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Take a Tour of Skokie's Newest CTA Stop

We've got a ton of pictures of the new CTA Oakton Stop in downtown Skokie. Take the tour by checking out our online gallery and see who was there for the grand opening on Monday.

Skokie resident Paul Thompson said he's been waiting for the new Oakton Stop for three years.

"My wife's been dropping me off at the Swift every morning just so I can get to work," Thompson said. "Sometimes, it's a royal pain in the a**, because she's not ready and running late. That's not going to be a problem anymore."

Thompson said he lives just one block from the new stop at Oakton Street and Skokie Boulevard. And while the 37-year-old has been waiting for the newly built station for some time, the people behind it have been waiting much longer.

For Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, the new station has been something that he and the village (and many others) have been working on for more than a decade. He said the stop is important for a variety of reasons; its neighbor is the Illinois and Science Technology Park (ISTP), which employees about 1,400 people. It's also the focal point of a downtown revitalization effort.

"One of the first things perspective employers [at the ISTP] ask is can their employees get to work easily," Van Dusen said. "The new station is completely related to the rejuvenation plan of [downtown Skokie]."

The new Oakton Stop has an island platform with a canopy accommodating a four-car train. It's also equipped with state-of-the-art technology, digital message boards (eight in all) and heat stations, among other things. Currently, the Yellow Line provides more than 5,000 rides each weekday and an average of 4,000 each weekend. It has an annual ridership of more than 1.5 million, according to the village.

"This is a perfect example of transit-oriented development," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "Improving and adding CTA service and new CTA infrastructure adds value to and promotes growth in a community."

Check Skokie Patch later this week as we take an in-depth look at how the new station will affect downtown Skokie. Some of the voices include a Skokie resident who is planning to open a new coffee shop just off the new Oakton Stop and a look at how many jobs are coming to Skokie, among other things.

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Earl Weiss May 01, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Mr. Doyle, If you are a non Highway user your tax dollars don't go to highways you don't use. Federal, State, County, City Motor Fuel Taxes, Plus state, County and City Sales taxes generated by motor fuel sales pay not only for road repair but go toward mass transit as well, See http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-15/news/ct-met-congress-transit-funding-20120214_1_mass-transit-transportation-bill-highway-trust-fund In fact taxes paid on motor fuels would be more than enough to keep the road infrastructure in good repair if $ wasn't siphoned off for other stuff like mass transit. Public mass transit vehicles are exempt from some taxes so they pay less than private motorists for use of the roads. Glad you agree with me.
George Slefo May 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Thanks! Updated! And yikes! =)
Andy Cooper (IFIXPCZ) May 02, 2012 at 04:48 AM
George...what happened to that woman that wanted to be first on the train?
Paul May 02, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Earl, do you want some cheese to go with your whine? By your logic, I shouldn't have to pay for schools I don't send my children to. If I send my kids to parochial school, why should I have to pay for public schools? Or if I don't have kids, why should I pay for public schools? Also your interpretation of highway taxes is way off. The gasoline, licensing, and vehicle sales taxes (to name a few) only cover a portion of what highways cost. Guess what makes up the rest? Taxes paid by motorists and non-motorists alike. If the CTA should be forced to pay its own way, then people like you should be forced to pay tolls everytime you use the highways. Jon Stewart brilliantly stated that we all have to pay taxes on things we don't like. That's life. Earl, paying taxes on things you don't use is part of being in a society. Also, since you condemn public transportation, imagine how much more congested the highways would be without it. Your highways (of which you are so fond of) would be in far worse shape then they are today. And that would mean, ta-da, higher taxes!
Mike May 02, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Simpletons believe in one-size-fits all government solutions, Paul. I shouldn’t be forced to pay for public schools. We live in the digital age & the price of education in a market would be lower. Government schools have increased funding w/ little results in quality. Competition is artificially limited so that alternatives can't easily develop. And I have a lot more influence with the school that I completely control my dollars than a school that doesn't. So it's far more cost-effective. So-called public transportation can be privately handled. Just because the government provides a service doesn't mean it alone can do it. Highways wouldn’t be much more congested if prices responded to supply & demand, ie, prices would be higher at peak hours than a non-peak hours which would help bring about an equilibrium so that congestion would be minimized. If they were too congested still, & people demanded public transportation, then they would get it based on the laws of d&s. Every dollar that is wasted is a dollar that couldn’t go to another useful productive development. Allocating this correctly is best done when and where there is loss and profit to weed out bad uses of scarce things which are by nature limited. Society is not created because of government. It is created by those who generate resources and wealth voluntarily. If that didn't happen, no taxation (which is based on non-voluntary force) could take place.

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