Chicago Launches Loop Link BRT Service
John Greenfield reports on the first day of Loop Link bus rapid transit service in Chicago on Sunday, December 20, describing the system's first users as "kids unwrapping presents."
Here's Greenfield's overview of the big new addition to the streets of the Windy City:
The main part of the bus corridor runs about a mile across the Loop district on Washington and Madison streets, where giant bus shelters with near-level boarding platforms have been constructed. On Washington, a new protected bike lane runs between the sidewalk and the island stations.
The route also includes Canal and Clinton streets in the West Loop, so it connects the two West Loop commuter rail stations with Michigan Avenue. Six different bus routes that terminate in different corners of the city are now using the corridor, which is designed to double bus speeds from the previous sluggish pace of 3 mph during rush hours.
Greenfield includes photos and videos of the Loop Link in operation on its birthday, along with more details about the improvements still planned for the system. In general, Greenfield gives the new BRT system a positive review.
In a separate article, Brianna Gurciullo provides a dispatch from the system's first weekday operations, "through a downtown filled with vacationing families and holiday shoppers," also reporting smooth operations.