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Pace and CTA coordinate bus routes and fare payment

MPC Research Assistant Andrew Matsas authored this post.

On any weekday afternoon, to get from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line 95th Street Station to The Plaza, a shopping center in Evergreen Park, at 95th and Western, you could take Pace Route #381 and arrive at The Plaza about 18 minutes later. You could also take CTA Route #95W and arrive just one minute later! Why the need for two buses travelling to the same destination, just one minute apart?

As part of CTA’s Crowding Reduction Plan, CTA and Pace have decided to eliminate duplicative routes and improve service coordination in several corridors. In mid-December of 2012, a number of bus routes will be altered. CTA will discontinue certain routes or route segments.  In many cases, they will be replaced with existing Pace bus services.

For example, Pace Route #270 will replace CTA Route #56A. In addition, CTA Route #95W– which ends at The Plaza – will be supplanted by Pace Route #381– which extends further into the near Southwest suburbs. The route will terminate at MPC Commute Options employer Moraine Valley College with schedule revisions to provide more coordinated service. Reviewing ridership statistics for these routes clearly indicates the reason to consolidate bus services: . Pace Route #270 carries about 2,760 daily riders whereas CTA Route #56A only carries 800 riders a day.

Pace is also surveying riders of Routes 352, 353, 359, 381, and 395 to gather information that will help Pace adjust service when the CTA temporary closes the Red Line’s Dan Ryan branch in spring 2013. Riders will be asked what alternative commute options are preferred.  Pace will review options based on the survey results. Surveys will be available online, and will be conducted on board busses during the month of November.

MPC recently blogged about another way CTA and Pace are collaborating to improve service for transit users across the region: the new Ventra open fare payment system, projected to start in the summer of 2013. With one Ventra payment card, riders will be able to travel on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus routes and rail lines, as well as Pace suburban bus routes. The exclusively “tap and go” payment system will reduce wait times at rail station turnstiles and in bus boarding lines and eliminate the need to dig for correct change to ride transit. Thanks to Ventra, Pace and CTA will save money and get needed upgrades to stations and on busses.  

For more information about route modifications and Ventra, visit Pace’s website or Ventra’s website.

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