West Loop gains new transit option with today’s opening of CTA Morgan station

First day of CTA Morgan Station serving the Green and Pink Lines

The fully enclosed glass and metal stairways and transfer bridge make an architectural and industrial statement in the growing West Loop neighborhood. 

The CTA has opened two new stations within three weeks of each other. The first was Oakton-Skokie on the Yellow Line in Skokie, Illinois, on April 30, and today the Morgan Green/Pink Line station opened (without fanfare). A grand opening will likely happen June 1.

Bike racks at CTA Morgan Station serving the Green and Pink Lines

Notice the artistic bike parking. This was the result of a competition held by the Department of Cultural Affairs in 2009. All three finalists had their designs manufactured and installed here. I think they will function well as bike racks, but the one on the northwest corner of Morgan and Lake Streets (shown above) has the lowest capacity. The plastic wrapping hasn’t been removed, perhaps to keep them shiny for the upcoming grand opening.

Train Tracker sign at CTA Morgan Station serving the Green and Pink Lines

The new style of CTA’s information screen. 

The accessible station has a fully enclosed transfer bridge, excellent for photographing trains and downtown. Other amenities include information screens with weather and Train Tracker. These use a new screen design that features no advertisements. Stairways and the station house are also fully enclosed. To make room for the bike parking and the station houses (on the southeast and northeast corners), both Morgan and Lake Streets were narrowed. This has the effect of shortening crosswalk distances.

First day of CTA Morgan Station serving the Green and Pink Lines

A Green Line train arrives at the new Morgan station. Notice the opaque or tinted canopy. 

The station was built by the Chicago Department of Transportation with funding from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) and Kinzie Industrial TIF district funds.

See all 43 photos of the station. See construction photos from last year on CTA Tattler.

13 thoughts on “West Loop gains new transit option with today’s opening of CTA Morgan station”

  1.  I do not understand how TIF district funds get funneled into CTA projects. I was trying to figure out the 20% ADA funding threshold and it’s almost impossible to do with all the different pools of funding that the City of Chicago uses to fund projects.

    1. It’s not well known, but new stations in Chicago are not CTA projects, but a station that CDOT builds and gives to CTA. The Cermak Green Line station will be built this way.

      I’m not sure of the reasons behind doing it like this, but I think some of it has to do with leveraging funding. The CTA may also not have the staff resources to deal with building a new station.

      1. Thanks for the correction. I give CDOT credit for building a beautiful handicapped accessible station. The views from the crossover bridges are magnificent in general, I will have to check out this spot!

      2. The City of Chicago funded and built much of the CTA system, and owns most of what it built (leasing it to the CTA for a nominal amount).  This includes practically everything built after the establishment of the CTA, including the Milwaukee, Dearborn and State subways, the Congress and Dan Ryan lines, the O’Hare extension, the Forest Park terminal, and the entire Orange Line. 

        The CTA has spent almost all of its “own” money on maintenance and rebuilds of the track inherited from private companies when the CTA was formed  Construction of a new station on one of the old elevated lines is a bit unusual for the City, though; this may be the first such case.

        The situation is sort of a mirror image to New York, where the City owns outright all of the subways built *before* the formation of the MTA, and leases them to the MTA for a nominal amount, while the MTA owns most of the stuff built *recently*.

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