The Chicago Transit Authority is considering several options for how to modernize its century-old Red and Purple Lines on Chicago’s North Side and in Evanston, and this week officials revealed that some of those options would involve closing stations. In their stead, new entrances would be added to nearby stations. “You would still have a station that would serve that area,” said CTA spokesman Sheila Gregory. “It would just be sort of reconfigured for modern times.” Gregory said having fewer stations could reduce travel times.
The CTA is unveiling the six options and receiving feedback from residents at community meetings this week. The proposals range from leaving the system as-is, to performing simple station repairs, to even taking portions of the elevated line below ground as a subway. Three options include closure of the Jarvis, Thorndale, and Lawrence stations on the Red Line; and the South Boulevard and Foster stations on the Purple Line.
Alderman Joe Moore of Chicago's 49th Ward said he was blindsided by the fact that the CTA is even entertaining closing the Jarvis station. His ward office is located at that stop, as are stores and restaurants that have reinvigorated the area in recent years. “If that El station closed, it could very well signal the demise of the Jarvis Square business district,” said Moore.
CTA officials said they'll consider community input gathered at meetings this week. A final decision could be a long way off, however. Gregory pointed out that the system still has no funding for the modernization project, which would cost roughly $4 billion. She said the CTA is laying the groundwork with planning now so it will be poised to apply for federal funding as it becomes available.
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