CTA announces name for Jeffery Boulevard BRT route


Photo of the new bus livery (paint scheme) courtesy of Chicago Transit Authority. 

It’s the Jeffery Jump.

The Chicago Transit Authority describes the name for the Jeffery Boulevard bus rapid transit service in a press release issued this morning. Jeffery Jump replaces the 14-Jeffery Express route. The press release is quoted in part:

The Jump service is branded to communicate the way this service allows commuters to “jump” ahead of traffic and get a “jump start” on their morning and evening commutes  Jeffery Jump buses uses will be visually distinguishable from other CTA buses—wrapped in bright blue with the Jump logo.

The previously announced service will operate from 103rd Street on the south side to Metra’s Ogilvie and Union Stations downtown, saving an estimated five to seven minutes off of morning and evening commutes. The new service is scheduled to begin in November 2012. Road work to prepare Jeffery Boulevard for Jump service has already begun.

Two stations, located at 71st and Jeffery and 100th and Paxton, will have unique sidewalk and crosswalk designs and a large canopy for protection from the weather. Curb bump-outs will limit the need for buses to merge in and out of traffic in order for customers to board.

Bus rapid transit partners in Chicago have simultaneously launched a new website, BRT Chicago. There are three routes in the works: Jeffery Jump, Central Loop BRT, and Western-Ashland Corridor BRT.

Making bus transit a priority on Western and Ashland Avenues


Active Trans staffer Lee Crandell talks to Enrique Rico. The three poster boards are displayed at the bottom. 

Riders for Better Transit is reaching out to bus riders across the city to inform them about plans to build better bus service on Western Avenue or Ashland Avenue (or both?). They visited six bus stops last week with informational posters. Lee Crandell, campaigns director for Active Transportation Alliance, was staffing the exhibit at 18th Street and Ashland Avenue in Pilsen when I visited last Wednesday. One goal of the outreach, Crandell said, was to “make a public meeting in the street for those who couldn’t attend” the static meetings.

When I arrived, Enrique Rico was waiting for the northbound Ashland 9 bus. I noticed the next bus was coming so I tried to ask Rico a quick question before leaving, starting with if he had heard of BRT (bus rapid transit) before now. He said he hadn’t, but Crandell informed me that Rico had told him earlier he was familiar with the enhanced bus services in Mexico City. The Metropolitan Planning Council, a major sponsor of this traveling exhibit, had sent a few of its staff members to Mexico City to explore the 4 line Metrobús system that opened in 2005. Continue reading Making bus transit a priority on Western and Ashland Avenues

Talk, Forrest, talk! The CTA chief responds to our transit questions


Steven and Forrest Claypool.

Yesterday the Chicago Transit Authority gave a handful of transportation bloggers the opportunity to meet with CTA President Forrest Claypool at the agency’s headquarters and ask him about the state of the agency and its future projects. Steven and I were joined by our colleagues Patrick Barry, filling in for Kevin O’Neil from CTA Tattler, and Kevin Zolkiewicz from Chicago Bus, who also contributes to Grid Chicago.

During the freewheeling 45-minute discussion Mr. Claypool patiently answered any and all of our queries about the transit authority’s sometimes controversial decisions. He was particularly candid about the upcoming Jeffery Corridor Bus Rapid Transit initiative, volunteering his opinion that this pilot project isn’t really bus rapid transit, but rather a step in the right direction. Here are a few of Steven’s and my questions and Mr. Claypool’s responses.

Continue reading Talk, Forrest, talk! The CTA chief responds to our transit questions