Service begins in Loop Link's new bus lanes and stations on Sunday, Dec. 20.
As a long-standing advocate for Bus Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Planning Council is excited that the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Dept. of Transportation will inaugurate Loop Link on Sunday, Dec. 20! Here's why:
1. The new street layout is safer and more fluid for everyone—buses, pedestrians, bikes and general traffic.
Loop Link gives everyone a place on the street, including bikes and pedestrians.
Loop Link's central feature is a dedicated bus lane that will allow a faster trip across downtown for thousands of people every day, but everyone downtown will benefit from Loop Link's new street layout. From dedicated bike lanes to wider sidewalks, shorter crosswalks and new dedicated turn signals, Loop Link reduces conflicts and creates a safer and smoother flow on the street.
2. Large, comfortable stations will get everyone on and off the bus faster.
Loop Link's stations feature glass walls and canopies to help keep people dry and out of the wind, while bus tracker displays let you know exactly when your bus is arriving. The platforms are elevated to better match the level of the bus floor, making it easier to step or roll on or off the bus. Soon, Chicago Transit Authority will test pre-paid boarding, which allows everyone to pay at the station before boarding and walk right on to the bus when it arrives. This reduces stop time and allows for even faster bus trips.
3. The six bus routes using Loop Link serve many neighborhoods across Chicago.
Loop Link doesn't just allow you to get around downtown faster: It upgrades six existing bus routes that connect neighborhoods across the north, south and west sides of Chicago. The #J14 Jeffery Jump, #20 Madison, #56 Milwaukee, #60 Blue Island/26th, #124 Navy Pier and #157 Streeterville/Taylor all use Loop Link, along with the #19 United Center Express.
After years of pushing for improved transit services in Chicago's bustling but congested Loop, MPC is excited to see Loop Link make getting around easier for everyone. Experience it for yourself beginning this Sunday, Dec. 20.
In 2017, we look forward to pre-paid boarding and the completion of the Union Station Transit Center, which is currently under construction. Stay tuned!