Currently, CTA buses traveling across and in downtown move at a rate of 3-mph. A new project announced by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) seeks to double this rate.
Loop Link will build new 24-hour bus-only lanes and new rapid boarding stations. CDOT officials announced that the construction to make Loop Link a reality will begin in two weeks. The project is not expected to be complete until 2016.
The project will cost the city more than $30 million dollars and will be limited to a 2-mile radius covering Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal streets.
Another project in the works would reorganize the streets in downtown Chicago in order to provide pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists with their own lanes and spaces.
Officials stated that Loop Link, when fully up and running, would decrease traffic congestion and also ensure a faster trip to the more than 21,000 CTA commuters that use the downtown buses every weekday.
Rapid bus transit services in highly congested areas like downtown may even increase CTA ridership. There are plans to eventually establish rapid transit stations in other locations. A similar program will target Ashland Avenue in the future.
Experts note that this experiment in Chicago is the largest attempt to introduce rapid transit bus services into the business district of a large U.S. city.
It is likely that other cities will be watching closely to see how well these initiatives reduce traffic congestion and increase CTA service to riders.
One of the most important components of the new initiative is providing buses with easier ways to make left and right turns and avoid collisions with other vehicles and bicyclists.
We applaud the effort to reduce the number of accidents in Chicago and the traffic congestion that leads to dangerous mistakes. Our offices are located in the business district and we want our clients to be able to access our offices easily and quickly.
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