South Red Line stations open; free shuttles end

The CTA finished the $425 million Red Line south reconstruction project today - on time and on budget.

The 80,000 riders returning to the Red Line will experience a much different commute, says the CTA. Some big changes:

  • A daily, round-trip commute between 95th/Dan Ryan and downtown that is up to 20 minutes faster.
  • A brand new track bed, including new rail ties, tracks and ballast (the stone material along the tracks).
  • Eight cleaned and painted stations with new lighting and improved amenities.
  • New elevators at Garfield, 63rd and 87th stations, making the entire south Red Line accessible to customers with disabilities.

Riders also should remember that the free shuttles buses have ended from four stations at the south end of the project and elsewhere. And they no longer will be able to board Red and Green line trains for free at the Garfield elevated station. So in a sense, their commuting cost that was lowered for five months just went up to regular prices.

This CTA video gives a quick overview of the project. Riders Sunday said the trip is much smoother. Here's hoping the trip is 20 minutes faster too.

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  • My coworker who lives on the southside is actually kind of annoyed about this. He liked the free shuttle.

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