Metra, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and After School Matters team up to enliven waiting room, platform at convention center Metra stop
CHICAGO (Nov. 8, 2017) – Metra and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) today unveiled a significant upgrade to the Metra station at McCormick Place, including a vibrant series of mural paintings from Chicago Public School students who participate in the After School Matters program.
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 and the addition of more visible signage to direct customers to and from the station.
“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 CEO/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 and even more popular option.”
When a major trade show or convention is at McCormick Place, 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 Lori Healey, CEO of MPEA. “The six bold murals painted by these talented young artists create a unique and welcoming environment. The timing is perfect with the big DePaul versus Notre Dame basketball game scheduled for this weekend at the new Wintrust Arena.”
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.
“After School Matters is honored to have this incredible opportunity to showcase the work of our talented teens to thousands of Metra passengers and Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority visitors,” said Mary Ellen Caron, CEO of After School Matters. “Partnerships like this – between our organization, Metra, and the MPEA – let teens know that our city supports them, and that they matter.”
Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 241 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates more than 700 weekday trains, providing about 300,000 passenger trips each weekday.
About Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and McCormick Square
The McCormick Square campus features McCormick Place — the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America — which offers 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space, 173 meeting rooms, one of the largest ballrooms in the world, the 1,258-room Hyatt Regency, the new 1,205-room Marriott Marquis Chicago, the 4,249-seat Arie Crown Theater and the new 10,387-seat Wintrust Arena. Located on Chicago’s lakefront just minutes from downtown, McCormick Place is owned the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and is managed by SMG, a worldwide convention management company.
About After School Matters
After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, STEM, and sports. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community-based organizations, The Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, and Gallery 37 Center for the Arts downtown. www.afterschoolmatters.org