SOUTH LOOP — Conventioneers and slider aficionados, rejoice! The Chicago Transit Authority has formally opened a Green Line station at Cermak Road near McCormick Place.
Although the new Cermak-McCormick Place station opened this weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel led city officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.
The mayor touted how it adds access to the McCormick Place convention center, and enables the city to better compete for foreign conventions, especially those serving Europeans, who tend to favor public transportation over cars and cabs. He cited Chicago's recent rise to become the top U.S. convention destination.
Emanuel pointed out it was open ahead of the Auto Show starting this weekend.
"If you make the investment in our public transportation, it unlocks all the other economic development you want to see in a community," Emanuel said.
Tina Feldstein, president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, cheered it as a "huge win" for the community, saying it would "elevate South Loop" and calling it a "springboard" to economic development.
It also gives Loop fine-dining aficionados a new restaurant option, as a White Castle is located right next door to the station on Cermak.
Emanuel and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said the area had been overlooked since a station at the site was demolished in 1977.
"Great transportation is the lifeblood of any great community," Dowell said. "This station will also help people move quickly to work and from work and will bring people into this growing neighborhood."
"It fills a gap that has been here for decades, between 35th Street and Roosevelt Road," CTA President Forrest Claypool said.
Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld called it "a long time coming and a tremendous team effort."
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