BRT Chicago

April 2013

Mayor Emanuel, CTA and CDOT Announce Next Steps in Pursuit of Bus Rapid Transit on Ashland Avenue

CTA, CDOT will begin next phase of study, community engagement efforts to develop vision for center- running BRT, which will improve service and benefit local communities

Mayor Emanuel, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) April 19, 2013, announced plans to develop a vision for faster and more reliable transit in Chicago, which will include studying center-running BRT on a 16-mile stretch of Ashland Avenue between 95th Street and Irving Park Road. CTA and CDOT will also begin working with local stakeholders on developing a plan that would create faster, more reliable bus service by increasing bus speeds by more than 80 percent during peak travel times and create economic benefits for business and residents along the entire corridor.

For the full release, click here.

List of Supporters of Bus Rapid Transit Continues to Grow Because of Promise of Speed, Reliability

Bus Rapid Transit continues to roll in Chicago, with supporters signing on to what promises to be a fast, reliable and easy-to-use public transit service. New supporters of BRT include:

ASLA - Illinois Chapter
Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University
Columbia College Chicago
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)
DePaul University
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
Lake Street Supply
Navy Pier
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sage Alliances

See the full list of supporters to the right.

To become a BRT supporter, connect with Chris Ziemann, BRT Chicago, at, or through John Harris, a5, at

Chicago Architecture Foundation Launches Next Stop – Bus Rapid Transit Station Design Competition

With Bus Rapid Transit coming to Chicago, 2013 Burnham Prize Competition: NEXT STOP will focus on designing transit stations that can transform space and community

The Chicago Architectural Club and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in partnership with The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Chicago Bus Rapid Transit Steering Committee, announced the launch of the 2013 Burnham Prize Competition: NEXT STOP – Designing Chicago BRT Stations. This single-stage international design ideas competition is intended to be a catalyst for iconic, sustainable, and functional design for Chicago’s planned BRT system.

The competition seeks to integrate innovative and compelling transportation design into Chicago’s urban fabric. NEXT STOP seeks proposals that realize BRT as a system of solutions: teams will submit designs for three different sites, demonstrating how BRT station design can be adapted to different contexts. Competitors will design stations for:

- Downtown near State and Madison
- Bucktown-Logan Square at Western Avenue Blue Line ‘L’ stop
- Pilsen near 18th and Ashland

Entries are due by noon, May 13, 2013.

For more information, click here.

BRT to be Featured at AIA Chicago Event

Wednesday, April 17, 12pm - 1pm
AIA Chicago, 35 East Wacker Drive, #250

Christopher Ziemann, AICP, Chicago BRT Project Manager at Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Transit Authority, will introduce Bus Rapid Transit to AIA Chicago members who may not be familiar with the City’s plans. Ingrid Haftel from the Chicago Architecture Foundation will discuss the importance of design in BRT and the BRT station design competition. Karla Sierralta from the Chicago Architectural Club will talk about Next Stop: Designing Chicago BRT Station, an ideas design competition to imagine BRT stations in three Chicago locations.

BRT Chicago to be Featured at American Planning Association National Conference

Tuesday, April 17, 7:30am
Hyatt Regency, 151 E Wacker Drive

Joe Iacobucci from CTA and Chris Ziemann from BRT Chicago will speak as part of a five-person panel at the APA national conference on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30am in Chicago. The session will introduce BRT, show how it can benefit communities and demonstrate how it is different from other modes of transit.

Attendees will learn how BRT, which combines the cost savings and flexibility of traditional bus service with the service quality of rail transit, has helped communities across the nation provide enhanced transit services while working within the constraints of increasingly limited budgets. The session also examines BRT in varying contexts throughout the United States, including Chicago.

For more information, click here.

Mike Nowak and BRT Chicago’s Ziemann Talk Benefits of BRT

How will Bus Rapid Transit be faster, more reliable and a better transit experience for riders in Chicago? BRT Chicago project manager Chris Ziemann appeared on the Mike Nowak Show on WCPT on April 7. In the 20-minute segment, Ziemann and Nowak discussed how riders will benefit from Bus Rapid Transit--from transit signal prioritization to new bus shelters to dedicated bus lanes--and talked about the BRT Station Design Competition.

To listen, click here.

Rockefeller Foundation Announces $1.2M Grant to Support Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) In Four U.S. Cities

The Rockefeller Foundation today announced a $1.2M, four-city project to support local efforts to build Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in Boston, Chicago, Nashville and Pittsburgh. In each city, the grant will support research, communications and community outreach efforts to engage and educate local stakeholders on the benefits of BRT.

"I thank The Rockefeller Foundation for its continued support of Chicago's Bus Rapid Transit efforts. With this latest commitment, there is a real opportunity to collaborate among cities, and share information on what is important to various stakeholders as we all undertake this forward-thinking project," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "We want BRT service to be equitable, high-quality, and welcomed by residents and businesses. The Rockefeller Foundation's support is key to these efforts."

As part of its effort to Transform Cities, the Rockefeller Foundation’s transportation work aims to encourage economic growth and improve quality of life by helping communities to make better investments in modern, efficient, and effective mass transit solutions – specifically, Bus Rapid Transit.

To see the full release, click here.

What is BRT Chicago?

BRT Chicago is a unique collaboration of city agencies and non-profit partners. CTA, CDOT, and DHED, with the work of the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Active Transportation Alliance, the Civic Consulting Alliance, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, are working to plan and implement a successful Bus Rapid Transit program in Chicago. Each partner provides its own expertise to make the BRT a comprehensive project of transportation, land use, design, and sustainability.

BRT has been identified as an effective transportation solution in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pledged to develop BRT in Chicago. The Chicago Climate Action Plan also identifies BRT as a cost-effective way to expand the city’s transit network. To meet increased demand, the CTA is using elements of BRT on its new Jeffery Jump service, and will along Madison and Washington Streets in the central business district to connect Union Station with Navy Pier. The CTA, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Economic Development, is planning the potential BRT routes along Western and Ashland Avenues.

To learn more, click here.


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