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South End Of CTA Red Line Reopens

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A relief for CTA passengers who travel to and from the South Side: The Red Line reconstruction project is over.

CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports as of 4a.m. Saturday, the Red Line started rolling again to all stops.

CTA is promising a smoother, faster ride after five months of construction laid 10 miles of new train tracks.

80,000 people ride the Red Line on a daily basis and many live and work on the city’s South Side where Red Line stations between 95th and Cermak were shutdown to passengers during the reconstruction.

That meant weeks of reroutes on free shuttle buses and a revised Green Line train, but that’s in the past now.

The shuttles are shutdown and CBS 2 was there as the first Red Line train came in from the Howard, the train’s northern end.

Passengers experiencing the new ride gave us their take.

“It was really fast and it was actually really smooth,” said CTA passenger Lashonda Lewis. “I used to ride it a lot last year and it took a long time to get here.”

Delisa Graham took the Red Line to 95th to get to church and told Newsradio’s Steve Miller that her ride this morning “was bumpy. Slow motion. Loud.”

“It was not as fast as it was,” said Graham. “I’m about to be late to church. That’s how I feel. I don’t like it.”

She adds, “The trains were clean.”

CTA President Forrest Claypool says the slowdown was just a brief anomaly.

“There was a short period this morning in which the trains slowed down between 43rd and 47th Street because of a signal issue that’s been corrected.

“The trains before that and the trains after that, including the one I just saw coming in here, were running at 55 miles an hour.”

Other commuters, like Fernando Howard, said the trip was great. “None of those delays. Straight through. A great improvement.”

CTA spokesperson Steve Mayberry said riders can expect service to be “Faster, smoother, better. Literally, a trip to downtown from 95th that is up to 20 minutes faster.”

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