After five days at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, I'm getting caught up on some CTA news. Special thanks to Patrick Barry for covering the announcement of the Loop bus rapid transit project.
Loop track project off to slow start. Following a two-week break after its first weekend Loop "L" track replacement, the CTA will resume the $39 million project this weekend. But it will take another weekend off next week due to the NATO summit meetings. The Tribune reported the contractor replaced just 300 feet of track that first weekend, though the CTA had first expected 1,000 feet to be repaired. But the CTA now tells the Trib it's happy with the progress. We'll keep an eye on this.
Brown Line platform problems grow. We've reported in the past that the CTA has had to replace new wood platforms at Brown Line stations because the wood was not weather-resistant. Now it turns out the problem is more prevalent. The Tribune reports wood will be replaced on three more Brown Line platforms: at the Armitage, Sedgwick and Kedzie stations.
New rail cars back on Pink Line. After about five months of wheel housing replacements, the new Series 5000 rail cars are back on track on the Pink Line. The CTA plans to put all 54 cars in the first delivery in service on the Pink Line. And yes, the aisle-facing seats are still in place, despite many rider complaints, including this text message from my daughter Sunday: "I'm currently wedged between two butts on the new rail cars ... HATE!" A CTA Tattler poll last year showed that 50% prefered bench seating, and 29% wanted to dump the longitudinal seating entirely.