Did You Know?

Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

New Red Line south is looking good after one month of service

It’s been about a month since the reopening of the Red Line South, so it seemed like a good time to check on how the line has been running since its renovation./

During construction, the five month, $425 million dollar project shut down the 10-mile stretch of Red Line from Chinatown/Cermak south to 95th Street.

In that time, crews replaced over 65,000 railroad ties and 195,000 tons of ballast to eliminate slow zones and provide a smoother ride.

The early word is that things are looking good.

Active Trans board member Anne Alt takes the Red Line South once or twice a week, but started avoiding it six months before the repair because of slow service and a bumpy ride.

“I was experiencing trip times as long as 45-50 minutes between Cermak and 95th,” Alt said of the old Red Line. “Since the Red Line reopened in October, my trips have been reliably 20 minutes. The ride is smooth and comfortable. It's great to have a reliable Red Line South again.”

Another Red Line rider, Jeremy Cadiz, had similar feelings. “I don't take the Red Line South too often, but I have to say the service has improved drastically from when I last took it before renovations began in May,” said Cadiz. “I was pleasantly surprised how fast my commute was from Fullerton, a huge change from the much slower service before. I'm glad to see that the renovations have improved service as it is sorely needed in [the South Side].”

When the construction project was first announced, Active Trans wanted to ensure that the CTA would help meet all passenger needs during the shutdown of such an important piece of the city’s public transportation system. So  we drafted a Red Line South Riders Bill of Rights where, in addition to other considerations, we called for convenient alternate service, transparency from the CTA about the construction process and proactive communication between the community and residents.

Fortunately, the CTA did an excellent job meeting the needs of Chicagoland residents during the construction. The CTA also managed to complete the project on time and on budget. Great job CTA!