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Red Line progress report: How goes it?

  • Construction commences at Cermak-Chinatown station during CTA Red Line reconstruction in Chicago on Monday, May 20, 2013. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune)
Construction commences at Cermak-Chinatown station during CTA Red Line… (TRIBUNE )
June 17, 2013|By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye

Four more months! Wednesday marks one month since the CTA began overhauling the Red Line between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street. The project, which shuttered nine stations, is on schedule to be completed by Oct. 19, the CTA said.

Demolition is nearly done and new construction will begin soon, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. Station overhaul also continues, including work that will allow new elevators to be built at the 87th, 63rd and Garfield stations, Chase said.

In the meantime, riders have flocked to the free shuttles that are picking up at closed Red Line stations and dropping off at the Garfield Green Line station.

The CTA said it has seen additional entries at South Side Green Line stations beyond Garfield, as well as a increase of traffic on the Orange Line.

On the bus side, the CTA said it has recorded higher passenger counts on the No. 3-King Drive, No. 4-Cottage Grove, No. 8A-South Halsted, No. 9 Ashland, No. J14-Jeffery Jump, No. 24-Wentworth and No. 29-State Street buses.

One fear that Green Line riders had about the project was an increase in crime as Red Line riders were shuttled to the Green Line.

Chicago police have issued community alerts in the last month about iPhone and other thefts on and near Green Line stations.

On Sunday, police issued an alert for robberies in the area between the Garfield Red and Garfield Green Line stops.

Police said a man attacked and robbed a victim at noon, June 3 in the 5500 block of South LaSalle Street; and at 1 a.m., June 8, in the first block of West Garfield Boulevard.

Anyone with information about these reported incidents should call detectives at (312) 747-8380.

The "CTA hasn't seen any changes from typical crime levels," Chase said.

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Midway Orange Line

The train to and from Midway airport is one of the best deals in town—if you can catch it. While the CTA this year began charging Blue Line riders who don't have Chicago Cards or unlimited passes $5 to ride from the O'Hare airport, the ride to and from Midway has remained $2.25.

The only problem is that it doesn't have the hours that the O'Hare station enjoys. The Blue Line runs 24 hours a day, which is helpful for late-night and early-morning O'Hare travelers.

Unfortunately, early-bird and last-call travelers have a tougher time at Midway. Trains leave the Midway station for the Loop from about 4 a.m. (4:30 on weekends) to about 1 a.m. Trains run from Clark/Lake to the Midway station from at about 4:30 a.m. (5 a.m. on weekends) to about 1:30 a.m.

Some flights at Midway depart from Chicago at 5:30 a.m., while others land at 1 a.m.

Next up: Kimball Brown Line

tswartz@tribune.com

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