The Green Line is expected to handle an increase in passengers once CTA begins reconstruction of the Red Line South in May. It's estimated that customers served along the Green Line could quadruple to more than 50,000 weekday rides during the Red Line project. Improvements that have been made or will be completed by May include improvements and temporary expansion of two Green Line stations, Garfield and Ashland/63rd, and significant track and signal work beginning south of Roosevelt at several locations along the Green Line that will eliminate emerging slow zones that could impact and reduce travel times.
In addition to increase ridership, the Green Line will accommodate additional trains during the Red Line South reconstruction—a $425 million initiative that will completely rebuild the Red Line between Cermak/Chinatown and 95th Street over a five-month period beginning May 19. Because the Red Line South project will require a five-month shutdown of that section of the Red Line, Red Line trains will run on elevated Green Line tracks between Ashland/63rd and Roosevelt. CTA will provide free shuttle buses that will transport customers from four Red Line stations south of 63rd Street to Garfield Green Line station.
"The Green Line trackwork we're doing in preparation for the Red Line reconstruction project has already begun improving our Green Line customers' travel experience," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "We are always looking to reduce travel times and improve service, and that's exactly what we're doing."
Funding for the project was provided by the State of Illinois, including a $426 million state capital grant for the Red Line South project, part of more than $1 billion in federal, state and local funding announced in late 2011 by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn for the Red and Purple lines.
Improvements include extensive trackwork on the southern Green Line and Ashland/63rd and Cottage Grove branches, such as replacing rail ties, tracks and upgrading signal and switching equipment. The Garfield station is receiving upgrades including a bus staging area for Red Line South bus shuttle dropoffs and additional temporary turnstiles, signage, security cameras and lighting to handle additional passengers, as well as cleaning and improved lighting and signage. The Ashland/63rd Station is receiving new roofing, painting, escalator and elevator rehabilitation, new stairs and other repairs. Other Green Line improvements include the installation of CTA Train Tracker signs at all Green Line stations south of Roosevelt.