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CTA Rider: Reroute Loop Trains To Reduce Delays

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CTA 'L' Train (File Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

CTA ‘L’ Train (File Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – If you’re tried of sitting in delays on the Loop ‘L,’ a fellow rider has a plan to speed things up.

James Pauly is not a transit engineer, but he said it’s obvious to any regular rider that trains have to cross in front of one another far too many times each day, delaying everyone involved.

The centerpiece of his plan sounds simple.

“Allow the Orange Line and the Brown Line to merge together, and do a straight shot all the way from Kimball down to Midway,” he said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

The surviving line, which he would call the Brown Line, would run only on the Lake and Wabash legs of the Loop. By contrast, he would reroute the Green Line so that its trains would only use the Wells and Van Buren legs of the Loop.

He also would re-route the Pink and Purple Lines, so each operates in opposite directions around the Loop during the morning and afternoon rush periods.

The Purple Line would run counter-clockwise in the morning and clockwise in the afternoon. The Pink Line would do the opposite.

Pauly concedes that it would take some getting used to, but in the end he said it would eliminate bottlenecks and speed up all CTA service over the Loop ‘L,’ particularly during rush periods.

He said that would attract passengers, generate more revenue and help the CTA through its financial crises.

He foresees a few delays for those who are reverse commuters, heading out of the Loop in the morning in into the Loop in the afternoon, but he said he believes they would be minor.

A CTA official has spoken with Pauly about his plan, but there is no indication that it intends to deploy any portion of it.

The Loop ‘L’ junctions at Lake/Wells and Wabash/Van Buren have consistently been rated among the busiest train junctions in the world. For decades, the junction at Lake/Wells was the busiest anywhere.

The idea of through-routing trains between Kimball and the South Side is not new. Trains ran as recently as 1949-50 between Kimball and the Englewood (now Green Line) branch terminal, which was then at Loomis. In 1950, the Brown Line assumed its current route.

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