CTA to Introduce Additional Rail Service with New Name for Six-Month Experiment Starting June 25
Today the Chicago Transit Board selected pink as the color for its new experimental rail service from more than 500 entries submitted by Chicagoland area students from kindergarten through eighth grade. At its February meeting, board members approved a six-month experimental period for an additional rail route on what is now the 54th/Cermak branch of the Blue Line. Participating students were asked to nominate a color for the new line along with an essay explaining their choice and speaking to the importance of transit service to their community.
"The nominations we received were so creative and thoughtful, it was difficult to select just one color. However, after much thought, we selected pink for the new route," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown.
?On behalf of the Chicago Transit Board and everyone at the Chicago Transit Authority, I would like to thank the over 500 students who participated in this contest and expressed how important public transit is to them," said Chicago Transit Board member Cynthia Panayotovich.
Entries were submitted from throughout the region including Carol Stream, Villa Park, Brookfield, Calumet City, Cicero and Roselle. The CTA is the nation's second largest public transit system, serving Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. Nearly two million customers use some combination of CTA, Pace and Metra to get to and from destinations throughout the six-county region.
Chicago Transit Board member Pastor Charles Robinson added, "We also extend our gratitude to the teachers, administrators and parents who helped make this project a success. It's encouraging to see such enthusiasm and creativity from our region's students. And, of course, congratulations to the students who proposed pink!? Those students who nominated pink are now eligible to receive a $1,000 EE U.S. Savings Bond from the Board. One student from among those nominating pink will be selected to receive the bond later this spring.
The new Pink Line will connect the former 54th/Cermak Blue Line to the Loop via a restored section of track known as the Paulina Connector. Currently the 54th/Cermak branch of the Blue Line serves customers along Cermak Avenue, turns near Paulina and joins the Forest Park branch along the Eisenhower Expressway to travel into the Loop through the Dearborn subway.
Instead of traveling through the subway, the new experimental service will reroute 54th/Cermak trains to the elevated tracks using the recently rehabilitated track near Paulina Street. Trains will continue to travel along Paulina via the new connector tracks and join the Green Line at Lake Street to travel into the Loop in a clockwise direction on the elevated track.
This reroute is designed to provide customers with increased and faster service. Direct service to the Loop elevated also means enhanced connections to the Orange, Brown and Green Lines, Purple Line Express service and Metra. During morning and evening rush hour commutes, customers will have the choice of the current 54th/Cermak Blue Line routing via the Dearborn subway or elevated service via the Paulina Connector.
The new Pink Line service is one of several experimental service enhancements planned for the West Side and West Suburbs based on the results of CTA's West Side Corridor Study. A total of five new bus routes have been created ? three express routes and two local routes ? four existing bus routes are being extended and routing and schedule improvements are being made for four additional bus routes. Two current bus routes are being incorporated into other routes. Experimental bus service enhancements will take effect on Sunday, June 18.
In addition to the new Pink Line service, the frequency of service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line will increase, especially during weekday off-peak hours and weekends. Customers who board trains on the Forest Park branch between the Medical Center and Forest Park will benefit from increased frequency of service at all times, including weekends, and improved access to CTA and Pace buses along the route.
Rail service to the O'Hare branch from 54th/Cermak via the Dearborn Street subway will be maintained during AM/PM rush hours. In addition, bus service on the #7 Harrison will provide connections between UIC's east campus and the Illinois Medical District. Enhanced service to O'Hare will still be possible at other times through a free transfer at Clark and Lake. # # #