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Metra Completes Upgrades to McCormick Place Station

Metra commuter rail in Chicago joined the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) recently to unveil an upgrade to the station at McCormick Place.

The project included the redesign and renovation of the waiting room, a new digital signage and sound system, new lighting and enhancements to the platform area, the addition of more visible signage to direct customers to and from the station, and a series of mural paintings from Chicago Public School students.

“We believe we’ve created a much more inviting, comfortable and functional Metra station, one worthy of being located in the world-class McCormick Place Convention Center,” said Metra Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director Don Orseno. “Metra has always been a quick and easy way to get to the convention center, and this new facility can only make our trains an even more popular option.”

When McCormick Place—the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America—hosts a major trade show or convention, the Metra Electric Line can serve thousands of additional customers per day. Longstanding shows continue to include Metra service as a part of their transportation plan. In 2016, those shows generated nearly 37,000 trips and more than $126,000 in fare revenue.

“We want Metra and other train riders to know when they have arrived at the McCormick Square campus,” said MPEA Chief Executive Officer Lori Healey. “The six bold murals painted by these talented young artists create a unique and welcoming environment.”

In the longer term, Metra is exploring the addition of a crossover track south of the station that would increase the capacity for train service between ­McCormick Place and Millennium Station, allowing Metra to provide additional rapid transit service when warranted.

Metra CEO/Executive Director Don Orseno, at podium, joins students who created the murals in the redesigned McCormick Place Station. Chicago Alderman Sophia King and Michael Merchant, MPEA director of intergovernmental affairs, are behind Orseno.

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