While we commend the goals highlighted in the North Shore Transit Service Coordination Plan, including focusing service improvements on areas of high demand for bus service, growing ridership, and operating bus service where and when it is most needed; we have serious concerns with the plan’s proposed elimination of CTA Bus Route 205. It directly contradicts the plan's stated aims.
- The 205 is heavily used by students getting to and from the high school, and no adequate replacement is offered in the plan to serve ETHS students and other riders.
- The proposed replacement for the 205 is Pace 213 and Pace 208, resulting in less direct service. The 213 will make one direct trip to the high school in the morning and one direct trip from ETHS in the afternoon. Other than these two trips, students traveling to and from the high school from southeast Evanston will have to transfer buses at Davis to complete their commute.
- Presently, students traveling north on Chicago Avenue to school in the morning have four bus options on the CTA 205. Buses leave Howard at 6:50, 7:12, 7:22, and 7:34. The frequency averages around 14 minutes.
- In addition to less frequent and direct service, there is no accommodation for more riders on Pace routes 213 and 208. The report shows no changes in the number of Pace buses running at peak hours: 208 (4) and 213 (7). Currently, three CTA 205 buses run at peak hours in the morning.
- Service on CTA Bus 206 (the circulator), which also is heavily used by students in the morning and afternoon, had its service cut by 30% in December 2017.
- Service cuts, resulting in less frequent, less direct, and more crowded buses, will affect families and students with no other transportation option most. It is an issue of equity and access.
- Eliminating the service will result in families that have a car, time, and flexibility to choose convenience and drive to the high school, causing a decrease in ridership, further reducing public transit revenue, and adding more congestion and pollution to our city streets.
We urge you to attend the public hearing next Tuesday, April 24 at the Levy Center 4:30-6:30 pm.