CTA rendering of new Wilson Station
By Jessica Peker
Loyola University Chicago students will have more commuting options thanks to the Chicago Transit Authority’s plans to completely renovate the Wilson Avenue L station.
An artist’s rendered photo, published by The Chicago Tribune, shows what the newly constructed stop will look like: a much more modernized L station, vastly different than what exists there now.
Currently, the Wilson stop is most frequently used by Loyola University Chicago students living in Rogers Park to go to Target, which is located just one block north of the station.
“I think that this construction is important because many students use the Wilson stop when going to Target, and, right now, that stop can seem a little unsafe,” said Emily Katz, a 19-year-old sophomore anthropology major.
As the Uptown neighborhood, where the Wilson Avenue stop is located, is often known for its high crime rate, CTA renovations could bring about another positive aspect, aside from just providing more pleasing aesthetics.
“I think that this construction will also make the station more safe,” Katz said.
In addition to elevators and full glass and steel constructs, the CTA will also be adding a dual platform in order to allow for the Purple Line to stop at Wilson Avenue. Construction is slatred to begin next year.
“I was very excited at the thought of how convenient it will now be for me to travel to certain neighborhoods,” said John Conway, a 22-year-old senior majoring in psychology.
While a majority of Loyola students live closer to the Rogers Park campus, it isn’t uncommon for upperclassmen to find housing further south, often times between Loyola’s Rogers Park and Water Tower Campuses.
“For someone like myself who lives downtown, getting to Evanston requires that I take almost every stop of the Red Line north to Howard before transferring to the Purple Line,” Conway said.
The option to transfer to the Purple Line at Wilson could provide a large time-saving service for northbound travelers.
“This would most certainly eliminate at least a half hour of travel time that it normally takes me to get to Evanston,” Conway said.
Despite the positive reactions, there are students who express concerns regarding the potential travel delays during construction, as well as what other benefits, if any, will exist with these changes.
The CTA will hold public meetings to share more details and information regarding the planned renovations.
“I do like that they are holding a meeting to generate ideas and concerns from local residents and business owners,” said Kelly Silay, a 22-year-old in her first year of Loyola’s Master’s in Social Work program.
“I hope they truly listen to the public and make them a significant part of the development of this project.”