News

CTA takes hop toward rapid bus service

With its debut Monday of the "Jeffery Jump" route between downtown and the South Side, the CTA has taken a hop—but not a leap—toward rapid bus service.

The new J14 route along Jeffery Boulevard, which replaces the No. 14 Jeffery Express, features upgraded bus shelters and fewer stops, but the main enhancements won't arrive until next year.

By spring, the CTA expects to create a system that would give early or extended green lights to buses between 73rd and 84th streets and implement a bypass lane at Jeffery and Anthony Avenue that would allow buses to whiz through the intersection. On-board Bus Tracker displays are set to arrive next year as well.

For now, riders can enjoy a quicker commute. Going Public took the inaugural J14 ride from downtown to the 103rd Street bus garage at 5:30 a.m. Monday. There were only seven other riders on the bus, which is a standard CTA bus wrapped in blue.

The trip took 43 minutes—much faster than the 1 hour and 6 minutes it took GP to ride along the same route via the No. 14 Jeffery Express months ago as part of a project to ride every bus line from start to finish.

In fact, Monday's ride was too fast. The CTA said the new route is supposed to take about an hour from end to end and save commuters about seven minutes each way.

Other improvements include the new shelters at 71st Street and Jeffery Boulevard. The shelters are wider than the current JC Decaux bus shelters and feature Bus Tracker displays.

The CTA said it considered adding heat lamps to the shelters, which provide weather protection, but decided against them because of cost concerns. A CTA official said the agency has not ruled out adding heat lamps to shelters along other rapid bus service routes in the future.

The Chicago Department of Transportation expects to begin implementing this service in the Loop in 2014. The CTA held public meetings last month about adding this service to Ashland and Western avenues.

Aisle be back

The CTA said it introduced the new, controversial rail cars with the aisle-facing seats onto the Red Line on Monday. Two trains of eight of the new cars are just a start for the Red Line. More cars will be added to replace cars more than three decades old. The new rail cars are also on the Green and Pink lines.

 

Free rides giveaway

Through Wednesday, Allstate insurance company is hosting a giveaway for free train rides at Metra stations in Chicago including Jefferson Park, Ogilvie and Union stations. At these stops, riders can receive a free coffee thermos and a scratch-off card for free train rides. If riders fill out a form at one of these stations and drop it off at Ogilvie, they have a chance to win free rides for a year.

 

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Jefferson Park Blue Line

The election is over, but the Jefferson Park Blue Line on the Northwest Side is still the place to be. The station is a favorite for politicos looking to shake hands because it's a combination Metra-CTA station that sees more than 7,000 commuters daily. Besides politicos, riders also can interact with religious enthusiasts handing out pamphlets, people looking for donations and pigeons. Lately, the intermingling has been limited. The CTA has shut down one escalator to the platform for repairs until Nov. 20.

Next up: Montrose Blue Line

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Photos: Jeffery Jump express bus service

    Photos: Jeffery Jump express bus service

    Today the CTA began its first experiment with bus rapid transit, an express bus system that typically relies on bus only lanes and traffic signal priority for buses (which should be introduced next year along Jeffery Boulevard). The CTA has transformed the No. 14 Jeffery Express into the J14 Jeffery...

  • Dating service hosts transit event

    Dating service hosts transit event

    You can't spell love without "L." For riders looking to make that special connection, a dating service is hosting a mixer for singles who live off the Brown and Red Lines.

  • New rail cars debut on Red Line

    New rail cars debut on Red Line

    The controversial new rail cars with the aisle-facing seats made their debut on the Red Line on Monday, the CTA said.

  • 'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in Lake Michigan

    'Great team effort' by joggers saves man in Lake Michigan

    During an early morning jog along Lake Michigan with his wife and children Tuesday, John Corba spotted a man struggling in the water nearly 30 yards from the shore.

  • Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    Grateful Dead drummer dishes dirt, drug dependency in new book

    As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann watched the world change from behind his drum kit, shoveling coal in the wildly tribal rhythm section as the Dead went from San Francisco underground curio to ground-breaking indie outfit, then progenitor of the improvisation-based rock...

  • Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    Book comes out ahead of Grateful Dead farewell concerts in Chicago this weekend

    The cliché that colors every good rock star story is “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll." For the Grateful Dead, the trailblazing rock band known for its improvisational style, revelatory live shows and dedicated fanbase, there was that and so much more.

  • 10 best movies of 2015 so far

    10 best movies of 2015 so far

    The year’s half over! How did that happen? No idea. With six months of a good year of movies in the books, let’s see how the Top 10 list is looking, with a quote from each respective review. Note: There are a few I’ve seen that I really like that haven’t yet opened in Chicago, and those aren’t...

  • If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    If you make less than $50,440, proposal could increase overtime pay

    Nearly 5 million more Americans would qualify for overtime pay under new rules proposed Tuesday by the Obama administration, a long-anticipated move expected to affect a broad swath of salaried employees from store managers to social workers to restaurant shift supervisors.

Comments
Loading