A pilot program testing rider interest in a weekday evening Purple Line Express run through Evanston starts Monday and runs through Friday, July 10.

The train will depart from Linden southbound about 7:58 p.m. and make all regular Purple Line Express stops between Linden and the Loop and back. The train will depart the Davis station at about 8:05 p.m. Scheduled times include:

Linden – 7:58 p.m.
Davis – 8:05 p.m.
Howard – 8:12 p.m.
Belmont – 8:29 p.m.
Fullerton – 8:34 p.m.
Clark/Lake – 8:48 p.m.
Adams/Wabash – 8:54 p.m.
Washington/Wells – 9:00 p.m.
Fullerton – 9:15 p.m.
Belmont – 9:20 p.m.
Howard – 9:37 p.m.
Davis – 9:44 p.m.
Linden – 9:50 p.m.

As with other Purple Line Express runs, the trains will run express southbound and northbound between the Howard and Belmont stations.

The CTA says the cost of the pilot program is about $7,000 and says it will provide valuable information in determining the viability of extending Purple Line Express service hours.

In order to maintain service beyond the pilot program, the CTA estimates that 468 round-trip weekday riders are needed. The CTA is expected to make an official count of Purple Line Express pilot program riders on the train cars on Thursday, June 25.

To encourage Evanston residents and commuters to take advantage of the extended Purple Line Express train, the City and Downtown Evanston have teamed up with local businesses and organizations to plan a number of restaurant promotions and events throughout the pilot program. Activities include “It’s Thursday, Let’s Dance!” events, a Wine Walk and Scavenger Hunt.

Residents can sign up to receive text message notifications alerting them 20 minutes prior to when the last southbound Purple Line Express train is scheduled to leave Davis Street. To sign up, visit cityofevanston.org/newsletter or text PURPLE to 847-448-4311.

Related story

CTA to test evening Purple Express run (2/6/15)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Better idea for Purple
    If the CTA would return to the stops they had before 1990(?) I think the ridership would increase substantially—certainly user satisfaction would.
    Previously it had been an Express and no stops between Howard and the Mart. Now, esp. if going to east Loop,it is faster to switch to the Red at Belmont than continue on the Purple—though you will lose your seat.
    The original reason given for all the additional Purple stops [though I think at first was just Fullerton and Belmont] was because of short platforms on the Ravenswood. Certainly in 25 years that must have been solved. If necessary keep the Belmont or Fullerton but discontinue all others between Howard and the Mart..

    1. Those stops between Belmont and Loop

      I think the reason for the stops in between Belmont and the Loop is that Purple shares the track with Brown in that area. When those trains get woven together at rush hour there would be no way to get an express Purple past a local Brown without using the Red Line tracks, which split off south of Fullerton. Then you're getting into a much more complicated system of switches, and more things that can go wrong, than just keeping Brown/Purple on one set and Red on the other. Also the Purple service helps relieve some of the extreme rush-hour crowding on Brown and Red up thru Belmont.

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