CHICAGO — A three-mile extension to the No. 155 Devon Avenue bus would extend service to the Edgebrook Metra station at Caldwell Avenue under a plan proposed by three North Side aldermen.
The extended route would "serve a sizable, underserved, disproportionately elderly population" and "improve connectivity with existing transit lines," according to a letter signed by Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th), Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th).
The letter was addressed to officials at the Pace suburban bus agency, who are working with the CTA on a sweeping plan to overhaul service on the Far North Side and northern suburbs.
Pace is still finalizing its plan for the North Shore bus network, with a preliminary proposal due to be published by late September,spokeswoman Maggie Daly Skogsbakken said.
The extended bus line would link up with the No. 82 Kimball-Homan line to the east, the No. 84 Peterson Avenue line to the west, and a soon-to-be extended Pulaski Road line in between. [39th Ward]
Extending the Devon bus would give nearly 10,000 more people direct access to the No. 82 Kimball-Homan bus line to the east, and the No. 84 Peterson Avenue line to the west, the alderman wrote. It would also be a "major feeder" into an extended Pulaski Road bus line, another proposal being considered by regional transit planners.
The aldermen wrote that "traffic is relatively smooth" on Devon, a four-lane thoroughfare bisected by a median along most of the route. The patchwork of streets converging on Edgebrook Crossing would give the bus ample opportunity to turn around at the end of its route, they added.
The "core market area" for the Devon line extension, encompassing anyone living within a quarter-mile of the route, is expected to grow in population during the next 20 years, they wrote.
The extended line would give thousands of residents in North Park, Sauganash and Edgebrook direct access to the "Little India" business corridor in West Ridge, officials said. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
"Currently, no one in the core market area lives within a quarter mile of an east-west bus line," the letter reads. "Some people in that area ... currently have to walk three quarters of a mile to the nearest east-west bus line."
About 25 percent of that population is 65 or older, according to census data cited by the aldermen.
Sending a CTA bus through North Park, Sauganash and Edgebrook would put those seniors within easy reach of both the ("Little India") business corridor in West Ridge and the Westfield Old Orchard Mall in suburban Skokie, officials added.
Representatives of the CTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.