"Renew crews" to spruce up 100 CTA rail stations by next year

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday showed off what President Forrest Claypool called the "CTA version of the extreme makeover" at the Logan Square Blue Line station.

And Claypool promised facelifts at 100 rail station in its new Station Renewal Program over the next year - though most probably won't be so extreme. The CTA will use teams of workers from various trades dubbed "renew crews" to complete station work in about a week.

From the Station Renewal web page:

"Depending on the needs of a station, we may power-wash walls, floors, stairs, ceilings and elevators, repaint painted surfaces, improve the lighting, remove graffiti, clean gutters and drains, replace outdated or damaged signage and much more.

"This way, rather than dealing with issues on an as-needed basis, one at a time, we can pool our resources and get carpenters, electricians, plumbers, metalworkers and other trades working together to bring a whole station to a renewed state all at once.

"This SWAT team approach to cleaning will result in more holistic changes that we believe will be noticeable and appreciated. It not only improves the look and conditions of the stations, it is a more efficient way to work.

Claypool hinted at this new "efficient way to work" during a July interview with CTA Tattler:

“I want my top notch managers to apply those best practices throughout the system –we need to be the best we can be and apply that across the agency. There are a lot of individual people working in silos here – they all need to be brought  together to create an overall strategy.

"As an example, he noted there are CTA workers who do station cleanings, repairs, or camera installation – “but they might do those jobs three months apart. We need to integrate efforts across silos. We need to marshal our forces together to have big impact on system. Integrating all these efforts is part of my cohesive, comprehensive strategy on efforts.”

Claypool said the CTA will pay for the $25 million by not filling cutting 60 senior management jobs, and through other administrative cuts.

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