ABOUT THE GRAY LINE CONVERSION
"CTA Gray Line 'L' Route" Project
Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS)
Shared Path 2030 Regional Transportation Plan
Proposal ID # 01-02-9003
Indentified as: (Gray Line Rapid Transit Element)
Highliner I #1625 at the E. 93rd St. & S. Brandon Av.
Terminal of the SOUTH CHICAGO BRANCH.
This site last updated on:
Thursday December 21st, 2006
TO RECEIVE a NEW COLOR ILLUSTRATED
GRAY LINE REPORT from YOUR PRINTER:
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS REPORT FILE
Wait to complete Download - Then [PRINT]
PLEASE BE SURE TO READ ALL OF THE PAGES
A LOT OF INFORMATION IS PRESENTED HERE
Upcoming events that will feature information about the CTA Gray Line Project.
Here is a list of RTA/MBC Budget Hearings and Community Meetings
If you can, attend a meeting in your area and express your opinion on Public Transit in NE Illinois.
- None Scheduled at Present -
Highliner I Train Northbound near 27th St.
HELLO, my name is Mike Payne; I am a life long resident of the South side of Chicago, and I have been a typewriter repairman and field technician for the past 30 yrs.
I AM also the author of a proposal to operate the existing IN-CITY Metra Electric District suburban train services (that is the South Chicago, Kensington, and Blue Island Metra Electric District routes) as a new CTA Rail Rapid Transit ('L') service, which I call the CTA "Gray Line" - to fit in with CTA's other color-coded Rapid Transit 'L' routes like the Red, Green, Purple, Blue, and Pink Lines.
Under this proposal, CTA would pay Metra to operate the existing two-level Highliner I electric trains on rapid transit headways of every 5 to 20 minutes (depending on time-of-day, and location), through a purchase of service agreement.
The Highliner I trains providing Gray Line services would continue to be owned, maintained, serviced, dispatched and stored by Metra; and would continue to be operated ONLY by Metra crews.
CTA would provide Metra with schedules for train operation, CTA would have NO ACTUAL ROLE in operating the Gray Line trains.
CTA fare collection equipment manufactured by Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. would be installed in the leased in-city Metra station houses, CTA fares would be charged, and complete intertransfer would be instituted with all other CTA 'L' and bus routes (and Pace bus routes as well).
The stations would be manned by CTA Customer Assistants during all operating hours, and CTA maps and rider information systems would be installed; CTA would be responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the stations, relieving Metra of these costs (CTA's assumption of these costs would be greatly offset by the reduction in bus operating costs (especially labor).
Metra would be compensated on a monthly or quarterly basis by CTA for operating the Gray Line trains.
The Gray Line would be functionally the same as any other CTA "L" line, the sole exception being the type of cars the passengers would be carried in (Metra Highliner I's).
The Gray Line would create a new 22 mile regional CTA "L" line along the SE Lakefront Corridor (the only Corridor in Chicago without any CTA rail rapid transit), and the thousands of subsequent jobs and tremendous economic development it would bring along with it.
It would also provide a new non-polluting electric rail transit alternative to the 2-year Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction Project.
(Current South Side Traffic Conditions)
Late afternoon Highliner train EB on E. 71st St. near S. South Shore Dr. on the SOUTH CHICAGO BRANCH.
Gray Line Coalition
Gray Line Coalition meetings have been suspended indefinitely, any new information will be posted here.
CLICK HERE to access the Gray Line Coalition Website.
This Gray Line website
Was created - and is maintained - with the support of a large number of local organizations and individuals,
Many thanks to you all.
Your support is needed to get the Gray Line running:
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, CTA, AND METRA, TO EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE GRAY LINE
Building new Rapid Transit lines:
Highliner train NB on mainline at 87th St.
(note rapid transit style physical plant)
+ A Rapid Transit ("L") line normally costs about $100 million per mile to build, but the Gray Line would only cost approximately FIVE MILLION DOLLARS PER MILE.
+ The in-city part of Metra Electric (22 miles - 37 stations) would cost about $2.2 billion to build new today from scratch.
+ Since 95% of the Gray Line is operating RIGHT THIS INSTANT, the conversion from Metra to CTA operation would cost only $50 to $100 million FOR THE ENTIRE 22 MILE LINE.
Why convert the in-city Metra Electric Lines to the Gray Line:
E. 93rd St. and S. Brandon Av. terminal
of the SOUTH CHICAGO BRANCH
(Red brick station house to be equipped with CTA fare collection equipment)
+ Metra's Electric District Lines are a Class I Railroad that is constructed to rapid transit standards (the same as CTA's "L" lines); i.e.:
- Electric Mulitple-Unit trains
- Stations with floor level platforms
- Station space for off-train fare collection
- Closely spaced (1/4 mile) in-city stations
- Mostly grade-separated Right of Way
- Four track mainline from downtown to 115th St.
It is the only one of Metra's suburban rail lines that is constructed as such.
CTA Gray Line trains would operate on the local (center) tracks of Metra Electric's four track mainline that extends from downtown Chicago to 115th St. / Kensington:
Benefits of the Gray Line:
Highliner train NB near 27th St.
Benefits for Metra:
+ Metra's Electric District lines are totally underutilized within the city (outside of rush hours), due to their being in direct competition with many CTA routes throughout their common territory.
+ Few profits are available through the existing in-city operating format (except during rush hours).
+ Many Metra Highliner cars sit idle all day weekdays (between the morning and evening rush hours) stored at Weldon Yard - adjacent to Soldier Field at 16th St. (see photo below), and evenings and weekends yarded in outlying locations; NOT making any money for Metra, nor providing any service beneficial to the communities along the route.
Idle Highliner trains stored mid-day at Weldon Yard
near downtown Chicago. (Soldier Field on right)
+ Metra is required by law to direct the majority of their capital and operating funds towards their suburban services, the in-city services are subordinate.
+ The Gray Line would relieve Metra of operating the unprofitable in-city Electric District services under the Metra banner; many in-city Electric District stations have total daily boardings of LESS THAN 300 RIDERS.
+ The Gray Line would allow Metra to make money running Highliner trains that sit idle most of the day now, and it would give Metra an indirect access to city funding.
+ The in-city Highliner trains operated by Metra for CTA would not require washroom facilities; NO CTA 'L' trains provide washroom service, so they would not be provided on this new CTA rail route.
+ Only Electric District University Park service trains would require washrooms (as are provided on all other Metra suburban routes); a great cost reduction in the total number of Electric District cars that would have to be washroom equipped.
+ The Gray Line could also relieve the South Shore Line of having to carry Illinois riders (reducing its load capacity for its Indiana passengers) by establishing a "Hegewisch Shuttle" between Kensington and Hegewisch.
+ The CTA Gray Line and Red Line could also serve a new "Kensington Transit Center" that would provide close connections between many adjacent rail lines.
Metra Electric District "Bryn Mawr" Station in the median of E. 71st St. at S. Jeffery Blvd. on the SOUTH CHICAGO BRANCH. (note very close CTA bus connections)
Benefits for CTA:
+ By stimulating a large increase in transit ridership along the entire SE Lakefront Corridor (est. 50 to 70,000 per day),
+ By much more efficient and effective use of CTA's south and southeast side east-west bus routes (and some north-south CTA bus routes, as well as Pace bus routes) as feeders;
+ And by allowing the reassignment of many buses from long-haul routes to feeder, and other local services (with substantial savings in manpower and operating costs);
+ The Gray Line could carry, and maintain
CTA above the 53% operating costs from farebox requirements of the RTA.
Chicago's world famous skyline viewed from Lake Michigan.
Benefits for Chicago and
the SE Lakefront Corridor:
+ A new non-polluting electric rail transit alternative to the 2-year Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction Project.
(Current South Side Traffic Conditions)
+ A new regional CTA rapid transit service, with no disruptive major construction, and with extremely low capital costs.
+ The Gray Line is the ONLY plan by any City, State, or Federal agency, or any Transit Operator, or any other organization,
TO PROVIDE DIRECT CTA RAPID TRANSIT SERVICE TO:
DE PAUL UNIVERSITY
THE MUSEUM CAMPUS
CENTRAL OLYMPIC VENUES
THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE
MICHAEL REESE HOSPITAL
OAKLAND / KENWOOD
53RD ST. SHOPPING DISTRICT
THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
WASHINGTON PARK OLYMPIC VENUES
71ST & JEFFREY SHOPPING DISTRICT
SOUTH SHORE & THE SOUTH
SHORE CULTURAL CENTER
SOUTH CHICAGO & THE
US STEEL LAKEFRONT
93RD & COMMERCIAL SHOPPING DISTRICT
GRAND CROSSING / ETA THEATER
CHATHAM VILLAGE SQUARE CENTER
CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY
THE PULLMAN HISTORIC DISTRICT
KENSINGTON TRANSIT CENTER
ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL
DOWNTOWN BLUE ISLAND
Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry in Jackson Park.
+ Greatly improved access to attractions and employment opportunities in (and between) SE Corridor communities, as well as the rest of the city.
+ Increased Congestion Mitigation and Air
Quality goal adherance.
+ Reduced auto usage and parking requirements in (and between) SE Corridor communities.
+ Greatly increased new and fill-in commercial and residential development along the entire Corridor.
+ Many new and permanent jobs created both within the transit agencies themselves, and in all of the diverse communities existing along the line.
+ Greatly increased local retail sales and business viability.
+ Enhancing the determining factors in the granting of transit line associated Location Efficient Mortgages:
+ Attracting Transit Oriented Development to the high density areas in the vicinity of the rail line and its stations:
+ Enhancing the implementation of TIF's (Tax Increment Financing / Funding districts) all along the in-city routes:
Gray Line Media coverage:
Proposed Route Map of Metra Electric and New CTA Gray Line:
Take a tour of the Gray Line:
NIPC Chicago Population and Employment Diagrams
PLEASE GO ON TO THE NEXT CTA GRAY LINE PAGE
This website is not affiliated with either Metra or the Chicago Transit Authority.