April 30, 2013

Chicago adds Red Line trip planner

To help customers prepare for the upcoming Red Line South project, which will completely rebuild the tracks and improve stations over a 10-mile stretch, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) launched an online trip planner allowing customers to explore travel options before the May 19 project start date.

Using their desktop or any Internet-connected device, users will enter a starting point and destination, choose weekday or weekend travel, and indicate a time of travel. The trip planner uses Google Maps to provide information on multiple transit-route options, including travel-time estimates.

The CTA is also distributing project-information fliers with travel tips and information on alternative bus and rail service — with specific suggestions for defined geographic areas to help customers get around during the five-month project. The CTA created 12 versions of the fliers, each targeted to various communities in the project area, with travel options for riders who would normally use the Red Line.

Also starting next week, CTA will deploy “Red Line South Ambassadors” to south Red Line stations to answer customer questions and provide project and travel information.

The Red Line South Ambassadors, wearing bright red shirts, will be stationed at the nine affected Red Line stations during the afternoon rush hours, on a rotating basis. They will provide information and answer questions from customers.

In early May, CTA will begin distributing informational door hangers to homes and businesses near the Red Line. Like the fliers, the door hangers will provide alternative transit service suggestions for neighborhoods throughout the project footprint.

The project will completely rebuild the tracks and improve stations on the 10-mile stretch of the Red Line South from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street. The project will provide faster commutes — up to 20 minutes off the round-trip commute from 95th Street to downtown — as well as smoother rides and better reliability.

To complete the work in the fastest, most cost-effective manner, the line will close from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street through October 2013, affecting nine stations. Red Line service will be rerouted south of Roosevelt onto the elevated Green Line tracks to Ashland/63rd.

Since announcing the $425 million project in June 2012, the CTA has worked closely with residents, community leaders, business organizations, elected officials and other groups who will be impacted by the project. CTA has attended dozens of meetings in communities throughout the South Side to discuss construction plans and the extensive alternative bus and rail service the CTA will offer, as well as additional service being offered by Metra and Pace during the project.

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