Below is information that my office received from CTA about its plans for Decrowding:
· The CTA is updating its bus and rail service to improve efficiency, reduce bus and rail crowding, and meet increasing ridership demand by focusing on improving overcrowded routes and providing more service to underserved areas
· The changes to several bus routes and rail lines will increase service at high-demand times and discontinue thinly used routes that are inefficient and costly to the overall CTA system by reallocating resources to match demand. These changes will ease overcrowding and improve reliability and on-time performance at no additional cost.
· It makes good fiscal sense to redeploy CTA resources to best meet rising passenger demand at no additional cost to anyone, especially in tight economic times. CTA ridership has risen for 16 straight months and between June 2011 and June 2012 posted its biggest increase in four years. We need to meet that growing demand in a cost-effective manner and we can do so by re-investing cost savings back into the system providing additional service in areas of the city with increasing demand for service
· This route restructuring, based on comprehensive review of the entire transit system, was long overdue: It’s the first system-wide, holistic review of CTA’s bus and rail service that has been undertaken in 15 years.
· CTA worked with the Northwestern University Transportation Center, a nationally recognized education and research institution, to review the CTA’s restructuring plan. The Center’s analysis confirmed the conclusions that were reached by the CTA.
· If approved by the CTA Board, the service changes will go into effect December 16, 2012.
Bus service overview
· Improving routes, including the busiest and most crowded bus and rail routes in the city, by adding service during peak times on congested routes and extending other routes
· Increasing service on 40 routes
· Discontinuing 14 duplicative and low-ridership routes, including four routes that have duplicative Pace service.
· An additional 13 routes will have service frequency or span of service reduced.
· Owl service or a portion of owl service on three routes will be discontinued because of low ridership.
· In nearly every case where service is proposed for discontinuation, there is duplicate CTA bus or rail service, or overlapping bus service by Pace.
· Of the bus network’s 140 routes, 14 – 10 percent — will be discontinued including four routes that have overlapping service with Pace. .
· Renegotiate or discontinue 11 contracted bus routes that CTA subsidizes.
Rail service overview
· During weekday peak travel times, 17 rail trips will be added to six lines, mostly on the Blue, Red and Brown lines, the CTA’s busiest train routes.
· During weekday off-peak times, the frequency of the Red, Brown and Orange lines will increase by as much as 2 ½ minutes between trains.
· Weekend service frequency will also increase substantially on the Red, Brown and Blue lines, the CTA’s busiest rail lines.
The CTA’s Decrowding Initiative Enhances Service to our Customers
· The proposed recommendations represent the better allocation of resources to match demand and address crowding on bus and rail services, in a cost-neutral manner.
· Route changes are across the network, not just concentrated in certain areas.
· Through the rail and bus route updates, $15.9 million of savings annually can be achieved. Every penny of that goes back into rail and bus frequency improvements for high-demand routes.
· Rail service is enhanced with additional trips during peak weekday times and increased frequency and extended hours at other times.
How it was done
· In 2011, CTA engaged the services of the Northwestern University Transportation Center, a nationally recognized research and education center. The Center analyzed CTA’s plan, using CTA data on ridership numbers, ridership patterns and route configurations, as well as the availability of other transit options.
· The Center’s analysis confirmed the conclusions that were reached by the CTA.
By the numbers
$15.9 million The amount of savings from the Decrowding Initiative that will be re-invested into the CTA bus and rail network
40 The number of bus routes that will have frequency increased
14 The number of bus routes that will be discontinued
4 Of the discontinued routes, four routes are covered by Pace
13 The number of bus routes that will have bus frequency or span of service [hours of operation] reduced
17 The number of rail trips that will be added to six train lines, mostly on the Blue, Red and Brown lines, the CTA’s busiest train routes – 10 morning peak trips and 7 evening peak trips
7 ½ The number of minutes between Brown Line trains weekday off-peak and on Saturdays from current frequency of every 10 minutes
8 ½ The frequency between Orange Line trains weekday off-peak from current frequency of 10 minutes
5-7 ½ The number of minutes between Red Line and Blue Line trains on Saturdays under the Decrowding Initiative, from current Saturday frequency of 7 ½ to 10 minutes