X4 route

The planned X4 Cottage Grove Express bus route

The CTA's X4 Cottage Grove Express bus route is set to return on Aug. 22, running during morning and afternoon rush hours, 6:15 to 9:45 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m., with services every 12 minutes.

It will run along the route of the 4 Cottage Grove bus, from Randolph Street downtown to 95th Street, by Chicago State University. The CTA reports that the 4 is the agency's eighth-heaviest ridden line, near the top for both long (more than 3 miles) and short (less than 2-mile) trips.

Almost half of the daily ridership on that route already comes from stops that the X4 bus will serve. Local stops include 43rd, 47th, 51st, 55th, 59th, 61st and 63rd streets, with a connection to the Green Line terminus at the latter stop; the new route will serve all downtown stops that the 4 does.

The X4 previously ran from 2003 to 2010 but was discontinued alongside several other express bus routes due to a Great Recession-era funding shortfall. Two other express bus routes have been revived in recent years, along Ashland (the X9) and Western (the X49) avenues.

“Throughout the pandemic, the local Cottage Grove bus route maintained consistently high levels of ridership, demonstrating the need for this vital service,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr in a statement. “The reinstatement of the #X4 route shows our increased commitment to serving areas of Chicago that have not been invested in historically. The return of express service on the Cottage Grove corridor reduces travel times of up to 17 minutes in an area with limited access to CTA’s rail system.”

The CTA will pay for the service with its annual operating budget.

The CTA, Metra and Pace have also reintroduced the Regional Connect Pass, a new fare product that gives Chicagoland residents unlimited rides on all three systems for $30, when coupled with Metra's new "Super Saver" monthly pass. The "Super Saver" monthly pass costs $100 at full price ($70 for eligible seniors, K-12 students and children) or $50 for riders on the Electric and Rock Island lines because of the Fair Transit South Cook Pilot program.

Both passes will go on sale on June 20, and can be purchased on the Ventra app or from Metra's ticket agents.

“The new Metra ‘Super Saver’ monthly pass is already a great deal, and now the new Regional Connect Pass makes that great deal even better,” said Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski in a statement. “Together, we are (working) to make public transportation more affordable and more convenient — and an irresistible alternative to driving and paying for gas and parking.”

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