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redeyechicago.com

On-board Bus Tracker screens coming to 1 CTA route

By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz

RedEye

8:45 AM CDT, May 24, 2013

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The CTA has plans to introduce on-board bus tracker screens on buses that travel on one express route between the Loop and South Deering, the agency said Friday.

The CTA for months has been testing a bus tracker screen aboard one No. J14 Jeffery Jump bus, the agency's first route with elements of bus rapid transit, express bus service that typically relies on dedicated lanes and traffic signal priority for buses.

By this summer, all 25 Jeffery Jump buses will have the screens, which show arrival times for buses that connect to the route, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. Other buses also may eventually get these screens.

"Right now the focus is on the Jeffery Jump," Chase said.

The CTA last fall refashioned the Jeffery Boulevard route, which travels between Washington and Jefferson Streets and 103rd Street and Stony Island Avenue.

The route has dedicated bus lanes during rush hour. The CTA plans this year to implement technology that would give buses on the route traffic signal priority over cars and a lane to bypass traffic at Jeffery and Anthony Avenues.

The CTA said the dedicated bus lanes have made northbound service 12 percent faster and southbound service 11 percent faster.

The CTA this week added five northbound and three southbound Jeffery Jump buses this week to handle extra riders from the southern Red Line five-month track overhaul project. The route saw an average of 12,500 weekday riders in March.

In the next few years, the CTA is set to introduce bus rapid transit in the Loop and on Ashland Avenue.