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CTA Bus Rapid Transit (take two)

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8 hours ago, Tcmetro said:

The CTA just started their "Bus Slow Zone" study, which will analyze changes to the Chicago and 79th corridors. Hopefully it amounts to something more than what happened on Jeffery, Western, and Ashland. 

http://www.rtams.org/rtams/planningStudy.jsp?id=3164

At least it isn't Durbin dumping $5 million on some study on the "Western Corridor," which only came up with something no one could swallow. But I understand he has other concerns at the moment.

37 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

...As one who has traveled  79th, there is a glutton of stop signs, especially  between  King Drive and  Western.   No bus on any route  can overcome  the vehicular  traffic that it shares roadway  with. At least  79th short turns  buses at Western. ...

So let me take a stab at it. The route works fairly well west of Western, where there is a divided street and little demand until Ford City. It doesn't work east of Halsted, which is a 2 lane street until Stony Island and has 4 way stops where it doesn't have traffic lights. Banning parking in front of Reggio's Pizza no longer works, because Yelp says it closed. Need something like widening the street to 6 lanes (including making room for the mandatory bike lanes)  and putting a full time prepaid bus boarding area at the Red Line station (both eastbound and westbound). Oh no, I just turned it into a half billion dollar project.

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Yeah i remember when the #56's went to navy pier, it would screw up the route because of all the downtown traffic. The #66 route does seem too long but I think the volume of passengers just messes up the schedule. When you are stopping at every stop, you are going to have bus bunching. Its just like that on belmont. More buses pull into the blue line bunched than don't it seems. I can imagine its the same on 79th. 

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Part of it is infrastructure. If bus bulbs were built, buses wouldn't have to pull in and out of the travel lane and wait for traffic to move past before going again. Secondly, there's simply too many bus stops. Every quarter-mile would be a lot better, especially on the busiest routes. 

In my personal experience of using the 49/X49 it seems that travel times are similar on both. Having one service that stops every quarter mile would be more usable for passengers. I'm a little annoyed that the Logan to Addison construction project didn't consider installing a bus way in the median - there is definitely enough space.  

If CDOT isn't inclined to make the infrastructure changes, then there is little that can be done. With increased deliveries and Uber/Lyft as well as bike lanes in a lot of places, road space has been taken away from buses. That's more of a policy choice the city needs to make about the importance of who can use the street for what.

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10 hours ago, Tcmetro said:

Part of it is infrastructure. If bus bulbs were built, buses wouldn't have to pull in and out of the travel lane and wait for traffic to move past before going again.

As I noted above, in the case of 79th, the heaviest portion is a 2 lane road. If they were going to build a bus bump out (and accommodate artics) it would have to be about 50 feet long. I also assume on the far side (so as to use TSP), which would make it difficult to make a right turn onto 79th. And, of course, while the bus is stopped, traffic behind it (including other buses) is not moving.

Only real solution is what they did on Stony Island from 69th to 67th*--burn it down and then there will be room to widen the street.

_______

*I remember when there was an old time gas station at around 69th and the road narrowed, and then to get to Cornell Drive, a car would have to squeeze to the right of a CTA safety island.

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On 6/25/2017 at 11:17 PM, Tcmetro said:

Part of it is infrastructure. If bus bulbs were built, buses wouldn't have to pull in and out of the travel lane and wait for traffic to move past before going again. Secondly, there's simply too many bus stops. Every quarter-mile would be a lot better, especially on the busiest routes. 

In my personal experience of using the 49/X49 it seems that travel times are similar on both. Having one service that stops every quarter mile would be more usable for passengers. I'm a little annoyed that the Logan to Addison construction project didn't consider installing a bus way in the median - there is definitely enough space.  

If CDOT isn't inclined to make the infrastructure changes, then there is little that can be done. With increased deliveries and Uber/Lyft as well as bike lanes in a lot of places, road space has been taken away from buses. That's more of a policy choice the city needs to make about the importance of who can use the street for what.

I guess it depends on the timing of riding along the Western Corridor. However, X49 has always been a quicker ride for me whenever I ride it over choosing the local 49. On a weekday during or close to a rush period, a trip on the local between Roosevelt Rd and Foster or Western can sometimes take close to an hour. If I take an express though, than same trip can be as little as 40 mins though the average a lot of times typically falls in the 45 min range, still a decent time savings. From my experience riding along Western, travel distance of the trip also comes into play along Western. The higher the distance traveled, the more likely the difference in travel times is noticed. On the every quarter mile bus stop distance point, that sounds good in theory and on paper, but as Busjack pointed out on the bus bulb point, you have to take into account the nature of the area served. Just because spacing stops every quarter mile works along another route corridor (Ashland), or more generally in another city, doesn't mean that's the option to use across the board. Between the high school traffic, the industrial corridor near the Fulton between Lake and Grand, and students and faculty at the westernmost portion of UIC, the eight mile spacing remaining on significant stretches of the northern part  of the local 49 turned out to be the better option to balance passenger needs as CTA theorized. One last point on the bus bulb point. The main reason it works well say on Marine Drive for example, a two-lane roadway that comes to mind that it's been done, is because buses there contend with less car traffic than buses on 79th do even on the two lane portion that Busjack noted in his post. 

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Anyone want to translate Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld's testimony? The best I can figure out is that Uber and Lyft are taking a chunk out of all transit and parking, and I guess I agree with Patrick Daley Thompson's statement that “Some train lines at night have almost zero ridership because you could do a shared Uber or Lyft and everyone pays three bucks, door-to-door. It’s much more convenient.”

I certainly can't figure out Scheinfeld's statement “We want ride share to complement our public transit system to create that last-mile connection to where the CTA service doesn’t get to now and make CTA a good mode of choice for more people. We don’t want ride share to erode, at the core, the backbone of our mass transit system and ridership on the CTA,” We aren't talking about Pace Vision 2020 or the extent of federally mandated paratransit.I assume that if you get into a Uber or Lyft, you do what Thompson says, and expect it to take you home.

Also, some gibberish about the Ashland BRT being put on the back burner,which seems code for "dead."

Finally, I have some ideas for making transit "sexy," but it isn't Loop Link, but putting something on the flat panel monitors that I can't describe in a family publication.

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On the Loop Link side of things, CTA has seemed to have in practice turned the #124 into the Circulator route mentioned in the early proposal materials of what became the Loop Link since it only stops at Madison or Washington for the most part between Ogilvie and Union Station Transit Center along Clinton and Canal. The other CTA routes on Canal and Clinton stop at all the stops on those stretches.

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51 minutes ago, jajuan said:

The other CTA routes on Canal and Clinton stop at all the stops on those stretches.

But that may also be a function of that the others don't stop at the Union Station TC.

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5 minutes ago, Busjack said:

But that may also be a function of that the others don't stop at the Union Station TC.

Yeah true, and it may also be a function of streamlining which routes stop at certain stops outside of the Transit Center factor similar to how stopping patterns work on Michigan Avenue since with the other routes, some stops only serve certain routes and the next one serves those that don't stop at that previous one. 

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1 hour ago, jajuan said:

On the Loop Link side of things, CTA has seemed to have in practice turned the #124 into the Circulator route mentioned in the early proposal materials of what became the Loop Link since it only stops at Madison or Washington for the most part between Ogilvie and Union Station Transit Center along Clinton and Canal. The other CTA routes on Canal and Clinton stop at all the stops on those stretches.

The only stops on Canal are south of Adams and north of Madison between Jackson and Washington (Monroe got dropped in both directions sometime ago at the same time the Washington stop disappeared northbound). The 124 does not stop at Adams as it starts at the Transit Center.

Similarly southbound the only stops are south of Madison and north of Jackson. 124 does not stop at Jackson as it goes into the Transit Center.

There are stops on Clinton north of Madison and at Quincy which are only used by the 192. The 132 also uses the stop north of Madison.

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7 minutes ago, busfan2847 said:

The only stops on Canal are south of Adams and north of Madison between Jackson and Washington (Monroe got dropped in both directions sometime ago at the same time the Washington stop disappeared northbound). The 124 does not stop at Adams as it starts at the Transit Center.

Similarly southbound the only stops are south of Madison and north of Jackson. 124 does not stop at Jackson as it goes into the Transit Center.

There are stops on Clinton north of Madison and at Quincy which are only used by the 192. The 132 also uses the stop north of Madison.

125 still stops at Quincy SB as well. But this still backs up what I was getting at that when the Loop Link lanes were added to stretches of Canal and Clinton the bus stops got streamlined like on Washington and Madison to keep in line with CTA and the city marketing faster bus travel times as part of why auto traffic dealt with the construction putting the whole corridor in place. 

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7 hours ago, Tcmetro said:

So Western & Chicago are the only ones getting lanes. The way that map looks, 79th is only getting TSP. Makes sense why they can't do bus lanes, the section that needs it the most is least likely to get it if it means losing parking

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79th is getting short stretches of lanes, but they'll function more as a "queue jump" so that the buses can get to the front of the line at the traffic light. 

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:16 AM, Tcmetro said:

79th is getting short stretches of lanes, but they'll function more as a "queue jump" so that the buses can get to the front of the line at the traffic light. 

That's never really an issue with the 79. Those improvements simply aren't going to do much (for the 79), especially with a lack of enforcement and allowing right turns

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I was just over by the Western (O’Hare) Blue Line station and I notice that they got down the red bus lanes (like the ones use for the Loop Link downtown) on Western from Bloomingdale to Armitage. 

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On 10/31/2019 at 12:24 PM, TaylorTank1229 said:

I was just over by the Western (O’Hare) Blue Line station and I notice that they got down the red bus lanes (like the ones use for the Loop Link downtown) on Western from Bloomingdale to Armitage. 

Now if the city can just get more aggressive about enforcing the parking restrictions on that stretch during the posted rush hour thresholds so that buses can actually use the darn lanes. Here it is almost two months later and cars are still parked in the NB bus lane during the heart of rush hour, even though the signs clearly say buses and right turns only between 4 PM and 6 PM. 

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12 minutes ago, MARTA2400 said:

I am gonna be blunt with it: CTA is either

A) too poor

or B) too forgetful.

They promised a Ashland Ave. BRT 8 years ago.

C.  None of the above. 

The way the city envisioned it,  left turns on Ashland wouldn't be possible. which in effect. killed the plan.  There was too much opposition to that plan. 

You still have X service.   It's really just getting TSP operational 

 

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4 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

C.  None of the above. 

The way the city envisioned it,  left turns on Ashland wouldn't be possible. which in effect. killed the plan.  There was too much opposition to that plan. 

You still have X service.   It's really just getting TSP operational 

 

That is true. Guess Chicago isn’t BRT friendly

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1 hour ago, MARTA2400 said:

That is true. Guess Chicago isn’t BRT friendly

With a street like Ashland,  for BRT to be possible,  you would have to give up either parking ( a loss for businesses), a lane in each direction ( a congestion and pollution nightmare), or the aforementioned left turn. 

The Loop Link lanes downtown haven't improved travel times .

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4 hours ago, artthouwill said:

With a street like Ashland,  for BRT to be possible,  you would have to give up either parking ( a loss for businesses), a lane in each direction ( a congestion and pollution nightmare), or the aforementioned left turn. 

The Loop Link lanes downtown haven't improved travel times .

I'd argue against that last point, it's never been faster for me travelling down Madison & Washington, even during rush hour. Especially, taking the 147/151 on that strectch of Washington could easily have us there for more than 6 minutes and we usually cover now in 3-4, lights and stops permitting.

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