The Chicago Transit Authority today opened a new entrance at 34th Street for the Green Line's 35th-Bronzeville-IIT station. Previously exit-only, this full-time entrance will increase accessibility to the CTA rail system, especially for the students and staff of the nearby Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).
This station entrance opening coincides with "Try Transit Week," a weeklong national campaign sponsored by the American Public Transit Association to promote public transportation around the country.
"Although we promote taking public transit every day, 'Try Transit Week' is a special opportunity for the CTA to showcase the benefits of travel by train and bus. By opening this station entrance, the CTA has found another way to make service more available to our customers," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett.
"Giving our customers the option to enter a rail station from a location that may be more convenient is a key element in our drive to rebuild ridership," according to CTA President Frank Kruesi. CTA ridership increased from 419.2 million rides in 1997 to 424.1 million rides in 1998 and has continued to climb throughout 1999. "A one-block walk instead of a six-block walk could be the deciding factor between picking up a Transit Card and picking up car keys."
IIT President Lew Collens said, "IIT is delighted to be partners with the CTA in creating this new 34th Street entrance to the 'L.' It enhances access for our students, faculty and staff, as well as residents of the community." He continued, "We are working hard to encourage our students to use the CTA as they go to and from classes and discover the city. This fall, we included all undergraduate students in the CTA's UPASS program on a voluntary basis. We hope this program will catch on and further increase transit use."
IIT is one of six new schools to participate in the CTA's U-PASS program, which offers discount transit passes to full-time students of participating colleges in the Chicagoland area.
The CTA and IIT shared the $53,000 cost for the necessary station entrance upgrades. Fare collection equipment and brighter lights were installed and improvements were made to the structure in order to accommodate these changes.
The 34th street entrance opening is part of the CTA's continuing assessment of service needs and improvements. For instance, the Grand/Milwaukee Station on the CTA's Blue Line was recently re-opened. In the last year, the Medical Center Station on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line was provided with two new entrances and became ADA compliant. Also in the past year, the CTA created new entrances where there had previously only been exits: on the Blue Line at Pulaski (Irving Park); Wells/Lake (Clark/Lake), and East Avenue (Oak Park); on the Red Line at Lunt (Morse), and on the Green Line at Justine (Ashland/Lake). All of these changes help increase access for customers and provide connections to adjacent communities.
Already serving the IIT campus is an additional station entrance at 33rd Street to the CTA's Sox-35th station on the Red Line.###