North Siders, pack that app up.
Riders on the North Side may not have to rely on CTA tracking apps, thanks to new electronic signs that display bus arrival information.
Mayor Emanuel announced last week that the CTA plans to set up 400 electronic Bus Tracker displays at shelters across the city. The first 150 shelter signs, slated to be installed by March, concentrate on North Side routes, city data shows.
This initial batch of shelter signs is geared toward the express buses, Nos. 143-148, which travel along Lake Shore Drive between the North Side and North Michigan Avenue.
There will be 19 electronic signs posted along the No. 147-Outer Drive Express route, between the Howard stop on the Red, Purple and Yellow lines and Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway. About 16,000 riders take that route each weekday.
Citywide, each ward is initially receiving at least two shelter signs, but three wards, in the downtown area and on the West Side, each will see 10 displays, according to data posted on transitchicago.com.
The 42nd Ward—which encompasses the Loop, North Michigan Avenue, River North, Streeterville and the Gold Coast—is netting 20 shelter signs, the most of any ward. The ward's alderman, Brendan Reilly, did not return calls for comment.
Though North Michigan Avenue is a high traffic area for buses, there are routes elsewhere that log higher ridership.
The No. 79-79th bus, which travels along 79th Street between the lakefront and Western Avenue, had the highest average weekday ridership in August: nearly 30,000 riders. Four signs will be placed along this route in the initial phase of this project.
The No. 9-Ashland bus, which travels along Ashland Avenue between 95th Street and Irving Park Road, records about 100 fewer riders than the No. 79 on an average weekday. Ten signs will be placed along the No. 9 route.
The 400 displays scheduled to be installed will cover 80 percent of the CTA's ridership, agency president Forrest Claypool said.
The $3.8 million sign project is being paid for with money from the CTA, Regional Transportation Authority and the federal government. A full list of electronic sign locations is posted at transitchicago.com.
Spotlight on Wilson
The Wilson Red Line stop, the three-time winner of Going Public's annual "Crust Station" contest for dirty and inconvenient 'L' stops, is getting a little sunshine. Artist Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite and children from the Sunlight African Community Center, which provides afterschool programs in Uptown, have created a 16-foot mural for the Wilson stop.
An opening reception for the artwork will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at the community center, 4538 N. Broadway.
TALK TO US
What would be a creative CTA-themed Halloween costume? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.
My pledge to ride every CTA bus line continues. I rode the No. 91-Austin last week and boiled my review down to a tweet.
@tracyswartz 48 min from Jefferson Park Blue Line to Austin/Roosevelt. Border line: Travels along the border of Oak Park and Cicero. Stops by Green Line.
127 routes down, 12 to go!
Next up: No. 8A-South Halsted.