October 16, 2014

Mayor Emanuel, Senator Durbin and CTA Welcome Customers To Newly Revitalized California Station

Station Project Is Part Of Mayor’s Four-Year, Comprehensive $492 Million Your New Blue Program

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senator Dick Durbin and CTA President Forrest Claypool welcomed CTA Blue Line customers this morning to the newly renovated, modernized California station as part of the Mayor Emanuel’s $492 million Your New Blue program. The Your New Blue program is an unprecedented investment in the O’Hare branch to provide faster commutes, more reliable service and a more welcoming environment for Blue Line riders, and is creating 1,300 new jobs.

The largest investment in the Blue Line since it was extended to O’Hare International Airport 30 years ago, Your New Blue includes rehabilitating 13 stations, repairing track infrastructure, and upgrading signal and power systems along the O’Hare Line, which serves 80,000 people each weekday. Your New Blue is part of more than $5 billion of transit investment begun under Mayor Emanuel since 2011.

Today the CTA reopened California—completed on time and on budget—the first of 13 station renovations included in Your New Blue. Stations at California, Damen, and Milwaukee first opened in 1895 and will undergo rehabilitation in 2014 as part of Your New Blue.

“In just nine months since we announced the historic Your New Blue project, we’ve already improved train speeds and reliability and have begun to update our aging stations as promised,” said Mayor Emanuel. “It is important that we invest in transit system, including the critical link to O’Hare, the world’s busiest airport. We will continue our investment in the entire CTA bus and rail system, a common-sense investment in creating a world-class transit system.”

At California, customers can see noticeable interior and exterior improvements that include new lighting, signage, refurbished walls, stairs and platforms, more bike racks and a larger stationhouse footprint. The station work follows the successful, on-budget and early completion of a major track structure renovation between Damen and Logan Square stations this summer.

“Investing in Illinois’ transportation infrastructure is a high priority,” said Gov. Patrick Quinn. “Modernizing transit creates long-term economic opportunity for Illinois residents and businesses.”

Starting October 20, the Damen station will receive similar, extensive structural and cosmetic repairs. The Western station is also currently receiving some upgrades following a significant renovation in 2001. Future phases of Your New Blue will bring improvements to other Blue Line O’Hare Branch stations.

For more information, visit www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue .