The Chicago Transit Authority on Monday debuted the first phase of its Bus Rapid Transit program with service that officials said will save commuters seven minutes each way between the Loop and the city's south side.
The "Jeffery Jump," first announced in September, is a new express service between 103rd Street on the south side to Metra's Ogilvie and Union stations.
Trips will cost the standard CTA fare, but the buses will make fewer stops. During the morning and afternoon rush, the Jeffery Jump will travel along the city's first dedicated bus-only lanes.
The service will operate without a few key elements of what's traditionally known as BRT: traffic signal prioritization throughout, pre-paid boarding and bus stop platforms that are level with the bus floor. Those features are coming later, officials said.
Local service on the CTA's Route 15 will continue as normal. That, in addition to the Jeffrey Jump service and an increase in the number of shuttle buses, should help south siders get around while a portion of the Red Line's Dan Ryan branches shuts down for five months for reconstruction.
Future BRT routes include those along Western and Ashland avenues as well as an east-west corridor in the Loop.