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Daley: Loop Superstation Still Necessary

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Daley: Loop Superstation Still Necessary

Mayor Daley Wednesday said the re-opened CTA pedway, which now includes retail shops, is a symbol of Chicago’s economic vitality. (Linda Lutton/WBEZ)

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says the Loop still needs a “superstation” where passengers could catch high speed trains to Midway and O’Hare airports. And he thinks the federal government should pay for it.

DALEY: High speed trains are not only going from here to Detroit or St. Louis. It’s important to go from here to communities and especially to the airports. You need good decent travel to and from airports. And if you go to other places—Europe and Asia—they have much better train system. And that’s what we have to work out.

Daley made his comments in the pedway of Block 37, between the Red and Blue train lines. Once a dark tunnel, the pedway is now a bright space in a high-ceilinged shopping mall. But the half-empty mall is in receivership.

The city has struggled to develop Block 37 for some 20 years. Plans for a superstation were conceived in 2003 and called for trains that would get to the airports more than twice as fast as current trains.

The Chicago Transit Authority put the proposal on hold in 2008 because of a tight budget. Then-CTA president Ron Huberman recommended that the CTA find a private company to finish building the station and develop and operate the train service. More than $250 million was spent on the Block 37 superstation before it was mothballed.

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