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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

Attrill Nov 18, 2009 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4565146)
Minor gripe - but isn't MBTA partially funded by a statewide 1% sales tax, in addition to levies on the municipalities served?

Sales tax is definitely not the best way to fund transit, but it is statewide in Massachusetts, which is much better than our RTA set up. The municipal taxes in Mass account for about 10% of transit funding while the RTA county taxes here account for almost half of transit funding, with little statewide contributions.

My main point is that Chicago does pay a lot for transit - it just goes directly to the RTA without passing through the city at all. Daley could certainly do more to champion transit, but the funding of it is not in the hands of the city. All other US transit agencies get much more support from the states they are in, the last thing Chicago needs to do is make it's transit funding even more local.

electricron Nov 18, 2009 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Attrill (Post 4565683)
All other US transit agencies get much more support from the states they are in, the last thing Chicago needs to do is make it's transit funding even more local.

That's not true. Texas gives local transit agencies nothing. They're all funded via Federal grants and local sales taxes.......

mwadswor Nov 18, 2009 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 4565708)
That's not true. Texas gives local transit agencies nothing. They're all funded via Federal grants and local sales taxes.......

I don't believe ValleyMetro in Phoenix gets much or any state funding either. It's funded by the cities and MAG (Maricopa Association of Governmnets). And I'm quite certain that transit in New Mexico is funded by the cities or the MRCOG (Mid-Region Council of Governments) in the case of the Rail Runner from Belen to Santa Fe, although both the states of Arizona and New Mexico helped pay for the infrastructure to build the light rail (Arizona) and Rail Runner (New Mexico).

Perhaps it is more common for smaller states like Massachusetts to take a larger role in directly funding transit while larger states (in terms of area) like New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois, etc. have more rural voters that limit the amount of state money that can go to transit in any one city.

Mr Downtown Nov 19, 2009 5:20 PM

I don't think state funding is particularly common, because in most states there are large constituencies who don't see local transit as relevant to them. Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and maybe Massachusetts and New York are the only places that come immediately to mind for significant state funding.

VivaLFuego Nov 19, 2009 5:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4567107)
I don't think state funding is particularly common, because in most states there are large constituencies who don't see local transit as relevant to them. Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and maybe Massachusetts and New York are the only places that come immediately to mind for significant state funding.

Right - it's not only the size of transit's constituency, but that size relative to the rest of the state. Greater Boston totally dominates Massachussets politics, New Jersey is the most urbanized state in the country with the bulk of its population tied either to the NYC or Philly urban regions, and New York City's influence in Albany is proportionately greater than Chicago's influence in Springfield. Chicagoland is big enough in Springfield (IL) that local issues can get taken care of if there is local concensus (e.g. Chicagoland can easily pass a tax on itself), but not so much that local issues can totally dominate the agenda as they can in Albany, Trenton, or (obviously) Boston.

the urban politician Nov 19, 2009 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4567139)
Right - it's not only the size of transit's constituency, but that size relative to the rest of the state. Greater Boston totally dominates Massachussets politics, New Jersey is the most urbanized state in the country with the bulk of its population tied either to the NYC or Philly urban regions, and New York City's influence in Albany is proportionately greater than Chicago's influence in Springfield. Chicagoland is big enough in Springfield (IL) that local issues can get taken care of if there is local concensus (e.g. Chicagoland can easily pass a tax on itself), but not so much that local issues can totally dominate the agenda as they can in Albany, Trenton, or (obviously) Boston.

^ Not sure I agree with this.

In what way is the Chicago area's influence over Springfield any less than these other places? Chicagoland is Illinois. And unlike the case of NYC (with Buffalo), there are really no other large cities to compete with Chicago for attention.

mwadswor Nov 19, 2009 7:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4567245)
^ Not sure I agree with this.

In what way is the Chicago area's influence over Springfield any less than these other places? Chicagoland is Illinois. And unlike the case of NYC (with Buffalo), there are really no other large cities to compete with Chicago for attention.

There are these people called rural voters, who tend to dislike giving their money to the big cities and who tend to have a disproportionate amount of voting power because of the way voting districts get drawn. There doesn't need to be a competing metro area to compete for funds, there just need to be enough people/voting power that aren't all in 1 metro area to axe state funding for city issues.

the urban politician Nov 19, 2009 7:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mwadswor (Post 4567295)
There are these people called rural voters, who tend to dislike giving their money to the big cities and who tend to have a disproportionate amount of voting power because of the way voting districts get drawn. There doesn't need to be a competing metro area to compete for funds, there just need to be enough people/voting power that aren't all in 1 metro area to axe state funding for city issues.

^ But they exist everywhere. Look at upstate NY.

That was my point.

Attrill Nov 19, 2009 8:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4567139)
Right - it's not only the size of transit's constituency, but that size relative to the rest of the state. Greater Boston totally dominates Massachussets politics....

Boston doesn't completely dominate Massachusetts politics, there are more representatives from just Worcester and the Berkshires than there are from inside Rte. 128. I think the relationships between Boston area/Western Mass and Chicago/downstate are pretty similar.

RTA daily ridership is around 2 million, that is 15% of Illinois residents using transit every day (a higher percentage that MBTA riders in MA). I think the constituency is there.

Mr Downtown Nov 19, 2009 8:14 PM

^That's 1.9 million unlinked rides, not individual riders. So you can start by halving the number, and reducing it further for anyone who has to transfer. And the MBTA number is 1.4 million.

VivaLFuego Nov 19, 2009 8:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4567245)
In what way is the Chicago area's influence over Springfield any less than these other places?

New York is definitely the more similar - an upstate capital and some other minor urban regions as X factors (Illinois has Metro East, recall, with a ballpark of 600,000 residents depending on how one counts it).

Boston is both the major city and the capital of Massachussets, making state and city politics inherently more intertwined since they occur steps apart from each other. And it's surrounding 6 county area (we'll call it the commuter shed, being served by commuter rail) accounts for over 70% of the state's population, in contrast to about 61% for Chicago's 6-county area (and that's including McHenry County, which is a stretch to include in any political grouping with Chicago).

And even if we assume general regional unity, ongoing debates in our national government highlight the immense difference between a 60% majority and a 70%. 60% still requires compromises and heavy lifting to get tough votes like taxes/revenues done.

Attrill Nov 19, 2009 8:46 PM

^^

From my link above:

Quote:

RTA ridership is in the region of 1.9 million rides per day, while New York’s MTA averages 7.8 million and Massachusetts’ MBTA averages 792,600. In terms of infrastructure
I'm not exactly sure how they arrived at that number for the RTA, but the CTA alone has about 1.7 million boardings daily, and with Metra and PACE added I could see it being close to the number they claim. It may not be as high as they are claiming, but it is certainly more than half.

Mr Downtown Nov 19, 2009 8:56 PM

Boarding = ride = unlinked trip. None of these are the same as rider or journey. 1.7 million boardings is probably fewer than 500,000 riders.

DCCliff Nov 20, 2009 3:27 PM

If its a revenue boarding (don't know the definition used in those stats) then it's a paid boarding. It doesn't matter if it's a discretely different rider or not. It's revenue.

Mr Downtown Nov 20, 2009 5:31 PM

^You're missing the point. It matters if you're trying to calculate how many people in a state or region are transit users by looking at unlinked trips.

The national average is about .78 to go from unlinked to linked trips, but that's skewed by the massive number of New York City subway trips and by small-city systems in which transfers are very inconvenient. CTA is a system designed around bus-rail transfers.

emathias Nov 20, 2009 9:29 PM

With the recent issues on the CTA with doors (the stroller and then the door that stayed open), I thought I'd point out we're not the only city with door issues on public transit:

From Portland:

Frantic on the MAX

emathias Nov 20, 2009 9:39 PM

Is there a name for those rail yards around/south of Roosevelt between Canal and the River?

EDIT: I'm calling them Amtrak's Chicago Yards and 14th Street Shop (I needed to caption a photo I took of them for a book)

Haworthia Nov 20, 2009 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4569709)
Is there a name for those rail yards around/south of Roosevelt between Canal and the River?

I don't know the name, but I always thought that that would make a good place for a stadium. It's close to the Metra stations and a blue line stop.

Edit: Actually, not as close as I thought to those stops. But if these were ever developed into something, perhaps a Clinton St. Subway would serve them well.

SuburbanNation Nov 20, 2009 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Attrill (Post 4565683)
All other US transit agencies get much more support from the states they are in...

http://www.ltlprints.com/blog/wp-con...9/05/fail2.jpg
http://www.ltlprints.com/blog/wp-con...9/05/fail2.jpg

Mr Downtown Nov 21, 2009 3:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4569709)
Is there a name for those rail yards around/south of Roosevelt between Canal and the River?

Amtrak's 14th Street Yard seems to be the right term for the east side. Historically they belonged to the Pennsylvania Rail Road.

The west half, BNSF's half, historically belonged to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R.R. It was also called 14th Street Yard.


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