CTA Plan Would Extend Yellow Line to Old Orchard

The changes ain't cheap, but the CTA plans on asking the federal government for cash.

Shoppers may soon be able to ride the ‘El’ to Old Orchard, the outdoor shopping mecca in Skokie.

The Chicago Transit Authority board will vote on a slate of changes today that would include extending the Yellow Line “Skokie Swift” to the posh suburban shopping center.

The board will also vote on whether to extend the Red Line train all the way to 130th street, well past its current south side terminus at 95th.  Under the proposal, the Orange Line would be extended beyond its end at Midway Airport a few more miles into the Ford City shopping center.

Now for the part you already know: the changes aren’t cheap.

The Red Line extension alone -- which could help the transit trains link up with Metra commuter trains at the south end of the line and help thousands of low income residents commute-- is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

But the CTA plans on asking the federal government for cash to complete the deal.

Once the proposal for the three rail extensions move past the CTA board, as is expected, the project will have to undergo an environmental-impact study, a requirement for federally funded projects.

More trains to shopping centers: how stimulating!

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