I ride the Red and Purple on a near daily basis. I also park in the lot. Other than a connecting door to the Standard lot, the Terminal entrance makes using the platform a much more efficient and serene experience.
I don't have any fond memories of the fiberglass awnings that graced the Howard Terminal in the nineties. The holes not only leaked water, but pigeon droppings, as well. The area has changed quite a bit. It is not the unfriendly confine that it once was. One situation taken out of context was the temporary closing of Duncan Donuts during construction. One person suggested in a video that Duncan was closed for good. A quick review at that time confirmed that this was incorrect. Of course, history has confirmed it. Nevertheless, Quizno's stayed open for the duration.
For those who are curious, the Chinese restaurant was supposed to go through a remodelling, but my discussions with the former owners suggested that he was not fond of union labor. This was an unwise preference in a 'closed shop' Chicago. I will never know whether his plans for a non-union remodeling or a decision to simply move were the basis of China Lite's departure.
My current Howard Terminal concerns; still (1) no concessions for bathrooms and (2) an insecure bike area without racks or real supervision to date. When push comes to shove, I hope to see ongoing improvements. The north end of the terminal is the next part of the rehab project from what I recall from the plans.
That section is supposed to look more like the historic Howard Terminal.