Bus Rapid Transit: Next Stop, Chicago
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 South Michigan Avenue
Through October 2012
While construction is set to begin on the Jeffrey Boulevard Corridor this summer, the plans for the rest of Chicago’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system are far from decided. The Chicago Architecture Foundation hopes to spur public interest and debate with its new exhibition Bus Rapid Transit: Next Stop, Chicago. Bus Rapid Transit emulates the qualities of a rail system while operating on mostly existing infrastructure. The system would bring dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal prioritization, pre-board payment, and arrival information displays to a few select routes connecting to Metra and CTA L stops in addition to other BRT lines.
The exhibition outlines the current BRT proposal, including planned routes, street lane configuration plans, and an architect’s rendering of a BRT station on Daley Plaza. Examples of other BRT systems illustrate how the model has been successfully implemented in cities around the world. Visitors can also listen to experts and transit riders alike consider the importance of public transportation to the environmental and social sustainability of Chicago. Lynn Osmond, CAF president and CEO, writes in a statement: “This exhibition offers Chicagoans an opportunity to explore, learn and discuss the aspects of a system that will literally change the way they interact with the city.”
A panel discussion will take place tonight at the CAF lecture hall, with transportation leaders from across the country discussing the impact of BRT projects on economic development, urban revitalization, sustainability, and livability. Panelists include Joseph Calabrese, Director of Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; Michael Schwartz, Transportation Planner, San Francisco County Transportation Authority; Ted Orosz, Director, Long Range Bus Planning MTA New York City Transit; and Gabe Klein, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation. Peter Skosey, Vice President, Metropolitan Planning Council will moderate the conversation and Forrest Claypool, President of Chicago Transit Authority, will offer opening comments.