Chicago, February 26, 2013
Bus Rapid Transit in Chicago
In Chicago, 1.8 million trips are taken by transit per day, and more than half of these are by bus. However, because Chicago's congestion is the third worst in the country, buses are often caught in traffic, making them slower and less reliable than they should be. There have been many studies looking at new rail options, including a downtown circulator streetcar and the Circle Line L train, but all have stalled because of the time and money needed to plan and implement.
For the last five years, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Department of Transportation have been planning Bus Rapid Transit in the city. The first new type of transit service since trolley bus service opened in 1930, the Jeffery Jump, is paving the way for Bus Rapid Transit in the Loop and along Western and Ashland Avenues. In this program, Christopher Ziemann, Chicago's BRT Project Manager, discussed the unique approach that Chicago is using to advance BRT economically, politically, and technically.
About the Speaker
Christopher Ziemann, AICP, is the Chicago BRT project manager. Funded through support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ziemann works between CTA and CDOT and coordinates the efforts of civic nonprofit groups with city agencies. He received a Master's in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and has worked with the BRT operating agency in Curitiba, Brazil. He led the planning and implementation of Washington, D.C.'s first protected bicycle lane.