CHICAGO -- One of the biggest investments in CTA history was unveiled Sunday, as the ribbon was cut and commuters made their way through the newly-renovated station at 95th and the Dan Ryan.
It's one of the CTA's busiest destinations, serving 20,000 riders on a typical weekday. Starting Monday, 1,000 buses will move in and out of the south bus terminal during the week. The renovated station now towers over the expressway, with glass walls and a red roof resting on soaring ceilings.
"It doesn't look like a CTA building when you are coming off the expressway until you see the CTA sign," CTA rider Frederica Massey said.
Overnight, the $280 million upgrade to the busiest stop on the south arm of the Red Line opened doors to riders. Commuters are still eagerly awaiting the $2 billion investment that promises to stretch the Red Line further south to 130th Street.
Improving South Side transit was one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel`s earliest campaign promises. The 95th Street station's overhaul was its first since 1969.
"I was a baby then. Maybe this will work a lot better," CTA rider Steven Daniels said.
The bus terminal has been four years in the making. Wide bus bays and wider sidewalks now surround the structure, designed with more spacing between them to reduce congestion. Sound panels at platform level will provide a less noisy space.
Kyle Clark was quite comfortable waiting beneath a new shelter with an overhead heat lamp, noting the wider sidewalks will make commuters feel less cramped.
Construction on the north bus terminal is expected to wrap up later this year. The buildings will straddle the Dan Ryan median, with tracks passing through underneath, and an enclosed pedestrian walkway connecting the two.