Did You Know?

While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

Extend the Orange Line past Midway

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What if you lived within a mile or two of a rapid transit stop but had no safe and convenient way to get there?

That’s the case for many residents of Chicago’s Southwest Side and the Southwest Suburbs, who struggle to access the current terminal station at Midway.

A 2.3-mile extension south to 76th Street/Ford City Mall, as CTA began exploring 10 years ago, would make the line much more accessible for local residents and commuters.

If you live on the Southwest Side or in the southwest suburbs, click here to sign a letter to your elected officials in support of the extension and countywide rapid transit expansion.

The project would use the existing right-of-way of the Belt Railway Company and add new elevated structures along Marquette and Cicero Avenues. The CTA launched a public process around the extension in 2006 and settled on a locally-preferred alternative, but a lack of local funding has stalled progress.

We are hopeful establishing a dedicated revenue stream for transit expansion in the county budget, as we call for in our Transit Future vision, will reenergize projects like the Orange Line Extension.

Currently, the end station at Midway Airport has limited parking for commuters and the streets surrounding it are often clogged with congestion from air travelers, slowing down trips from the neighborhood to the station to a crawl — no matter what form of transportation you’re using.

In effect, many local residents and businesses are cutoff from the line that is really just blocks away. As a result, the economic development potential of the extension is significant.

Southwest Side and southwest suburban residents, take action to support the extension today by contacting your county commissioner.

Check out the Orange Line Extension page on the Transit Future website for more details about the benefits of the project.

This is the fifth post in our 10 lines, 5 weeks blog series. Each week from now until Labor Day, we’ll take a look at two lines in the Transit Future vision and make the case for why the county board should take action to expand the rapid transit network in Cook County.