PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: CTA reveals proposed service changes for buses, trains

Combination of additions and cuts aimed at reducing congestion during peak hours

August 24, 2012

The Chicago Transit Authority unveiled plans on Tuesday for a major restructuring of its bus and train lines throughout the city, adding service on its most congested lines to reduce overcrowding during peak hours. The agency is also planning to eliminate 12 low-ridership bus routes.

All train lines except the Pink and Yellow are scheduled to receive more trains and more frequent service. The majority of the service increases will focus on the Red, Blue and Brown lines. For bus riders, 48 routes will expand service.

At present, the CTA estimates that 80 to 90 riders pack into each rail car during peak hours; the agency hopes to reduce that number to 70 to 75 passengers per car. The “de-crowding target” for buses is to go from 70 riders to less than 55 on average.

Between the service additions and cuts, the entire restructuring—the first major one in 15 years—is valued at approximately $16 million. The proposal hinges on approval by the CTA board following a public hearing on Sept. 4. If the measure is approved, all service changes would take effect on Dec. 16.