The entrance to the Sheridan Red Line stop.
Election Day is coming a few months early for CTA riders. It's time for Going Public's fourth annual Crust Station contest, which recognizes the most disgusting CTA stop based on rider vote.
But this year, things are not as bad as they seem. In the past year, the CTA has started sending a Renew Crew to paint and install better lighting in stations across the system.
Meanwhile, work continues on the northern Red Line. Seven stations from Jarvis to Lawrence are seeing cosmetic facelifts.
The CTA is currently sprucing up the Morse stop in Rogers Park while the Thorndale station in Edgewater closes Aug. 17 for six weeks for sidewalk repairs, new bike racks and stationhouse improvements. This station will not become accessible for riders with disabilities.
Three South Side Red Line stations are slated to become accessible to riders with disabilities next year when the CTA shutters the southern portion of the Red Line for five months to replace the track and upgrade the stations.
There's even a proposal to overhaul the three-time Crust Station winner, the Wilson stop in Uptown. The stop would transform into a transfer station with the addition of Purple Line service.
With all these changes to the Red Line, which typically dominates the Crust Station contest, this year Going Public is focusing on two stations for the title that don't have immediate plans for improvement: the Division Blue Line stop in West Town and the Sheridan stop in Lakeview.
>> Division stop
Being underground does no favors for the Division stop, which suffers from dirty and cracked walls and dusty stairwells—even though the station was fixed up by the Renew Crew earlier this year. This station is not accessible for riders with disabilities and the exits are narrow, which makes it difficult for O'Hare travelers to manage with luggage.
>> Sheridan stop
The Sheridan stop also has problems with accessibility to the platform. The steep, slim staircases give the illusion of climbing Mt. Everest. The wooden platforms look outdated, not classic. Garbage collects near the stairwells, and the peeling paint has no appeal. A sign at the station Monday said the Renew Crew was working to freshen the station but the structure is the biggest problem.
Which of these stations deserves the title? Is there another station that should win because it lacks cleanliness, good customer service, amenities and accessibility?
Check out photos of the Division and Sheridan stops at redeyechicago.com/goingpublic or nominate another station by sending an email to email@example.com or tweeting @tracyswartz. Don't forget to include your full name, age, neighborhood and the reason you are voting for the station.
Talk to us
What was the wackiest sight on the CTA during Lollapalooza weekend? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: Chicago Blue Line
The Chicago stop in West Town is one of the few stations lucky enough to be adopted by the Chicago Dramatists, a nearby playwright's theater that calls the stop its home. The station feels cleaner than most of the other Blue Line subway stations. Plus, there's artwork at the entrance by Peter N. Gray, who captures the Polish flavor of the neighborhood. The CTA's Adopt-a-Station program allows businesses to serve as guardian angels for stations. There's no monthly cost for adopting stations but businesses do have to pay for materials and equipment they use to upgrade the stop.
Next up: State/Lake "L" stop.