WBEZ | red line extension http://www.wbez.org/tags/red-line-extension Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en CTA considers closing stops on north lines http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-transit-authority/cta-considers-closing-stops-north-lines <p><div>The Chicago Transit Authority is considering <a href="http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/rpmproject/RPM_-_web_ScopingBook_redpurple_FTA.pdf">several options</a> for how to modernize its century-old Red and Purple Lines on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side and in Evanston, and this week officials revealed that some of those options would involve closing stations. In their stead, new entrances would be added to nearby stations.&nbsp;&ldquo;You would still have a station that would serve that area,&rdquo; said CTA spokesman Sheila Gregory. &ldquo;It would just be sort of reconfigured for modern times.&rdquo; Gregory said having fewer stations could reduce travel times.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The CTA is unveiling the six options and receiving feedback from residents at <a href="http://www.transitchicago.com/rpmproject/">community meetings</a> this week.&nbsp;The proposals range from leaving the system as-is, to performing simple station repairs, to even taking portions of the elevated line below ground as a subway.&nbsp;Three options include closure of the Jarvis, Thorndale, and Lawrence stations on the Red Line; and the South Boulevard and Foster stations on the Purple Line.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Alderman Joe Moore of Chicago's 49th Ward said he was blindsided by the fact that the CTA is even entertaining closing the Jarvis station.&nbsp;His ward office is located at that stop, as are stores and restaurants that have reinvigorated the area in recent years.&nbsp;&ldquo;If that El station closed, it could very well signal the demise of the Jarvis Square business district,&rdquo; said Moore.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>CTA officials said they'll consider community input gathered at meetings this week. A final decision could be a long way off, however. Gregory pointed out that the system still has no funding for the modernization project, which would cost roughly $4 billion. She said the CTA is laying the groundwork with planning now so it will be poised to apply for federal funding as it becomes available.&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 25 Jan 2011 22:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-transit-authority/cta-considers-closing-stops-north-lines Emanuel says Red Line extension a priority http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-transit-authority/emanuel-says-red-line-extension-priority <p><p>Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel said Thursday that extending the CTA Red Line south is a priority. The announcement comes while the Chicago Transit Authority is working through a federal process to extend the train route.</p> <div>Currently, the train ends at 95<sup>th</sup> Street; Emanuel said he wants it to keep going to 130<sup>th</sup> Street.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;The Red Line is the backbone of Chicago&rsquo;s mass transit system,&rdquo; said Emanuel, in a small business on 107<sup>th</sup> and Halsted. &ldquo;Stopping at 95<sup>th</sup> cuts stores like this, the New Sound Gospel Music Store, off from commuters and consumers.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Community activists and urban planners have long advocated a Red Line extension to 130<sup>th</sup> Street. A University of Illinois-Chicago <a href="http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/voorheesctr/Publications/Transit%20Equity%20Matters%2012.09.pdf">study</a> from 2009 argued that the South Side suffered from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/study-cta-should-prioritize-red-line">transportation inequity</a>. The study said of all Chicago Transit Authority expansions, the Red Line should have the greatest priority. The study authors suggested expansion would attract new small businesses and improve residents&rsquo; access to jobs.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Emanuel estimated the expansion would cost $1.4 billion. He also advocated fixing stations from Belmont and northward, which would cost an additional $1 billion. Upgrades to Red Line tracks from 18<sup>th</sup> Street to 95<sup>th</sup> Street comes at a $300 million price tag.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It won&rsquo;t be done in one fell swoop. I don&rsquo;t have any illusions about that,&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a heads up to Washington D.C. and Springfield that this will be a priority if I&rsquo;m elected mayor for our investment.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Emanuel touts his experience as a congressman who acquired money for upgrades along the Brown Line. He says getting the Illinois congressional delegation on board along with other governmental entities will be his strategy for transit funding.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Securing federal dollars for public transportation is a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/cta-officials-recommend-red-line-route-expansion">long, arduous process</a> &ndash; one that CTA officials started several years ago. CTA got federal approval to go through a competitive funding process for the<a href="http://www.transitchicago.com/redeis/default.aspx"> Red Line</a>. It&rsquo;s currently in phase two of a five-phase process.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>CTA officials estimate that completion of the Red Line could take five to 11 years.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle has said he supports a Red Line extension as well.</div></p> Thu, 20 Jan 2011 22:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-transit-authority/emanuel-says-red-line-extension-priority