“The Red Line South construction has significance beyond cutting travel times,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the Chicago City Council Committee on Transportation & Public Way. “People also need to know about the job opportunities involved.”
Beale applauded the Chicago Transit Authority’s extended outreach campaign. At a February 21 news conference, officials announced the CTA would attend “dozens” of meetings in communities throughout the South Side to discuss its plans for construction, as well as for alternative bus and rail service.
The CTA will begin work this May on the five-month, $425 million rebuild of tracks and improvement of stations on the Red Line’s 10-mile stretch from Cermak/Chinatown to 95th St. The CTA expects hundreds of jobs related to construction, operating shuttle and supplemental buses and traffic control.
“There’s no getting around the reality local communities will be inconvenienced during this period,” Beale acknowledged. “We wouldn’t let the project move forward without assurances local residents would have their fair shot at the benefits.” He urged interested residents in the affected neighborhoods to attend CTA job fairs and check with their alderman for announcements of openings.