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CTA De-Crowding Plan Would Cut Some Bus Service, Add More Trains

By Chris Bentley in News on Aug 22, 2012 5:20PM

Photo Credit: Mike Travis

Red, Blue and Brown line riders may feel just slightly less like sardines packed in a tin can if CTA passes a $16 million “de-crowding initiative” currently in its last stages of planning. The first major restructuring of the transit system since 1997 would eliminate 12 underused bus routes and use the savings to add train cars to every "L" route except the Yellow and Pink lines.

Rush hour Red, Blue and Brown line service would see the biggest boost in new trains under the proposal, as would 48 high-ridership bus routes. The goal is to bring maximum ridership on CTA’s 39-seat buses below 55 during peak hours. Some routes currently carry 70 people at busy times, leaving would-be riders at bus stops.

The bus service cuts target redundancies, CTA said, like the No. 56A North Milwaukee bus, whose route northwest from Jefferson Park is doubled by Pace bus No. 270. Some cuts are already drawing protest. The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce said it plans to fight changes proposed for No. 11 Lincoln route between Western and Fullerton. CTA would restore the No. 37 Sedwick-Ogden route, eliminated in 2006, to make up for the Lincoln avenue cut.

There will be a public hearing on the plans at 6 p.m. Sept. 4 at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St.