Temporary slight reduction in service related to Forest Park Branch reconstruction; service to be added back in November.
The CTA today announced its fall schedule for train service, crafted to accommodate the ongoing reconstruction of the Forest Park Branch of the Blue Line.
Through early November, the rail schedule will include a slight decrease in the overall number of daily trips on some rail lines. Rush-hour service won’t be impacted on most lines, and the overall impact on customers will be minimal: a slight increase in times between trains at some times of the day. Also, morning and afternoon rush-hour service on the Blue Line will see a slight increase in frequency, to help address recent ridership increases.
The schedule accounts for the ongoing reconstruction of the Blue Line Forest Park branch, a $268 million project to rebuild almost three miles of track, as well as rebuild the Racine station and improve signals, power and other track infrastructure.
Though track-replacement work will be complete by October 8, work continues on the reconstruction of a train-turnaround area just west of UIC-Halsted station called Morgan Middle.
That turnaround is used to “short-turn” trains—turning Forest Park-bound trains back north at UIC-Halsted to head back toward O’Hare—which puts more trains on the busiest parts of the Blue Line between downtown and O’Hare.
While the reconstruction of Morgan Middle continues, most Blue Line trains will need to travel all the way to Forest Park. Those longer trips require more workers to account for the additional distance and time—which means fewer available to operate more trains on the Blue Line and elsewhere.
The good news: In Mid-November, when Morgan Middle is complete, we will add back rail service to previous, scheduled service in Spring 2023. As CTA continues to grow its rail-operations workforce, we will continue to add service across the rail system.
For bus service: CTA continues to add service as the agency brings on more bus operators.
In August, CTA began new bus schedules that added service to six high-ridership routes:
- #8 Halsted Improved weekday frequencies in the AM rush, midday and evenings
- #29 State Street Improve AM/PM rush frequencies to 12-15 minutes; midday frequencies to 15 minutes
- #35 35th Street Start westbound service one hour earlier weekdays and weekends
- #74 Fullerton Improve frequencies in AM/PM rush and midday
- #80 Irving Park Improve midday frequency to 15 minutes
- #90 Harlem Improve AM/PM rush frequencies to 15 minutes; midday frequencies to 20 minutes