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.