Another bus bites the dust - well, at least overnight service will stop March 31 on the popular #151 Sheridan. Starting on Sunday, the last northbound overnight trip will leave Union Station at 1:25 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and 1 a.m. on Sundays and holidays. The first southbound trip will leave Clark/Devon at 4 a.m. on weekdays and 4:30 a.m. on weekends.
Citing low ridership overnight, the CTA is urging riders to use the Red Line or #22 Clark bus instead. But some riders took issue with that alternative.
"As you know the 151, north of North Ave, pretty much runs as close to the lake as possible with out getting on LSD," a CTA Tattler reader named James wrote to me in an email. "It is not until it gets north of Addison that it starts to travel slightly west as it continues north. In contrast, the #22 pretty much follows Clark Ave. Clark Avenue has been the scene of many assaults during the late night hours. With the #151 night owl service being discontinued, I fear the number of assaults will rise for people who are now forced to take it."
Update: As commenter Jack notes below, the CTA has listed some other service changes set to go into effect on March 31 and April 1. Routes affected are #88, #52, #169, #X98, #85A, #54A, #48, and #33.
Online petition opposes Ventra card. A frequent CTA rider has begun an online petition opposing the Ventra card, decrying fees for single-use rail fares, and for the non-mandatory debit card that could be activated by riders. As Tribune columnist Jon Hilkevitch noted in his story about the petition, Ankit Patel, who created the petition, said, "At the end of the day, this deal, like every other Chicago deal, will go through. But the least we can do is express our disappointment."
At this time of this posting, the petition had about 500 signatories.
Update: The Tribune reports today that the CTA has dropped the $2.95 charge to load the Ventra Debit card with a credit card, and the $10-per-hour charge for "account research" to resolve billing discrepancies.