Apostal Group

CTA Red Line and Purple Line to get significant improvements; city seeks input Niko Apostal 09/07/16

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As you may remember, in 2013, the city completed significant repairs and renovations on the CTA Red Line between Cermak and 95th Street, as well as station repairs renovations at Clark/Division, 95th Street and the Wilson stop. Those projects were actually Phase One of the CTA’s “Red Ahead” project which aims to leverage TIF funds and federal matching funds to improve the nearly-100-year-old train system to meet increased ridership demands.

According to a letter we recently received from the City of Chicago, now it’s time for the next phase of development, known as the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) project. This will include:

  • Track/station repairs/renovations: Reconstruction of the tracks, stations and structures between Belmont and Howard on the CTA Red Line and between Howard and Linden on the CTA Purple Line.  This includes a complete rebuilding of four CTA Red Line stations: Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr. It will also make sure that all stations on this section of the CTA Red Line  and Purple Line are accessible to people with disabilities, in compliance with federal ADA regulations.
  • Track bypass: In order to alleviate crowding, the project will create a track bypass north of Belmont to remove bottleneck conditions and allow for more trains and better service.
  • New transfer stop: Finally, the project would add an additional transfer between the Red and Purple Lines at Wilson.

According to the letter, “the City and CTA can leverage more than $1 billion in federal funding for [this phase] of the project — which will pay for half the total amount.” They go on to explain that a local match is required to access the federal funds, which the city proposes to raise through a proposed Transit TIF. (For more on TIFs, visit these FAQs on the Cook County Clerk’s page.) The City is careful to point out that this would not affect the Chicago Public Schools, as they are excluded from the Transit TIF under the State legislation.

The city produced this short video which interviews CTA riders about the proposed changes:

The Department of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at 6pm at the Sullivan Athletic Center, 2323 N. Sheffield, to present the RPM plans and take public comments and questions. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, we recommend attending!

File: CTA red line