Free parking, free rides to celebrate reopening of CTA Yellow Line

CHICAGO (STMW) - The CTA will offer free rides and free parking for Yellow Line riders when it reopens the line Friday after it was closed for more than five months because of an embankment collapse.

Trains will start running on the rebuilt Yellow Line tracks Friday morning, and free rides will be given from the Dempster-Skokie and Oakton-Skokie stations through Nov. 6, according to a statement from the CTA.

The village of Skokie and the transit agency will also offer free parking at the Dempster-Skokie station Park & Ride at 5001 W. Dempster St. through the end of 2015, according to the statement.

Service was halted May 17 after the ground gave way under the tracks during a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District construction project. The site of the erosion is near McCormick Boulevard in Skokie, about halfway between the Oakton and Howard stops.

The Yellow Line runs from the Howard stop on the Purple and Red lines to Dempster Street in Skokie, with a stop in between at Oakton.

The MWRD and its contractor, Walsh Construction, worked to rebuild the embankment after the collapse, according to the CTA. They also rebuilt 1,200 feet of northbound and southbound tracks on top of the embankment.

“The CTA appreciates everyone’s patience during this shutdown, and looks forward to welcoming riders back to the Yellow Line,”  a statement from the transit agency said.

The first Dempster-Skokie-bound train will depart Howard about 4:45 a.m. Friday, and the first Howard-bound train will leave Dempster-Skokie about 5 a.m., according to the CTA.