Skip to main content


As a Red Line commuter for the past five years, I took for granted that singularly efficient beeline to my work destination on 79th Street and Racine. Indeed, I barely flinched at the news five months ago when co-workers, friends, and strangers alike asked, "So what are you going to do when the Red Line shuts down? How are you going to reroute? You realize it will be five months, right?"

Five months ...five months ago... seemed trite. And then the inevitable happened - reconstruction began - and changed my commute in ways I never imagined. I was forced to take an alternate route with multiple transfers to work. This is frightening for someone as directionally illiterate as I am. My morning commute read like a map from Hades and went something like this - take the bus to the Blue Line. Transfer to the Red Line. Transfer to the Green Line Garfield Shuttle. Take the Shuttle to 79th Street. Take the 79th Street bus to work. Phew. Along the way I saw the Red Line transform. At first construction seemed slow and sparse. I thought, "Well, this project is right on track to go over schedule." I would have been willing to bet the farm that it wasn't going to open by its intended October date, but prove me wrong those awesome reconstruction workers did. The last six weeks in particular were a blur of workers, materials, activities, trucks, traffic cones, paint, ladders, and waste bins.

It's been a long, tiresome, tedious five months. And although I'm looking forward to seeing the revamped Red Line and taking note of what's changed, what's been improved, and how much faster the train is on the new tracks, what I'm most looking forward to is not having to make all those extra transfers which drove me crazy. 

Congratulations, Red Line. I can't wait to board you for work, and after five months of detours - I only hope that I remember that I don't have to get off at Garfield for the free shuttle that will no longer be there. I now have to reconstruct my brain, and hopefully that won't take another five months! :D

Keywords: 79th street, reconstruction, red line, red line reopens, south side

Posted in Business News, Business Resource Network (FREE), CAN TV