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CTA plan ‘would not have  happened on the Brown Line’

The CTA announced Garfield statishut down L’s Red Line from Cermak Road 95th for five months starting next spring so

The CTA announced, at the Garfield station, the shut down of the L’s Red Line from Cermak Road to 95th for five months starting next spring so it can completely rebuild the rails. Friday, June 1, 2012 | Brian Jackson~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: July 20, 2012 6:29AM

A small skeptical crowd turned out Monday night — for the first of five planned community meetings — to raise concerns about the Chicago Transit Authority’s five-month shut down of the south leg of the Red Line for reconstruction next year.

The use of extra buses to help make up for the loss of Red Line stops between 95th and 63rd appeared to be a major concern among the 70 or so people who showed up at the South Shore Cultural Center.

Queen Parker, 74, a Roseland resident, was skeptical about the CTA’s plans, given how bad the existing bus service is.

“The bus service we get out here is atrocious,” Parker said. “It’s really time consuming.”

Parker suggested that whatever the number of extra buses the CTA plans to add on the South Side, they should “quadruple” it.

Lionel Walker, 67, a South Shore resident, said he was disgusted with his previous experience dealing with shuttle buses during work on the Red Line in 2006.

“This would not have happened on the Brown Line or any line serving the white community,” Walker said to a smattering of applause from the audience.

CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson told Walker that 100 extra buses will be added to help serve the areas affected by the Red Line project.

The CTA will completely rebuild the Red Line track from Cermak Road to 95th Street — a 10-mile stretch of tracks built in 1969. During the $425 million project, the agency will offer commuters alternatives that include taking shuttle buses from closed stations on the Red Line to the Green Line at Garfield.

The meetings are intended to educate the public about the project and to collect feedback to “fine tune” bus routes and transit options, said Molly Sullivan, a CTA spokeswoman.

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