As of this December, the 129 bus will be discontinued. As Sloopers know, this and the #1 are the only two buses traveling from the Sloop to the heart of the Loop. The #1 is already slow and completely overcrowded by 16th and Michigan. With this elimination (and no proposed or approved increase in #1 service), we're out of options. Amazing how quickly they rammed this through. I talked to Fioretti's office last week, and his office reported they were "looking into it." As usual, thanks for nothing.
Not as well publicized, but we're also losing the 145 Wilson/Michigan, which went to Wells/Congress, serving the brand new bus connection point with the LaSalle Metra station. This very handy bus served the Western part of the near Sloop - Wells St. etc. The only other bus serving that station is the 36. CTA says it was redundant with the 146, but that just goes right down State.
The 145 is our bus of choice when going to North Michigan, and we were already bummed when the fairly recent route change moved the stop away from the corner outside our building, now we're doubly bummed.
Yes, my friend at the CTA said their solution was to discontinue the #1 south of 35th. Right now we get a #1 every 10-15 mins roughly during rush, this should reduce the arrivals to between 5-10 mins and help overcrowding as well. I will miss the 129, but the change in the #1 will make it almost exclusively a sloop bus route now.
If the amount of active #1 buses is unchanged and only the overall route is reduced than that should be enough to offset the loss of the #129. Although it may not sound like much of a change by stopping the route at 35th street versus 51st this actually reduces the existing 16 mile route by 6 miles, but more importantly nearly 50 percent of the stops are dropped (67 stops north of 35th, 60 stops south of it).
In theory this 37% reduction in route distance should equate to about the same reduction in wait time. Not as bad for the sloopers, but anyone farther south will have to transfer from the 3 or 4 to the 1. And if I'm looking at this correctly then that means the amendment of the bus stops along Michigan between 35th and 51st as I see no other routes servicing those stops. Although this area of the city is heavily services by the Green Line and the adjacent 3/4 routes as well, so maybe this was a pretty easy decision overall considering the general funding issues experienced by the entire system.
Experience has not borne out the benefits touted by CTA (shockingly). I take the #1 every morning and have dutifully noted arrivals each morning since the 129 was discontinued. On any average weekday morning, in a 15-20 minute span, arrivals are: 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 1. Note that all the 3 and 4 buses are barely a quarter full, while the 1 (by the time it reaches 16th & Michigan) is standing room only with riders bunched on top of each other in the front. For god's sake, why not cut a couple empty 3 and 4s and add a 1?