The CTA and Pace have revised their proposed changes to bus service in Evanston. Comments and concerns raised by the community, most notably those regarding the elimination of direct service between the CTA Howard Station and ETHS, were considered as the transit agencies made final adjustments to their proposed service plan.
The planned elimination of CTA Bus 205 will go forward. It will be replaced with Pace Bus 213. However, service on the Pace 213 route will be extended. Instead of having one morning and one afternoon direct run to ETHS from southeast Evanston as proposed in April, the new plan includes five morning and five afternoon runs on school days. Additionally, the CTA Bus 206 will make one AM and one PM trip via Chicago Avenue. On Mondays, CTA and Pace will operate two PM trips to match the earlier school dismissal time.
The Pace Bus 213 will operate every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours along Chicago Avenue. Its direct runs to and from the high school will operate every 30 minutes. The extension of Route 213 on Chicago Avenue would also provide longer weekday hours and Saturday service. There are still some concerns over the fare structure. Presently, the Pace reduced student fare ($1.00) is more than the CTA reduced fare (.75).
The April proposed changes to Pace Route 208 will be implemented. Pace and CTA report that the new alignment of this route will strengthen the grid network in our area by consolidating transit service into a single corridor between Grant and Church Streets. Additionally, the Golf Road corridor would have longer weekday hours and some weekend service.
The CTA Board met and voted on an ordinance to replace Bus Route 205 with the amended plan from Pace for its Bus Routes 208 and 213 on June 13, 2018.
In other public transit news, CTA officials announced long range plans to upgrade the Purple Line through Evanston. Stations will be evaluated on condition and accessibility. Stations lacking compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act will be prioritized for funding under a capital improvement grant. Station upgrades and modernization will improve the efficiency and capacity of the Purple Line. The City of Evanston is also working with the CTA on a bus stop pilot program on Dodge from Main to Oakton, ensuring that the stops are fully accessible to all riders.
Go Evanston will continue to monitor public transit issues in our community. We appreciate the City’s responsiveness and the advocacy of our elected officials. Thank you to the concerned citizens who made public comments and wrote letters in support of bus transit in Evanston. It is important for all of us to stay engaged with the issue. Whether traveling over short or long distances, city buses are one of the safest, greenest, most affordable, and most inclusive means of transportation.