The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) opened its newly rehabilitated Morse Red Line station — one of seven stations included in the $86 million Red North Interim Improvement project and a component of Mayor Emanuel’s Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure that's critical to the city.
The Morse station was temporarily closed for six weeks to allow crews to perform approximately $11 million in repairs to the station house, adjacent retail spaces and surrounding infrastructure.
The Morse station is the second of seven stations to undergo rehabilitation and re-open as part of the Red North Interim Improvement project. Work requiring the temporary closure of the remaining five stations — Thorndale, Argyle, Berwyn, Lawrence and Jarvis — is expected to be complete by the end of 2012, with all remaining station and track work to be completed by early 2013.
At the launch, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool also announced that ridership on CTA’s bus and rail services is up over the first six months of 2012, marking 16 consecutive months of growth on the system.
Combined bus and rail ridership is up 4% for the first half of 2012 with nearly 10.5 million more rides than the same time period in 2011. The increase follows a similar ridership jump in 2011, when CTA reached the highest ridership total in 20 years — more than 532 million.
“These numbers demonstrate that a firm commitment to improving our infrastructure will help improve quality of life for all Chicagoans,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Our residents are taking the CTA now more than ever and as we improve the stations and the infrastructure of the system as a whole, these trends will continue, creating jobs throughout Chicago and improving the prospects of Chicagoans from every neighborhood.”
Ridership has seen some if its sharpest increases during the tenure of Mayor Emanuel. From June 2011-June 2012, ridership rose 4.3%, about 22 million rides, compared to the same time period in 2010-2011.
Impressively, the number of recorded rides on the rail system has seen 51 months of consecutive growth. For the first half of 2012, there were nearly 114 million rides taken on CTA trains — an increase of 6.2%.
From January-June 2012, bus ridership is 2.6% higher than the same period last year, and increase of 3.9 million rides.