The CTA will kick off the first phase of the environmental study of the Red and Purple Modernization Project with four public meetings later this month.
The CTA knows it needs to make substantial improvements to the Red Line north of Belmont and the Purple Line. While it doesn't have the funding yet, the CTA is using the strict process mandated by the feds.
The overall goals of the modernization project are to:
- Reduce travel times.
- Improve access to job markets.
- Better use existing transit infrastructure.
- Provide access to people with disabilities.
- Support the area's economic development initiatives.
The CTA already held a visioning session for the project in November 2009. The more than 1,100 comments that came out of those visioning sessions helped shaped the six key proposals being reviewed in first part of the environmental study.
The six alternatives for the modernization project are:
- No Action Alternative: Maintains the status quo. It includes the absolute minimum repairs required to keep the lines functional. This alternative is used as a basis for comparison for the other alternatives.
- Basic Rehabilitation Alternative: Provides strategic mix of repairs, rehabilitation and replacement for a useful life of 20 years.
- Basic Rehabilitation with Transfer Stations Alternative Same as Basic Rehabilitation Alternative plus the addition of transfer stations at Wilson and Loyola.
- Modernization 4-Track Alternative: Provides modern amenities at station, increases speed of service, includes news transfer stations at Wilson and Loyola and major repairs, reconstruction and new construction would extend the useful life to 60-80 years.
- Modernization 3-Track Alternative: Similar improvements as Modernization 4-Track Alternative except with 3-tracks in the North Red Line area and no reverse-commute express service. Includes many of the same station amenities with less right-of-way acquisition.
- Modernization 2-Track Underground Alternative: Similar improvements as Modernization 4-Track Alternative except with a 2-track subway between Belmont and Loyola and a 2-track elevated between Loyola and Howard.
UPDATE: See comment below for details on Alternatives 4-6.
The meetings are set for 6 to 8:30 pm on the following dates and at these locations:
Monday, Jan. 24
St. Augustine College
1325 W. Argyle St.
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Nicholas Senn High School
5900 N Glenwood Ave.
Wednesday, Jan. 26
New Field Primary School
1707 W. Morse Ave.
Thursday, Jan. 27
1655 Foster Street
I'll be at the Wednesday session. Join me!
And of course you're welcome to share your comments on the alternatives.