Western, Irving Park and Garfield bus routes to get more express service
The CTA on Monday, March 23, will add more express service to three of its nine express bus routes that also have local service. The routes are the X49 Western Express -- the third busiest in the system -- the X80 Irving Park Express and the X55 Garfield Express.
The CTA board first approved these "experimental service enhancements" at the January board meeting this year. Then CTA President Ron Huberman said: "Express routes were originally implemented to provide greater speed and reduce travel times for customers, the addition of buses on these routes will increase the number of customers that we are able to accommodate with express service." (And I thought I was done quoting Huberman!)
A number of folks here have advocated for more distance between bus stops. With the continuing fast expansion of Bus Tracker as a tool to reduce gaps between buses, the CTA can better assure the promised 15-minute frequency on local service. And customers who don't mind walking up to two blocks in most cases can get where they need to go much faster. My wife said the Irving Park Express often shaves15-20 minutes off her commute from Milwaukee-Irving-Cicero to the Sheridan Red Line stop.
On the nine routes with both express and local service, the CTA reports a 16.3% increase in total ridership. This is good stuff. Here's hoping this experiment becomes a permanent success, and more routes get express service.