Oakton station adds another stop on CTA's Yellow Line

With Monday's opening of the new Oakton stop on the CTA Yellow Line, all those CTA "L" Challenge racers now have 144 stations to visit.

The $20 million project opened with the usual speeches from CTA brass and North Shore politicians, including U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky.

The station was built via a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant administered by the Federal Highway Administration. The Federal Transit Administration provided $14 million and $6 million were provided by the Village of Skokie.

Ridership on the Yellow Line has been growing steadily, says the CTA:

Currently, the Yellow Line, which runs between the Dempster-Skokie and Howard stations, provides more than 5,000 rides each weekday and an average of more than 4,000 rides on weekends. Between 2010 and 2011, the Yellow Line added 13,000 additional riders, growing to an annual ridership of more than 1.5 million.

The station is adjacent to the Illinois Science + Technology Park, a nearly 24-acre research campus with 20 pharmaceutical, healthcare, bio- and nano-technology firms that employs approximately 1,400 people.

“This is a perfect example of transit-oriented development,” Claypool said. “Improving and adding CTA service and new CTA infrastructure adds value to and promotes growth in a community. We are pleased to provide this new service for our customers and to enhance the quality of life for the village of Skokie.”

Check out the great photos at Grid Chicago.

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  • No matter how you define it, this was a collosal waste of money...and I live RIGHT THERE. How many net extra riders are they going to have? Where are these people coming from and going to? There is no commerce to speak of in downtown Skokie and there never will be...those days are gone. How many people will no longer use Dempster because it now has a stop at Oakton instead of being direct to Howard? Why is there ZERO parking (t is only kiss and ride)? Why is the station several hundred yards long for a train that is at most 75 feet long? Why did it take years to build when the track was already there? Why did it cost 20 million?!? That money could have been put to much better use, either in meaningful and useful public transportation or IN THE TAXPAYERS POCKETS!

  • In reply to GreenLantern411:

    I don't know. At least Skokie thinks it will revitalize its downtown. And at least is is more than other villages that take RTA grants, use them to study things other than transportation (except perhaps an apartment building on the Metra parking lot and "structured parking") and then basically say that they won't do anything because they aren't going to use the power of eminent domain. I've mentioned that before, but am not naming names.

    Of course, I thought that the real schmuck remark about this project when it was first planned was when Pfizer bought out Searle and said that the station would help it get more for its building. Apparently the station was not built soon enough for that purpose.

  • In reply to jack:

    Sounds like you are for the addition of this station. Is that right Jack?

  • In reply to chris:

    I don't have any objection to it.

    The Asbury one hits me as much more problematic, in that there isn't much around there, and it sounds more like another way to keep consultants employed.

    And at least Skokie put $6 million of its own money in it and took ownership of the project.

    Still not clear if the 97 and 54A buses pull in, but I assume that Dempster is the logical transfer point for buses.

  • In reply to jack:

    Regarding the Asbury stop, there is some commercial activity just south of there along Howard, and it has the highest population density of the 3 workable Evanston sites.

    Also, if the Western BRT somehow came to actual fruition, it could be easily extended up a couple blocks to the station's site.

    Personally I think having the 54A NB (not needed SB) pull in would be best, and a legit reason to eliminate the route's large diversion to Dempster St station, allowing for a faster running time to Old Orchard. The EB 97 would have to be diverted too much to make sense, I'd say no go on that.

  • In reply to bms2535:

    This is probably moot, given that "no funding source has been identified yet" is code for "this is another consultant relief program."

    However, with regard to the 49BRT:

    Do you really think Evanston is going to let a city bus line lay over on Mulford Street or Harvard Terrace in front of a couple of apartment buildings, when Evanston made such a stink about 201 and 203 buses idling at Central and Crawford about 8 years ago? Or a consultant hired by Evanston to recommend condemning enough land to build a transit center there?

  • In reply to GreenLantern411:

    Actually, the 2 car trains are 96 feet long.
    I'm guessing they built the full length platform for 8-10 car trains because they still want to get to Old Orchard & that will require 4 car trains at a minimum.

    But there's another problem with the CTA & I think this is the real reason why the platform is so long.
    For some insane reason, CTA management seems to have this idea that at some stations, the trains must stop exactly in the middle of the platform, so people coming from entrances at either end have exactly the same distance to go to a train.
    Since Skokie kicked in $6 million to build it & part of Skokie's reasoning is to get people to & from the Science & Technology Park on Searle Parkway, the goofs at the CTA decided to make the platform longer so the few people that use the Searle entrance don't have to go all the way south to Oakton St.
    Just go to Clinton & Lake to see this in action. EB 4 car trains all stop short of the stairs & WB 4 car trains all stop past the stairs. This is so the 10 people a day that use the long ramp don't have to go far to a train at platform level, while hundreds have a much longer walk to the one stairway.
    Or to make it simple, political correctness gone mad!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I guess you weren't anywhere near the station. I went by it a couple of days ago, but obviously not in it.

    The CTA Press Release says 4 car trains.

    The North stationhouse dumps into the Kiss and Ride, not Searle Parkway. To go to the Science Park, one would have to cross the NB track to get to the Kiss and Ride, and then cross both tracks at Searle.

    Unless you are out there and see where the black on yellow 2 and 4 signs are, you don't know where it stops.

    And with regard to Old Orchard, the Mayor of Skokie said that the locally preferred alternative was not preferred by the locals, which I think kills it. About 10 years ago people were asking why they built the Dempster bus terminal in the path of the expansion, but it appears that either the expansion won't be built, so it's moot, or an overpass will have to be built over Dempster starting way south of the station, so the entire Dempster station would have to be ripped out, even though it was built in the 90s.

    Anyway, both of these were village of Slokie projects, and I assume that Skokie called most of the shots.

    I frequently say that CTA is not competent, but I base it on far more evidence than this.

  • In reply to jack:

    I've gone by the station on both Oakton & Skokie Blvd.

    As for Old Orchard. The loony & incompetent CTA planning staff wanted the station in the Niles North HS parking lot. Now, I'm guessing their public rationale was that it would save money. But knowing how they think, I'm betting there were two other reasons.
    1. They were splitting the difference in distance between the Skokie Courthouse & the mall. Even though the mall has 50 times the people that would ride.
    2. They're planning to resurrect the North Shore Line & want the station to not cause a curve in the tracks, even if it's 50 years in the future.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Other than this was debated on the Tattler a couple of years ago, my only point is that it is deader than any chance of resurrecting George Krambles, and thus now moot.

  • In reply to GreenLantern411:

    Getting more people to use the yellow line is a positive. I'm sure there will be some people that bleed over from the Dempster stop, but it will add net rides. Just because the Oakton stop is not a destination that it's not worthwhile. I imagine most of the people riding this take this into Howard and transfer to purple or red lines.

    The reason the station is longer than current train sets I imagine is for future expansion. Just like the new red line stations have 10 car capacity.

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