Mayor Emanuel and CTA Announce Modernization Work to Begin at Jefferson Park Transit Center as Part of Your New Blue O’Hare Branch Modernization Program

September 27, 2018

Project will upgrade track, amenities, accessibility and security at this northwest Chicago transit hub, continuing Mayor Emanuel’s more than $8 billion investment to modernize transit

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr today announced the start of construction work to modernize the nearly 50-year-old Jefferson Park Blue Line Transit Center Terminal. This northwest side Chicago transit hub provides valuable connections to 12 CTA and Pace bus routes, as well as the Metra’s commuter rail UP-NW line. 

“The reimagining of the Jefferson Park Transit Center is the next destination in the Your New Blue (YNB) modernization of the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As with other recent investments in the CTA, this project will transform one of the Blue Line’s busiest transit hubs, improving the overall station environment for bus and train customers for generations to come.”

The Jefferson Park Terminal is the fourth busiest station along the O’Hare branch. It provided more than 2.1 million rides in 2017. This project will create a modern terminal that is safer, brighter, cleaner, more comfortable and easier-to-navigate, while visually enhancing the streetscape for surrounding communities. The $25 million rehabilitation project will include such bus and rail upgrades as:

  • Replacement of the bus terminal, making it ADA compliant by widening the loading islands and adding audio assistance.
  • Improved customer experience, thanks to new bus and rail station canopies and improved signage.
  • New LED Lighting and additional security cameras to enhance overall terminal security for all customers.
  • Repairs and refinishing of all station and platform surfaces, along with new exterior painting.
  • Architectural and art enhancements that improve the aesthetics of the terminal and contribute to the identity of the Jefferson Park downtown community. This will include the installation of custom windbreaks at the bus terminal, with design provided by renowned conceptual artist, Jamie Pawlus (Indianapolis, IN). 

“This station is a vital transit link for the northwest side and this project will allow us to provide our customers with a much-improved travel experience,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter. “By adding these modern amenities and enhancements, Jefferson Park will be a model for what a modern rail and bus terminal can be, especially one that will serve a growing population and tourist traffic for decades to come.”

The Jefferson Park Transit Center’s rail station renovation is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. All bus station renovation work will be completed by summer of 2019. The project is expected to create more than 325 jobs, including almost 70 direct, on-site construction jobs.

The Jefferson Park Transit Center work will be done in two phases. Beginning Monday, October 1, crews will begin the renovation of the North Bus Terminal. They’ll remove the existing pavement, canopy and signage, before replacing the drainage, all signage, all lighting, along with installing new canopies, ADA-compliant bus boarding islands and new security cameras.

The construction work and closing of the North Bus Terminal also will temporarily impact where passengers board or exit buses at the Jefferson Park Transit Center. CTA bus routes #68, #81W, #85A and #88 will take place along Milwaukee Avenue. Other buses will be dropping of or picking up passengers in the open South Bus Terminal, including the #56, #81, #85, #91, #92, and Pace bus routes #225, #226 and #270.

Also starting October 1 and continuing for approximately the next three weeks, all outbound Blue Line trains to O’Hare Airport will bypass the northbound side of the station platform. During this construction, passengers seeking to board at Jefferson Park and head to O’Hare can take a southbound Blue Line train to the Montrose stop, exit their train, then board an outbound train to continue their trip north to O’Hare.

Starting on October 19 and lasting approximately three weeks, inbound Blue Line trains heading south to the Loop and Forest Park, will bypass Jefferson Park. Commuters heading to the Loop from Jefferson Park, for example, can take an outbound train north to the Harlem stop, exit their train, then board an inbound train to continue their trip south to the Loop.

Throughout the renovation of the Jefferson Park Transit Center, all businesses near the facility will remain open for customers. Some street parking along Milwaukee Avenue, however, will not be available due to the temporary placement of bus stops and to ease area traffic congestion.

Constructed in 1970, Jefferson Park was the terminus of the original Kennedy extension of the Milwaukee ‘L’. The renowned Chicago architecture firm - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – designed the terminal. CTA renovated it in 2000 to make the station wheelchair accessible.

The new bus terminal’s accessibility improvements are another step in the push toward 100 percent accessibility across CTA, a goal outlined in President Carter’s All Stations Accessibility Program.

The Jefferson Park renovation follows a number of completed Your New Blue projects on the O’Hare branch, including the rehabilitation of eight of 14 stations and track improvements that increase service reliability for customers. YNB is part of the $8 billion in transit investments announced or completed under Mayor Emanuel, whose vision is to create a world-class, 21st century transit system that benefits the Chicago region.

More project information can be found at http://www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue/.

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