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Express Bus With Wi-Fi, Phone Chargers and Fewer Stops Set For NW Side

 A rendering of the planned Pulse Bus Rapid Transit stop at Central and Milwaukee avenues.
A rendering of the planned Pulse Bus Rapid Transit stop at Central and Milwaukee avenues.
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JEFFERSON PARK — Far Northwest Side bus riders looking to get up and down Milwaukee Avenue in a hurry will get a closer look Wednesday at the first bus rapid transit line from Pace.

The Pulse bus rapid transit line will take riders from the Jefferson Park Transit Center to the Golf Mill Shopping Center in Niles starting in 2017, officials said.

Heather Cherone says the bus will cut down travel time:

An open house to discuss the project will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.

Traffic lights will be synchronized by onboard computers to keep buses moving along Milwaukee Avenue, with stops every half-mile rather than every few blocks like the No. 270 Milwaukee Avenue Pace bus, which will continue to operate, officials said.

Pulse buses are expected to reduce travel times on the seven-mile stretch of Milwaukee Avenue by 10 to 15 percent, officials said.

Pulse buses will offer Wi-Fi and cellphone-charging stations, officials said.

Stops are planned at the transit center, at Central and Milwaukee avenues; at Austin and Ardmore avenues; and at Haft Street and Highland Avenue in Chicago.

Those stops will feature shelters with interior lighting, seating, bicycle racks and heat during the winter. Electronic signs at each stop will feature "real-time bus arrival information" and transit and neighborhood maps, officials said.

Pace also plans a Pulse bus rapid transit line along Harlem Avenue, officials said.

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