Open thread: What have you noticed on day three of CTA’s decrowding plan?

On Sunday, new bus and train schedules went into effect. The Chicago Transit Authority added service to 48 bus routes, eliminated 12 bus routes, and removed service on segments of 4 bus routes. Additionally, the CTA added 17 trains on the Red, Blue, Brown, Purple, Orange and Green lines (during rush periods). Pace Suburban Bus modified some of its routes to accommodate the CTA’s eliminated routes. See the full details on CTA’s website.

Map of modified and eliminated bus and train routes.
CTA’s map of modified and eliminated bus and train routes.

Did you notice your train or bus was a little less crowded?

Note: Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) was a consultant to CTA to study the decrowding initiative, but there was no report issued. I asked CTA spokesperson Brian Steele about this: “To conduct the study, NUTC took multiple CTA data sets (including ridership, service planning, entries/boardings, operating costs, fare revenues) and did an analysis of service. NUTC then met with CTA and their analysis confirmed CTA’s initial analysis of the data – identifying the best routes on which to augment, discontinue, or reduce service.”

10 thoughts on “Open thread: What have you noticed on day three of CTA’s decrowding plan?”

    1. Good call. I’ll revisit this in a few weeks. My roommate told me he had a less-crowded train on Monday. He said he noticed it was less crowded before being reminded that there was this plan.

  1. It will probably take months to actually make a full analysis but from what I’ve seen, its the same as usual. Had a 5000-series train this morning on the red line that was crowded as usual (the headway, at least according to train tracker, was 5 min) and unable to take additional passengers by Addison. Sometimes I get this crowding and sometimes I’m lucky and a train came a minute or two before the one I got on, and the train isn’t that crowded.
    I guess we’ll see over the long run how it works…

  2. Public funds paid for the consult with NUTC. If you want to look at what they produced, the answer should be “Sure thing!”. CTA isn’t the CIA. The agency should have no proprietary information. What’s the worst thing that could happen — New York steals some of their ideas and cuts costs? That’s a win-win for everybody.

  3. Still had to wait 15 minutes for a NB Purple line and by the time it got to Belmont, it was standing room only. This line has always been in desperate need of a few more trains during the normal morning (7-8:30 am) rush.

  4. I’ve noticed one very positive change so far. Because Pace is working to better complement CTA bus service on some routes, they’ve made a long overdue change at 95th St. station.

    The stops for the 381 Pace bus and 95W CTA bus were previously on opposite sides of the station, even though both service 95th St. This made it difficult for passengers coming from the train to see which bus was in the station, which sometimes resulted in missing buses and waiting longer. Now both buses use the same stop, eliminating that problem. Also, where the 381 previously serviced fewer stops than the 95W from the red line to Western (stopping about once per 1/2 mile on average), it’s now making more frequent stops, offering equivalent service to the 95W. This is a very welcome change.

    This didn’t quite make up for my 45 minute ride from Cermak to 95th a few days ago (more than twice what it should be, thanks to slow zones), but it helps a little.

  5. Today’s Red Line during rush hour was yielding car loads of 80-90+ riders (crush capacity). Good job on cutting service under the guise of “improvements”, CTA!

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