New spring schedules: CTA expands some bus, rail service too

Last week I reported that the #151 Sheridan nightowl service was being eliminated, among other service changes that went into effect March 31. It turns out the CTA also is increasing service, though that news was not so prominently spotlighted. So here you go, according to a CTA spokesperson:

  • Three additional Blue Line PM trips
  • Adding 1-3 weekday peak period trips on 7 routes (#49 Western, #82 Kimball/Homan, #147 Inner Drive Express, #156 LaSalle).
  • Increasing capacity by assigning larger buses at certain points (60-foot articulated buses versus standard 40-foot buses) on the #49 Western (AM peak) and the #82 Kimball/Homan (PM peak)
  • Lengthening three trips on the #72 North to the full length of the route (AM peak); shifting frequency to best meet peak AM demand; and increasing frequency of service (PM peak)
  • Lengthening trips and adding trips to the #65 Grand (alternative for #33 customers) (AM peak)
  • Extending #52 Kedzie/California to Addison/Rockwell
  • Shifting #70 Division frequency in PM peak to better address ridership demand
  • Assigned larger, articulated buses and shifted frequency in peak PM period for #82 Kimball/Homan
  • #125 Water Tower Express assigned larger articulated buses  (alternative for #33 customers, which was eliminated)

Other route changes are frequency-only that will change the time between buses between 2 and 10 minutes, and a small number of buses will see length of service end earlier in the evening, based on ridership demand for those routes.  Changes include:

  •  Frequency changes to the #30 South Chicago; #51 51st; #55A Austin and 55N Narragansett; #54B South Cicero; #62H Archer/Harlem; #96 Lunt; #100 Jeffery Manor Express; #201 Central/Ridge
  • Route changes include the elimination of the #33, a route contracted with a third party for which a new subsidy could not be negotiated
  • Reduction in frequency and hours, including ending service 30 minutes to an hour earlier in the evening, for #48 South Damen; #54A N. Cicero/Skokie Blvd.; #85A North Central; and #88 Higgins

The spring pick by union bus and rail operators, which includes several of these changes effective March 31, also makes accommodations for extensive additional bus service related to the Red Line South Reconstruction Project, which will begin May 19 and require a five-month shutdown of the Red Line between 22nd and 95th streets. CTA will provide additional service on existing bus routes and free bus shuttles from Red Line stations from 63rd to 95th, as well as between Roosevelt and Chinatown/Cermak.


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  • I believe that Hilkevitch was the first to say anything about additional service.

    Also, the Alerts didn't become current until after the changes went into effect (March 31).

    And, according to what people on said, apparently nobody except whoever wrote the Alert on 52 understands what the change on 52 was. According to one poster, that includes whoever changed the bus stop signs. Both Hilkevitch and Swartz misstated it.

  • In reply to jack:

    didn't you or someone post that CTA lost it's ability to use a turnaround on private land? (maybe on comed property?)

    From the new map, it looks like the northbound bus turns east on Belmont, crosses the river then uses Campbell/Rockwell to go behind the police station, Devry, and Lane Tech up to Addison/Rockwell. Probably lays over there on the street, then turns west on Addison back over the river and back south on California. Is that inaccurate?

  • In reply to whateva:

    If your question is what you gleaned from is inaccurate, the answer is no. That's a combination of what we gleaned from the Alert, the new posted schedule brochure, and in the case of the turnaround loop, Google Maps.

    What was pointed out as inaccurate (to some degree or another) was:

    1. Swartz counting 52 as one of nine cuts.

    2. Hilkevitch saying that there was no service on California north of Belmont, when the correct statement would have been that there is no northbound service north of Belmont.

    3. Reports that some bus stop signs also omitted the California side of the loop.

    So, if you can clear those heads :-), since your head seems clearer that those people's.

  • In reply to jack:

    Ah, I see what you're talking about. I just looked at the new map on the website to see the new loop. If anything, isn't it better that it does what it does now? Before it wasn't going by the police station/courthouse, Devry, or Lane and wasn't getting to Addison, now it does.

  • In reply to whateva:

    Exactly. The consensus was that CTA should have promoted it as an improvement, but at least the RedEye took it as the opposite.

    Also, it is effectively new service for Gordon Tech.

  • In reply to jack:

    It's probably not as big a deal for Gordon at least in the morning. With the layover behind Lane, it's still a block or so to Gordon vs 2 from the old layover. Afternoon it'd be closer (I assume there's a stop on Cali just south of Addison after the bus turns?)

  • In reply to whateva:

    All I figure is that Gordon is on the corner of Addison and California, so wherever they put stop 11787-California & Addison has to be closer than the old terminal.

    I got the stop number from the Bus Tracker map, as the list of stops doesn't seem to have been updated yet.

    Compared to that, Lane Tech is closer to Western, and someone would have to walk past the football field to get to Rockwell.

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