CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn celebrated the Skokie Swift’s 50th birthday and Earth Month by reminding Illinois residents of the importance of mass transit to our economy and health.
“The Skokie Swift was a mass transit trailblazer, curbing traffic and noise while being the first CTA line to be fully accessible to those with physical disabilities,” Governor Quinn said. “Generations of commuters view the Skokie Swift as a cultural and economic lifeline, and still regard its iconic ‘swift’ logo with affection.”
Fifty years ago this week, the Skokie Swift – now known as the CTA Yellow Line – made its first run between Skokie and Chicago. On April 18, 1964, the ribbon-cutting and inaugural trip of the Skokie Swift occurred, with regular runs beginning on April 20, 1964.
The Skokie Swift was hailed for such innovations as being the first CTA line to provide “park ‘n ride” facilities which curbed suburban automobile usage, and for cutting noise pollution by operating primarily at “below grade” or “trench” level. It was the first high-speed, light rail line in the CTA system, first CTA line to be fully accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act and first CTA line to use both a third rail and overhead power line.
Governor Quinn encouraged people across Illinois to observe Earth Month by using public transportation, for a ride which is “quick, cheap and green.” Other Earth Month initiatives can be found at Illinois.gov/EarthMonth.