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Bus line dies, Yellow Line flies

Yellow Line extension. (Source: CTA)

Yellow Line extension. (Source: CTA)

The Chicago Transit Authority board has voted to kill off the Route 200 bus serving Evanston while approving plans for an elevated extension of Yellow Line rail service to Old Orchard.


The Chicago Transit Authority board has voted to kill off the Route 200 bus serving Evanston while approving plans for an elevated extension of Yellow Line rail service to Old Orchard.

Yellow Line extension. (Source: CTA)

The board yesterday also approved routes for planned extension to the Red Line on Chicago’s south side and the Orange Line on the southwest side.

The Yellow Line extension would provide a single-track elevated line from the station at Dempster Street 1.6 miles north to just south of Old Orchard Road.

The line would run along the former Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way and would end with a double-track station between the Edens Expressway and Niles North High School.

The station would include a parking structure and a new bus terminal.

The board’s decision approves a route for the new service, but several more steps are needed, including an environmental analysis and engineering studies before the agency can seek federal funding to actually build the project.

Assuming the process goes smoothly it could be five years or more before construction starts.

If separate proposals for a Yellow Line station at Dodge, Asbury or Ridge avenue in Evanston also move forward, the extension could give south Evanston residents a rail connection to the Old Orchard shopping center as well as making portions of Evanston more accessible to commuters from suburbs to the northwest.

Although the Village of Skokie has supported the Yellow Line extension, the CTA board action drew opposition from Niles Township High School officials, who objected to a loss of land at the school site, and from some Skokie residents who live near the old rail line that would be revived by the project.

In voting to eliminate the Route 200 Main Street Shuttle bus route the board cited ridership levels of less than 100 per day, or less than five riders per trip.

The route was established several years ago to connect the Rand McNally corporate headquarters in Skokie with the Main Street Purple Line station in Evanston.

A public hearing was held on the proposed service cut last month at the Levy Senior Center. Route 200 service will end on Sept. 6.

In another change, the board approved making permanent an already implemented shift of night owl service on Route 201 serving Central Street and Sherman Avenue. The line, which previously had connected with the handicap-accessible Granville station on the Red Line now ends at the newly-accessible Howard station.

Related links
Rail Extension Projects Approved (CTA news release)

Changes Approved for Bus Routes Serving Evanston (CTA news release)

CTA OKs 3 rail line extensions (Chicago Tribune)

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