Weekend Journal: An Extended Red Line? Plus, Why You Should Think Twice About Gifting A Pet.

FIRST GUEST: Irene Ferradaz, Chicago Transit Authority Media Representative

The Red Line is the most traveled on line of all the CTA routes hitting major landmarks such as Wrigley Field, US Cellular Field, and Soldier Field. It cuts through the Mag Mile and the Loop. From Chinatown to Uptown and the popular neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, the Red Line can take you just about anywhere in the wonderful City of Chicago. And in a few years, it could take you to even more places in the city.

The Chicago Transit Authority is currently in the planning stages of a proposed extension to the ever popular Red Line rail system. Under the proposal, an additional 5.3 miles of railroad will extend the Red Line to 130th Street with four additional train stops at 103rd, 111th, Michigan, and 130th. Click here to see a map of the proposed route.

Under Mayor Emanuel, $5 billion have been invested to modernizing the public transit system, which was first built in the late 1800’s. To say parts of the system need be upgraded is an understatement. “This is an unprecedented investment,” says Ferradaz. Not only would the rail system be improved, but the CTA is predicting a spike in job creation as well.

This extension project set to begin in 2022 would create jobs in construction, train operations, and traffic control. And with an expected increase of 40,000 more people riding the Red Line after it’s extended, these new train stations will also likely create a greater need for services increasing business and revenue in those communities.

“The CTA does have a huge committment to creating jobs and spurring economic development around train and bus stations,” Ferradaz says.

Members of the community are encouraged to provide feedback by mid-December via email (redextension@transitchicago.com) or via snail mail (567 W. Lake St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL, 60661).

“We’re looking for this [extension project] to benefit future generations of transit riders, and the future of the city of Chicago.”

Learn all about the red line extension project at transitchicago.com/redeis.

SECOND GUEST: Sarah McDonald, Associate Director of PAWS Chicago

‘Tis the season to be merry! And nothing makes you feel merrier than helping save homeless animals.

Sarah tells us about four ways to get in the spirit with PAWS Chicago this holiday season:

  1. Donate – Whether you’re giving a meaningful holiday gift from PAWS Chicago’s giving guide (like providing a microchip or sponsoring a spay/neuter surgery), or you’re making a donation in honor of a friend or loved one, your dollars will be much appreciated!
  2. Volunteer/Foster – Many staff members and volunteers at PAWS Chicago will be traveling during the holiday season, so they are in need of more volunteers this time of year. If you’re sticking around town and you love animals, apply here. Have room in your home to become a foster? You’ll not only be giving a homeless pet some much-needed TLC, but you’ll also open up a space at the shelter. In other words, you’re helping TWO animals! Learn more here.
  3. Shop PAWS Chicago’s Holiday Gifts – I’ve got two words for you: doggie hoodie. Now, your pooch can stay warm on all early morning and late night walks! Plus, holiday mugs, cozy tees, calendars, holiday cards, and so much more. You’ll definitely find something for everyone on your list! Start shopping!
  4. Adopt – PAWS Chicago has many dogs and cats looking for their forever homes. Do you have room in your home to spare for a furry friend? See some of their adoptable pets here.

THIRD GUEST: Scott Schroeder, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Garrett Popcorn Shops

Chicago’s favorite snack company Garrett Popcorn Shops is teaming up with Feeding America to help feed the hungry during the holiday season.

So this Thanksgiving, instead of making that green bean casserole, bring a special Feeding America tin of Garrett Popcorn to your family dinner! It will taste delicious, and you’ll feel great knowing that 10% of the sales benefit Feeding America.

For store locations or to order online, visit garrettpopcorn.com.

More from Laura Taylor

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