Wicker Park bus riders experiencing an easier commute


With all of the hoopla surrounding the recent CTA cuts, most Wicker Park riders are experiencing a fairly new and helpful electronic way of making their commuting easier, the CTA Bus Tracker.

This new system has alleviated some of the problems associated with bus bunching and knowing when to leave the house. Because it is so accessible via the internet and web-enabled cell phones, Bus Tracker has become an important, helpful tool for bus riders to navigate the bus system.

As part of their Master Plan, approved last year, WPB (Special Services Area #33) in partnership with the CTA and the Wicker Park & Bucktown Chamber of Commerce have had 19" Bus Tracker display screens installed throughout Wicker Park in various restaurants and establishments.  This is a major convenience for those who do not wish to stand out in the cold, waiting for a bus in frigid temperatures.

"The WPB's People's and Pedestrians Committee (PPC) spearheaded the effort to get the Bus Tracker program going," explains Eleanor Mayer, Interim Program Manager for the WPB.   "Through their community organized events, PPC members discuss the Bus Tracker program in the context of the Master Plan, continually identifying ways to improve the service."

As recently as Jan. 21, 2010, the PPC in conjunction with the Chamber have agreed to distribute surveys to participating businesses in order to track the success of the Bus Tracker pilot program.  In the coming weeks these surveys will help gather overall impressiona of the program and what it means for Wicker Park residents and visitors.

"The Bus Tracker program is a really great way to bring the community, businesses and public transportation together.  Our main goal is to provide predictability in accordance with the CTA's tracking information," says Mayer.  "In addition we hope to get the community more involved in promoting not only public transportation, but also alternative, greener ways of traveling."

In the near future, the Chamber and WPB hope to expand this program into libraries and senior housing.

Red Post is the digital-signage company responsible for displaying the Bus Tracker system. Currenty, there are 11 locations around the Wicker Park area that have these screens:

WPB Office: 1414 N. Ashland Ave.
City Soles: 1566 N. Damen Ave.
Caffé de Luca: 1721 N. Damen Ave.
Wow & Zen: 1912 N. Damen Ave.
The Silver Room: 1442 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Myopic Books: 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Red Hen Bread: 1623 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Full-screenGallery Café: 1760 W North Ave
W Crossing: 2045 W. North Ave.
Alderman's Office: 2058 N. Western Ave.
Challengers Comics: 1845 N. Western Ave.
Related info: Pedestrians and Passengers Report 1/21/10, Master Plan,Promote locations


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