CTA rail expansion and modernization: Best reasons to support new TIFs

The CTA’s plans to extend the Red Line south to 131st Street and modernize the Red and Purple lines north of Belmont got a big boost last week when the state legislature passed a bill allowing the city to create special Tax Increment Financing districts within a half-mile on each side of 46 miles of... Read more »

CTA offers new alerts about elevator status

For those of you with bad knees, swollen feet or are wheelchair-bound, knowing when elevators are out of service is crucial. You have to plan your trip around an outage, since only 88 of the 140-plus CTA rail stations have elevators as it is. Now the CTA offers riders real-time elevator status information via text... Read more »

CTA testing pre-paid boarding on #77 Belmont bus

The CTA last week launched a six-month pilot to test prepaid bus boarding on westbound #77 Belmont buses at the Belmont Blue Line station. CTA riders now prepay their fares in a designated area during evening rush periods (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), allowing them to enter buses more quickly and increasing the speed and... Read more »
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Big win: #11 Lincoln, #31 bus routes restored on trial basis

After four years of loud complaints and protests, North Side advocates of the #11 Lincoln bus will see a key portion of that route restored beginning June 20 on a six-month trial basis. And the #31 31st Street bus will run again starting in September. Amid much hue and cry, the CTA in 2012 eliminated... Read more »

Sexual harassment on the CTA: Widespread problem hits home

In a story posted today, the Reader asks: “Could woman-only el cars prevent sexual harassment on the CTA?” I think that’s a terrible idea. And so does the CTA, as the article points out. The transit agency last year launched an anti-harassment campaign to educate people about what constitutes harassment, and how to report it.... Read more »

New Wilson SB platform to open on Monday; number of entrances doubled

The CTA on Monday will open the new southbound platform at the Wilson Red Line station, marking the beginning of Phase 2 of the three-year, $203 million project. Red Line service frequency with remain the same, but southbound trains will board on the new platform. Purple Line service and frequency also will remain the same,... Read more »
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New CTA rail cars change hated configuration, create Chicago jobs

When the CTA board approved a $1.3 billion contract for new rail cars, it accomplished two things: It changed the hated aisle-facing seating configuration (for the most part). It created 170 local jobs in Chicago, as the Chinese manufacturer will build a $40 million plant to build the cars. CSR Sifang America JV, a Chinese company, will... Read more »

CTA track work reduces slow zones to lowest level since 1997

The CTA’s track modernization projects over the last four years have resulted in the lowest level of L slow zones since 1997 – just 5.5 percent at the end of 2015. In 2007, more than 22 percent of the elevated tracks were designated slow zones - areas where trains are required to operate at slower-than-normal speeds,... Read more »

CTA wins $156 million in Red Line modernization funding

The CTA last week was promised $156 million in federal funds to begin engineering on Phase 1 of the Red-Purple Modernization project. And another $125 million for the huge project was included in President Obama’s 2017 budget. While the latter is not a certainty, the former will push the $2.1 billion Phase 1 project into... Read more »
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Video: 1977 L crash in Loop killed 11 people 39 years ago today

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Probably the worst day in CTA history was 39 years today when a Lake Dan Ryan slammed into the back of a Ravenswood train at the Lake-Wabash curve, killing 11 people and injuring more than 180. See this ABC News special report video on the accident. —————————– If you like this post, please like my... Read more »