Service Changes Designed to Provide Better Service Along Blue Line O’Hare Branch

March 24, 2023

“Short-turned” trains to better serve customers on the busiest part of the line and absorb extra ridership that may occur as a result of the Kennedy Expressway reconstruction 

As part of efforts to address increasing ridership along the Blue Line O’Hare Branch and provide better service, the CTA will begin operational changes to provide more trains along the line. 

Starting Sunday, March 26, additional “short-turned” trips will operate on the Blue Line between the O’Hare and UIC-Halsted stations—the busiest section of the line. Those short-turn trips currently occur during the AM and PM rush hours, when ridership is highest, but will now expand to run throughout the day, on a daily basis. This strategic service adjustment is designed to provide added capacity and improve service reliability, by adding more trains to carry more riders. 

The extra trains will provide more service and help address crowding, as riders return to the office and other daily activities and events.  

The change will also help the Blue Line absorb extra ridership that may occur as a result of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) reconstruction of the Kennedy Expressway. The Blue Line is a great alternative to the Kennedy, with Park and Ride lots at Cumberland and Rosemont offering ample parking capacity. 

The change is the latest effort the CTA has undertaken to improve the commuting experience along the Blue Line O’Hare Branch, one of the system’s busiest. In February, the CTA began providing live video feeds of O’Hare Branch stations from Logan Square to Chicago, a tool to provide customers with real-time information on platform crowding conditions to help them make decisions on the best times to commute. 

CTA also added two extra trains to the Blue Line during the AM rush, deploying them from Jefferson Park when there have been larger gaps between trains. More personnel were assigned to closely monitor rush-hour service, and the agency made frequent platform announcements to let customers waiting on platforms know real-time system status, the location of next trains, and when extra trains have been deployed. 

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