5 Things You Need to Know about the City's First Bus Rapid Transit
The city’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) is set to begin service this Sunday, December 20. Called Loop Link, the project aims to make Loop navigation easier, safer and more reliable for commuters by providing a balanced separation of CTA bus, bike and car traffic.
What improvements have been made?
Red CTA bus lanes and bus-only traffic signals at intersections plan to help keep buses separate from the general traffic on Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal. Raised boarding platforms on Madison and Washington, CTA Bus Tracker screens and generous seating for waiting customers will also bring a more enjoyable commute.
How will the new Traffic Signals affect drivers?
The new traffic signals will keep buses moving ahead of traffic by utilizing traffic signal priority. White lights will signal buses and give them a head start on other traffic.
What buses will be improved by Loop Link?
Expected to be used by 1,000 CTA buses daily, Loop Link will improve service on seven CTA bus routes:
#J14 Jeffery Jump
#19 United Center Express
#60 Blue Island/26th
#124 Navy Pier
How are cyclists affected?
The project hopes to improve commutes for cyclists by providing protected bike lanes between the raised BRT platforms and curb, eliminating the competition for street space.
What other improvements are coming?
Seven of the eight boarding stations will open on Sunday – an eighth station on Madison (East of Wabash) is expected to open in January 2016. Work on the Canal Street leg of the Loop Link is scheduled to be completed in spring 2016. In addition, a new off-street CTA bus-boarding center just south of Union Station will help relieve traffic congestion around the train station that serves 120,000 people each day. Pre-pay fares are also in the works.
For more information on Loop Link visit: www.brtchicago.com
All Photos Provided by CDOT