Sunday, December 21, 2014

Red Line extension to 130th

From January, 2009 until October, 2014, I lived in Hegewisch. I did not own a car and got around by bicycle and public transportation. I have biked the area where the Red Line would be extended to and I have read the media coverage of the plan.

As proposed, the Red Line extension is--I suspect--a scam. Hard to believe the agency that brought you Ventra would figure a way to spend public money without delivering public good, but... I have a suggestion that will be cheaper than extending the Red Line and it will be better in some important ways.
One of the things that makes me suspicious about the Red Line extension is that CTA is evasive about where the track will go. They note there might not be enough width to the right-of-way. But every few years CTA pays some consultants money to study the project.

Express (& limited stop) bus

There are three (or more) logical destinations for express buses from the 95th Street station of the Red Line.

Blue Island transportation center (mostly on I-57)

Riverdale transportation center & Altgeld Gardens (via S. Michigan)

Ford plant & Hegewisch South Shore station (via I-94)

Because there's no need to build track.

Altgeld Gardens would be much more integrated into Chicago's public transportation system.

People all over Chicago could take public transportation to the Ford plant, aka Chicago Assembly Plant--Ford Motor Company at 130th & Torrence. This express bus is even more practical after the *huge* project to drop the 130th & Torrence intersection below the freight rail line.

Displaying on maps

These express/limited stop bus lines would be displayed as extensions of the Red Line on bus maps.

BTW, CTA, Metra & RTA all need better maps to convey the connections & versatility of the entire system. There's one good map of the "L" lines and Metra lines and where they connect. It's at the Van Buren Metra station. It's a little weird that it doesn't seem to exist anywhere else. But... Ventra!

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