About the Project

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) are developing the City’s first framework plan to improve street infrastructure for public bus service: the Better Streets for Buses Plan.

This plan will lay the groundwork for ongoing bus infrastructure improvements by establishing a network of corridors to prioritize and a toolbox of street treatments to consider as solutions to facilitate faster, more reliable bus service and improve the bus riding experience.

The two main components of the Better Streets for Buses Plan will be a network of corridors for prioritizing future street treatments and a toolbox of street treatments that includes ideas like enhanced traffic signals, better bus stops, dedicated bus lanes and more. The Better Streets for Buses Plan will not assign specific infrastructure changes to specific streets, and it does not guarantee that improvements will take place on every corridor in the network; specific decisions as to where to focus improvements and what infrastructure changes to make will be made as part of subsequent phases of planning.


  • Bus Priority: An umbrella term for the variety of street treatments that give some increased degree of priority to bus riders and buses in order to improve travel time, reliability, and/or comfort.
  • Street Treatment: An enhancement to bus operations or the built environment that streamlines bus movement, improves reliability and/or upgrades the experience of accessing the bus.
  • Corridor: An identified set of streets or bus routes that could be prioritized for future street treatments

Plan Process

CTA and CDOT recognize that the success of the Better Streets for Buses Plan rests upon broad community support. The agencies are striving to achieve meaningful and inclusive engagement throughout the plan’s development to ensure it reflects the best vision for Chicago. In April 2022, CTA and CDOT began an eight-week public outreach effort about Better Streets for Buses and presented draft versions of the network and toolbox for public comment. Thousands of comments were received from across the city, and the agencies are now reviewing this feedback and determining how to incorporate it. Follow-up public outreach will present how the plan has evolved, how feedback was addressed, and solicit final comments. Details of these public outreach activities are TBA but are anticipated to take place Fall 2022, with a goal of finalizing and publishing a final Better Streets for Buses Plan before the end of the year.

Diagram showing the Plan Process. Steps include connecting with community orgs and stakeholders; getting input from the reader; refining the BSB network and toolbox; and then publishing the BSB Plan.

Plan Components

  • Robust community outreach to guide the plan and improvements
  • Citywide network of corridors for prioritizing future street treatments
  • Proposed toolbox of street treatments that can reduce bus travel times and improve bus passenger experience

Guiding Values

  • Equity: Leverage our transportation infrastructure to address systemic and historic injustices.
  • Safety: Support freedom from personal harm when traveling. 
  • Accessibility & Comfort: Design transportation infrastructure for all ages and abilities.
  • Sustainability: Reduce the burden on the environment from transportation.

Plan Goals

  • Prioritize bus performance and access to transit for people and in places with the highest needs.
  • Improve the bus experience for current riders and make it more attractive to prospective riders.
  • Establish a citywide framework that guides how CTA and CDOT utilize infrastructure to achieve faster and more reliable bus service, improved access to bus stops, and better bus stops.

To learn more about the project, check out the Draft Better Streets for Buses Plan.