Commuters sound off on CTA Red Line renovation plans - FOX 32 News Chicago

Commuters sound off on CTA Red Line renovation plans

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Commuters sounded off Monday night on CTA's plan to shut down south side Red Line stations. Twelve stations between Cermak and 96th Street will be closed for four months because of construction.

While closing the stations means the work will get done faster, the CTA said is was important to have a dialogue with community members about the improvement plans.

In spring 2013, work will begin on the 10-mile stretch of tracks affecting riders at nine different stations.

The CTA will offer free shuttle buses from stations south of 63rd Street. Riders will be taken to the Green Line. On the South Side, there will be expanded bus service.

The CTA acknowledges the project will impact many customers who use the Red Line for work and school daily.

It's a $425 million project to rebuild tracks and track beds. Officials say doing the job all at once will save $75 million. That money will go toward other south side station improvements, including 3 new elevators.

CTA President Forrest Claypool says it's the worst stretch of track in the system, with the most slow zones. He says when completed, trains that traveled 15 mph in some spots will be able to go 55 mph, saving commuters up to 20 minutes on their trip.

The CTA wanted to let everyone know now so they can make alternate travel plans. The work will also affect fans traveling to White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field

The next meeting will be on Thursday at Kennedy King College. Additional meetings are scheduled to take place in July.

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