Public input helping shape Red Line South reconstruction project

August 16, 2012
CTA incorporates feedback, suggestions into plans
Public feedback received at a series of recent community meetings is helping shape and improve the CTA’s plans for the Red Line South reconstruction project in 2013.
Feedback from CTA riders and community residents has been incorporated into plans for several elements of the project, from service levels to community outreach. Since announcing the Red Line South project in early June, the CTA has held three large-scale public hearings along with numerous smaller community meetings in neighborhoods throughout the project area. CTA has also worked closely with elected officials to solicit community feedback and better understand concerns.
"The Red Line South is an investment in our future that will revitalize communities and create jobs," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "It is crucial that the voices of South Side residents are heard throughout this process and I'm encouraged by the incredible turnout we have seen thus far."
“These meetings have provided a productive forum for everyone who will be impacted by the work to ask questions, share their concerns and offer suggestions,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “We very much appreciate the ideas and thoughts we’ve received. We’ve listened closely, and we’re using all the feedback we’ve received to refine our plans to make sure the project proceeds as smoothly as possible.”
Among the areas where CTA will be developing or expanding plans based on feedback:
  1. Shuttle bus service – CTA has added a shuttle bus between Roosevelt and Cermak/Chinatown to better facilitate travel between those stations
  2. Expanded bus service – CTA plans to further augment plans for additional bus service along some major bus routes, such as the #24 Wentworth, #9 Ashland, #44 Wallace/Racine, #3 King Drive and #4 Cottage Grove. Additionally, some operating hours will be lengthened.
  3. Changes to bus routes -- #8A will extend to the Halsted Green Line station and #71 71st South Shore will extend to Garfield Green Line station, providing more convenient connections
  4. Safety/security – CTA is developing a comprehensive public safety plan for rail and bus service during the reconstruction period, working closely the Chicago Police Department and Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
  5. Supervision – CTA will implement 24-hour supervision of the free bus shuttles, resulting in smoother service and better assistance to customers
  6. Traffic management – to help ensure smooth traffic flow, CTA will work to develop a strong traffic-management plan for both vehicles and pedestrians.
  7. Community outreach – CTA is expanding its community outreach plan to provide project information to businesses, chambers of commerce, and others groups and organizations. Information will be tailored to specific areas.
“As we said when we first announced the Red Line South reconstruction, we understand the impact this project will have on Red Line riders and the communities the line serves,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson. “We pledged then to do everything we can to minimize the impact during this historic construction project. We remain committed to that, and appreciate all the helpful suggestions we’ve received so far.”
Community meetings will continue throughout the remainder of 2012, providing the opportunity for additional feedback and suggestions about the project.
Beginning in May 2013, the Red Line South project will completely rebuild the 10 miles of the line from just north of Cermak-Chinatown to 95th Street. The project will provide a brand-new railroad—offering faster commutes, a smoother ride and more reliable service.
To complete the project in the shortest amount of time and at the lowest cost, the south Red Line will completely close for five months. During the closure, CTA is planning extensive alternative service, including free shuttle buses from closed stations south of 63rd Street, Red Line trains using Green Line tracks, and significantly expanded bus service on existing bus routes.
For more information, visit the CTA website at www.transitchicago.com/redsouth.
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