CTA's Loop Link open 1st weekday commute

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Monday, December 21, 2015
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Buses are running in the new red, bus-only lanes along Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal streets in the Loop.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Buses are running in the new, red, bus-only lanes along Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal streets in Chicago's Loop as part of the CTA's Loop Link.

"I work down here so I think it's a great improvement. People are going to get around better," Patti Thanos said.

Cyclists also have their own dedicated lanes and turn signals while pedestrians have shorter crosswalks, which officials said should make crossing busy Loop streets safer. Bus stops now have larger, covered stations.

"It's good. Make the bus drive faster, and under here, it's nice," commuter Sunny Lil said of the bus shelter.

The city hopes the new $41 million Loop Link project will cut down on traffic congestion, save time, and make getting around safer.

"We can save up to seven and a half minutes roundtrip by the use of this Loop Link service," CTA President Dorval Carter said.

Some drivers are having a challenging time with the first work day that Loop Link is open. While there are new turning lanes and turning signals, vehicles are down to one lane. Drivers who try to use the bus lane face fines.

"The signage is up. We're shagging people out of standing, and keeping traffic moving as quickly as possible, so you'll see there are enforcement officers that are

walking the corridors and CPD can enforce the moving violation as well," CTA Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said.

Seven Loop Link stations are open and eighth is expected in January.

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