Southbound Three-Track Operation Begins March 30

March 28, 2008

Riders Advised to ?Leave Early, Leave Late or Alternate?

CTA President Ron Huberman was at the Wellington station this morning on the Brown Line to remind customers that southbound three-track operation will begin at Belmont and Fullerton on Sunday, March 30. In addition, both the Wellington and Paulina stations will close for renovation on Sunday, and the Southport and Diversey stations will reopen for service.

"Beginning Sunday, southbound trains will be limited to one track at the Belmont and Fullerton stations. To help ease the limits of southbound three-track we will operate eight-car trains during morning and evening rush at all Brown Line stations. In addition, riders will again be able to board and exit at Southport and Diversey," said CTA President Ron Huberman. ?Riders will feel the full impact of southbound three-track operation on Monday. We expect large crowds traveling on North Side routes as the Cubs home opener is also Monday afternoon. In fact, the Cubs play at home throughout the entire week, so we ask that our riders and Cubs fans plan ahead and allow for extra travel time."

Eight-car trains will help keep riders moving, however, CTA is still encouraging riders to ?Leave Early, Leave Late, or Alternate." During the peak morning rush period there will be four fewer Red Line trains traveling inbound from Howard to Downtown(from 19 to 15), however, additional southbound trains will be staged south of Fullerton for use as needed. Four fewer Brown Line trains (16 to 12) will operate during the peak, but because the trains will have eight cars, capacity on the Brown Line will be the same as it is today. Purple Line Express service levels will remain the same (4 trains). South Side Red Line service will also remain the same.

CTA Information Specialists have been out at various rail stations providing customers with CTA maps and brochures so that they can familiarize themselves with alternate travel options and will be out again during the early part of next week.

The Paulina and Wellington stations are the last two stations included in the Brown Line capacity expansion project that are subject to temporary closure.While the Paulina station is closed, customers may board the Brown Line at the Addison and Southport stations, both adjacent to Paulina. In addition to nearby rail stations, there are six existing CTA bus routes that provide service near Paulina station:

#9 Ashland

#X9 Ashland Express(weekday service until 7 p.m.)

#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick

#50 Damen

#77 Belmont

#152 Addison

While the Wellington station is closed, customers may board the Brown Line at the Belmont station or the temporary station at Diversey, both adjacent to Wellington. In addition to nearby rail stations, there are eight CTA bus routes that provide service near Wellington station:

#8 Halsted

#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick

#22 Clark

#36 Broadway

#76 Diversey

#77 Belmont

#151 Sheridan

#156 LaSalle (weekdays only)

There are more than 40 bus routes that could be used as alternate transportation, including nine lakefront express routes that provide direct service to and from the Loop during rush periods. CTA will supplement bus service on several routes:

#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick

#22 Clark

#134 Stockton/LaSalle Express

#135 Clarendon/LaSalle Express

#147 Outer Drive Express

#148 Clarendon/Michigan Express

#156 LaSalle

The CTA also recommends that riders consider other nearby bus routes or other CTA rail lines such as the Blue Line.

One of the tracks along the platforms at Belmont and Fullerton must be taken out of service while the platform is rebuilt and tracks are reconfigured to allow room for elevators to be installed. Operating trains on one less track allows the CTA to keep both stations open and maintain rail service during construction, but results in more crowded trains and longer commutes for customers on the Brown Line, Purple Line Express and north branch of the Red Line.

The $530 million Brown Line capacity expansion project is designed to relieve congestion, provide for future growth by increasing capacity, and improve service delivery, safety and customer comfort. The project will also make the Brown Line accessible to all CTA customers, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.

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