By Tracy Swartz
Geoff Martin doesn't typically ride the CTA from his Edgewater home to his job teaching English at Truman College. Usually, he walks or bikes to work but this winter he has traded wheels for rails.
He has been taking the Red Line to the Wilson station, despite his dislike for the station interior and stairs, which he calls treacherous.
Martin, 30, attended a CTA hearing Tuesday to solicit public feedback on the agency's $203 million plan to make the Wilson Red Line station a transfer stop for the Purple Line Express and accessible for riders with disabilities.
"I like what I see," Martin said about the CTA plans. "I think [the station] definitely needed renovation."
The CTA recently completed a draft assessment of the environmental impact of the Wilson rehab plan. Under the CTA's proposal, the Wilson station would see new escalators, turnstiles, bike parking and lights. The terra cotta of the 1923 stationhouse would be restored, and the main station entrance would be enclosed in glass.
The state of the Wilson station has long rankled Uptowners, who have complained about dirt, the smell of urine, graffiti and problems with safety. Last week, a Joliet man was arrested and charged with firing a handgun outside the Wilson stop.
Jeff Sobczyk, 27, said he is bothered by the current lack of lights at the station and under the track. He said he appreciates the CTA's plan to increase lighting and expand platform space.
"Everything I've seen I'm pretty impressed with," said Sobczyk, of Uptown, who commutes from the Wilson stop to UIC.
About 7,200 riders start their rides at the Wilson stop on an average weekday, according to CTA data.
The project will be paid for with state and federal funds and tax-increment financing--money intended to promote redevelopment in certain areas of the city.
The CTA will gather feedback on the draft and submit the final assessment to the Federal Transit Administration with public comments for approval.
Comments on the project are due Feb. 26 and can be emailed to