BRT Chicago—Ashland Avenue Bus Rapid Transit

BRT Chicago—Ashland Avenue Bus Rapid Transit


Gabe Klein: Chicago is a world-class city, and as such, deserves a world-class
transportation system. We need to make sure that we are constantly
building upon what we have, and around the world you see Bus Rapid
Transit as a new, fast, high quality, low cost way to give people rail quality transit on the street. Rebekah Scheinfeld: Ashland is the right corridor for BRT. BRT on Ashland is going to provide tremendous travel enhancements to that corridor. Ashland is already our busiest bus route,
with 10 million boardings in 2012, more than 30,000 people each
weekday. This route will connect with seven CTA train stations, two Metra stations, and 37 bus routes. It also connects people to jobs, schools, and popular destinations. One in 10 Chicagoans live within walking distance of the corridor. With BRT service on Ashland, one travel lane in each direction will be dedicated to the BRT service. Buses will be running down the center, with planted medians and almost all the parking kept along the curbside for local businesses. Transit signal priority technology will communicate with approaching buses to hold the green light a little longer to keep buses and general traffic moving. Warren Ribley: The current bus system is slow, it gets stuck in traffic, and it really takes a long time for passengers to get on and to get off; and those are the sort of issues that will just go away with Bus Rapid Transit. Rebekah: While BRT will provide faster service stopping every half mile, CTA will still offer the local bus service stopping at every block for shorter commutes and neighborhood access. Demond Drummer: Bus Rapid Transit has the potential to transform the Ashland corridor. The iconic stations are accessible. Boarding times are faster. Maureen: We’re gonna be able to count on it because it won’t be stopping, and it won’t be irregular. And it should be easy to get on and off because it’s flat boarding, we won’t have to go up and down all those steps. So if you have a nap, you can stay asleep in your stroller. You like that idea? Okay! Warren: BRT is reliable and we need that kind of service her in the Illinois Medical District. [There are] 20,000 people that work in the Illinois medical district and another 50,000 [every day] that are coming to seeking access medical care. BRT is reliable and gets people there on time. Gabe: The goal here is to see economic development come to the corridor, as a result, much like it does when you build new CTA station. Demond: Bring more people to the station. Bring more people to our local neighborhood to support small businesses. Gabe: So anytime you take on a project like this there’s got to be some give and take. You have about 70 ft. of right of way. You have different uses for that right away. You have people driving, you have people walking, you have people biking, you have people taking the bus, and you have people parking. A lot of times I feel that our job is to balance the needs of all the users of of that right away. And in this case what we’re trying to come up with is a solution that really caters to businesses and residents alike. I think what you’ll see with the solution that we [CDOT] and CTA are proposing is that we found a way to do that, preserve as much parking as possible, and also move as many people as possible. This project has to work for you, and so I am very excited about the amount of public input and the process that we’ve gone through and we’re still going through; and we really, really want you to come out give us your input. Let us know what’s important to you. Rebekah: BRT is fast! Warren: BRT is reliable. Maureen: And BRT is easy. Is that gonna be fun? Tony: Yeah!