CTA Ashland and Western Express Routes to Begin Dec. 21st

CTA Reinstates Express Service on Two of CTA’s Busiest Routes

(Flickr/John W. Iwanski)

(Flickr/John W. Iwanski)

The CTA reminds customers that new Ashland and Western Express route service will begin on Monday, December 21, providing customers a faster service alternative to local bus service on two of Chicago’s busiest streets.

Beginning on Monday, the #X9 Ashland Express and #X49 Western Express bus routes will run on weekdays during the morning and afternoon rush periods. Express buses will make stops roughly every half-mile and at bus and rail transfer points. Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., announced the restoration of express bus service on these routes in August 2015.

“I am pleased to begin offering this bus service improvement to our customers on two of the three busiest CTA bus routes,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “One of my top priorities is to improve service on our buses, which provided nearly 300 million rides last year. This is one of many improvements to come.”

Re-instituting #X9 and #X49 service is the first step in improving service on these two critical north/south routes, which provide more than 55,000 CTA daily rides. CTA is also improving the speed and efficiency of local bus service by optimizing bus stop spacing on the local routes by removing some of the least-used stops, based on the distance between stops, ridership data and community feedback. Because CTA buses will make fewer stops, it will speed service and reduce the time buses spend merging in and out of traffic.

Future Transit Signal Priority (TSP) upgrades, which will begin in the spring of 2016 and be completed by the end of 2017, will make it possible for buses running behind schedule to communicate with traffic signals along each corridor to hold green lights longer or to shorten red lights. TSP installation work is being spearheaded by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and is funded in part by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). With TSP fully implemented, express service is expected to save up to 22 minutes on trips, while local service will increase by up to 12 minutes.

Express service on Ashland and Western is being restored after both routes were eliminated in 2010 because of budget cuts. For more information about these routes, visit transitchicago.com/ashlandwesternx.