CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s finally official. The CTA has a Halloween treat for its long-suffering Yellow Line riders. Service on the Yellow Line returns to Skokie Oct. 30.
The CTA said it will aggressively market the Yellow Line, also known as the Skokie Swift, to try to entice riders back, beginning with free parking at the Dempster/Skokie terminal through the end of the year. The first train will feature the CTA’s two newest ‘L’ cars, the last of more than 700 delivered since 2011. Dignitaries will ride the CTA’s “historic” 2400-series cars for an official reopening ceremony later that morning.
More than half of the line’s 2,900 daily riders have abandoned the free, but slower, replacement buses since the May 17 collapse that forced reconstruction of 1,200 feet of track on a high fill.
“Restoring Yellow Lie service as quickly as possible has remained our top priority while maintaining the safety of our riders,” said CTA President Dorval Carter.
Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen issued a statement thanking riders for their patience.
Between now and Oct. 30, the rebuilt embankment will be tested by trains simulating full loads to make sure it will stay put. The CTA is asking the public to stay off the tracks and stay alert during the testing period, and once revenue service resumes.
Walsh Construction Co., under contract to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, was constructing a disinfection plant immediately adjacent to the high fill, immediately to the west of the 90-year-old Yellow Line bridge over the Sanitary and Ship Canal and McCormick Boulevard. Walsh and MWRD, not CTA riders, are shouldering the reconstruction cost. The bridge was not damaged in the collapse.