Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sun-Times: Mayor Emanuel, CTA chief check in on CTA’s massive Red Line project

Been quite a while since we heard much news on this project and what about ridership on alternative routes and the shuttle buses along the route of the Dan Ryan branch:
Likening empty rail tracks full of gravel to an unplowed cornfield, CTA President Forrest Claypool on Tuesday stood with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the CTA’s Red Line 47th Street station to show off the station’s progress.

“We are literally six weeks down and we have 17 weeks to go in this project, and we will continue to work as hard as we can, as we did on day one to make sure this project continues on time, on schedule and on budget,” Claypool said.

The 47th Street station, built in 1969, is just one of nine stations getting the overhaul in the transit agency’s $425 million Red Line South Reconstruction project.

The station that had customers take more than 1 million rides last year no longer has tracks. The stairs have been rebuilt, and all platforms and consoles are covered in plastic. The only thing that remains is part of an old roof — its decorative design intact — which will also get a facelift.

Claypool said the CTA is monitoring ridership week by week to make “tweaks,” including adding service to bus routes with increased ridership, like the bus routes that run parallel to the Red Line.

Additional service has been added to the No. 3 King Drive, No. 4 Cottage Grove, No. J14 Jeffery Jump and No. 29 State buses, during peak hours. The CTA says it saw noticeable ridership growth after May 19, when the project started, on those routes.

Claypool said the free express shuttle buses ferrying people from shuttered Red Line stops — at 95th, 87th, 79th, and 63rd streets — to the Green Line’s Garfield station — have seen “steady ridership” since the project began.

The CTA has declined to provide ridership information for May, saying the numbers are being finalized.
We're just over a month in this project and it isn't scheduled to end until October. Hopefully having to take public transit during the course of this inconvenience has been nothing more than an adjustment. Feel free to let us know how the commute has been on the CTA.

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