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Supporting Information Facts

Department:

City Services

Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit

The City of Chicago is bringing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the Central Loop in 2014.

BRT will be a fast, easy and reliable option for getting around Chicago’s congested downtown, connecting people to jobs, businesses and attractions from Union and Ogilvie Stations to Michigan Avenue. Similar to “L” trains, BRT will move people quickly using dedicated bus lanes while making limited stops at train-like stations along the way.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) selected the proposed BRT street layout from among three options in 2012 after receiving public input, and is now entering the final stage of design. The Central Loop BRT corridor will use dedicated lanes on Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal to move people through downtown, improving reliability and speed for six bus routes in the area and extending benefits to neighborhoods throughout the city where these routes originate.

Bicycle travel in the Loop will also be improved with protected bike lanes on Washington, Randolph and Clinton. In addition, the new Union Station Transit Center will help connect Metra and Amtrak riders to the CTA network, providing easy access to downtown destinations. Central Loop BRT service will begin in late 2014.

The project will strengthen Chicago’s economy by improving access to jobs and attractions downtown, while generating foot traffic to businesses along the way.  By making it easier to get to work and go about daily activities, BRT will improve everyday life for residents, employees and visitors.

PROJECT BENEFITS

Faster and more reliable bus service:

  • Nearly 30,000 people per day will stay on schedule with buses that avoid traffic and subsequent bus build-up using dedicated lanes and traffic signal upgrades that provide buses an early green light.
  • Riders will get on and off at bus-level stations that make it easy for everyone to safely board, including seniors and people using wheelchairs or pushing strollers. 
  • Riders will stay comfortable and dry at longer, covered stations equipped with Bus Tracker displays and other amenities.
  • Every weekday, 1,000 buses traveling across Chicago on six different routes will utilize the BRT corridor, making it easier for more people to access jobs, shopping and attractions downtown.BRT will make it easier for families to use Metra or the CTA to connect to attractions in Streeterville and River North, such as Navy Pier, Millennium Park and the Children’s Museum.

Saves drivers time and money:

  • With buses in dedicated lanes, drivers will no longer encounter congestion behind buses while moving through the Loop, cutting down on wasted gas and idle time in traffic.
  • Faster, more reliable bus service will encourage more people to take public transportation instead of driving.
  • Just one BRT bus can take as many as 60 cars off of the road.
  • People who switch from driving a car to riding BRT will save the time and expense required to get gas, find parking, keep up with car maintenance and pay traffic tickets.

Creates a safer downtown for bicyclists:

  • People can bike through downtown more safely with new protected bike lanes on Randolph, Washington and Clinton.
  • Clears sidewalk space for pedestrians
  • Pedestrians will enjoy more sidewalk space with the removal of some bus shelters from sidewalks along Washington and Madison.

Washington Street with BRT

 

 

Madison with BRT

PROVIDE FEEDBACK

CDOT welcomes feedback on the project and proposed street layout. Click here to contact the Central Loop BRT project director with questions and comments.