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Rehab Coming For CTA's Worst L And Bus Station?

By JoshMogerman in News on Jun 24, 2012 8:00PM

95th Street CTA Station Mockup

You are hard-pressed to find a crappier L stop in Chicago than the Red Line’s southern dead end at 95th Street. It is tiny. It is rundown. And the situation is made all the worse by the mass of humanity moving through the area, with 20,000 riders using it daily (though it was only designed for 3,000). Plus the station serves more than a dozen CTA bus routes, as well as Pace, Greyhound, and other bus transit services squeezed into a little strip at the busy intersection of 95th and the Dan Ryan Expressway. It is a cramped mess.

And that is not lost on the CTA, which has proposed a massive rehab of the transit hub. A $20 million grant from the US Department of Transportation announced this week is just a start for the ambitious plan, which is estimated to cost almost a quarter billion when completed in 2014. Taking cues from O’Hare’s design, the new glassed-in train and bus stops will be wider, better marked, and integrate acoustic buffers to dampen the dull roar of the expressway.

The Sun-Times, which ran a big spread on the plan today along with a Mary Mitchell column, reports that the funding for the project has been identified—though the Trib noted otherwise earlier in the week (and had a smaller price tag for the project). That ambiguity is a bit concerning, given the huge amount of pressure on the City stemming from anger over plans to close the Red Line across much of the South Side for five months next year. It has been a decade since the last big renovation at 95th and it is hard to conceive of an area on the CTA system with more pressing safety concerns: its bus and train riders deserve strong follow through.