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Red Line work to boost passengers at Green Line’s Garfield station 10-fold

The Green Line stati320 E. Garfield will not be this quiet when Red Line constructibegins. | John H. White~Sun-Times

The Green Line station at 320 E. Garfield will not be this quiet when the Red Line construction begins. | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 21, 2013 9:01PM

The number of passengers at the Green Line’s Garfield Station is expected to balloon from 1,300 to 13,000 a day after the CTA’s massive Red Line reconstruction begins May 19, officials said Thursday.

CTA Chairman Terry Peterson reminded travelers Thursday that the largest rail reconstruction in CTA history is only 87 days away.

The Red Line will be shut down from 95th to Cermak for five months during track replacement. Free shuttle buses will take riders from the four southern-most Red Line stations to the Green Line’s Garfield station, where all rail rides will be free.

Seventeen extra turnstiles will be installed at the Garfield station to accommodate the ridership jump but passengers won’t be charged, officials said. Two new staircases will be added to handle the extra passengers.

Both Green Line and Red Line trains will run on Green Line tracks during reconstruction. Buses serving the length of the project will have more frequent service and a 50-cent discount on fares.

The CTA and Metra also will offer a discounted combined fare card during construction that should run until Oct. 19.

Dan Ryan drivers also could face some inconvenience during track rebuilding. One lane of the Dan Ryan on each side of the Red Line tracks will be shut down between 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. near work sites, CTA spokesman Brian Steele.

The CTA estimates it will lose $7.3 million in revenue during the $425 million project.

CTA President Forrest Claypool said the end result will be worth it. South Side Red Line riders will get a “brand new railroad,” and a 20-minute faster ride downtown without the current “bumps and shakes,” he said.

A website with information about the project launched Thursday at

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