The Chicago Transit Authority is getting $35 million in federal transportation “core capacity” grant funds as a downpayment on a $4.7 billion plan to upgrade service on the Red and Purple lines that serve Evanston.

The grant was announced late Monday by Sen. Dick Durbin, who was instrumental in winning congressional approval of the new funding source, and other officials.

The money will be used for environmental planning and preliminary engineering work for the project which is designed to increase capacity by 20 to 50 percent and reduce travel times.

Related stories

Red-Purple modernization project gets initial batch of federal funds (Chicago Tribune)

CTA gets $35 million for Red Line work (Chicago Business)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Upgrading service to Evanston

    How about extending the evening hours of the purple line evening "express" to 10 p.m.?

    There are many Evanston and Wilmette who are in Chicago for work or pleasure past 7 p.m.  An alternative would be more frequent Howard-Linden shuttle service between 7-10p.m.

  2. Purple Line not ‘Express’

    'Express' should be taken out of all references to the line.

    Years ago it went non-stop from Howard to the Mart.  Then as I recall they decided to stop at Belmont and Fullerton [maybe one or the other could be justified] then if I'm not wrong they added all stops from Belmont south !  Some important city official(s) must live by those stops. The excuse was the Ravenswood platforms were too small for long trains and thus overcrowded.  I think they have since lenghted the platforms and trains—but still they make every stop.  Unless time is not a concern and you want to keep your seat, it is always best to change to the Red at Belmont or just take the Red in the first place—much faster.  Of course riders know that they will be stopped for repairs, swithcing, waiting for other trains and on and on anyway.

    With the Purple going from Linden to the Loop all day [express from Howard to the Mart] many more people would be served and much less of their time [and time is money].

    1. Purple “Express” (Not)

      Absolutely the Purple used to be a much quicker trip to downtown Chicago!  And it's gonna be a longer trip even after they fix the slow zones because they are planning even more Purple Line stops. When the full renovation of the Red and Purple lines is completed, I think they are adding a Purple stop at Wilson and perhaps Loyola as well. What is the point? 

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