CHICAGO (CBS) — Beat up signs, water-logged walls, torn up floors and repairs made with duct tape — a concerned viewer contacted CBS 2 about a worn out Metra Electric station, so we decided to take a look.
You can hear the Metra Electric Line rolling in from the platform, but some say the station and nearby infrastructure is a less than well oiled machine.
A sign for the Kensington/115th Street station showcases a hole. Inside that station are other signs of disrepair, like the staining on the ceiling that makes its way to the walls below.
Mozena Williams noticed the discoloration and wonders if she should be worried about more than water or wet floors there.
“There was a water water damage, water leaking around and you kind of had to step around it,” she said. “It was like moldy and stuff. It was pretty bad.”
You’ll find other kinds of cracking and exposed rusted supports along the underpass nearby.
Inside the station, there’s also rust and evidence of patchwork repairs, like duct tape on exposed pipes.
The elevator’s operation is clean, but the floor inside wasn’t.
“I think definitely the riders deserve better because the fares are steady going up,” Williams said.
In a statement, Metra director of communications Michael Gillis said:
“There is a known issue with water seepage that can’t be completely solved until we have the funds to do a major renovation. In the meantime, we have tried to keep up with what repairs we can make. We fixed concrete, drywall and some wood elements and we painted most of the station, including the lower level ceiling, the interior of the headhouse and warming shelter and most of the station exterior, in 2016 and 2017, but that was more beautification work than a rehab.
We will replace the water-damaged ceiling tiles and the surface of the elevator floor.
We have already made new platform signs and they will be installed in the coming weeks.
We should be spending $85 million a year for 10 years to achieve and maintain a state of good repair at our 242 stations. This year, we have been able to budget just $13 million. Stations are just one category in our overall $1.2 billion-a-year, 10-year capital need. This year, we have been able to budget just $185.6 million total.”
Gillis said together with the CTA, Pace and RTA, Metra is participating in the “Invest in Transit” campaign, which is asking state officials for more funding for public transportation.