Red Line service to resume normal service Sunday; Emanuel, Quinn, Durbin ride on new tracks
October 17, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- After five months of major reconstruction, the South Branch of the CTA's Red Line will reopen on Sunday. The work extended from Cermak-Chinatown all the way down to the 95th-Dan Ryan station.
What will riders find when the tracks are back in service? A smoother ride and fewer delays. That's what CTA is promising, once the Garfield stop and others along the South Side Red Line reopen.
On Thursday, the Red Line was once again rolling through the South Side.
The ride was just for the media but starting on Sunday, these train cars will be full of riders.
"I'm excited. Can't wait for them to actually open up," said Shawanakee Jackson, CTA rider.
A crowd of elected officials crammed into the Garfield stop to announce the five-month, $425 million renovation project had been completed on time and on budget.
"We brought the CTA and the Red Line South into the 21st century," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
"There's no stopping us now. Chicago is on the move," said U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago, Western Suburbs).
The makeover began last May, shutting down a 10-mile stretch of stops from Cermak to 95th. CTA tried to fill the gaps with shuttle buses and by running Red Line trains on a portion of the Green Line.
"It's been really kind of hard. The buses are always jam-packed and late. So I'm kind of glad the Red Line will be up and running," said Jackson.
"Nothing beats the train. The train gets you there, comes on time. I don't like the buses," said Stephen Harris, CTA rider.
In addition to track work, stations received new lighting, paint, and information boards.
Losing the Cermak stop was inconvenient to many Chinatown residents, but fears that it would lead to empty restaurants and stores proved unfounded.
"I think that Chinatown is always going to be a big draw, no matter if there's a transportation issue," said Sharyne Tu, Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
On Thursday, the train ride was quick and smooth, in contrast to the old Red Line, which was plagued by slow zones.
"This community has not embraced the CTA as it's doing today in quite a long time," said U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago, South Suburbs).
By doing the work seven days a week over five months instead of just on weekends over the course of four years, CTA says it saved 75-million dollars. That money was reinvested in station improvements, including an elevator here at the Garfield stop.
pat quinn, rahm emanuel, cta news, chicago news, eric horng
- Carbon monoxide hospitalizes 12 in Skokie 14 min ago
- Boy, 13, describes Aurora home invasion
- Video: I-Team Mall Security
- ABC7 Weather Forecast
- Target: 40M card accounts may be breached
- Libertyville man, 66, claims attack by hospital security 18 min ago
- Indiana soldier among 6 dead in Afghanistan crash
- Janet Rowley, U of C cancer research pioneer, dies at 88
- Maine West coach trial gets testimony from ex-soccer player
- Mega Millions drawing leads to $1M ticket in Chicago
- Naperville fire kills 2, injures 3
- Cardinal George celebrates 50 years in priesthood
- Ga lottery winner to get Mega Millions $120M lump sum 38 min ago
- abcnews: 'Duck Dynasty' Puts Star on Hiatus
- 7 in :77
17 min ago
- Carbon monoxide hospitalizes 12 in Skokie
14 min ago
- Larry Lujack dies at 73, wife says body to...
22 min ago