I was president of the Morgan Park Action Council from 1989 to 1997.
Our organization requested the extension of the CTA Red Line based upon the large number of riders living south of 95th Street in Chicago. In 1996, the CTA chairman informed us that the Red Line would be the agency’s first project on its construction list. Several years later, a new CTA chairman wrote to our organization and said that the Red Line “would never be built” because the Midway Line received preference over the Red Line.
I have examined the data released by the CTA, and I am not impressed. The CTA has spent large sums of money on studies and testing with the same politically connected companies for years but nothing on rails and passenger cars. After all these so-called studies have been performed, how many millions has the CTA spent?
As a community activist, I will never believe anything the CTA says until I actually observe the construction of the tracks being laid and the Red Line trains operating on them to the city’s southern limits, just as the CTA is currently doing for the northern city limits, also to Skokie and to Evanston. This entire Red Line extension is a disgrace as the CTA has kept this project in the planning stage for several decades.
Today, Metra is making unreasonable claims that such an extension by the CTA would hurt its business. Metra officials never made this claim on the North Side, which is served by both Amtrak and Metra. The fact is that Metra’s southern city line doesn’t even have convenient stations on either its west or east lines near the affected communities. Therefore, those challenges are, in my opinion, false.
In conclusion, the CTA must begin the actual construction of the Red Line and stop any further delays in this long-overdue project as officials are announcing they will again delay this project—until 2029.
Eugene Broyls Sr.