeld, an X8 running from 63rd/Halsted to 119th. 55th could host at most 2 of these shuttles (a State/Lafayette and a Wentworth/upper Vincennes).

  • In reply to urbanleftbehind:

    Stupid or Not -- That is what they're doing!

    And to me it's just like Mr. Spock says -- "Fascinating"

  • No, that's not what they are proposing. As I understand the current proposal, the express buses go to 95th and intermediate stations. As I indicated by my Dunkin Donuts comments, people coming in from, say, routes 108, 111, and 115 will have to transfer to a shuttle bus at 95th.

    urbanleftbehind: Someone proposed on chicagobus.org that Pace do similar, to which my response was that Pace wasn't going to add 10 miles and one hour to each round trip. While your proposal would undoubtedly involve a tradeoff between the 95th shuttles and the feeders south of 95th, it would still add an equivalent length to each CTA route feeding the 95th station.

  • The Rockefeller Foundation would be better off spending that money ensuring that one could get back and forth to the Rockefeller Chapel (e.g. restoring the funding for the 170s routes to U of C).

  • "Now that the "Jeffrey Jump" has been running for a little while,"
    So has ridership changed? The Jeffrey Express has been heavily used for over 50 years. The only substantive change to the "Jump" is few traffic lights giving priority. Has anyone noticed better schedule adherence?

  • This is Off-Topic -- but it's a Great Video - Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9CTL6MfJws

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