Beginning December 2015, the CTA will be launching a three-phased project aimed at improving both travel speeds and service reliability along two of the busiest bus routes in the city – the #9 Ashland and #49 Western. Each day, these two critical north/south routes provide more than 55,600 CTA rides. However, due to traffic congestion and close stop spacing, both are affected by slow bus speeds, leading to consistent bus bunching and big gaps in service. The changes include reintroducing express buses on each route, the elimination of selected stops to help move all buses more quickly, and a signal prioritization system that will lengthen green times and shorten reds to help get buses through signalized intersections.

Ashland and Western Bus Improvements