On Monday June 25 Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced that the CTA will make $6 million in improvements at its King Drive Green Line station on the city’s South Side. Currently in the engineering and design phase, major work is anticipated to begin in 2019.
“We are investing in the Green Line because we recognize that it is a vital transit resource linking the South and West Sides of the city, providing needed connections that get CTA customers to work, school and other destinations each day,” said Mayor Emanuel. “CTA station investments, like the one we are making at King Drive, reflect our belief that attractive, well-kept CTA stations are important parts of every community we serve.”
Most notable among the improvements to be made at the station is rebuilding the station elevator and towers, which were originally constructed 25 years ago. The renovation will also include new paint, LED lighting, new signage and new stainless steel features throughout the station, including stainless steel handrails in the stairway.
“The significant station work anticipated for the King Drive Green Line station is part of our ongoing implementation of the Mayor’s vision of a world-class transit system,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are always focused on making our stations more attractive, safer and easier to navigate for our customers and the work we’ll be doing will help us achieve those goals.”
The King project is the latest investment along the south branch of the Green Line, CTA’s fourth busiest. Last April, Mayor Emanuel, Congressman Bobby L. Rush, CTA President Carter and the Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner unveiled plans to revitalize and renovate the Cottage Grove Green Line station, which is the southeast terminal of the Green Line, just one stop east of the King Drive station. The improvements will complement the ongoing commercial and residential developments near the station, including the recently announced 70-unit Woodlawn Station mixed-use residential and commercial project next to the station.
Later this year, CTA will begin a major rehabilitation of the Garfield station, creating a gateway for the Washington Park community. And in 2013, CTA made more than $20 million in track and structure improvements to provide smoother rides and increased reliability.
The King Drive Green Line station, originally known as the South Park station, was opened in 1893. It was renamed for civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The station connects the Green Line with the #3 King Drive, #4 Cottage Grove and #63, 63rd street buses.
The King Drive Green Line station improvements are the latest in more than $8 billion of transit investment by Mayor Emanuel and CTA since 2011, including numerous investments on the South Side.