95th/Dan Ryan Station & Terminal Improvements
In fall 2014, construction began on the 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project, a $280 million project (projected cost) that will expand and greatly improve the 95th/Dan Ryan station (the south terminal of the CTA Red Line). The project will bring significant improvements to a station that serves thousands of customers each day and is a vital part of the South Side.
Built in 1969 and designed by architects at the famed Chicago architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the station serves as both a train terminal and an integrated bus terminal. The station is one of CTA’s busiest, with 24-hour Red Line service and over 1,000 CTA and Pace bus trips on a typical weekday. These buses connect Far South Side communities to the CTA rail network. There are roughly 300,000 people who live within walking distance of the CTA bus routes serving the 95th/Dan Ryan Terminal.
The project, one of the largest station reconstructions in CTA’s history, will create a signature station featuring a modern design and myriad customer amenities to improve the overall transit experience. The station represents a significant investment in Chicago’s South Side, and is the latest large-scale project to improve the Red Line, the CTA’s busiest.
The station will remain open throughout construction. Construction of the south terminal is scheduled to be completed in 2017, with the north terminal scheduled to be completed in 2018.
What is the purpose of this project?
The 95th/Dan Ryan station is a critical piece of the CTA’s Red Line. It connects Far South Side communities, to job centers throughout the region and serves as a transit gateway for the South Side and suburbs.
The rail terminal is located in the median of the I-94 Dan Ryan Expressway and the bus terminal flanks the expressway. The station site is highly constrained, bound by 95th Street on the South, State Street to the east, and Lafayette Avenue to the west, causing bus delays and traffic conflicts, due to limited space. In the current terminal there are only 20 bus bays which must accommodate dozens of CTA, Pace, Greyhound and Indian Trails intercity buses. The station does not currently have direct access to and from 95th Street, a problem that requires pedestrians to use terminal areas for street access, posing safety risks.
Improvements are needed to better serve existing high volume of riders, provide safer passenger access to buses and the train station, and expand passenger facilities that will lead to a modern, safe and pedestrian-friendly transit center with fewer delays and shorter travel times.
We're also taking advantage of the ongoing terminal construction to make improvements to the complex track and interlocking just south of the station leading into the 98th Street Yard. The work is complex and substantive: replacement of track and all elements in the right-of-way south of 95th Street, up to the 98th Yard. Items to be replaced include a complex interlocking, signal and traction power cabling and duct banks, ballast and other related materials. With track modifications required as part of this project, this is the best time to make any additional track improvements. Doing this track work simultaneous with the station work will limit the need for any service disruptions after the new station is built. This work will help improve the movement of train traffic in and out of the 98th yard and through the 95th Terminal, which services the Red Line—our busiest line.
What work will be done?
The new and expanded terminal will offer more space and better amenities, and improve the walking flow of passengers. Here are some basic features:
- New station building with bright, airy spaces and clear sightlines
- Expanded platforms to provide more room and easier flow of passengers
- Station will be largely enclosed in glass for maximum light and protection from the elements
- Wider bus lanes and increased spacing between bus bays to reduce congestion
- Wider sidewalks and waiting areas in bus terminal for increased passenger comfort and safety
- Sound panels at platform level to provide a more comfortable, less noisy space
- Additional escalators and elevators
- Additional space in front of ticket vending machines and fare gates
As part of the 95th Street Terminal Improvement project, the CTA has tapped internationally recognized, Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates for the largest public artwork project in the agency’s history.
More than just artwork—Gates has created a unique, catalyst program that will foster community engagement, provide jobs and offer training to school students. The two original artworks created under this initiative will be permanently displayed at the rebuilt terminal.
This historic project will create 10 new jobs for the production of the artwork and artist apprenticeships, which will promote skills development and training for local students.
Gates will also take part in significant community outreach throughout the process, including hosting five upcoming public meetings to engage and promote a dialogue among community residents, architects and designers.
Why is CTA adding art to the new station?
Original pieces of artwork contribute to each station’s identity and enhance travel for customers by promoting a friendly, inviting atmosphere. There are already more than 50 works of art at 41 stations along the Pink, Red, and Brown lines.
CTA’s investment in this world-class artwork is also an important investment in the South Side, the Red Line and the communities surrounding the 95th Street Terminal.
Upon completion of construction work, the 95th Street terminal will be the showcase station of the entire CTA system—and the premier multimodal transportation terminal in the region. This artwork—and the community-driven process that will create it—will be a strong complement to the new terminal.
Gates, along with the CTA, hosted five community meetings between October 2013 and December 2013 to discuss the Public Art Project with the communities surrounding the 95th Red Line terminal, including:
- Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at the Arts Incubator at Washington Park;
- Friday, October 25, 2013 at the Garfield Park Conservatory;
- Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Chicago State University;
- Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at the Chicago Park District’s Abbott Park; and
- Monday, February 3, 2014 at St. James AME Church.
What kind of artwork is planned for the new terminal?
The two artworks envisioned for the 95th Street terminal include an architectural feature integrated into the terminal building structure, and an independent artwork for the terminal or one of its walkways. The terminal is still in the design stages, but concepts call for a modern, efficient, multimodal facility to replace the existing cramped, outdated structure built in 1969.
What is the project budget?
The overall art project budget is approximately $1.3 million. Of this amount, $1 million is earmarked for the design, fabrication and installation of the artworks; and $50,000 is to cover costs associated with community engagement activities, including public meetings. The artist fee is $250,000.
About The Artist
Born in Chicago, Theaster Gates is an artist, cultural and urban planner, and Director of Arts and Public Life Initiative at University of Chicago, Provost Office.
Theaster Gates Studio is an internationally acclaimed practice that includes space development, object making, performance and critical engagement with many publics. Gates transforms spaces, institutions, traditions, and perceptions through art practices that combine his training in urban planning and sculpture.
The Wall Street Journal recognized Gates as Arts Innovator of the Year and he was honored as the Commissioned Artist of the New York Armory Show and featured at Documenta (13), the international art festival in Kassel, Germany. Currently, an exhibition of his artwork, Theaster Gates: 13th Ballad, is featured at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2012, Gates was awarded the inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics and was also named the USA Kippy Fellow. Gates is also a 2012-13 Creative Time Global Resident.
Design Progress Open House
CTA hosted an open house at Harlan High School on December 18, 2013 to update the public on the progress being made in the design process of the 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project. At that time, the design process was between 30% and 60% complete, and participants were invited to review the current terminal designs, learn more about the project and provide feedback.
Details about the final design and plan will be presented to the community and posted here as the planning for this project progresses. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, after the Red Line South Track Rehabilitation Project is completed. Please email your comments and questions about this project to 95thTerminal@transitchicago.com.
Open House Meetings
Three open houses were held in fall 2012, to collect input regarding the project from our customers and residents from the surrounding community. The open houses were held on:
- Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at Harlan High School
- Thursday, September 13, 2012 at Palmer Park
- Monday, October 15, 2012 at West Pullman Library
Open House Display Boards
Open House Executive Summary
CTA held a public hearing on March 14 at Harlan High School, which included a presentation on the Project and the federally-required Environmental Assessment, and an opportunity for public comment. Meeting materials:
Public Hearing Display Boards
March 14, 2013 Public Hearing Notice