New Improvements to CTA Train Lines

The Chicago Transit Authority has launched a comprehensive program of track repairs and maintenance designed to provide faster commutes and smoother rides for ‘L’ customers—improvements made possible by Mayor Emanuel’s innovative fee on ride-hailing services.

The CTA’s FastTracks program will reduce by up to six minutes off a typical round-trip commute on the Red, Blue, Brown and Green Lines, the four busiest rail lines, by repairing and upgrading rail, rail ties and electrical power in multiple locations throughout the system. The $179 million investment is being funded through a small increase in fees charged to app-based ride-hailing companies operating in Chicago. The fee, proposed by the Mayor and approved by City Council in November, is the first of its kind in the country to directly support investment in public transportation.

The first phase of FastTracks includes track repairs in various spots on the Green Line just south of 35th Street. Other projects in 2018 through 2021 include improvements along:

• Green Line South (between 18th and 35th Streets; between 35th and 59th Street; and along the Cottage Grove and Ashland branches)
• Green and Pink Lines (between Clinton and Ashland)
• Blue Line O’Hare branch (electrical power improvements)
• Red and Blue Line subways (State Street and Dearborn)
• Blue Line Congress branch (Clinton to Forest Park)
• Brown Line (between Southport and Western)

The track work across these rail lines will remove slow zones and increase service reliability. The improvements entail a combination of repairing and replacing sections of iron rail; replacing deteriorated wooden rail ties; and adjusting and maintaining track ballast. The electrical power improvements along the Blue Line O’Hare branch will allow CTA to run additional trains during high-ridership times like the morning rush period on weekdays, which will help address crowded trains and reduce the amount of time customers have to wait on platforms.

Work will be completed outside of weekday peak-ridership hours to minimize the impact to customers. For more information about the FastTracks project, visit


Source:  Brian Hopkins 2nd Ward Alderman Newsletter 2/13/18