The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago DOT (CDOT) have begun the work on the agencies' joint initiative to bring dedicated bus lanes to the city's streets through the Bus Priority Zone Program.
Red-painted lanes with the words "CTA buses only" have started to appear in various neighborhoods around the city as part of the program, for which Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced would receive an additional $20 million in October. The goal of the Bus Priority Zone Program is to improve bus travel times and make service more reliable along seven core routes.
“This new measure already creates transformative improvements on two major CTA bus routes," Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement at the time of the announcement, "and with additional investments, we will be able to advance service on even more routes, encouraging additional Chicagoans to use our world-class system.”
The additional $20 million quadrupled the previously existing $5 million budget for the program, which is designed to eliminate "slow zones" caused by bottlenecks along the city's most heavily traveled corridors.
Among the improvements being made are dedicated red CTA bus-only lanes to help buses move through the streets more quickly, along with new overhead signage and new technologies to improve traffic light timing and allow buses to move through an intersection ahead of traffic.
CDOT and the CTA are planning to bring the program to a number of other corridors throughout the city. Planning for new improvements is expected to take place through the rest of 2019 into 2020, while construction on future corridors would break ground in 2021. Work has already begun at several key CTA stops.
SOURCE: Office of Mayor Lightfoot / Block Club Chicago