Workhorse Red Line's south branch ready again for decades of use

She said the shuttle service worked well for her, but it also disrupted the community.

"This neighborhood can now settle down again. It was pretty hectic with all that excess traffic caused by the shuttle buses coming in and out and the rerouting of the regular buses," Samuels said.

Anthony Taylor, 34, who was boarding a northbound Red Line train at the 87th Street station on his way to work Sunday morning, said the temporary shuttle bus service worked surprisingly well. Taking his first Red Line ride in five months, Taylor said, he was somewhat skeptical about promises of new and improved service.

CTA officials said commuters will save up to 10 minutes each way from 95th to the Monroe subway station.

"I saved a lot of money using the free service, and it was just as fast as the (old) Red Line," Taylor said. "Ten minutes don't mean a lot to me."

The free rides ended Sunday as Red Line trains that were rerouted to the Green Line tracks from May 19 until Sunday returned to the nine Dan Ryan branch stations from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th. The 95th Street train and bus terminal will be overhauled starting next year at a projected cost of $240 million.

The CTA has been testing what is essentially a new railroad over the last several weeks in the run-up to this week. A minor glitch occurred Sunday morning when a signal failure halted trains for about 20 minutes between 43rd and 47th streets, Claypool said.

Some riders grumbled about the service delay on the brand-new tracks.

"The train ran smooth, except when it stopped a couple of times near 47th Street," Nyesha Brooks, 21, said after exiting the train at the 95th Street terminal. "I wasn't expecting that at all. It seemed like it took forever between Sox-35th and 47th. But I'm happy the Red Line is back because it's easier."

Beginning Monday, regular CTA buses that were rerouted during the Red Line project will return to their normal routings, CTA spokesman Steele said. For commuters making bus connections at the 95th Street terminal, new signs will point out changes in bus bay assignments.

There is another change. In the mornings on the Lake Street portion of the Green Line, two trips will turn back after the Roosevelt elevated station, Steele said, adding the short turns are a response to customer requests for more frequent service on the Lake Street "L."

Contact Getting Around at jhilkevitch@tribune.com or c/o the Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; on Twitter @jhilkevitch; and at facebook.com/jhilkevitch. Read recent columns at chicagotribune.com/gettingaround.

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