Cermak–Chinatown station

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Location 138 West Cermak Road
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Coordinates 41°51′12″N 87°37′51″W / 41.853206°N 87.630968°W / 41.853206; -87.630968
Owned by Chicago Transit Authority
Platforms 1 Island platform
Tracks 2
Connections CTA bus
Structure type Elevated
Bicycle facilities Yes
Disabled access Yes
Opened September 28, 1969
Rebuilt 2009–2011, 2013 (refurbished)
Previous names Cermak (Station Sign)
Passengers (2015) 1,547,817[1]Decrease 1.3%
Rank 46 out of 143[a]
Preceding station   Chicago "L"   Following station
toward Howard
Red Line
Route map
Red Line
north to Howard
Archer Avenue
Cermak Road
Red Line
south to 95th/Dan Ryan

Cermak–Chinatown is a station on the Chicago Transit Authority's 'L' system, serving the Red Line. The station is located in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood and contains many elements of Chinese culture in its architecture.

The resort has two tile murals with "Welcome to Chinatown" also written in Chinese. Passengers using the stairs or escalator are welcomed by a couple of lion statues, called "foo dogs," meant to protect against evil spirits at the entrance. The bins on the quay are painted in red and green, the Chinese color for prosperity and longevity, with Welcome written in Chinese on the next one.

Like the other eight stations, Cermak-Chinatown was built by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, looking just as identical to the 95th Street Station. Customers outside the station can also see Chinese characters masks of Chinese opera and theater productions on the walls. Cermak-Chinatown is open 24/7 365 days a year as part of the service on the Red Line. In 2014, an annual total of 1,567,588 passengers have boarded this station.[2]


Truck collision[edit]

The new main entrance in 2011

On April 25, 2008, a semi truck crashed into the station, killing two and injuring 21, at least seven critically.[3] Part of the station collapsed after the impact.[4] Bystanders said that the driver of the truck was coming off the northbound Dan Ryan Expressway exit.[3] The truck driver was taken into custody and died later in the year.[5] One month later, a Cottage Grove–bound Green Line train had a derailment near the 59th Street junction.


The original station (designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill) had undergone updates since its opening in 1969. After the truck collision, however, CTA officials planned to fully rebuild the station house, with construction beginning in fall of 2009. On June 4, 2010, a new auxiliary entrance/exit opened at Archer Avenue, to provide convenient access to the 62 Archer buses as well as to Chinatown Square and the Richland Center.[6] On April 15, 2011, the main entrance on the north side of Cermak Road reopened and was upgraded with an elevator making it ADA accessible. The auxiliary entrance on the south side of Cermak Road reopened on April 30, 2011.[7][8]

Cermak/Chinatown, like all Dan Ryan Branch Red Line stations, was closed between May 19, 2013 and 4 a.m. October 20, 2013 for the Red Line South Reconstruction Project.[9]

Bus connections[edit]


  • 21 Cermak
  • 24 Wentworth
  • 62 Archer

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Due to possible double-counting of physically-connected stations, the CTA's official 2015 tally of stations was 146, but for ridership purposes reported having only 143 stations.


  1. ^ "Annual Ridership Report – 2015" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority Ridership Analysis and Reporting. January 13, 2016. Retrieved May 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Monthly Ridership Report – December 2014" (PDF). Chicago Transit Authority Ridership Analysis and Reporting. March 5, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Two killed, at least 21 injured after truck crashes into CTA Red Line station in Chinatown". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. 2008-04-26. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  4. ^ "At least 2 dead after semi rams train station". Associated Press. 2008-04-25. Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  5. ^ "2 killed, 21 hurt as truck slams into Red Line stop". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times News Group. 2008-04-26. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  6. ^ "New entrance for Chinatown 'L' station opens Friday". Chicago Breaking News Center. June 3, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Cermak-Chinatown Station Main Entrance Reopens". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved April 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Cermak-Chinatown Station Renovation". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved May 28, 2010. 
  9. ^ http://www.transitchicago.com/dr-track/

External links[edit]