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CTA: 90 percent of southern Red Line riders still use CTA

The CTA has retained about 90 percent of its South Side Red Line riders during the shutdown of the southern section of the Red Line, which began in mid May.

These riders have opted to use free shuttle service, Red Line trains rerouted to Green Line tracks, Orange and Green Line trains and bus routes that parallel the Red Line during the construction project, which shuttered nine stations south of Roosevelt Road beginning May 19 and is expected to run through Oct. 19.

"The additional alternative service options out there are working," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. "We knew that ridership would be affected."

The CTA estimates 9.8 percent of its southern Red Line riders have opted to use Metra, Pace or their cars instead of the CTA.

Metra saw an average increase of about 1,000 riders a day on the Rock Island Line since the project began, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said. There were about 100 extra riders on the Metra Electric line.

The CTA said 46,700 riders entered the Red Line between the Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street stops in April. The agency counted 42,100 riders using alternative CTA service in May and June.

About half of these riders used the Green Line or Red Line trains rerouted to Green Line tracks, the CTA said. About a quarter of the riders shifted to CTA bus routes that parallel the Red Line such as the No. 3 King Drive and No. 29 State Street buses.

The CTA said it also saw a bump in riders at the Ashland, Halsted and Roosevelt Orange Line stations.

The five-month construction project is estimated to cost $425 million. The CTA is replacing track, long plagued by slow zones, and upgrading three stations to make them accessible for riders with disabilities.

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