The Chicago Transit Authority on Tuesday unveiled the new fleet design and the brand name of its upcoming, rapid service on Jeffrey Boulevard.
The "Jeffery Jump" service will begin in November and should shave five to seven minutes off of morning and evening commutes between 103rd Street on the south side to Metra's Ogilvie and Union stations, the agency said.
The service is the first of what the CTA and the Regional Transportation Authority are billing as "Bus Rapid Transit" for Chicago. While Jeffrey Jump service will travel on dedicated lanes, it 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.
The Jeffrey Jump will have signal prioritization between 73rd and 84th streets only, the agency said.
Still, commuters should see a noticeable difference in their commute times.
"The Jump service is branded to communicate the way this service allows commuters to “jump” ahead of traffic and get a “jump start” on their morning and evening commutes," the CTA said in a statement.
Two stations, located at 71st and Jeffery and 100th and Paxton, will have unique sidewalk and crosswalk designs and a large canopy for protection from the weather. Curb bump-outs will limit the need for buses to merge in and out of traffic in order for customers to board.
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.
Transit officials said the $11 million Jeffery Jump project, funded by a federal grant, will test many elements of BRT that will assist in the planning and expansion of other BRT corridors in the city.
Future BRT routes include those along Western and Ashland avenues as well as an east-west corridor in the Loop.