Red Line reconstruction pushes CTA riders to Green Line, Metra

May 17, 2013 9:22:39 AM PDT
Eighty thousand people use the south end of the Red Line each weekday. Informing all of them about next week's shut down is proving to be a tough task.

In business only a year, Billy Nathan is now preparing for five months of uncertainty.

"It's about 60-70% of our business comes from the L and people just passing by," said Nathan, of 1-94 Ribs and Grill.

This restaurant sits just west of the Red Line on 47th Street.

And one area's pain will be another's gain.

The Green Line is about 8 blocks east of the Red Line. Another group of business owners are hoping to attract the countless customers who will soon be coming their way.

"Now there will be potentially people who didn't even know the store was here who now get a chance to see it," said shoe store manager Swanni Booker.

CTA will provide shuttles to Green Line

The largest number of Red Line detour passengers will take shuttle buses to the Garfield station on the Green Line. Many extra accommodations are being put in place.

"A lot of us are going to be doing some walking," said CTA rider Alice Hoffman-Bowen.

ABC7's Ben Bradley asked: "What do you think crowds will be like on the Green Line?"

"Terrible!" said Hoffman- Bowen.

Metra lines may be alternative

For those who live closer to the Lake, Metra may be an option.

"I'm going to take the Metra, but that's going to cost me a lot more money that way," said Thomas Carlson, CTA Red Line rider.

"We're not expecting a huge influx of CTA riders on our two lines, the Metra Electric and Rock Island. We think existing capacity we have will be enough to accommodate them," said Metra spokesman Micahel Gillis.

While the CTA has a swarm of people out trying to inform customers about the shutdown and alternates, members of the Active Transportation Alliance hope to hold the CTA accountable to its customers.

"Our goal is to give a voice to the riders of the Red Line south and to hold the CTA accountable to plans they've made to get us through the construction," said Brenna Conway of the Active Transportation Alliance.

Crews will rebuild the line, and that's expected to take 20 minutes off commutes- when the project is finished. Until then, the CTA is offering bus services and alternative routes at http://www.transitchicago.com/redsouth/.

Access the new CTA Train Tracker and CTA Bus Tracker

CTA Train Tracker:http://www.transitchicago.com/traintracker/
CTA Train Tracker Mobile Version:http://www.transitchicago.com/mobile/traintracker.aspx
CTA Bus Tracker:http://www.ctabustracker.com/


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