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CTA Aims To Speed Up Western Bus, But Some Stops Must Go

By Patty Wetli | November 2, 2015 9:41am
 The CTA is returning express buses to the Western and Ashland lines.
The CTA is returning express buses to the Western and Ashland lines.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

LINCOLN SQUARE — To speed bus service on Western Avenue, the Chicago Transit Authority is not only planning to reintroduce a rush hour express route but also is aiming to cut a number of little-used stops on the local route as well.

Western and Ashland avenues have been targeted by CTA as two of the agency's bus routes with the highest ridership yet worst-ranked service, experiencing both bus bunching and big gaps between buses.

Patty Wetli says commute times will be cut, but not everyone is pleased:

According to the CTA, "optimizing bus stop spacing on the local routes ... will allow buses to travel faster by reducing the time buses spend frequently merging in and out of traffic."

The agency estimates the trimmed down local route could save riders up to 7.5 minutes.

Stops on the local chopping block include Carmen, Ainslie, Sunnyside, Cullom, Belle Plaine, Byron, Waveland, Cornelia and School. Stops will be maintained at all major bus and rail transfer points, which is where 64 percent of riders board the No. 49 Western bus, according to CTA.

A complete map depicting express stops, local stops that will be maintained and local stops slated for elimination can be viewed online.

CTA is collecting feedback on its proposal through Nov. 10 in advance of the Nov. 18 transit board meeting. Email your comments to ashlandwesternbus@transitchicago.com.

Changes are expected to go into effect by mid-December.

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