Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Chicago has way too many bus stops

These CTA routes take five or six times as long as driving, largely because we stop at every freaking block to let one guy off or a few people on. The Director of Pace testified in the Mass Transit Committee that slower busses equals more expensice busses. Well in this time of tight budgets for everything tha benefits regular Americans (but tax cuts for those earning more than 300 large and a bottomless pit of money for our armed adventures overseas), the CTA should start eliminating bus stops to no more than one per half-mile. And while we're at it we should figure out how to copy Berlin where people pay their fare at the bus stop while waiting for the bus and when it arrives, everyone just gets on quickly from both doors instead of forming a slow-moving single-file line where each person pays the fare while the bus idles.


Carl Nyberg said...

The suggestion deserves consideration, but what about seniors and the disabled?

ChicagoJason said...

Could not agree with you more. I long for the buses in the German city where I used to live--designated stops, Germanically punctual, prepaid fares so the bus didn't grind to a halt as countless people bought tickets, etc.

Jeff Wegerson said...

Maybe. I don't ride the bus much.

That said, I have ridden the Western bus, both Express and local. The Express doesn't stop but every half-mile (4 blocks) at most. My just off rush hour experience with the express was that it wasn't all that much faster. Remember there is still traffic to contend with.

One good thing that the CTA is doing is moving the stops to after the corner rather than before. The major benefit is that they get stuck with less waiting to pull back into the traffic lane.

Dedicated bus lanes get my vote. I'm aware that the downtown ones had issues, but in the long run it has to be the way to go.

I'm all for the pay first system. Then a lot more poor kids can get free rides by taking their chances that the occasional checker won't show.

ted said...

I immediatly thought of seniors and the disabled, too. Maybe they could make their own stops, anywhere they are? Like PACE does for everyone?

Half mile seems like a lot, especially when some people have to walk 2 to 3 blocks just to get to that main street for the bus. Quarter mile would still eliminate a lot of stops and still be somewhat reasonable for walking.

As for pre-paying, how much infrastructure does that take? Sounds huge. Let's just make the fare collection process quicker. Chicago cards are a huge step in the right direction.