Thursday, November 3, 2011

CTA Red Line improvements are coming...

Pic via Chicago News Report
A press release was posted on Alderman Sawyer's 6th Ward website about funding for capital improvement of the CTA Red Line. Here's a story from CBS2Chicago about this plan:
Customers on the CTA’s busiest rail line will soon have to put up with major construction, but the payoff will be a much faster and smoother ride.

The Chicago Transit Authority will spend about $1 billion to replace tracks and upgrade stations along the Red Line, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday. The work will add 2,700 construction jobs.

The project, which will be paid for with a state capital investment grant and other federal and local funds, will also improve service on the Purple Line.
Deteriorated tracks will be rebuilt to eliminate slow zones. The project will also replace or repair aging stations, install new power systems to improve performance and upgrade a significant portion of the Purple Line.

Construction starts in 2012 and will last three years.

The plan calls for replacement of the tracks between 18th and 95th streets and provide upgrades to stations between Cermak and 95th Streets.

Currently, almost 35 percent of the Dan Ryan branch is limited to speeds of less than 35 mph, with almost 20 percent of the branch restricted to a top speed of 15 mph.
Would you believe that 79 millions riders utilized the Red Line last year. The CTA L system as a whole last year handled 211 million riders!

There's a posting at the Alderman's 6th Ward FB page thinking of more ambitious plans. We shouldn't be that surprised if you paid attention to the 2011 Aldermanic race here in the 6th:
Now is the time to move forward on transit based development and finally modernizing the 95th Street Station
Oh yeah, and in that posting we see that the Alderman's office is very much in favor of the Red Line extension into Roseland and Altgeld Gardens. With that being said we go back to that CBS2 article that notes the progress of the extension:
A study is also underway for an expansion of the Red Line south to 130th Street. Currently, CTA trains do not serve any neighborhood in the more than five miles of Chicago that are located south of 95th Street.
As for transit based development, I really would like to see the plans for that. Hopefully improved service on the Dan Ryan line will make that a certain success!

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