Week 1 in review: CTA offers more tips for Red Line south alternatives

With one week in the books for the five-month rebuild of the Dan Ryan Branch of the Red Line, the CTA is offering more tips to riders to speed their commutes – including reminders of how they can ride for free.

The CTA also noted that it heard from “several customers that it was actually faster to take a shuttle from 95th Street to Garfield Green (approximately 12-14 minutes) than to take the old Red Line between 95th and Garfield Red (approximately 16-18 minutes) – underscoring the need for Red Line South reconstruction.” But most of CTA’s week 1 update was given to reminders about free shuttle service (from a news release):

  • Customers are urged to use the free, round trip shuttle buses from 69th, 79th, 87th and 95th stations to travel to the Garfield elevated station connecting to Red and Green line trains, where all customers ride free.
  • Customers currently using the #29 State, #3 King Drive, #4 Cottage Grove and #J14 Jeffery Jump routes are especially encouraged to utilize free shuttle bus alternatives.

— Many CTA customers are unnecessarily paying full fares and traveling longer than necessary in both directions of travel when they could, alternatively, use our free shuttle bus and free entry at the Garfield elevated station for faster, cheaper round-trips travel to downtown and beyond.

— Example: Customers can save time and money by choosing the free, nonstop #R95 shuttle bus from the 95th/Dan Ryan Terminal to Garfield station—and continue their trip downtown via a Red or Green line train for free—over the comparatively slower #29 State bus.

— Between 95th Street and Madison Street, a #R95 shuttle bus rider rides for free to Garfield northbound, and then makes either nine train stops along the Red Line or eight train stops along the Green Line. By comparison, the #29 charges a fare ($1.75 cash, $1.50 Transit Card/Chicago Card), makes up to 89 stops and the trip can take as much as 20 minutes longer.

  • For some customers, the local and free #R63 making stops at closed Red Line stations at 63rd, 69th, 79th, 87th and 95th is a great option for free station-to-station travel and to transfer to desired east-west bus routes.

The CTA also was forced to remind riders on the Green /Red Line that the Green and Red trains make the same stops:

  • Red and Green Line trains make nearly all of the same stops — the CTA noticed many customers at Garfield waiting for Green Line trains. The CTA wants to remind them that if downtown is their destination, Red Line trains are an option that is more frequent than Green Line trains. As a reminder, all entries at the Garfield station are free.

The CTA also offered this construction update:

  • CTA closed nine Red Line South stations between Cermak/Chinatown and 95th Streets.
  • Heavy construction equipment for project was mobilized on site.
  • Contractor began removal of track, traction power, signal and communications systems.


Leave a comment
  • I'm not going to bother checking the Google Transit Planner, which was (probably on a first bus out basis) recommending other than the R buses.

    The bigger story was tonight about some guy going from CTA to Cubic and after Cubic got the Ventra contract, back to CTA, which, according to Brian Steele was not a conflict of interest. Sure.

  • I was on the Ryan on Sunday.
    No work was being done at all, but they've stored the snow removal equipment at the 98th St. yard along with one 2400 series train.

    Also, the median goes to 107th on the Calumet Expwy, so why not at least run tracks to two more stations, at Cottage Grove & 103rd?
    A lot cheaper than going all the way to 130th, which seems only some PC BS to placate one crooked alderman [yes, I know that's redundant] who has Altgeld Gardens in his ward.
    Just run express buses to 103rd fro Altgeld.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    1. There isn't going to be any extension in our lifetimes. Even Dan Quayle picked up on the "consultant" scam in the June Car and Driver. And if he can figure it out, the rest of us should be able to:
    DQ: There’s already a lot of money in the highway trust fund— billions. What slows it down isn’t inadequate funding but regulations and environmental-impact statements. It’s difficult to do anything these days. But I don’t think it’s as much a funding issue as a regulatory issue.

    2. In any event, whether 103rd or 107th (the latter of which doesn't cross the Bishop Ford Explorer) doesn't get anyone much of anything. The only objective would be to get the buses on routes south of 103rd out of 95th (such as 111, 112, 115, 119, 352, 359), and that doesn't do it.

    3. But as I mentioned here about a year ago, the plan to rebuild the 95th bus terminal, while necessary, is a concession that #1 is correct. Brian Steele just won't tell you that, because da Mare would not like it.

  • On a scale of 1-10, I give cta a 9 for the handling of the red line project.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I agree on the high marks...the first week of the Ryan closure went well. CTA management leaned heavily on two winning paradigms.....one-on-one contact with plenty of personnel at Garfield and at the closed station locations/boarding points and fare discounts. And most CTA personnel imparted positive feelings towards the project that aided the overall community's acceptance of five months of discomfort.

    Operationally, one point that could have caused problems has been addressed...the short turn 'L' routes....The Green line trains from Harlem only to the Loop and the Red line trains from Howard only to Roosevelt. The first days of the Wells Street project taught the CTA the importance of the public being able to depend upon the rollsign displays on the trains. The short turn trains carry rollsigns displaying "green Roosevelt", "green Loop", or "red Roosevelt." Last week both terminals identifed their short turn trains to rail control and indictated that they were displaying correct rollsigns. In the case of the Red line, only 5000 series railcars can be used for the Roosevelt short turn and whenever necessary train crews were swapped so that a 5000 series train made the scheduled short turn run. In rare occasions of bad order signs it was doubly ascertained that operators would make on-board announcements.

  • In reply to chicagopcc1:

    It would have been nice though if for the first 2 weeks of the project the "operators" when arriving southbound at Roosevelt that the train is not going to 95/Dan-Ryan, and if the pre-recorded anouncements in both directions had anouncements for the Cermak shuttle.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    I believe the R22 was a late addition to the fleet and perhaps the automated announcements had already been programmed in.

  • In reply to chicagopcc1:

    It had been announced at the second community meeting that was held just outside of Chinatown and there is photographic evidence that they reprogrammed the headsigns.

    So, belief doesn't mean much.

  • In reply to jack:

    OK. So we'll wait for someone to come up with an explanation of the announcement that's "missing in action." What are the onboard announcements at Garfield/Green?

  • There's also the water taxi from Ping Tom Park to Trump Tower. If you buy the 10 rides ticket it's cheaper than the CTA.

Leave a comment