December 16, 2012

CTA changes extend, eliminate transit options

Changes to some Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train routes went into effect Sunday. These included expanded service on highly trafficked routes and cuts to routes with low ridership.

The 2 Hyde Park Express, 4 Cottage Grove, and 6 Jackson Park Express bus routes, which all serve Hyde Park residents, will run more frequently during weekday rush periods. The 6 and the 59 routes will also have extended service hours in the early morning and late evening.

For trains, 17 more trips will be added to the Red, Blue, Brown, Purple, Orange, and Green Lines during weekday rush periods to reduce crowding on trains. The Red and Brown Lines and the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line will also offer more frequent service on weekends.

Some routes have been cut due to “low ridership”, including the X28 Stony Island Express, which provided an express route from 47th Street and Lake Park Boulevard to Union Station during weekday rush hours. As a result of the X28’s elimination, the 28 Stony Island Local route, which also transports riders to Union Station, will run more frequently during rush hours.

The changes, part of the CTA’s “crowding reduction plan”, were approved by the CTA Board in September. They resulted from a detailed review of CTA routes and schedules amid evolving transit use patterns. Conducted with the help of Northwestern University’s Transportation Center (NUTC), the restructured plan is the first of its kind since 1997.

In all, the plan has added service to 48 bus routes and eliminated 12.