If you haven't already heard, the southern portion of the CTA's Red Line will be out of commission May 19 through October of 2013. What does that mean for White Sox fans? Or even Cubs fans heading to the Cell for the upcoming Crosstown Classic series May 27 & 28?
Simply put, you will have to make alternate travel plans. But it won't be as bad as you might think, and it certainly shouldn't deter you from making a trip to enjoy nine innings of America's pastime.
The CTA Red Line Reconstruction Project will address a deteriorating 44-year old portion of the Red Line stretching from the Cermak/Chinatown to 95th Street stations. The $425 million dollar project promises to increase train speeds by as much as 40 mph and decrease travel times by up to 20 minutes from 95th to the Loop. Tearing up the old track that was built while Nixon was still in the White House is an absolute necessity.
During the five months of reconstruction, 62 of 81 Sox home games will be played at U.S. Cellular Field so the 20% of attending fans who ride the CTA will need to make some adjustments in order to go to the game. Luckily for those fans, the Chicago Transit Authority has provided some alternatives to using the 35th Street Red Line stop.
OPTION 1: CTA Green Line Stop at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT
Sox fans who normally ride the Green Line are already familiar with the stop at the Illinois Institute of Technology. It's located at the northeast corner of 35th & State, and is just a little more than a block east of the 35th Street Red Line stop.
Starting May 19, the Red Line will be rerouted to those Green Line tracks. So if you're a Northside Sox fan, you can still ride the Red Line south to the park. The walk's about 4 minutes longer and you may experience a slightly longer commute, but you will not need to transfer to another train. Just like those Green Line riders, you'll be getting off at the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT stop.
If you're a Sox fan that lives southof Garfield Boulevard, the CTA has set up multiple FREE shuttle buses to the Garfield Green Line/re-routed Red Line stop, and once you get there, rail service entry is also free. In addition, all bus routes (not to be confused with the free shuttle service) south of 63rd Street will be discounted 50 cents.
OPTION 2: Metra at 35th Street / "Lou" Jones / Bronzeville (106 W. 35th Street)
The Rock Island (RI) Metra stop will continue to run its normal service. The station is located between the Green Line/re-routed Red Line Stop and the shut down Red Line stop on 35th Street. The Rock Island line travels between Joliet and the LaSalle Street Station in the Loop, with a convenient stop near the ballpark.
OPTION 3: Drive
It is estimated that 60% of Sox fans drive to the game, and this number should increase if people decide to skip the el ride in. The Sox have made it very convenient for people driving to the game with a multitude of prepay and cash lots around the stadium. Added plus: get there early to tailgate!
OPTION 4: Cab or Transportation Service
If you plan on knocking back more than a few brewskis at the game or just want a worry-free ride call a cab, Uber, or Limo (by Windy City Limousines, of course).
Don't miss out on a great game this summer just because the 35th St. Red Line stop is closed. The CTA has outlined some great alternatives to make sure you can still get to the park on time and your Sox need their fans' support now more than ever!
Need tickets or parking to the game? You got a guy!
[FIND WHITE SOX TICKETS AND PARKING]