'A little bit of pain' coming for some CTA riders

February 11, 2013|By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz | RedEye

Brown and Purple Line riders, your commute will get a little loopy starting next month.

Part of Brown and Purple Line service will shutter for nine-day periods in March and late April as the city overhauls the Wells Street Bridge. At the same time, the CTA is rebuilding the Loop junction at Lake and Wells Streets and fixing track along Hubbard Street that suffers from slow zones.

Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein said Monday that CTA riders will endure a "little bit of pain." The shutdowns are set to occur March 1-10 and April 26-May 5.

During that time:

>> There will be no Purple Line Express service to the Loop during rush hour. Purple Line service will end at the Howard stop, where riders can take the Red Line to get downtown.

>> During rush hour, two out of three southbound Brown Line trains will travel through the Red Line subway and end at the Roosevelt stop.

>> One out of three southbound Brown Line trains in rush hour will end service at the Merchandise Mart stop. Shuttle buses will pick up riders at the Chicago Brown Line stop and take them to the Clark/Lake and Washington/Wells stations.

>> Brown Line trains will run every 10 to 12 minutes to the Merchandise Mart only from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and 7 p.m.-10 p.m. After 10 p.m., southbound Brown Line stations will run only to the Chicago Brown Line stop.

>> Red Line trains likely will see extra ridership from the Brown Line during rush hour. Additional Red Line service will be added during off-peak hours.

>> A free shuttle bus will circulate around the Loop from about 4:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

>> Extra service will be added to the No. 37 Sedgwick and No. 22 Clark buses during morning and evening rush. The No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express and No. 147 Outer Drive Express buses will see extra service during evening rush.

Find more information at transitchicago.com/wellsbridge.

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Southport Brown Line

Two years ago, the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce proposed a pedestrian-friendly walkway under the "L" tracks between the Southport and Paulina stations. Nicknamed the "Lowline," the space would feature plants and solar-power light displays instead of just parking spaces for cars. The Lakeview chamber said it is working with the CTA to figure out how it can use the area under the tracks and hopes to have the Lowline in place in the next five years. In the meantime, the Low Line Market, a weekly outdoor produce and artisan market, will kick off this summer on Southport, which would be the east entrance to the Lowline. The market would get Chicagoans accustomed to an urban, pedestrian experience in the area, the chamber said.

Next up: Cottage Grove Green Line

tswartz@tribune.com | @tracyswartz

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