Details on CTA service expansion, bus route changes and eliminations

Here are the details, from the CTA presentation:

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 proposed for discontinuation

  • #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)

Total = 8

Routes proposed for discontinuation 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)

Total = 4

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)

Total = 2

Route combinations

  • #111 Pullman/111th/115th – split into two new routes: #111 111th/King Drive and #115 Pullman/115th

Total: 1

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

Total = 9

Owl eliminations

  • #N201 Central/Sherman – Owl service (1:00 a.m. to 5:15 a.m.)

Total: 1

Schedule Integration with Pace

  • #95W West 95th (coordinate with Pace #381)

Total: 1

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



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  • Let's see how long before the South Side ministers start screaming that it's racist that most of the routes increased are on the North & Northwest Sides!
    Now I'm an occasional rider on the #4 Cottage Grove & I consider it the single worst bus route in the city as it makes the #22 Clark look good. That's how bad it is.
    The #3 & #4 are the two longest non express routes that enter the Central Business District & both use Michigan from Cermak to Randolph.
    Michigan is a traffic nightmare!
    I don't know the exact numbers, but personal observation is that there are at least three #3s to every two #4s. But there are times where there are three #3s to every #4. When I board the #4 NB at 58th St, there are always at least two bunched up, often three & on several occasions four of them.
    This route is just too damn long & needs to be split with the NBs going to 55th & the SBs going to 63rd, thus overlapping at the U of C Hospital, where there are always large numbers using the stops.

    I was surprised to see that the 55 bus didn't get increased service as it's always got standees when going EB at the Ryan L station.

    Hopefully, the increase on the 22 will bring the service back to what is was before the cutbacks & layoffs of a couple of years ago. When they increased service due to three tracking the L, it was the first time in 30 years that the Clark bus ran smoothly & on time, even in the rush hours or when the Cubs played!

    As for demanding an increased subsidy from the U of C for the 192, watch for a huge outcry over that route as every run always fills up every seat, with a few standees on an articulated bus, which is what's used for all the runs unless there's a breakdown.

  • Good call on eliminating the #144. It used to pass my bus stop every day, with about 3 people on it, which was crazy considering it was often a 60 foot bus.

    I was surprised to see 136 didn't get an increase. I think with 144 and 145 being eliminated you'll get even more people riding the 136, which was fairly crowded to begin with.

    I'm assuming they're going to try and get U of C to pony up more money if they want to continue the route.

    Any idea how this will affect intervals at rush for any of these lines?

    Also, since they're purchasing a bunch of 60 foot buses that seem to be replacing 40 foot buses, how does that play into this, if at all? Overall I think these are good moves by the CTA. Hopefully they continue to evaluate routes and make adjustments and increases where necessary as ridership continues to increase.

  • Since the pdf doesn't have details, just that certain lines get more service, other lines are cut, other lines are coordinated with Pace, etc. my impressions on these preceding two comments:

    3 and 4 are supposed to get more service. I had previously said that if they want to "force" ridership on the Green Line, service frequency should be cut north of 63rd, but that's the thing that is not going to be politically possible. Someone in Grand Crossing will say that they can't visit their aunt or ahnt in Bronzeville.

    The racism call the last time was based on "They cut the X3, X4, X9, and X55" without noting that the put the resources back into the locals, which were down in some cases to 15 minutes in 2009. They also cut the X80, and 80 has subsequently been cut. Now, if anything is being cut here on the express system, it is on the north side. I don't see how saying that they are cutting X28 but regular 28s are to go downtown is really a change.

    As far as the 40 to 60 foot buses, it may eventually change things, but I am convinced that the reason the 100 Seattle options just had to be picked up now for delivery between Nov. and May is that they need 100 buses for the Red Line replacement. Maybe they and the approximately 100 in the pending solicitation will have an effect after that's done. Also, as they pointed out in the Press Release on garage renovation, they have to find somewhere to store them.

  • I'm confused about the #11 change. Wouldn't they really be discontinuing the #11 totally below Western, and reviving the #37 Sedgewick to cover the entire southern portion of #11 that runs from Clinton or Lincoln/Clark/Armitage?

    And also wondering if the proposed increases to Brown Line at all times are structured to accommodate both decreasing current car loads *and* the added #11 alternatives? (Although I would suggest that, while the Brown Line route is similar to the #11, an L does not replace a surface transit option, in frequency or accessibility. Possibly for rush hour riders, but not necessarily the rest of the daily ridership)

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