While the future of the Ashland Bus Rapid Transit project may be up in the air at the moment, the Loop's new BRT system is well on its way. Known as the Loop Link, the new project is expected to dramatically decrease the travel times for bus commuters by developing dedicated lanes for buses, as well as space specifically for pedestrians and bicyclists. Currently, CDOT has indicated that many buses in the Loop crawl as slow as three miles per hour, which is slower than walking. However, the new plan is expected to bring those speeds up to 12-15 mph.
According to the CTA, the city runs 1,000 bus trips per day between Madison and Washington streets. Dedicated bus lanes will be created on both of these busy streets, and also on the stretches of Clinton and Canal that surround Union Station. BRT stations will be found on roughly every other block, and patrons will have the ability to pay for their trip before boarding the bus in order to speed up the boarding process.
There's obviously still more work to be done, but with more and more of the city's population relying on public transit, improvements like Loop Link and the ongoing upgrades on various 'L' lines have been much needed.
·The Loop Link Project [City of Chicago]
·Get On Board: Central Loop Bus Rapid Transit Is Coming Soon [Curbed Chicago]
·All previous BRT coverage [Curbed Chicago]