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City Postpones Downtown Bus Rapid Transit Project

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 25, 2014 2:00PM

A rendering of the Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit Project from Madison Street. (Courtesy Chicago Department of Transportation)

The Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit project, which would provide distinct separation traffic for motorists, bicycles and buses and build a transportation hub south of Union station that would allow public transit users to make easier connections between buses and trains, has been postponed until at least 2015 by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Construction on the project was supposed to begin sometime this year but Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said design on the project is taking “longer than expected.” Per the Sun-Times:

"We're finishing the design, which is complex," Scheinfeld said Monday. "This is a transformative project that will improve the quality of life for millions of people traveling downtown and across the Loop. We need to make certain that the design of the corridor meets the CTA's operational needs and that the design of those platform stations reflects the input of stakeholders along the corridor, including businesses and building owners."

Part of the project involves tearing up Washington and Madison Streets so water mains can be relocated in order to install eight raised passenger boarding islands in the street for the BRT routes. CDOT and Chicago Transit Authority plan on operating six routes via bus-only lanes on Madison, Washington, Canal and Clinton Streets which would reduce bus ride times in the loop by an average of 3 to 9 minutes. Scheinfeld told the Sun-Times Mayor Rahm Emanuel is “more interested in getting it right than rushing it through.”