Monday, November 12, 2012

Another Chance To Save The 145 Bus?

A reader sent in the following information.  If anyone is able to attend and give reasons to save this bus route from elimination, it would be extremely appreciated:

"The next CTA board meeting is THIS WEDNESDAY at 1pm. (see below). The meetings usually start at 10am but this one has a later start. It would be great if some folks showed up to request that the board reconsider its decision to eliminate the #145 bus. The public can comment at the meeting; well, five people can anyway.

There have been many, many instances that I've been on a packed, standing-room-only #145 that's at a time when there will be no alternate service should this route elimination go through leaving SO many riders without service. This cut makes no sense. With a million riders, the route brings in more money than the CTA pays for the drivers to run it. In other words, it is not only cost-efficient - it is generating a profit. 

Should the CTA argue that it's about allocation of limited resources, then the question remains whether any of the decision-makers have ever sat and watched the nearly empty buses (like the #135, for example) running one after another during rush hour.

Most riders are unaware that the CTA board voted to cut this route. There are no signs on the buses or the bus stops about it. If the CTA is going to be so blatantly apathetic about the multitude it is inconveniencing and literally leaving out in the cold, it could at least give fair warning."

Here's a link to the CTA's webpage on how to make public comments at their board meetings.

As a refresher, the Wilson Avenue express buses will be cut off December 16th, leaving no way to get Downtown from Uptown for those who cannot access the non-ADA-compliant Wilson Red Line station.  A list of some compelling reasons for keeping the route were laid out in an earlier post, here.

If anyone can make the time to argue for the Wilson buses' retention, please go on behalf of many of your neighbors.


  1. Another concern to raise at the meeting is whether or not the elimination of the 145 and the change to the 148 route will in any way jeopardize the federal funding from the 2011 Bus Livability Program for making Wilson Ave Station accessible. Winning the funding was partly contingent upon serving 4 bus routes used by 55,275 people, but there will now be only two buses serving the station. CTA's ridership projection for the new configuration by route is as yet unpublished, I believe.

    Per the Oct. 13, 2011 announcement by the mayor and Sen. Durbin: "Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $6,000,000 in funding to make accessibility improvements at the Wilson Red Line Station which is served by four bus routes that together provide direct service to 55,275 people. The project includes a new elevator control room and rail maintenance room, a new elevator inside the main station house at street level, as well as street modifications, exterior rehabilitation and improvements to the bus stops providing intermodal connections to the station. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 Bus Livability Program."

  2. Not that I want the 145 to be cancelled, but leave the 135 out of your argument. I take the 135 almost every day and it is never empty. It's full with standing riders always from and to the Loop. Coming home in the evening from the Loop, many passengers do get off at Belmont - maybe you see it then? No way is it empty from and to the Loop.

  3. SuzyQ - I suspect the 135 fills up entirely south of Irving Park Rd. I live on Clarendon, and 135s go by me every morning totally empty - maybe one or two people, and almost no one on Clarendon gets on them.

    I'm still not clear what they're planning to do with the 148? They already don't have enough of them in the mornings, as far as I'm concerned. Or at least if they started using the larger accordion buses for it in the mornings.

  4. The graphic from UU's earlier post is very helpful for figuring out the 148 plans, Dan. Going north, from where the 148 used to head west on Wilson at Clarendon to continue past Truman College & Wilson Ave CTA station, it will now continue up Clarendon to Lawrence (between Weiss Hospital & its parking garage) & then turn right on Lawrence & immediately left onto Marine Drive in order to cover the northern portion of the former 144 route, which has been running straight on the east side of Weiss Hospital along Marine. It's unclear to me, too, where it will turn around at Foster & Marine (or if it will).

    The number of runs of the 148 & the 146 will both be increasing. While the new routes & frequency are good in theory, one possible issue with the new 148 route is that the new stretch on Clarendon is really not well-designed for bus traffic for a couple of reasons:

    1) Very high number of alleys, side streets, parking facility exits, & driveways feed onto short stretch of Clarendon from Wilson to Lawrence
    2) High pedestrian count crossing to/from Weiss parking lot & parking garage as well as to/from Walgreen's
    3) Non-stop service vehicles stopped & unloading at all times on Clarendon at Weiss Hospital service entrance
    4) As yet untested entrance/exit patterns for new Lakeshore Hospital facility at Leland & Clarendon
    5) Traffic lights + gas station at Clarendon-Lawrence-Marine very difficult for all modes to navigate with complication of entrance/exit to Lake Shore Drive

    Everyone will just have to be really careful when the changes are made!