New weekend and weekday service changes go into effect beginning this weekend
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that rail service is being added back to rail lines that saw recent, temporary reductions. The new scheduled service improves headways—the scheduled time between trains—which will result in shorter waits for riders, as well as increased reliability as the scheduled service reflects the available workforce.
Effective Monday, November 13, more frequent rail service will be scheduled on weekday Red, Orange and Pink Lines. Effective, November 18, Saturday scheduled service on both the Brown and Orange lines will be increasing.
“With the first phase of the track work on the Forest Park Branch of the Blue Line complete, we can now provide more service across the rail system,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “More service will be added in 2024 as we continue our aggressive efforts to hire and trains more rail operators, which is the key to bringing back even more service.”
Scheduled service improvements are as follows:
- Red Line: Midday and evening headways drop from 10 to 7.5 minutes.
- Orange Line: AM and PM peak headways drop from 10 to 8.5 minutes.
- Pink Line: Early AM and early evening headways drop from 12 to 10 minutes.
- Brown Line:
- AM and evening and late evening headways drop from 15 to 12 minutes.
- Early AM peak headways drop from 20 to 15 minutes.
- Orange Line:
- Early AM and evening peak headways drop from 15 to 12 minutes.
- Midday peak headways drop from 12 to 10 minutes.
Blue Line Service Improvements
With the recent completion of work at Morgan Middle, a track-turnaround area along the Forest Park Branch near the UIC-Halsted station, Forest Park-bound Blue Line trains are now able to “short turn” at UIC-Halsted to head back north toward O’Hare. This puts more trains on the busiest parts of the Blue Line between downtown and O’Hare, helping to address issues of crowded trains and platforms due to increasing ridership.
With Morgan Middle now available, O’Hare-bound train headways at UIC-Halsted will be scheduled every 6 -12 minutes instead of 10 -12 minutes weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 6 - 7.5 minutes instead 10 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Another benefit of the reopening of Morgan Middle will be improved reliability , as trains will be turned back in non-revenue track as opposed to in-service track, which can block other in-service trains.
The UIC-Halsted station is the highest ridership station on the Forest Park Branch (Clinton to Forest Park). Therefore, adding more service because the train is turning back at UIC-Halsted (instead of LaSalle, used during the Phase 1 construction project) will greatly benefit these customers.
This section of track was part of the Phase 1 of the Forest Park Branch Rebuild. As part of the $268 million project, crews completely rebuilt nearly three miles of track, between the LaSalle and Illinois Medical District (IMD) stations.