Seniors and other CTA and Pace riders now using reduced or free transit fare permits should watch their mailboxes in coming days for informational notices about the CTA’s new Ventra fare payment system.
CTA Ventra payment card holders who use the card’s controversial debit features won’t be charged for talking to public transit customer service operators or using the cards for cash ATM withdrawals under new fee rollbacks revealed Thursday. The new concessions soften some of the more onerous fees associated with the pre-paid debit features of a new fare payment system the CTA plans to debut later this year.
O’Hare International and Midway airports are now offering free Wi-Fi access to 41 websites, via a new portal called “The Good Stuff,’’ officials said Thursday.
This Friday is projected to be the busiest day of the Memorial Day weekend at O’Hare International Airport, with some 269,000 passengers expected, officials said Wednesday. Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride advised travelers to arrive at least two hours early throughout the holiday …
A second day of rush hour commutes following the Red Line South shutdown seemed to flow without incident Tuesday as CTA officials revealed that hits to their online Red Line help site have skyrocketed in recent days. The number of page views to redlinesouth.com doubled between Friday and Monday — the first week day after the Red Line was shut down Sunday, from Cermak to 95th Street, for a major rebuild.
Red Line rider Stephanie Williams zoomed to work Monday using CTA alternatives that proved faster, prettier and cheaper than her normal commute. This was excellent. This was better,” Williams said of her first rush-hour commute since Sunday’s Red Line South shutdown.
Many South Side CTA L riders found their first work-day commute without the Red Line to be smooth sailing Monday, but reviews from North Siders heading south were more mixed. Hugely popular were free shuttle buses that give some of the Red Line South’s 80,000 weekday commuters express rides from the branch’s four southernmost stops to the Garfield Green Line station.
The “big fix’’ of the Red Line South officially kicked off early Sunday, and construction is expected to disrupt the weekday commutes of more than 80,000 South Side CTA L riders. Will the five-month, total shutdown — from Cermak to 95th Street — be painful? Probably, experts say. Will it be worth it? Definitely.
Shortly before the kickoff of the Red Line South reconstruction, CTA President Forrest Claypool talked with Sun-Times Transportation Reporter Rosalind Rossi about a project that Claypool says will give the South Side “the absolute best” railroad in the region.
Metra is delaying the second phase of a plan to get Wi-Fi on trains amid concern the rail agency wouldn’t get enough from advertising dollars and would still have to spend millions annually.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s allies in the Teamsters union leadership have backed away from trying to represent airport janitors working for a company the mayor hired last year over objections from other labor leaders. The Service Employees International Union had complained that hundreds of its members lost their jobs because of a five-year, $99.4 million janitorial contract Emanuel signed with United Maintenance Cos. Inc. for O’Hare Airport.
Dwyane Walker, a junior at Urban Prep Academy, has three days to figure out a new way to get to and from his Englewood school, along with nearly 98,000 other CPS students. Beginning Sunday, his Red Line station, 63rd Street, will be shut down for five months, along with all other stations south of Roosevelt, as part of the CTA’s Red Line South Reconstruction Project. And his school year doesn’t end until June 14.
CTA Red Line rider Corey Junkins stared over the edge of the 47th Street platform Tuesday at wooden railroad ties with gaping, one-inch-wide cracks running their entire lengths. “Those cracks have been there a long time,’’ said Junkins, 53, a regular rider on the notoriously slow Red Line. But the $425 million reconstruction of the south end of the Red Line, which starts May 19, will end the slow zones and cut commuting time.
For displaced riders at the southernmost end of the Red Line, the package features a 10-ride ticket on the Metra Electric or Rock Island line combined with a five-day CTA pass. The bundle was created just for the five-month Red Line shutdown that starts May 19. But is it a deal? That’s complicated.
Kathy Gutchewsky is ready to bypass the Red Line to see her beloved White Sox play.
The Hometown native typically takes the CTA twice a week from her Loop job to meet her two college-aged children and her husband for 27 home games every season. …