Starting Sunday, 50,000 passengers who use the Red Line trains from 95th to Cermak on the South Side will have to find alternative routes. Most are expected to use Green Line trains.
"We're going to have express shuttle buses from all the closed Red Line stations to the Green Line at Garfield, which runs parallel with the Red Line north of 63rd, so that will be the fastest commute for a lot of people," CTA President Forrest Claypool said.
Free, express shuttle buses will run from CTA Red Line stations at 95th, 87th, 79th, and 69th to the Green Line stop at Garfield via the Dan Ryan expressway as the main route. It's expected the number of passengers will go from 1,300 to 13,000.
If traffic is exceptionally heavy, buses will use State Street.
ABC7 test drives the shuttle route
Driving the same route, ABC7 made it from 95th to Garfield in 13 minutes to drive from 95th to Garfield. Once this reroute is in effect, however, ten times the number of commuters will use the Garfield stop as a transfer point.
"It's going to be super busy, not many seats are going to be open, but that's really the only problem I have with it," Lawrence Smith, Green Line rider, said.
"It would be slower, but at least it would accommodate everyone," Richard Wilson, Green Line rider, said.
The ride to Roosevelt was a smooth and quiet one with only one minor hitch - track work near 18th slowed ABC 7 down just a bit. Total time on that route from 95th and the Red Line to the Roosevelt Road subway was 30 minutes, whereas a straight Red Line trip from 95th to Roosevelt was 32 minutes, due to all the slow zones.
Real shuttle buses could see more delays- heavy boarding, first day confusion, and traffic conditions.
Green Line riders prepare for crowding
It's expected the number of passengers will go from 1,300 to 13,000.
Work crews finished up last minute preps this afternoon as Green Line rider Linda Thompson braced for a longer, more crowded commute.
"Buses are going to be more crowded. Slow getting to and from the Green Line. It's going to be a mess," said CTA Green Line rider Linda Thompson.
"Might have to take a cab or catch a ride with someone," said Red Line rider Travis Robertson.
That's what Hazel Neal at Ed's Livery Service hopes will mean a spike in business.
"We're going to probably open one hour early at 6 a.m.- when we normally open at 7- to be here to try to determine what the needs are for the changes," said Neal.
The CTA plans to have ambassadors out on Monday to help answer questions.
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/