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CTA Proposes Silver Line

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jul 19, 2004 3:15PM

2004_07_19.el.jpgThe CTA is considering constructing a Silver Line that would connect the Blue and Green Lines. The proposed line would run between the Ashland stop of the Green Line, and the Harrison junction, where the Forest Park and Cermak Blue Lines meet. There�s not a station there, so it sounds like they�d put one in. Other proposed Silver Line stations include a stop at Madison for the United Center (good call) and one on Van Buren.

Critics of the plan, which is still unofficial, say that the proposed line would cut already shabby service on the West Side. In 1997, the CTA started running fewer trains on the Cermak branch, and some people in Little Village, Pilsen and Lawndale are concerned that Silver Line will cut the number of Blue Line trains again. Currently, the Cermak branch has no weekend service.

In an attempt to accommodate riders� needs, the CTA will launch a series of �community workshops.�

Starting late this month, the CTA will hold community workshops to gather information on the travel habits of residents of the West Side and the near west suburbs. People interested in participating can call 312-681-2716 to sign up, officials said.

"They are not public meetings in the traditional sense of a presentation and one question at a time from the audience," said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney. "Instead, these will be smaller, interactive workshops where participants will work on teams to develop service plans."

The Silver Line is part of the broader, more ambitious Circle Line plan that would connect all the CTA lines as well as the Metra. The CTA is planning a major redesign that includes a lot of construction.

A project the city hopes to build in several years is a transit superstation on the long-vacant Block 37 downtown. The station would be located between the Red and Blue Lines and offer rail connections to the Orange Line. Express trains to O'Hare and Midway Airports would serve the $213 million station development, bounded by State, Randolph, Dearborn and Washington Streets.

Other ideas under consideration include adding stations on the Green Line, connecting the Orange Line that serves Midway with the Brown Line serving the Kimball Avenue terminal and hooking up the Blue Line at Ashland with the Orange Line, officials said.

Whoa. Can we start with more 66 Chicago busses, please?