An idea to shorten the CTA Blue Line and have it no longer pass through Oak Park and end in Forest Park is being scrapped, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
For years, IDOT has been exploring ways to relieve congestion along the Eisenhower Expressway, including widening the interstate and extending the Blue Line west of the Forest Park stop, at 711 Desplaines. In September, village officials revealed at a meeting that one possible alternative was ending the train’s Forest Park branch at Ashland, and transporting riders by bus the rest of the way west.
But IDOT recently crunched the numbers and found that travel times would not improve by switching solely to buses past Ashland, according to spokesman Guy Tridgell. Going forward, the agency is only considering rail lines along the Eisenhower, and would only use trains if they decide to extend the Blue Line past Forest Park.
“That idea is no longer going to be studied going forward,” he said. “There wasn’t enough of a difference in travel performance to warrant further study.”
Other options IDOT is considering include car pool or toll lanes, transportation planner Rick Kuner told Oak Park trustees, at a village meeting, on Monday.
Tridgell said that IDOT hopes to have a narrowed-down list of options by early 2012, and they plan to make a decision by 2013.