CTA announces proposed path for Red Line extension to 130th Street, adding 4 new stations

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Major changes planned for the CTA Red Line would make it a lot easier for thousands of people to get to work. (WLS)

Major changes planned for the CTA Red Line would make it a lot easier for thousands of people to get to work.

The Red Line is one of the busiest CTA lines, carrying 30 percent of all riders, and now it's expanding.

In a new proposal, the Red Line extension project would extend the Red Line, creating four new stations to the south near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street.

The extension's proposed route would start at 95th Street and would run along the west side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks from I-57 south to about 109th Street. It would then cross up the UP tracks and continue along the east side of the tracks until crossing Metra Electric tracks near 119th Street before continuing south to 130th Street.

This new proposal, called "the preferred alignment" will limit the number of properties the CTA must purchase to build the rail extension.

The extension project will reduce commute times and provide easier access to the Red Line for Far South Side residents.

"I really appreciate the fact that they're extending it because for a lot of South Side people, it's a pain in the butt to get anywhere north using the Red Line," said CTA rider Kevin Hanna.

"I think it's going to be a great thing for Chicago. I am hoping that it would be better because I'm on the CTA every day, the CTA and Pace," said Red Line rider Christine Simmons.

City transit officials add that the project that could end up costing more than $2 billion. It would take about four years to complete.

The city hasn't extended an "L" line since the Orange Line opened in 1993.

For more information, visit www.transitchicago.com/redeis/.

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