News pickup: Fullerton station house to open; T-Mobile next up for subway use

Here are some CTA news items from the last few days and weeks that you should know about:

Fullerton station house to open Saturday. The newly rehabbed station will open officially on Saturday, Sept. 12. It is 75 feet west of the current temporary entrance. The Belmont station house opened two weeks ago. That station house has no roof or walls. Sure hope to see them by winter. The old station house was moved to the north side of Fullerton for future use.

CTA signs T-Mobile for subway use. T-Mobile is the fifth wireless company to "rent" CTA subway infrastructure to allow customers to text, chat and surf the Web. The 10-year contract will generate a minimum of $3.1 million in revenue for the CTA. Service should be available late this year. AT&T customers also will get service then, in a deal announced in June.

Leasing this infrastructure means big bucks for the CTA: "Revenue from the wireless service providers currently leasing the
subway network is expected to generate a minimum of $15 million for the
CTA over the life of the contract," according to a press release.

Red Line Robber busted. A man dubbed the "Red Line Robber" was derailed by the FBI last month, after allegedly making nine armed robberies of banks within close proximity to the Red Line. The FBi tracked him down via fingerprints left on a newpaper stained with dye, after a smart teller put a dye pack in the bag of money she handed over. Lance P. Dennie is being held in jail without bond pending trial.

Progress on Red Line Grand station. Progress to rehab the Grand and State station on the Red Line became more visible this week when the new staircase opened on the south end of the southbound platform. At the same time, the escalator at the southbound platform was put out of service. It's just nice to actually see progress. This is a tough job because there is no staging area for trucks, so lane closures are in place.


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  • "The Belmont station house opened two weeks ago. That station house has no roof or walls. Sure hope to see them by winter."

    I don't think these stations are getting a roof or walls, beyond what little is already built. I actually like it that way. The track structure will be enough shelter from rain and snow. And the openness of it makes for a really seamless transition between the sidewalk and the train. I can't think of any other station that integrates transit into the street this well -- it's almost like a plaza beckoning people up to the train. I also prefer not having doors in the station house, because you only spend all of 20 seconds walking through it -- the doors end up just being an annoying obstruction. The station attendants will have the little heated booth to stay warm in.

  • Maybe they can get verizon to fix the "dead zones" in the red line subway between Chicago and North/Clybourn...

  • I've been waiting for the AT&T service to finally begin! Like for most problems I'd usually blame AT&T whenever possible, but I've been told that the CTA has the hardware but just hasn't installed it yet. I'm sure it's more complicated than that and I'd be curious what anyone knows?!

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