CHICAGO – The Chicago Transit Authority’s new Pink Line rail service begins June 25 at 4 a.m., providing more frequent service between Cicero’s 54th/Cermak station and the Chicago Loop.
More frequent service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line also will begin on Sunday. CTA created the rail enhancements as part of a package of service improvements focused on the West Side and near west suburbs.
The Pink Line will operate seven days a week from the 54th/Cermak station in Cicero to the Loop. Pink Line hours of operation are from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. from 54th/Cermak to the Loop and 4:25 a.m. to 1:25 a.m. from the Loop to 54th/Cermak. During morning and evening rush periods on weekdays, trains will operate every 7½ minutes.
Pink Line trains will make all stops along the 54th/Cermak branch to Polk Street station. From Polk Street station, Pink Line trains will cross over the Eisenhower Expressway and travel north along the Paulina connector to the Green Line elevated structure along Lake Street, then travel eastbound stopping at Ashland and Clinton stations and proceed into the Loop traveling clockwise on the inner track, making stops at all elevated stations before returning to 54th/Cermak on the same route westbound.
A total of 22 stations will be served by the Pink Line. Customers will benefit from increased and faster service between 54th/Cermak and the Loop, saving up to 10 minutes on their transit time. Direct service to the Loop elevated also means enhanced connections to the Red, Orange, Brown and Green lines, Purple Line Express service and Metra.
In addition, customers will still have the option of Blue Line service to the Dearborn Street subway. During the weekday rush period – 5:30 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. and 2:25 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., 54th/Cermak Blue Line trains will operate every 30 minutes on its current routing, meeting up with the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line at Racine and travel into the Loop via the Dearborn subway.
Enhancements to existing rail service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line also go into effect Sunday morning. The frequency of service on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line will increase, especially during weekday off-peak hours and weekends, and improve access to CTA and Pace buses along the route. Trains will operate approximately every 7½ minutes during weekday rush periods improving from every 15 minutes. The Forest Park branch of the Blue Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Customers interested in benefiting from more service, better connections and faster trips can board Pink Line trains at any 54th/Cermak branch station, Ashland and Clinton stations on the Green Line elevated structure and all stations on the Loop elevated structure. Stations providing access to the Pink Line are designated with pink 54th/Cermak signs and maps, and Pink Line trains will have pink destination signs just as trains on other lines are distinguished by the colors of their destination signs. CTA will have extra personnel at stations to assist customers with details of the new service.
In addition to establishing new rail service and enhancing existing service on two branches, on June 18 five new bus routes were established and improvements made to eight existing bus routes. The service enhancements are being introduced on an experimental basis and the performance of these routes will be evaluated over the next six months.
A 20-page brochure outlining CTA’s Pink Line and other service enhancements is available at rail stations and on buses and on the CTA web site at www.transitchicago.com. Customers also can call CTA customer service at 1-888-YOUR-CTA for travel assistance or to request a copy of the brochure by mail.