Transit memories: CTA; DARD; Valley metro

Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief

CTA received the 2021 Biggest Impact Award from AIA Illinois for its $ 43 million renovation of historic Garfield Station in south Chicago.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) received an architecture award for its Garfield Green Line station renovation project. Additionally, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) now accepts contactless payment on all Dallas light rail, bus, and streetcar vehicles; and the Phoenix Valley Metro Small Business Financial Assistance Pilot Program has distributed over $ 250,000 since its launch in the spring.

AIA Illinois, the state component of the US National Institute of Architects, honored CTA with its 2021 Most Impactful Award for transforming Garfield Station into a “happy and festive arrival in the Washington Park neighborhood” on the south side of Chicago.

This is the third major architectural award won by CTA for its $ 43 million Garfield Gateway project, completed in January 2019. Last year, the resort won the AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award and Interior Architecture Award. Interior design magazine, which manages the design industry’s awards program, also named the establishment one of three finalists for its Best of the Year Awards, a global competition.

The renovation project included extended station platform awnings; improved accessibility of the platform; improved elevators and escalators; and public art by Chicago artist Nick Cave.

Cave’s’ multidisciplinary artwork, designs and materials blend with the resort’s key architectural elements – its mosaic ceiling, fused-glass windscreens, lenticular columns, and the exterior of the towers. steel lift of the station – to create a whimsical and eye-catching structure. “said CTA.

In addition to CTA’s engineering team, project partners included contractor Walsh Construction; EXP’s architecture / design / engineering firm; art glass installations by Skyline Design; and Nick Cave Studios.

Garfield ‘L’ station dates back to 1892 and originally served as the Universal Exposition of Colombia. Today, it has two stations: one currently serves commuters and the other is the restored original station, which the City of Chicago designated as a historic landmark in 2001 and now serves as a community art facility.

Contactless payment allows DART passengers to pay for their travel ticket with a contactless credit or debit card, or a payment-enabled mobile phone or handheld device. As with the DART GoPass® mobile app and GoPass® Tap card, passengers simply hold their card or device in front of any DART GoPass Tap card reader, ride, and depart, depending on the transport agency. Readers are located on station platforms and aboard DART buses and Dallas streetcars; the GoPass Tap system automatically selects the best local adult fare for the passenger.

The DART contactless payment system is based on Vix Pulse, a “multimodal, multi-operator solution that unifies account-based ticketing and mobile and contactless payments into a secure, easy-to-use and managed platform,” the agency said.

Credit and debit cards issued on the Visa®, Mastercard®, American Express® and Discover® networks are currently accepted. Digital wallets on a smartphone, smartwatch, or other portable device are supported, including Google Pay ™, Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay®, and Fitbit Pay ™. If a credit / debit card has a chip but is not contactless, it can be linked to a digital wallet and used with a mobile device.

DART passengers can also register their contactless payment method on and benefit from a price cap. “With the rate cap on contactless payment, you never pay more than the full cost of a local adult day pass in one day,” DART said. “As a local passenger, after spending a total of $ 6 per day, customers will not be charged another rate until the next day. With a registered contactless payment method, passengers will never spend more than the full cost of a monthly pass ($ 96) in a calendar month. Each calendar month, after purchasing 16-Day Passes or the equivalent, passengers will not be charged another fare until the end of that month.

Valley Metro’s small business financial assistance pilot program began in March to benefit local small businesses adjacent to the South Central Extension / Downtown Hub and Northwest Extension Phase II light rail construction corridors in Phoenix, Arizona. More than $ 250,000 has been distributed to 50 small businesses so far, the transit agency reported on September 22.

The program is funded to the tune of $ 2.3 million by Phoenix Transportation 2050 and the Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation. It offers two levels of financial assistance that can be requested annually. “At Level I, companies can receive $ 3,000 during the pilot year or they can choose to apply to Level II where they can receive up to $ 9,000 depending on their demonstrated business impact,” Valley said. Metro. The funds “are intended to support and help support these small businesses and can be used to offset the operational expenses of the business, such as rent / mortgage, utilities, insurance and payroll.”

The program complements Valley Metro’s suite of business support tools that have been in place for years, such as increased signage and direction; community events; social media / marketing assistance; accounting / financial planning; and single, dedicated points of contact to meet all business needs, according to Valley Metro Business Support Coordinator Jose Galindo.

“The light rail is a huge and important investment in our community,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Equally important is ensuring that businesses located near railway construction areas survive and thrive. I have no doubts that this much-needed help will keep our urban centers vibrant and active for generations to come.

“Small businesses are the driving force of our city,” said Phoenix Deputy Mayor Carlos Garcia. “Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and building long-term transportation, a grant under the Small Business Financial Assistance Program can have a big impact on keeping a business open. “

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