The Chicago Transit Authority along with the Village of Skokie opened the Oakton Station, the first new ‘L' station to open in 18 years. "This joint effort resulted in a state-of-the art station and an additional, accessible station option for the expanding business and transportation needs of Skokie residents," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.
Oakton Station, located at Oakton Street and Skokie Boulevard, is the now the second stop on the Yellow Line between Howard and Skokie terminal. The new station has an island platform with a canopy accommodating a four-car train. And like all CTA stations today, it is equipped with state-of-the art security cameras and includes customer amenities such as eight digital message boards, customer assistance call buttons, heaters, benches, enhanced lighting, an information kiosk and bike racks at both entrances at Oakton and Searle Parkway.
In addition, there are a number of accessible features in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act, such as two accessible entrances at Oakton and Searle Parkway, wheelchair-accessible turnstiles, braille signs and an announcement system.
Oakton Station not only provides service for those in Skokie, it expands the existing network of CTA service for all customers and provides the potential to attract new ridership. Currently, the Yellow Line, which runs between the Dempster-Skokie and Howard stations, provides more than 5,000 rides each weekday and an average of more than 4,000 rides on weekends. Between 2010 and 2011, the Yellow Line added 13,000 additional riders, growing to an annual ridership of more than 1.5 million.
A Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant administered by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration provided $14 million and $6 million were provided by the Village of Skokie to fund the $20 million project.