Despite the fact that the Damen Brown Line station also is where we can easily pick up the Wilson 145 bus, I usually walk to the beginning of the line at Ravenswood and Wilson. This allows me time to sit down and relax until my stop. When I arrived, there was a bus at the depot but instead of facing south, where they then would turn east onto Wilson and ultimately go downtown, this one was facing north. The driver just said there was a route change and they no longer go under the viaduct, and that’s all she knew.
The bus went north on Ravenswood to Lawrence Avenue, then east on Lawrence Avenue to Ashland, where it traveled south until Wilson. At that point it turned east and began to resemble the old route. What was missing is that the bus no longer made the turn up Damen to pick up passengers from the Damen Brown Line.
For anyone needing to travel south and towards the lake after being on the Brown Line, boarding the Wilson 145 from the Damen station was a great solution. Now anyone needing to go east from the Damen Brown Line will now have to walk or take a bus north to Lawrence, take that bus far enough east and they can now catch the bus that they used to only have to depart from the train station from.
Another option is to just walk to Lawrence, wait for the Lawrence bus, and then end up taking another bus to go south. For the hearty and hale, the walk to Lawrence is no big issue. For anyone with health issues, or the elderly, or someone who does not have a car and takes public transportation to do shopping (that would be me!), this is really not a very customer centered move.
Instead of making it easier for commuters, this reroute has made it more difficult. Instead of taking a train to a bus, many commuters will now have to take a train and two buses. This is definitely not focusing on the customer.
The CTA alert is posted here:
It started today, to a date TBD. Hopefully this aversion to the Damen Brown Line will end soon.
Today I received an email from my Alderman, who is Alderman Schulter. He provided far more information than the the CTA had made available.
I met yesterday with representatives from the Chicago Transit Authority to discuss the recent emergency changes on the 145 and 148 bus routes. I have heard from a number of you expressing your concerns about the changes and wanted to let you know that I share your concerns.Both bus routes used to extend to Damen Avenue, allowing riders to access the Damen Brown Line station and the Levy Senior Center on Damen.
The CTA recently had to pull two hundred articulated busses out of service due to safety concerns. The new busses being utilized on these routes cannot go through the viaduct at Ravenswood and Wilson–forcing the CTA to make the turn around at Ravenswood instead of at Damen.I was assured that this change is temporary and that as soon as the busses are back in service, the original routes can be restored. I will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed.