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CTA riders, mark your calendars

April 02, 2012|By Tracy Swartz, RedEye

There's a Brown Line and a Red Line and now there's a Timeline. The CTA on Friday unveiled its new Facebook timeline, which features photos of the first all-metal rapid transit cars (September 1950) and the last streetcar trip (June 1958), among other transit milestones.

In the spirit of the new timeline, Going Public looks forward to the transit-related events that are rapidly approaching.

>> Wednesday: Local activists will be gathering at 6 p.m., at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., for Occupy National Day of Action for Public Transportation. The groups say they will be protesting inadequate funding and policies.

Charles Paidock, secretary for Citizens Taking Action, said his rider advocacy group is against public-private partnerships to pay for CTA infrastructure improvements. The CTA is exploring some of these partnerships to fund Red Line projects.

Meanwhile, members of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, a group that aims to better the neighborhood's quality of life, will be attending the event to show their support for bus drivers, who saw layoffs two years ago, an organization board member said.

>> Thursday: The Chicago Loop Alliance, an organization of Loop businesses, will be decking out State Street Red Line subway entrances with Cubs and Sox scenes to celebrate the teams' opening days. The alliance's year-round light and sound installation along State Street will feature baseball songs including "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." The Red Line takes CTA riders out to both ball parks, and service will begin adjusting this week to handle the baseball crowds.

>> May 11: The Granville stop in Edgewater will be shuttered to undergo renovation. This will be the first stop to close as part of the CTA's plan to renovate seven northern Red Line stations that are considered to need maintenance the most. Station closures are not expected to last longer than six weeks.

One frequent rider who is not concerned about the closure is Noel Dillard, mayor of the stop on FourSquare based on social media check-ins. "I think change is always a good thing even when it's temporarily inconvenient. I can always walk to the Thorndale station, and I'm not too far from the Loyola Stop either," Dillard told GP. "Now, if these renovations would have taken place during the dead of winter, then I would have been very livid about the whole situation."

>> End of May: Work on the new station at Morgan and Lake Streets on the Green and Pink Lines is expected to be complete. The West Loop station, under construction since summer 2010, is expected to feature elevators and covered platforms.

>> June 1: The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture kicks off its summer season with a new neighborhood tour: Art in Transit. Participants will view mosaics and paintings across the CTA system. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and meets at 9:30 a.m., at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. This tour is also scheduled to be offered Aug. 31.

Talk to us

What has been the most important CTA event of the last five years? Send an email to tswartz@tribune.com. Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Grand Red Line

The Grand Red Line stop is simply that—grand. The newly renovated station on the Near North Side has become the crown jewel of the CTA. The station has electronic signs, escalators, area maps for tourists and a sprawling mezzanine, which features a light installation that highlights the downtown skyline. This improvement is much deserved for Grand Line riders and nearby businesses, which endured months of bus reroutes, road lane closures and shuttered station entrances for construction. Hopefully, the other Red Line stations the CTA plans to renovate this year will look this grand.

Next up: Pulaski Orange Line stop.

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