The Chicago Tribune reported this afternoon that the Red, Yellow, and Orange Lines have gotten approval for long-overdue extensions—or, in the case of the Yellow Line, restoration:
The Red Line extension, some 40 years in the making, would use Union Pacific Railroad right of way. The new train service would improve mobility for low-income residents in communities under-served by mass transit on Chicago's South Side, as well as provide a new transit option for commuters from the southern suburbs who either drive downtown or drive to Metra stations.
In addition, the Orange Line would be expanded from Midway Airport to near the Ford City shopping center. The extension is intended to improve bus-to-train connections for numerous CTA and Pace bus routes along Cicero Avenue and other nearby parts of the Chicago area where there has been significant growth. ... In the north suburbs, the Yellow Line would be extended several miles to near the Old Orchard shopping center in Skokie, from the current terminal on Dempster Street.
I say "restoration" for the Yellow Line because, until 1963 when the North Shore Line went bankrupt, the line ran a bit farther than Dempster Street. Actually, it ran all the way to Milwaukee. But because public preference and policy favored private cars over all other forms of transportation, the northern suburbs expanded through road construction, to the detriment of the existing interurban rail lines that covered the area. The Yellow and Purple Lines run over the North Shore Line's tracks, in fact.
That the CTA now wants to restore 5 km of track that existed for 60 of the past 100 years was predictable when the track was removed in the 1960s. I wonder how long it will take before the Yellow Line goes up to Northbrook Court. Again.