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Shuttle Bugs


Busjack
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Received the Moving into the Future about the Shuttle Bugs and the new 627, and decided to check it out (but not the out of business places on Lake Cook Road where I used to hang out).

It appears that Pace is phasing out the "1 SHUTTLE BUG" signs, now using something like "631 DISCOVER/FINANCIAL & CCH" "632 BAXTER/632 PARKWAY" "634 DELOTTE/634 BAXTER/634 HEWITT" and "627 TAKEDA & /627 DISCOVER." However, as is usual for Pace, this isn't consistent, as Shuttle Bugs 3, 5, and 7 still have the old type signs. Out of the 6 routes from the MDN station, 4 used full sized buses. 631 certainly needed one.

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  • 8 years later...

Since NORTHWEST made me look at the passenger notices, what was the 10 Braeside-Commercial Ave. (Northbrook) Shuttle Bug is coming back, but this time as 640.

Apparently, though, the employee pass can't be used, one has to have a gray Ventra card or pay regular fare.*

Maybe with canning of 576, this bus became available.

__________

*I assume that that's what they mean by a gray Ventra card.

Also, the route description says "Fare Type--Regular/Express" while the schedule says "Shuttle," so i assume that the schedule is in error.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since NORTHWEST made me look at the passenger notices, what was the 10 Braeside-Commercial Ave. (Northbrook) Shuttle Bug is coming back, but this time as 640.

Apparently, though, the employee pass can't be used, one has to have a gray Ventra card or pay regular fare.*

Maybe with canning of 576, this bus became available.

__________

*I assume that that's what they mean by a gray Ventra card.

Also, the route description says "Fare Type--Regular/Express" while the schedule says "Shuttle," so i assume that the schedule is in error.

The Blue Ventra Card they are referring to is probably the Link-Up card sold by Metra with monthly tickets. Apparently UL passengers have to pay the fare each time using a gray Ventra card, while anyone else can use a Link-Up!

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The Blue Ventra Card they are referring to is probably the Link-Up card sold by Metra with monthly tickets. Apparently UL passengers have to pay the fare each time using a gray Ventra card, while anyone else can use a Link-Up!

I don't work at UL but that doesn't seem to be it.

It seems fairly clear that on most of the Lake Cook Shuttle Bugs, an employee of a participating member of the TMA can ride free.* Instead of riding on one's badge,** apparently they now need a special Ventra card. If you are riding free, there is no need for a Link Up card on that end. On the other hand, the 640 appears distinguishable (although not in the referenced article) in that it is a regular fare route.

There is also nothing stopping someone who lives near Braeside from riding the buses (including 628 and 629), even though they don't have to take the train.

_________

*I also harken back to about 2011 when, to save the 576 bus, the riders volunteered to pay $1. That ended when more employers signed up, but that bus is now getting canned (effective Dec. 31).

**Like I occasionally did when I worked for a TMA member who eventually closed its local operation.

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  • 1 year later...

Passenger Notices that 625 and 640 are biting the dust. 625 says "lack of corporate funding partners" meaning that Capital One pulled out, and 640 (which was not corporate funding but CMAQ or JARC) "due to an expected funding shortfall and continued low ridership," i.e. ridership failed for the second time (this used to be covered by route 630).

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  • 2 months later...
On ‎9‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 9:38 PM, Busjack said:

Passenger Notices that 625 and 640 are biting the dust. 625 says "lack of corporate funding partners" meaning that Capital One pulled out, and 640 (which was not corporate funding but CMAQ or JARC) "due to an expected funding shortfall and continued low ridership," i.e. ridership failed for the second time (this used to be covered by route 630).

Passenger notice: 625 ends service December 30. 640 was saved by 2 companies agreeing to provide funding, according to the October board meeting.

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28 minutes ago, west towns said:

Better call out the all mighty uber  now metra is partnering with them.  uber will save the day

The question then becomes whether you, as an Uber driver, want to be awake to be summoned to Lake Cook and St. Johns at about 6:25 or 7:44 a.m. Somehow, I have the feeling that the denizens of Glencoe or Highland Park don't need that kind of extra scratch, even if the Uber zone were extended up there.

625 in Lake Forest is even less likely, but the obvious reason that bus was canceled is that Capitol One was no longer supporting the bus (after it took over HSBC).

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11 hours ago, west towns said:

If theres money to be made zomeone will get up early

   mayne even a coworker being uber driver make a few bucks on side

This isn't like Caltrain or BART where there is opportunity to be made whenever there's a delay (or a meltdown). At the same time, there is logic to this - where if there's money to be made (minus tips), they'll take advantage of it. If there is demand for the last-mile journey, then sure!

One could hope Uber or Metra provide data to how this is being used (say, reverse or traditional commuting) based on pick ups and locations. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/14/2016 at 5:36 PM, Pace831 said:

Passenger notice: 625 ends service December 30. 640 was saved by 2 companies agreeing to provide funding, according to the October board meeting.

While 640 was saved, trips were cut, and a trip each way now goes to Baxter (Passenger Notice). Seems like the additional morning bus gives Baxter half hour service when it runs, instead of the approximately once an hour service on 628. Afternoon bus only provides a bus 3 minutes after 628. Service only to the corner near Underwriters' Labs, not on campus.

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  • 4 weeks later...
14 hours ago, Pace831 said:

It might be warranted.  Sometimes I ride the Metra passing the Belmont Station in the morning arriving at 7:48.  I see people get off to go to other company sponsored shuttle buses, but only about 2-3 people get on the 465.  Then at nighttime when the train arrives at 5:44pm, very few passengers get on despite the fact the bus drops them off at 5:32pm.  People that need to be at work at 8:00am don't make it with this bus so that could be part of the reason, but if the earlier buses aren't getting ridership either, then something is wrong.  Wonder if folks are just getting on 877-888 in the area or it just didn't jive with workers up there, thus they are driving instead.

UPDATE:  So getting on the train this morning, upon arriving at the Belmont Station, I counted 11 people getting on the 465 this morning.  For comparison sake, I counted 12 people getting on the 829 at the Lisle stop.  I know that bus goes to more locations, but 11 people getting on the 465 is significant to me.  This makes me wonder if the contract is more the issue and maybe cutting times instead.

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21 hours ago, rotjohns said:

It might be warranted.  Sometimes I ride the Metra passing the Belmont Station in the morning arriving at 7:48.  I see people get off to go to other company sponsored shuttle buses, but only about 2-3 people get on the 465.  Then at nighttime when the train arrives at 5:44pm, very few passengers get on despite the fact the bus drops them off at 5:32pm.  People that need to be at work at 8:00am don't make it with this bus so that could be part of the reason, but if the earlier buses aren't getting ridership either, then something is wrong.  Wonder if folks are just getting on 877-888 in the area or it just didn't jive with workers up there, thus they are driving instead.

UPDATE:  So getting on the train this morning, upon arriving at the Belmont Station, I counted 11 people getting on the 465 this morning.  For comparison sake, I counted 12 people getting on the 829 at the Lisle stop.  I know that bus goes to more locations, but 11 people getting on the 465 is significant to me.  This makes me wonder if the contract is more the issue and maybe cutting times instead.

The ridership numbers for 465 indicate, on average, about 5 passengers per trip. Of course, that doesn't account for certain trips being busier than others. Your observation of 11 people getting on is definitely significant. 829 should have 8-9 passengers per trip, so 12 is still above average, especially with the timing of those buses that you noted.

I don't know how many people board 877/888 at the Esplanade, but I doubt many would consider that as an alternate to the train. Current riders of 465 could utilize 715, or take 877/888 to Yorktown and transfer to 722 or 834.

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Its really what markets are served.  The 877 could make connections with 301 or 322 from west cook and chicago providing greater frequnecies then metra will ever run

.  Metra has such a poor reverse  market which is more to blame than the bus service.  Look at the schedule.  Its a disgrace some of the intermediate stations have one rush hour train.   Lets put blame where it really should go and that is on metra schedule.  They really dont want or are incapable to serve reverse.  Sure they have a few more trips to lisle or naperville markets in morning.  Yet afternoon is terrible.  Same on almost all their lines.

 

Its a disgrace how much attention is placed on reverse  metra markets by politicians amd others yet the service is not there to support it.

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24 minutes ago, west towns said:

Its a disgrace how much attention is placed on reverse  metra markets by politicians amd others yet the service is not there to support it.

That may be the case for the BNSF, but certainly not the case for the Milw N., but that may explain why the only successful Shuttle Bug service is out of Lake Cook Rd. and The Glen.

On the other hand, there are 676 and 829 reverse feeders off the BNSF, which are successful.

Regardless of the train schedule, the economic bottom line is that the employers pay for the rides, but if there aren't taps with the special Ventra cards, there aren't any rides to pay for, so the bus dies. Similarly, if the employer pulls out of the Transit Management Association. In any event, those are the reasons why routes such as 576 and 625 bit it, and 639 was combined into 634.

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1 minute ago, west towns said:

Wonder how much impact putting bus om shoulders along edens has on Milwaukee north?

Probably not much, as most of what it does is split the existing 626. Does some good if you are coming or going to or from Dempster (and planned Jefferson Park), not so much if you are coming from downtown, and certainly not any if one is some of the riders I used to know who used one monthly ticket to ride Metra from the BNSF and then transfer to the Milw. N.

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On my earlier point on 676 and 829, all reverse rush hour trains that stop at Naperville and Lisle also stop at Belmont. 15-30 minutes in the morning, and 4:47 5:13 5:44 in the afternoon, which is comparable or better service than on the Milw N. (about every :20 or :30 from Deerfield).

I do accept your point that 877/888 do a better job, if one intends to go via Yorktown or Oak Brook.

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17 hours ago, Busjack said:

On my earlier point on 676 and 829, all reverse rush hour trains that stop at Naperville and Lisle also stop at Belmont. 15-30 minutes in the morning, and 4:47 5:13 5:44 in the afternoon, which is comparable or better service than on the Milw N. (about every :20 or :30 from Deerfield).

I do accept your point that 877/888 do a better job, if one intends to go via Yorktown or Oak Brook.

Naperville is my stop in the morning and I didn't get a chance to count how many people got on the 676 that day, but that bus is usually busy, lot of folks going to the BP offices in Warrenville.  The train I get on is a rush hour train that goes straight to Downers Grove Main Street from Chicago where I get on and the back of the train is usually where all the riders that need to transfer to buses get on (I'm usually towards the front to avoid that mess as I walk to work).  

I wish I know what companies those riders are working for when they get on 465 because that plays a factor too.  It's the Esplanade office complex, but isn't that just the name of the building?  

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