Repost: Figure out your south Red Line alternative route now

Repost: Figure out your south Red Line alternative route now

[This is a repost from February, but the message hasn’t changed: South Side CTA commuters need to figure out their alternative commute – the reconstruction of the south branch of the Red Line begins in less than a week.]

CTA brass re-emphasized the looming five-month shutdown of the south end of the Red Line during a news conference last week. Construction will begin May 19 and run through Oct. 19.

And to help riders navigate the system, the CTA announced the launch of a new website – – and Twitter account – @redlinesouth.

Among a large number of alternative commuting routes, the CTA will allow riders to board free at the Garfield station on the Green Line. Also, free shuttle buses from closed Red Line stations at 69th Street, 79th Street, 87th Street and 95th Street will carry passengers to the Garfield station. The CTA said it expects a tenfold increase in traffic at Garfield – from 1,300 riders a day to 13,000. Also, riders will get a 50-cent discount on bus rides south of 63rd Street during construction.

Both Metra and Pace transit agencies will try to help pick up stranded Red Line passengers. From the news release:

Metra will change the flag stops to regular stops at five Metra Electric stations in proximity to the Red Line for two inbound trains during the weekday morning rush hour, and two outbound trains in the weekday evening rush hour.  Those stops are: 63rd, 75th, 79th, 87th and 95th.  In addition, several Saturday trains also will make regular stops, instead of flag stops, at those five stations.

Metra will be monitoring ridership demands closely to see if further adjustments are needed.

Additionally, Pace announced two new express bus service routes during rush hours to the CTA’s Roosevelt Red Line station: one from the Pace Blue Island park-and-ride lot, the other from the Harvey Transportation Center.  Each service will provide six morning and six afternoon trips for the duration of the project, as well as one midday round-trip serving Blue Island, Harvey and the Roosevelt station, said Executive Director T.J. Ross.

The three service boards also announced a joint fare product for customers using a combination of CTA, Metra and Pace service.  Pre-packaged fare media would offer a Metra 10-ride pass and a discounted CTA 5-day pass, available to customers along Metra’s Rock Island District and Metra Electric District Zones B, C and D.

Officials said the passes would be a good option for frequent riders of both systems, and provide passengers convenient access to all forms of mass transit serving the area.

It’s probably a good idea to start thinking now about how you will get around the South Side during the five-month shutdown.


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  • To help plan for next week's new commute, here is the temporary 5 month May 2013 CTA map:

  • In addition to Metra and Pace offerings, here are the CTA
    Dan Ryan construction related temporary (bus) reroutes:
    #N5 South Shore Night Bus – Extended to Garfield elevated station to connect to Red/Green lines
    #8A South Halsted – Extended to Halsted/63rd station to connect to Red Line
    #39 Pershing – Service to Sox-35th Red Line station discontinued
    #43 43rd – Service to 47th Red Line station discontinued
    #44 Wallace/Racine – Rerouted to Ashland/63rd station to connect to Red Line
    #48 South Damen – Rerouted to Ashland/63rd station to connect to Red Line
    #51 51st – Rerouted to 51st station to connect to Green/Red lines
    #59 59th/61st – Rerouted to Halsted/63rd station to connect to Red Line
    #71 71st/ South Shore – Extended to Garfield elevated station to connect to Green/Red lines
    #169 69th/UPS Express – Rerouted to Halsted/63rd station to connect to Red Line

    Also to note: For service from the Roosevelt station to the Cermak/Chinatown station, use R22 from 4am to 1am. For owl service from 1am to 4am, use 62/Archer and board on Archer instead.

  • In reply to JohnT:

    For the above note - from the May 2013 CTA map. Sun-Times reports R22 is 24 hours and the CTA Red Line South Alternative Service Information Page is non-descript on the R22 hours of service.

  • But as Pace, and I think even CTA admitted, the "joint fare product" is a fraud, because Metra is not giving any discount from its normal zone fares. All CTA is doing is offering 5 day CTA or CTA/Pace passes for a few bucks off the 7 day passes. Unlike the Link stickers, apparently one doesn't have to buy a Metra ticket.

    And, of course, with CTA offering free shuttles and Pace running regular fare express buses, there is no need for the fake "joint fare product."

    Could the CTA PR department be honest for a change? No.

  • John T - thanks for the extra info!

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    No Problem, looks like CTA released the May 2013 (Red South Reconstruction-based) map yesterday about the same time you posted this. All of the extra info comes from CTA's new map.

  • why isn't there a shuttle bus from 63rd and the Dan Ryan to Garfield on the green?

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    The rationale appears to be that if you want to transfer from the 63 bus, there are 4 stations at which you can do so (Ashland, Halsted, King Dr. and Cottage), and there doesn't appear to be enough neighborhood traffic at essentially the closed Harvard station to justify it. Heck, they could have installed temporary platforms at Harvard if they wanted to.

    On the other hand, they must have thought that a means of going south of 63rd was required other than the 24 or 29 bus, so there is the R63.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Because riders should take a regular 63rd St. bus to Halsted or King Dr. to connect.

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