WEST LOOP — Will the CTA finally extend the Red Line to 130th Street?
After years of promises from various politicians to bring the Red Line to the Far South Side, the CTA announced two proposals they say will make the train accessible to tens of thousands more people.
The CTA will publish a study that lays out the environmental impact of each proposed route on Thursday, according to the transit agency.
Two years ago, the CTA announced plans to arrive at a "preferred alternative" between two possible routes from the newly renovated 95th Street station to 130th Street: one running east of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks from 99th Street to 118th Street, one running west of the same rail bed. It then spent $5 million on the study and other planning to lay the tracks for the public to weigh in on which route it prefers.
Called "Red Ahead," the Red Line extension has been a key initiative of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, albeit one that he may not see completed. It builds on the $420 million reconstruction of the Red Line South in 2013 and the $280 million reconstruction of the 95th Street station, expected to be completed in 2018.
"We are pleased to make progress on this transformational Red Line project, which will expand transit for the Far South Side and create faster access to jobs, education and opportunity,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “As we move forward in the comprehensive federally required planning process for this project, we continue to make significant investment in the South Side that includes the new 95th terminal, improved Red and Green line service and expanded bus service on multiple routes to better serve our customers."
The 5.3-mile Red Line extension is expected to include four new stations: 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue and 130th Street.
The environmental study will be available online beginning Thursday.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: