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"...Transfer To The Gold Line."

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 7, 2009 3:40PM

Image of North Branch of proposed Gold Line via Chicago Weekly. Click here to see the entire plan.
With the Olympic bid picking up steam, one South Side organization sees it as a chance to build a new hybrid Metra-CTA line to connect under-served transit spots. Calling their proposed branch the Gold Line, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, or SOUL for short, has a plan but it's pretty expensive. According to the Trib:

Parts of the South Side, particularly neighborhoods close to the lakefront and south of Jackson Park, are among the city's most densely populated and the most in need of additional rapid transit, SOUL believes.

Under the group's Gold Line plan, more frequent trains would be provided on the Metra Electric District Line. The plan also calls for allowing transfers between Metra trains and CTA buses and adding a new station at 35th Street...

SOUL estimates that implementing the Gold Line would cost $159 million. This would pay for adding 26 Electric District Highliner cars for $91 million as well as for new tracks, station upgrades and fare equipment.

Supporters say the Gold Line could transport people to jobs at Soldier Field, McCormick Place, and even the Olympic Village. The RTA, however, doesn't seem all that gung-ho about it. Reminding supporters it will have to compete with a legion of other projects, RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman said simply, "We will look at what the SOUL people are advocating and assess the value of all the options and see what makes sense."

This isn't the first time there's been talk of the Gold Line, but the upcoming Olympic Bid has given supporters some hope that an Olympic win would further their chances of seeing the line become a reality.