SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

OhioGuy Mar 3, 2008 2:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3390737)
There's already an underpass underneath the Edens that alignment A could use.

Ah, ok. I hadn't realized that, though I guess it makes sense.

Having said that, I still prefer something on the east side of the interstate rather than the west side.

MayorOfChicago Mar 3, 2008 8:13 PM

Tribune:

The Chicago Transit Authority is installing 60 fare-card vending machines enabling customers to use credit cards to purchase rides, the transit agency announced Monday.

The machines accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card and American Express credit cards, as well as debit cards that have an accompanying credit card logo, officials said.

Customers using the machines will be able to purchase magnetic-strip transit cards and add value to either magnetic-strip transit cards or Chicago Cards, which are electronic smart cards.

When paying with a credit or debit card, the minimum value that can be added to a magnetic-strip transit card or Chicago Card is $5. As a security measure, the maximum value that can be charged to a credit card is $25 each calendar day.

The first five of 60 machines are located at the O'Hare International Airport station on the Blue Line, the Merchandise Mart station serving the Brown and Purple/Evanston Express Lines, the Clark/Lake station in the Loop, the Adams/Jackson station on the Blue Line and the Midway Airport station on the Orange Line, officials said.

After a 30-day test period, the remaining 55 fare-card machines are expected to be installed over the next four months at more than 45 CTA rail stations.

Nowhereman1280 Mar 3, 2008 8:16 PM

^^^ Its about time they did this, cash is so 20th century...

Haworthia Mar 3, 2008 8:46 PM

Ditto to that. I don't know how many times I've had to hunt down an ATM so I could put more money on my card. I hope they put some of these machines on the Green Line too.

ardecila Mar 3, 2008 11:21 PM

^^ I'm sure Harlem/Lake will be one of the 45 stations in the second phase, along with all the other terminal stations (95th, Forest Park, Howard, Kimball, etc.).

Marcu Mar 4, 2008 1:10 AM

^ Yes this is just a huge PR move for the CTA that that they had to spend very little on. Especially now that everyone's on the Chicago Card. But little things like this add up, and at least Huberman seems to be concerned with people's perception of the services they are getting for their money. The same can't be said for some other governing bodies in this area. (Cook County comes to mind).

pip Mar 4, 2008 11:16 PM

CTA vows 'breakout year' for service fixes

Crain’s) — The Chicago Transit Authority’s new boss Tuesday promised riders a specific set of service improvements — including a near-end to bus bunching and slow zones on el trains — that they will be able to count on seeing no more than 18 months from now.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=28456

MayorOfChicago Mar 5, 2008 12:57 AM

Check out the highlights.......

1) “The CTA’s got to be a better deal than a car” if it is to maintain its service and dream about future expansion, Mr. Huberman said.

“We know we’re cheaper. We need to be faster,” he added, describing the coming months as “a breakout year” for the long-challenged agency.


2) The CTA already had announced plans to spend tens of millions of dollars rebuilding much of the O’Hare Blue Line west of the Addison stop and Mr. Huberman said that action, combined with other steps, should cut the amount of tracks under slow zones to just 6.9% of the CTA system by the end of this year, down from 21.2% last June.

3) On bus bunching, in which buses delayed by traffic arrive in clumps rather than being scattered every few minutes, Mr. Huberman said the CTA already is doing everything from giving special training to supervisors and drivers to regularly informing workers at each garage how well they are doing at keeping schedules compared to other garages.

Severe weather always will have the potential to throw the CTA for a loop, but, “We’re making progress,” Mr. Huberman said. “By the summer, I think we’ll have it beat.”

4) In another change, electronic schedule boards telling riders how long it will be until their train arrives should be installed in every el station within 18 months, Mr. Huberman said. Based on systems now in place in London and other cities, the boards will carry some advertising which should totally pay their cost, he said.

ardecila Mar 5, 2008 1:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 3395092)
4) In another change, electronic schedule boards telling riders how long it will be until their train arrives should be installed in every el station within 18 months, Mr. Huberman said. Based on systems now in place in London and other cities, the boards will carry some advertising which should totally pay their cost, he said.

I've been waiting for this for YEARS! Newer systems like the DC Metro have these signs system-wide, and they're absolutely great. They make the system tremendously user-friendly. I doubt that CTA will install the flashing lights on the platform edges, but having a countdown sign is so much nicer than the canned recordings. Even NYC only has such signs on certain lines; a system-wide installation within 18 months is unreal.

However, I thought that proper countdown signs required a new signal system to be installed? I think Viva mentioned that the last time we discussed these signs a few months ago. If the CTA is not prepared to spend money upgrading the signals, then the signs will only be able to give estimated arrival times based on the planned schedule, and if the train is late, then the signs will be incorrect.

According to Wikipedia, MTA over in New York paid $160 million in 2003 dollars to outfit 158 stations with such signs. That would make it roughly $185 million today - how many years of advertising will it take to pay that off?

The article also mentioned several ways that the CTA is trying to increase revenue and decrease expenses. Increased concessions contracts were mentioned, including possibly Starbucks, as well as leasing out ticket machines to banks, who would then incorporate ATM functions into the machines. The revenue from concessions could be substantial, and leasing out ticket machines would replace a cost with another revenue source.

Marcu Mar 5, 2008 3:45 AM

^ Great news all around. We may finally get back to having a world class transit system.

MayorOfChicago Mar 5, 2008 3:10 PM

The buses always know where they are (to announce the next bus stop) by using GPS.

Can't we just throw a GPS on the trains, have it transmit the train # and location to a "headquarters", and then tie that in with the units in the train stations? If we can throw them on every bus, we should be able to do this without TOO much trouble.

Especially since so much of the system is above ground. GPS in cars can tell you where you are and how far you have until you arrive at your destination, this is the same concept. You just need to send that information from the train car to the specific unit in the train station...

i_am_hydrogen Mar 5, 2008 7:09 PM

CTA president offers broad platform for rail, bus improvements
New buses, cardless transit part of vision


By Jon Hilkevitch | Tribune reporter
10:51 PM CST, March 4, 2008


A lunchtime business crowd hungry for changes at the Chicago Transit Authority got all it could possibly digest Tuesday from CTA President Ron Huberman.

An energetic Huberman served up promises of rail-car seats clean enough to eat off of and technology to tell waiting riders when their buses and trains will arrive. He also vowed to quickly launch an ambitious campaign to post electronic advertising on bus exteriors and improve retail shops in rail stations, all to help fund an array of future transit projects.

But by the time dessert was finished at the City Club of Chicago luncheon, the big question staring back from empty plates was how Huberman would accomplish it all, especially in the 12- to 18-month timetable he laid out.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7686476.story

emathias Mar 5, 2008 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3395158)
... According to Wikipedia, MTA over in New York paid $160 million in 2003 dollars to outfit 158 stations with such signs. That would make it roughly $185 million today - how many years of advertising will it take to pay that off? ...

You're thinking too much like a constuction guy and not enough like a technologist.

I don't know how New York did it, but I have a hard time believing it would cost anywhere near $1 million per station to add this in Chicago. First of all, unless I've been severely misled, Chicago has a systemwide computer network already in place. Second of all, the equipment costs for LED signs should have dropped considerably in the past 5 years. I know union labor is ungodly expensive, but even if estimating the signs they choose cost $100,000 each (I actually think they should cost about 1/5 of that), and have 4 per stations with a total of $250,000 per station to install them, that's $102 million, not $185 million. And if the signs themselves do only cost $20k each, and can be installed for $100k per station, it would only be $28 million - which is easily an amount that could be financed with advertising I think.

I don't have any hard numbers, but I really don't think the cost will be anywhere close to $100 million, let alone $185 million.

emathias Mar 5, 2008 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 3396257)
The buses always know where they are (to announce the next bus stop) by using GPS.

Can't we just throw a GPS on the trains, have it transmit the train # and location to a "headquarters", and then tie that in with the units in the train stations? If we can throw them on every bus, we should be able to do this without TOO much trouble.

Especially since so much of the system is above ground. GPS in cars can tell you where you are and how far you have until you arrive at your destination, this is the same concept. You just need to send that information from the train car to the specific unit in the train station...

I've asked this question in the past and only gotten excuses about why it can't work - none of them very convincing. I think, perhaps, the CTA has simply lacked a leader who understood how to make good use of technology. If Huberman is now a leader who does (and all evidence indicates that he is), we may be close to a golden age of technological solutions to our local transit problems. That may be overly optimistic, but he at least seems to be advocating doing things that make sense to people who've grown up with technology.

VivaLFuego Mar 5, 2008 8:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3396891)
I've asked this question in the past and only gotten excuses about why it can't work - none of them very convincing. I think, perhaps, the CTA has simply lacked a leader who understood how to make good use of technology. If Huberman is now a leader who does (and all evidence indicates that he is), we may be close to a golden age of technological solutions to our local transit problems. That may be overly optimistic, but he at least seems to be advocating doing things that make sense to people who've grown up with technology.

How many GPS transponders do you buy? One for every single railcar (since every railcar could potentially be the cab-car of a revenue train)? Or do you issue them straight to operators and then deal with things like responsibility and accountability? GPS receivers are cheap, but are you familiar with what's required to take that GPS data then transmit it back via IP to a central server? It's basically a laptop and cell-modem in every railcar (again, do you install it in the railcar, or issue it straight to operators?). Hardware installation for such a project would run (ballpark guess, based on the CTA Bus Tracker project) $15-30 million. That's just for railcar-side components, and it leaves you with a gaping hole in system coverage for the entire downtown area (GPS not working at all underground, and not working well among highrises).

Alternatively, for next train arrival predictions, you tie into the signal system (the choice taken by nearly every heavy rail transit operator who's done this...some lightrail operators go the GPS route). Remember, parts of the CTA system (Blue Line) are still controlled by pneumatic block signals from circa 1950 (currently being replaced, done by sometime in 2009). Even once everything is upgraded to automatic train control, the entirety of the signal system is not yet online for tracking in the control center (again, this should be done by sometime 2009). So given these two large projects (replacing Blue Line signals cost ~$160 million, for example), control center will now be able to monitor the signal system (and ergo train location) in real time.

Now, the arrival times have to be sent back to each station (regardless of whether control center is getting location data via GPS or signals). How to transmit this? The ability to use cell-modems for this sort of operation is very recent, only becoming commercial feasible in the past couple years. Most transit properties simply send it via conduit/fibre lines that run the length of the system along the ROW. As you can tell by the voice quality of announcements at some station platforms, many stations are yet to be wired with modern data transmission infrastructure. Again, this is another multi-year ongoing project necessary before rolling out a next-train arrival system. It could theoretically be sent back to stations via cell modems.

All told, none of these are insurmountable obstacles, nor are any of the final steps to an arrival countdown system absurdly expensive (many of the base features like modern signals, fibre optic lines, and tying control center into the signal system) should be done regardless for service reliability and safety purposes. It does take someone who really wants to get it done to make the investment and direct organizational resources to get a countdown system installed. But its not like there was no progress on this front, and suddenly a motivated individual decided It Must Be Done and CTA got to work. The necessary pieces, upgrading railroad ROWs with components dating back to the 1890s, have been ongoing for literally decades, and with a final push now a systemwide implementation is within reach.

Like with the CTA Bus Tracker, lots of people want to see a quick and dirty project that gives some sort of result (like the generally meaningless bus countdown clocks London installed some years ago); but of course, such a result will be of suspect quality and reliability. To do a project like this right, it takes a great deal of time (often many years) of planning and design.

Abner Mar 5, 2008 9:14 PM

http://www.wjinc.com/main.asp?Sectio...70&TM=57720.03

RTA comes to town for reaction on Blue Line plan
Meeting March 12 features Q & A on Cook-DuPage corridor study

By BILL DWYER

Officials from the Regional Transportation Authority and members of the Cook-DuPage Corridor Study will be at the Oak Park village hall March 12 to publicly present a preliminary set of plans addressing long-term public transportation needs in Chicago, western Cook County and DuPage County.

The public meeting, scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. in the village council chambers, is one of five scheduled over an eight-day period.

...

Assistant to the Village Manager Rob Cole said the occasion is an opportunity to voice "strong opposition" to new high occupancy vehicle lanes, bus rapid transit or high occupancy toll lanes on the Eisenhower Expressway.

"The Blue Line extension is a far superior alternative for an abundant number of reasons, and we strongly urge opposition to any attempt to widen I-290," said Cole.

Rapid transit expert and advocate Rick Kuner, who is credited by many for stopping unilateral plans by the Illinois Department of Transportation to add additional lanes to I-290 in 2002, sent out an e-mail alert last week echoing Cole's concerns and urging people to attend the meeting.

"We need to send a loud, clear message that Oak Park says "yes" to the Blue Line and "no" to expanding the Eisenhower," wrote Kuner, calling the current process "a critical juncture."

ardecila Mar 6, 2008 6:03 AM

I don't see why they keep referring to bus rapid transit as "expanding the Eisenhower". In a dedicated right-of-way, BRT doesn't take up any more space than a rail line would. Operating costs are undoubtedly less, too. I'm definitely against adding regular lanes to the Eisenhower, though.

Viva: I thought the outmoded signals were on the O'Hare Branch. How can these signals date back to the 50s when the line wasn't constructed until the 70s? I don't doubt that the signals are outmoded, though.

Also, it seems like cell-modem is the easiest way to implement the train-arrival system. It can be easily done incrementally, station-by-station, as CTA sees fit, as supposed to a dedicated communications line down the tracks which must be installed at night or during a line shut-down, and requires lots of labor to lay down and wire properly.

emathias Mar 6, 2008 6:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3396962)
Like with the CTA Bus Tracker, lots of people want to see a quick and dirty project that gives some sort of result (like the generally meaningless bus countdown clocks London installed some years ago); but of course, such a result will be of suspect quality and reliability. To do a project like this right, it takes a great deal of time (often many years) of planning and design.

I'm not familiar with the bus equipment in London, but I know the bus (and train) countdowns in Stockholm seemed to work just fine when i was there 5 years ago.

There is no universal single "right" way to do it. There are probably dozens of ways to create a reliable notification system - you mentioned or alluded to at least three - and while you talk about the CTA working on various pieces that can be used for such a system, the CTA has never said "we're going to do this," maybe because of money, or maybe because they never really understood the value to customers.

What the CTA has said publicly is, "We're doing this needed project and, oh yeah, it could also, maybe, in the unplanned future, possibly contribute to notification."

I think it is getting done now because someone is saying it will be done. And I think that someone is Huberman. However, it's also likely that part of the problem in the past is that the CTA had no unified plan for what they were going to do and when they would do it. Part of that is surely the result of spotty funding, or maybe the problem was they had a plan but never communicated it so they never felt any pressure to actually deliver on the plan. Deadlines are when things get done. No deadlines, in my experience, means no results. That Huberman is setting deadlines, even if they slip, should mean more things eventually get done.

MayorOfChicago Mar 6, 2008 3:20 PM

God bless Illinois....

Quote:

CTA must cut $200 million from new train, bus budget
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3790823.story

Abner Mar 6, 2008 3:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3398112)
I don't see why they keep referring to bus rapid transit as "expanding the Eisenhower". In a dedicated right-of-way, BRT doesn't take up any more space than a rail line would. Operating costs are undoubtedly less, too. I'm definitely against adding regular lanes to the Eisenhower, though.

I think the bigger concern is HOV lanes. The group in Oak Park sees these as a back-door way to sneak in more regular lanes, since HOV lanes can always be converted back to regular lanes when they find they're underused. Apparently the HOV lanes would only exist between Mannheim and Austin, so I don't know how many people would really bother with them. I think the concern for BRT lanes might be similar.

Also, isn't a traffic lane wider than a rail right-of-way? I don't know about this. Obviously Oak Park's main concern is to avoid the acquisition of property along the Eisenhower--it is pretty densely developed all along there.


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:43 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.