Chicago Mag: Why Are Chicago Metra Stations So Bad, When the Suburban Stops Are So Nice?
|Kensington/115th Metra Station by Strannik45/flickr|
Follow the money. In the 1970s, legislation that resuscitated various dying commuter rail and bus lines in northern Illinois mandated that nearly all transportation taxes collected within Chicago limits go to the Chicago Transit Authority, which was in dire straits even back then.Last year I wrote about the isolated Metra Electric stop at 95th/Cottage Grove. The pic above is the 115th/Kensington Station in Roseland further south. It is considered one of the busiest stations on the Metra Electric line
The CTA, of course, runs the city’s buses and el trains. By contrast, Metra makes its money from suburban tax dollars (more than half of transportation taxes in the suburbs go to Metra; the rest is split between the CTA and Pace). As a result, says Chicago geographer and historian Dennis McClendon, “Metra doesn’t have much of a constituency to cater to in the city.” A Metra spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Which isn’t to say that Metra ignores city commuters completely. It is currently overhauling the Ravenswood station, with Edgewater and Auburn Park stations soon to follow.
Would you like to see greater investment in local Metra stations on the south side?