CTA implements 'de-crowding' plan

December 16. 2012 (CHICAGO)

Officials say it will improve service on the city's busiest buses and trains.

Laurie Henry Robinson calls herself a "niner" because every day she takes the No. 9 Ashland bus to and from work. The route is one of the busiest in Chicago during rush hour. It is difficult to find a seat, but that is expected to change under the CTA's crowding reduction plan. The No. 9 is one of 48 bus routes where service is being added.

"That's good for me I get to work on time and home on time," Robinson said.

But adding service comes with a price. A dozen bus routes have been eliminated and portions of four routes are discontinued.

The CTA says it's all about supply and demand.

"The routes we're adding service 76 percent of our customers, the routed discontinued 2 percent of customers," said CTA spokesperson Brian Steele.

While the benches remain, the signs are already gone on a big chunk of the No. 11 Lincoln bus route. The bus has been cut between Western and Fullerton. A portion of it is in Alderman Ameya Pawar's 47th Ward and he says the CTA must look beyond the data.

"In this case it is a total one size fits all solution they are not thinking about seniors, people living fixed incomes make less money that people who ride the train," Pawar said.

Alderman Pawar and dozens of others took their fight to save the No. 11 to the CTA last week. Pawar says he was told by five of the seven board members they were willing to reconsider their decision to eliminate part of the route, but Sunday the bus between Western and Fullerton was history.

The CTA says the portion of the No. 11 that is being cut is within blocks of multiple other bus routes and rail lines. Alderman Pewar says he refuses to give up the fight.

Meantime, the CTA is also adding service to its most popular rail lines, which include the brown, red and blue lines.

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