Blue Line commuters traveling to and from O'Hare International Airport should face only minor delays this week because of Monday's early morning derailment.
The Blue Line is still running as far as Rosemont, the stop just before O'Hare, where passengers must then board buses to the airport. The shuttles will remain in place until investigators complete their inspection of a train that jumped the platform and climbed up an escalator.
After the inspection is done, the wreckage must be cleared and repairs made. The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a news conference at 10 a.m. today to give an update.
No major delays were reported on the Blue Line this morning. On Monday evening, one bus ride from Rosemont to O'Hare took about 10 minutes.
At the Rosemont Blue Line stop Monday, an announcement played over a loud speaker that riders had reached the end of the line, prompting passengers to rush off the trains. Outside, each wave of passengers was directed by several workers in bright yellow and orange vests into CTA buses labeled “Blue Line.”
The shuttles were generally greeted with relief and appreciation by commuters, including those who were traveling from O'Hare to downtown. Many said they had expected much worse.
Fernando Munoz, who was coming into Chicago from Mexico, said the bus left one or two minutes after he and a group of people stepped on. The quarter-mile walk to the bus and added commute time were actually a relief after he had seen news of the derailment on BBC.
“This was like the best-case scenario for me,” Munoz said. “I was expecting it to be closed, but it was very good.”
Security officers and other airport workers helped guide passengers arriving at O'Hare toward the buses.
“I asked a lot of people along the way, and they were all very helpful,” said Victoria Sawicki, from California's Bay Area, as she sat in a CTA bus from O'Hare to Rosemont.
Shawn Bivens, who said he travels often to Chicago from Houston, said the transfer from bus to train added about 10 to 15 minutes to his commute time.
“This was fairly convenient,” Bivens said. “It's still quicker than taking a shuttle or a cab.”
Cecily McAndrews, from New York, said even with a derailment, O'Hare is much more convenient than LaGuardia Airport.
“Here it's actually pretty easy,” McAndrews said. “I'm impressed.”
The buses that stopped a floor above the O'Hare station did not operate on a set schedule, and there was no ticketing system in and out of them. The above-ground rides to and from Rosemont were about 10 minutes long.
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