The CTA is winding down its program to clean and repair stations across the system—but it's not exactly a clean sweep.
When CTA president Forrest Claypool and Mayor Emanuel announced the Renew Crew program in September 2011, Claypool promised 100 stations would see improvements in a year. Eighty-eight of the CTA's 145 stations have received facelifts, according to a Going Public analysis of CTA data.
The CTA says it has completed 101 station projects, which include replacing lighting and signage and painting walls and scrubbing floors.
Some of the stations, such as the UIC-Halsted and Illinois Medical District Blue Line stops, were counted as three separate projects because the CTA revamped three entrances at those stations.
"We counted those as three a piece because of the configuration of those locations," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. "From a construction standpoint, we look at those as separate station houses."
The final station, the Clinton Blue Line stop on the Near West Side, was scrubbed and painted in November. Chase said the agency is doing touchups at some stations and walk-throughs at others as the $25 million program finishes up.
"Some projects were more involved than anticipated," Chase said.
The Blue, Green, Orange and Pink lines, particularly on the South Side, benefited the most from this program.
The Renew Crew visited every station on the Orange Line from Midway to the Loop. Ditto for the southern section of the Green Line, except for the Ashland/63rd stop in West Englewood.
On the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line, every stop except O'Hare, Cumberland and Montrose received a deep cleanse.
But the Renew Crew barely touched the northern section of the Brown Line, which saw station overhauls four years ago, and didn't visit the stations along Wabash Avenue in the Loop, which have become havens for pigeons and their digestive tracks.
Separately, seven stations on the northern section of the Red Line saw beautification when their stations were closed for six weeks for improvements. South Side Red Line riders will see improvements to their stations next fall after the CTA closes this portion of the Red Line for five months to overhaul track.
The agency said it is also looking at a smaller Renew Crew program in the coming months. Hopefully this will be the agency's resolution in the new year.
My pledge to ride every CTA bus line continues. I rode the No. 37-Sedgwick last week and boiled my review down to a tweet.
@tracyswartz 31 mins from Fullerton Red Line stop to Clinton Blue Line stop. Traces the southern part of the No. 11. See horses in Old Town vacant lot.
Next up: No. 115- Pullman/115th
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: Harlem Blue Line on Forest Park branch
Time to put some heat on the CTA to get more heat lamps at the western end of the platform close to the Circle Avenue entrance. The lamps are crowded on the platform near Harlem Avenue. Let's share the warmth.
Next up: Jackson Red LineCopyright © 2015, RedEye