When the clock strikes 24 hours out of every hour, how much do you really care about what happens to your city’s public transit?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council are taking steps to make sure that buses run the way we all need them to — as fast as possible.
The mayor announced Wednesday that the city will spend $100 million over the next four years on bus-only lanes and bus-first service.
The money will be used to expand bus stops and increase bus routes, while also creating new service options for riders.
The mayor said the plan will be built on a three-part model:A two-part plan for expanding bus stops:Chicago is in a transition period, and there are lots of factors to consider.
The city’s transit agencies have to decide whether to stay with the existing plan or continue to improve their routes and expand their service.
The goal is to have enough service to serve everyone in the city by the end of 2019.
Emanuel has been adamant about making sure that every Chicagoan can get to their job, and that means buses.
The plan calls for the opening of more than a dozen new bus stops, and it includes the creation of an expanded service area that will include the neighborhoods of Lakeview, Belmont, Lincoln Park, and Belmont Heights.
The bus stops are scheduled to open in late 2019, with the new service area starting in 2021.
The $100M investment will be divided equally among the three city transit agencies, Emanuel said.
It will be funded through the fare-collection agency and by a combination of property taxes and ticket sales.
The city is hoping to have all of the new bus routes open by 2021.
But Chicago has a lot of catching up to do, as the city has over 500,000 people commuting to work each day, and as the mayor has repeatedly stressed.
The new service areas will also include additional service routes to serve neighborhoods outside of the core of the city.
For example, the mayor is pushing to expand the bus routes that run to neighborhoods like Englewood and Forest Hills.
While Emanuel said the new routes would help make Chicago more efficient and cost-effective, he cautioned that they may not be enough to solve the citys chronic congestion problem.
“We’re going to have to do more to help people get to the jobs that they want to get into,” Emanuel said during a news conference.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, left, and Chicago Transit Authority board members John F. Pérez, center, and Mike O’Malley, right, discuss plans to expand service on buses, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2019.
Mayor Emanuel also said that while the new stops could help alleviate some of the congestion, they may still not be adequate to address the city s chronic congestion problems.
“The plan is a start, but it’s not enough,” Emanuel told reporters Wednesday.
The announcement comes just a day after the Chicago Transit Agency voted to close four of its seven bus stops to the public.
A few of the stops, including the one near Belmont and North Lawndale, were closed because they weren’t meeting the agency s new bus stop plan.
The closure of the four stops was in response to the city council passing a resolution last year calling for a new bus rapid transit system.
The vote to close the stops was the latest in a series of decisions the council made over the past year that have been criticized by the Chicago Transportation Commission, which represents the city in the Illinois General Assembly.
“We need more bus stops,” the mayor said.
“I know some of you are thinking, ‘What?
How could we ever stop all of these stops?
How would we get people to the job?’
We will continue to build this system.””
This is not a temporary solution to the problem.
We will continue to build this system.”