April 9, 2013

CTA investing $20M in rail improvements

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is investing nearly $20 million in railroad track and station improvements to the southern Green Line. The projects will prepare the Green Line to handle an increase in passengers related to the five-month reconstruction of the Red Line South beginning in May, and will benefit Green Line customers for the long term with increased service reliability and fewer delays.

Improvements that have been made or will be completed by May include improvements and temporary expansion of two Green Line stations, Garfield and Ashland/63rd, and significant track and signal work at several locations along the Green Line that will eliminate emerging slow zones that could impact and reduce travel times.

The improvements will enable Green Line tracks and stations to accommodate additional trains during the Red Line South reconstruction — a $425 million initiative that will completely rebuild the Red Line between Cermak/Chinatown and 95th Street over a five-month period beginning May 19. Because the Red Line South project will require a five-month shutdown of that section of the Red Line, Red Line trains will run on elevated Green Line tracks in some areas, with CTA also providing free shuttle buses that will transport customers from four Red Line stations.

CTA estimates the number of customers served along the Green Line during the Red Line South project could quadruple to more than 50,000 weekday rides.

Funding for the project was provided by the State of Illinois, including a $426 million state capital grant for the Red Line South project, part of more than $1 billion in federal, state and local funding announced in late 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn for the Red and Purple lines.

RELATED ARTICLE: Check out, "Chicago Railcar Reaches the Home Stretch."

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