Pink and Blue Don't Mix

March 12, 2008

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Photo by Chris Diers

The Chicago Transit Authority will soon shuffle bus and train routes on Chicago's West Side. It could mean the end of the Cermak branch of the Blue Line.

The Blue Line's Cermak branch winds through Chicago's Southwest Side to the Loop. Its rush-hour cars share track with the Pink Line. CTA President Ron Huberman says few riders choose the blue, so why offer it?

HUBERMAN: At times you have on average during a peak rush time, six people per rail car, while in other parts of the system, you have more than a hundred people per rail car. It becomes an issue of equity, and rerouting these trains, we believe, is a better way to serve our customers.

The CTA will end Blue Line service to the Cermak station in late April.

Transit advocacy groups worry the move will inconvenience Blue Line riders who work or study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Officially, it's a six-month test, but the proposal got little debate at today's CTA board meeting. I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.