In a move city officials hope will help stimulate business for downtown Evanston restaurants and perhaps encourage more people to live and work here, the CTA has agreed to test adding a new evening Purple Line Express run to its schedule.
The express service to and from Chicago’s Loop now only runs during the morning and afternoon rush hours — with 23 southbound trains during the morning rush and 24 southbound trains during the afternoon rush, with the last one leaving Davis Street at 6:37 p.m.
At other times Purple Line passengers have to change to the Red Line at Howard, which makes all local stops enroute to the Loop — substantially lengthening the duration of the trip.
Johanna Nyden, reading from the schedule for the test service at Thursday’s meeting.
Johanna Nyden, the city’s economic development division manager, told residents at a joint 8th and 9th ward meeting Thursday night that the test will run from June 1 through July 10.
The evening train will leave the Linden station in Wilmette at 8 p.m. and arrive at Clark and Lake downtown at 8:50 p.m.. and then return to Linden by 9:52 p.m.
Ylda Capriccioso, the city’s intergovernmental affairs coordinator, who’s been working on setting up the test, says the CTA has told her it will need to see an average of 468 people riding the new train each night to consider the test a success.
Nyden says the city is planning a publicity campaign starting this spring to try to drum up ridership for the test.