March 8, 2013

Hyde Park, South side residents get red light on Red Line

Hyde Park residents will no longer be able to rely on the Red Line to get downtown when nine Red Line stations, from 95th/Dan Ryan to Cermak-Chinatown, are shut down for five months beginning May 19.

The Red Line will be rerouted south of Roosevelt to run between downtown and Ashland/63rd, sharing the Green Line’s track from Garfield as a part of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)’s Red Line Reconstruction Project.

The Project aims to rebuild and renew the tracks on the Dan Ryan Branch, which are more than 40 years old. “Our goal is to get a better, smoother, faster Red Line. This $425 million project represents the single largest investment that we’ve ever made in the CTA,”  CTA spokesman Steve Mayberry said.

The CTA bus routes serving campus—the 170, 171, 172 and, 192—and the UChicago Evening Shuttles will continue to operate on normal schedule during the reconstruction. “Community members traveling between Hyde Park and downtown can use many options, including bus routes 2, 4, 6, and 28, and a Metra line,” University spokesman Jeremy Manier said.

During the track renewal, the CTA will also provide free 24-hour shuttles from the 69, 79, 87, and 95/Dan Ryan Red Line stations to the Garfield Green Line station, with free rail entry at Garfield for shuttle riders. Other services will include a 50 cent discount on many South Side bus rides, 24-hour Green Line service between Roosevelt and Ashland/63,  and expanded bus service on existing routes.

Because of the project, daily passenger traffic at the Green Line’s Garfield Station is estimated to jump from 1,300 to 13,000, according to CTA officials. To accommodate this increase, 17 extra turnstiles and two new staircases will be installed at the station.

While many services will be provided to accommodate Red Line construction, the CTA does not plan on increasing the existing number of buses from Hyde Park to downtown, such as the number 6 Jackson Park Express, according to Mayberry.