After five months of demolition and rebuilding, the south branch of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line is back in business as of 4 a.m. Sunday.
As many a Red Line passenger south of Roosevelt is well aware, one half of the system's busiest line had been out of commission since May. Crews spent the past several months completely remaking the more than 40-year-old tracks, updating three stations to make them wheelchair-accessible and upgrading the formerly-terrible drainage system around the tracks.
Though some commuters say they'll miss the free shuttles the CTA offered in lieu of south branch Red Line service, according to the Tribune, faster travel times will await those customers.
The CTA says a full 20 minutes will be shaved off the travel time for commutes to and from the Loop and the Dan Ryan/95th stop thanks to the reconstruction project.
The $425 million state- and locally-funded project sailed along smoothly with regular updates from the CTA via social media and finished on-time.
After the CTA epically c--pped the bed with Ventra's rollout, the new Red Line south branch's mostly glitch-free reopening south of Chinatown was a welcome relief.
“The Red Line South has started off to a smooth start today," CTA spokesman Brian Steele told the Chicago Sun-Times.