Bus express lanes set to open on the Edens in April from Foster to Dundee Road

SHARE Bus express lanes set to open on the Edens in April from Foster to Dundee Road

Pace bus-only lanes are expected to open on Monday along the Edens Expressway.

In April, a $14 million stretch of new bus-only lanes will be set aside to get past rush-hour gridlock on the Edens Expressway between the Northwest Side and Northbrook.

The 13 miles of “flex lanes” between Foster Avenue in Forest Glen and Dundee Road should let Pace’s No. 620 and No. 626 buses breeze past cars whenever traffic dips below 35 miles an hour, according to Pace, the suburban bus agency.

Pace saw dramatic improvement along the Stevenson Expressway once it debuted similar lanes there in 2011, spokeswoman Maggie Daly Skogsbakken said.

The Stevenson route’s on-time rate jumped from 68 percent before the lanes were built to about 92 percent in 2017, Skogsbakken said. The line’s ridership roughly quintupled over the same period, she said.

RELATED: Milwaukee Avenue rapid-transit Pace bus service to begin by year’s end

Pace started a second express route last September along the Jane Addams Tollway between O’Hare Airport and Elgin which has seen a 40 percent rise in daily passengers, Skogsbakken said.

Charlotte O’Donnell Obodzinski, the agency’s supervisor for rapid transit, said she expects to see similar results once the Edens express service begins.

Pace is aiming to open eight more bus-only lanes on Chicago-area expressways over the next decade, officials said.

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