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Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

Funding Red Line South Extension should be a priority

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Extending the CTA's Red Line south to 130th street has been talked about for more than a decade.

The project has strong public and political support, and Mayor Emanuel has said it’s one of his second term priorities.

In 2014, the CTA announced the list of extension alternatives had been narrowed to one “preferred alternative,” and work is underway on the Environmental Impact Statement needed to secure federal funding for the project.

Despite all this progress, local funding remains a major question mark, leaving many skeptical about whether or not the 5.3-mile extension from 95th Street to 130th will ever happen.

If the Cook County Board embraces the Transit Future vision and establishes a dedicated revenue stream for transit expansion, projects like the Red Line South Extension will get a major boost.

If you live in the South Suburbs or on Chicago’s Far South Side, please sign a letter to your county commissioner in support of Transit Future and the Red Line South Extension.

Extending the Red Line south would be a boon for the Far South Side, which is why community groups in the area have organized in support of the project for years.

Currently, transit-dependent riders in the area have limited rapid transit access to the rest of the city — this is especially true for seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities.

Residents are disconnected from major job centers and forced to spend hours commuting on buses and trains, or spend a large portion of their income to purchase and maintain a car.

The extension would include connections to the Altgeld Gardens public housing project and reduce the transit travel time from 130th Street to downtown by more than 20 minutes.

New transit stations would provide a much needed economic development boost to many Far South Side communities that have been crippled by years of disinvestment.

South Side and south suburban residents, please show your support for Transit Future and the Red Line South Extension today by signing a letter to the county board.

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

This is the second 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.