CTA Blue Line commuters brace for impact of station closures on Near West Side

There will also be a 24/7 shuttle bus service during the project.

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Monday, July 24, 2023
CTA Blue Line riders navigate station closures
Three stations on the Forest Park Branch of the CTA Blue Line are closed for construction, forcing morning cummuters to adapt.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Riders navigated the changes on the CTA Blue Line Monday morning with three stations closed on the Near West Side.

People shuffled into shuttle buses as some CTA Blue Line stations are temporarily closed... as part of the "Forest Park Branch Rebuild."

"Well, it's a bit of an inconvenience, but you know you've got to take it in stride," rider Amar Elmetennani said.

The project will reduce service delays on the Blue Line, making rides faster and smoother, the CTA says and improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

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"This branch has not seen any major investments since it really opened in 1958," Bill Mooney, CTA chief infrastructure officer, said. "It's had minimum work since. It's gone well beyond its useful life, as can be seen by the amount of slow zones."

"And I saw a couple new train cars as well, so it's all for the greater good," Elmetennani said.

In the meantime, this will impact people heading toward the Near West Side and the Illinois Medical Districs as the Clinton, UIC-Halsted and Racine stations will be closed until late August.

"Today's the first day, so I guess they're practicing but I left out early enough," rider Janice said. "I'll be OK."

Riders can use the 24/7 bus shuttle service during the project to get around the closures.

"At this point, I'm going to take a bus to get farther north and then from here I'll walk into work," Elmetennani: said.

"Instead of taking it downtown into the Loop, I have to get off and take the shuttle or I decided to ride my bike this time," rider Adam Hyde said.

Hyde opted for his bicycle on his dark and early morning commute.

"That and then use the Green Line," he said. "But the Green Line doesn't run 24 seven so I would've gone on the Green Line, but it doesn't read all of the time."

ALSO SEE: O'Hare CTA Blue Line station to require proof for overnight airport access, city says

The CTA is also adding train cars to the Green Line, which runs parallel to the Blue Line to help.

An express shuttle, between Jackson and the Medical District, will be available during the morning and evening rush hours.