CTA getting neighborhoods ready for Jeffery Jump


A Jeffery Jump station at 67th Street, just south of Jackson Park and where the bus route transitions to Lake Shore Drive. Rendering by the CTA. 

I visited several south side infrastructure projects yesterday, including the 31st Street cycle track (after a week, only two blocks striped) and South Chicago Avenue buffered bike lanes. I also caught some of the new features being built as part of the Chicago Transit Authority’s J14 Jeffery Jump bus service (what is currently the 14/Jeffery Express) that starts in November.


The buses will have dedicated bus lanes from 67th Street to 83rd Street (north of 67th Street the route runs on Lake Shore Drive). New, very wide, lanes were striped recently, as seen here at 72nd Street in South Shore. The lanes are dedicated only in the peak direction, northbound from 7-9 AM and southbound from 4-6 PM. South of 83rd Street there are other improvements (triggering traffic signal to turn green sooner or stay green longer) and queue jumping) to give buses priority and realize 6 minutes travel time savings in the enhanced parts of the route.


The J14 bus stops, every half mile instead of the 15/Jeffery Local’s 1/4 mile stop spacing, feature a blue strip along the curb (for about the length of the bus) to identify this as a Jeffery Jump station. Get more information about Jeffery Jump on the CTA’s website, or write your question in the comments below. Scroll down to see some graphic renderings of the proposed station design.


The CTA advertises the Jeffery Jump service in a bus stop on the 30/South Chicago route, at the six-way intersection of 83rd Street, South Chicago Avenue, and Jeffery Boulevard. 


Looking north along Jeffery Boulevard from 71st Street. The train tracks in the foreground belong to the Metra Electric South Chicago branch. Rendering by CTA. 


This eye-level view shows a Jeffery Jump station at 71st Street. Rendering by CTA.

16 thoughts on “CTA getting neighborhoods ready for Jeffery Jump”

  1. This project has failure written all over it. And for a 6 minute travel time saving, is it really worth all of the trouble? And what a stupid name.

    1. You and I must be looking at two completely unique projects. This project takes an existing medium ridership, express route (fewer stops), and adds technologies never tried before in Chicago with dedicated lanes in an attempt to see how they can reduce the amount of time buses are spent stuck in traffic, living up to their reputation as the slow way to get around.

      What trouble is there? Should the CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation have done nothing and not experiment with different bus operation techniques?

    2. Pretend there’s 40 people on the bus. That’s 240 minutes of travel saving.

      Besides, alliteration with the letter ‘J’ is hard.

    3. I agree on the name. Others like the alliteration, but I think alliteration is almost always evidence of somebody being too cute. Personally, I would have kept it simple and called it an express bus. Go with the idea that something like this is what should be normal, rather than something exceptional.

      Also, I don’t like the notion of cumulative time. 40 people who each save 6 minutes do not translate to 240 saved minutes. It’s 40 people who each saved 6 minutes.

      As for the rest, I see some potential problems here, but they might not play out. I’m curious to see the reaction, so I’m glad they’re giving it a shot. Either way, it will either prove or disprove a concept.

    4. It’s a tiny investment and a pilot program for a number of modest improvements meant to be experienced as a whole. This is exactly how the CTA should proceed with improving its bus system – 1) do a small pilot, 2) test, 3) examine data, 4) make improvements, 5) repeat. Doing many iterations of small projects like the Jeffery Jump and taking the best from the experience is the best way for CTA to spend its time and funds.

  2. A few nights ago, I visited a friend who lives near 83rd St. a few blocks west of Jeffery. With the current #14 service stopping every 2 blocks, travel speed south of 67th was fairly slow. I could see how having some improvements to get through traffic and intersections easier would help. However, the downside for my friend’s location is that they’re going to eliminate the 85th St. stop (which allows pedestrians to avoid a long dirty viaduct under the Skyway), leaving 83rd and 87th. 83rd is interrupted west of Jeffery due to the Skyway, eliminating any possibility of a direct path. Less time on the bus is nice, but having to walk through the viaduct pretty much cancels out that positive effect.

    1. The 15/Jeffery Local bus route remains intact with the Jeffery Jump.

      I traveled through several a viaduct in this trip yesterday. What awful experiences they present to all road users.

      1. My friend is commuting to/from the Loop, so the Jeffery Local doesn’t help.

        While the sidewalks under that viaduct on Jeffery south of 83rd may be less than desirable, at least the pavement on the road is good and lighting conditions are reasonable – still a million times better than the disgusting viaducts on Vincennes near 83rd.

        Also, while BRT light doesn’t quite live up to the potential of true BRT, the Jeffery Jump could offer a significantly faster ride from the Loop compared to the X28 on Stony Island.

      2. Hooray for local service! Boo to viaducts! I have shifted to taking the Irving Park bus west because it has a less horrible viaduct experience than the Montrose bus.

        I’d love to see more viaduct blogging on GRID. Who controls them? Why are they good/bad? How much does it cost to redesign and rebuild one? How many viaducts fit on the head of pin? That kind of thing.

        1. Viaducts – now THAT’s a complex subject. On your questions, it depends – on who owns, uses and maintains it. Some of our viaducts are owned by freight railroads, and may be used by freight, Metra and Amtrak. Those tend to be the most problematic for pedestrian and cyclist conditions. More tracks = worse lighting conditions, and often worse pavement conditions. Cost to redesign and rebuild? Huge.

  3. The caption for the 5th picture says in part: “The train tracks in the foreground belong to the Metra Electric South Shore branch.” The correct name for that line is “the Metra Electric South Chicago Branch.” It has no connection with N.I.C.T.D.’s South Shore train service to Hammond – Gary – South Bend; the similarity in names causes some confusion occasionally.

      1. Ah, I see. My railroad-centric p.o.v. on geography was probably obvious in my original comment; I see how your neighborhood-centric p.o.v. caused you to mis-label that rail line. p.s.- great website!

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