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CTA To Test Late-Night Purple Line Express Train

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 10, 2015 10:35PM

Photo credit: Mickey B. Photography

How many of you have been in this situation? It's late at night. You're in Evanston and you don't have a car. A taxi or an Uber back into the city would cost a small fortune. So you take your chances waiting for the Purple Line to take you to Howard, where you transfer to the Red Line and spend at least an hour riding back into the city. We've been there and it isn't as fun or as fast as a Purple Line express train to downtown.

Thankfully, the CTA will test out running a late-night Purple Line express train this summer to ferry drunks and students from the northern suburb to the city during the witching hour. CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase told RedEye the agency is listening to customers in launching the six-week pilot program.

"The purpose of adding the trip is to provide customers who work in Evanston more options for their evening commute back into the city, as well as Evanston residents who work in the Loop and may want to spend the evening in Chicago before returning home via the CTA," Chase said in an e-mail.

From June 1 through July 10, CTA will run a Purple Line train from the Linden stop at 8 p.m. which should reach the Clark/Lake stop downtown at 8:50 p.m. That train would return to Linden by 10 p.m. So not late night—more like late-ish.

The added Purple Line express service would benefit Evanstonians looking to stay in the city a little later as well as city residents who would have another train option out of downtown. The cost of the program will be around $7,000.