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

nergie Jan 25, 2007 5:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2586465)
No one wants to fund the CTA until it becomes more transparent and develops a more competent and less corrupt image. But the CTA argues the system can't become better without more funding. The only solution I can think of is a compromise where Springfield increases funds for the CTA while getting more oversight and involvement in its operations. Money in exchange for power.

Also, the HK and Singapore systems, like most Asian systems, are public-private partnerships which generally tend to work much better. Most "developing" countries also have these systems (e.g. Sao Paulo), which explains why third world countries have better mass transit than most American cities. The main argument against a public-private system is it's unprofitable to run underutilized lines to poorer areas. However, Sao Paulo simply setup a subsidy mechanism where the trains run frequently to all parts of town while remaining private.

Thanks for your insite, I have spent better part of 2 years in Asia for work. I could not image what I would do without the transit system. My home base is Chicago and I try to use the CTA as much as possible but it leaves a lot to be desired.

I really think the politicians in DC, especially Durbin and Hastert had a chance when the transportation bill passed. Instead of support some god-dam prairie pkwy why not allocate money to overhaul and improve the region's mass transit.

Chicago is a world class city and deserves a transportation system befitting of that status. I also believe that more lines need to be built out to the burbs. I think this would encourge Density related development as has occurred in many suburbs on the Metra lines. A top notch system that is clean, efficient and safe will encourage people to use it. I believe the large upfront capital necessary for this type of system will pay itself off in a relatively short time as ridership will increase. I am ready to pay for a system like this and I am sure there are other people feeling the same way.

Just a bit negative after the State of The Union last night, I am sick of politicians and the crap that comes out of their mouths. Most of the time this stuff is worse that what comes out their ass.

Marcu Jan 25, 2007 8:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2587223)
Ok I edited it, using LAMTA 2007 budget numbers, that 2 billion number I had previously for operating expenditures included some capital costs so I removed that, the actual operating total is about 1428 million. for the operating subsidy, I'm assuming the sales tax revenue is used for operations, while state and federal grants are used for capital; this is how it is in Chicago. It may differ in LA. If someone can tell me what % of that sales tax revenue is directed for capital funds, I'll update the figures again.

The numbers show a lot and you certainly convinced me that the CTA does indeed need more funding to, at the very least, keep up with other "world class" cities. Hopefully, a more oversight in exchange for more money compromise can be reached some time this year.

Marcu Jan 25, 2007 8:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2587738)
Thanks for your insite, I have spent better part of 2 years in Asia for work. I could not image what I would do without the transit system. My home base is Chicago and I try to use the CTA as much as possible but it leaves a lot to be desired.

I really think the politicians in DC, especially Durbin and Hastert had a chance when the transportation bill passed. Instead of support some god-dam prairie pkwy why not allocate money to overhaul and improve the region's mass transit.

Chicago is a world class city and deserves a transportation system befitting of that status. I also believe that more lines need to be built out to the burbs. I think this would encourge Density related development as has occurred in many suburbs on the Metra lines. A top notch system that is clean, efficient and safe will encourage people to use it. I believe the large upfront capital necessary for this type of system will pay itself off in a relatively short time as ridership will increase. I am ready to pay for a system like this and I am sure there are other people feeling the same way.

Just a bit negative after the State of The Union last night, I am sick of politicians and the crap that comes out of their mouths. Most of the time this stuff is worse that what comes out their ass.

I totally agree. The politicians in DC have definetly failed us with mass transit funding. Any lessons from your 2 years in Asian that you want to pass along?

nergie Jan 25, 2007 4:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2588027)
I totally agree. The politicians in DC have definetly failed us with mass transit funding. Any lessons from your 2 years in Asian that you want to pass along?

The main thing is if the system is clean, convenient and efficient people will use it, regardless of income bracket. Singapore's MRT is a classic example of how government and private industry can work well together. The Govermnet funds the infrastructure and SMRT is in charge of operations.

The MRT has lead to high density residential/commercial development. Without the MRT Singapore would be choked with traffic.

The system has to be very comprehensive extending into suburbs and outer areas. Actually it would be ideal if there were intersuburban lines that like expressways can be used to go from suburb to suburb or feed the city center.


The other thing I really like is the Electronic Road Pricing or ERP. It is what London's congestion charge is based on. Essentially if you wish to drive into the city center during peak hours you will pay upto 3 dollars each time you pass under a ERP gantry. Chicago and NY could use a system like this which charges people as you enter the Kennedy, Edens, Ike, LSD and other main highways and thoroughfares that are choked with traffic. Meanwhile traffic passing through such as trucks and cars most likely would stay on the Kingery down south. Make the Kingery a 16-20 lane highway with no tolls and truck/car/bus dedicated lanes and this combined with the hope that more people will take the trains should help reduce congestion on the major arteries of Chicago.

Taft Jan 25, 2007 5:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2586749)
Spent 15 minutes looking at the PDF budgets from each of the following agencies. not quite apples to apples (i.e. MBTA and NYMTA include commuter rail, all of them include bus+rail though, which is why I didn't include BART), but it gives a good idea of relative funding levels and efficiency in providing transit trips. Sorted by subsidy per ride. Figures in millions. Not sure how to do tables in this forum system, if someone explains it I'll do it


These numbers really speak for themselves in terms of how pathetically underfunded CTA is, and to how efficient its operations are given what it has to work with.

Unbelievable work! This corrects some misconceptions I had about CTA funding. It is really good to see the high level of funding from the fare boxes.

Someone should really send this to the local papers as this really needs to be reported. If people knew how pathetic our funding was in comparison to other mass transit agencies, some real pressure might actually be put on our legislatures and local governments.

Again, thanks a million!

Taft

the urban politician Jan 26, 2007 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2588441)
The other thing I really like is the Electronic Road Pricing or ERP. It is what London's congestion charge is based on. Essentially if you wish to drive into the city center during peak hours you will pay upto 3 dollars each time you pass under a ERP gantry. Chicago and NY could use a system like this which charges people as you enter the Kennedy, Edens, Ike, LSD and other main highways and thoroughfares that are choked with traffic.

^ Ha! I started a thread suggesting something similar to this at SSC (in the Chicago forums) about a year ago to a pretty lukewarm response. If SSC forumers aren't even ready for it, then I'm pretty sure the idea would be doomed in the city itself.

Oh, and NY does have such a toll. With very few exceptions, one cannot enter Manhattan by car without paying a $6 toll.

nergie Jan 26, 2007 3:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2590220)
^ Ha! I started a thread suggesting something similar to this at SSC (in the Chicago forums) about a year ago to a pretty lukewarm response. If the Chicago forumers aren't ready for it, then I'm pretty sure the idea would be doomed in the city itself.

Oh, and NY does have such a toll. With very few exceptions, one cannot enter Manhattan by car without paying a $6 toll.

The Manhattan charge is for the tunnels and bridges and is all day long. ERP would vary at the peak hours maybe $8 dollars. It is not perfect, but if the cost is high enough and if the trains provide an attractive alternative why pay a high $$$ amount. But I agree with you we are a society that will never be comfortable with giving up our little personnel space on 4-wheels.

Here is an idea, let's make cars expensive like Singapore. They have a COE that is priced per the engine size. Cars are also like $20-30K more expensive that the States. For example a Honda Accord it will cost $80K Singapore Dollars to buy it and another $24K Singapore Dollars for the 10-year COE. That is roughly $67K USD, and after 10 years if you have to buy a new COE. Most people in Singapore buy a new car after the 10 years and take the scrap value the gov't pays for the car.

Ah an urbanist's dream.

the urban politician Jan 26, 2007 4:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2590236)
Here is an idea, let's make cars expensive like Singapore. They have a COE that is priced per the engine size. Cars are also like $20-30K more expensive that the States. For example a Honda Accord it will cost $80K Singapore Dollars to buy it and another $24K Singapore Dollars for the 10-year COE. That is roughly $67K USD, and after 10 years if you have to buy a new COE. Most people in Singapore buy a new car after the 10 years and take the scrap value the gov't pays for the car.

^ Won't work. Americans will stupidly still pay for the more expensive autos just to prove that they can afford one. In America, the more expensive you make things the more everyone wants it.

nergie Jan 26, 2007 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2590352)
^ Won't work. Americans will stupidly still pay for the more expensive autos just to prove that they can afford one. In America, the more expensive you make things the more everyone wants it.

Like I said just a dream.

VivaLFuego Jan 26, 2007 6:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2591260)
One way would be to establish a separate taxing body for the NE Illinois region by county, with a dedicated property tax for transit. Start with small assesments, so as to not freak people out where it couldn't be passed. Once in place though you would have a dedicated stream that these districts could issue bonds ( just like the school districts do ) for capital investment.

Every resident would get a transit card ( just like a library card ) so if you choose to use the system your paying for fine, if you don't use it that's fine too.

Eventually the suburbs are going to have to come to terms with suburb to suburb commutes via hard or light rail, and have appropiate dense developments to justify transit lines between dense work centers and dense population centers. The Chicago region needs to flex its muscle in State Government to get a law that allows a property tax assesment for transit, otherwise you'll never get suburbanites total buy in, and we'll just keep going down this half ass suburban car dominated planning scheme forever.

Actually, there already is an Urban Mass Transit taxing district that currently gets a 0% assessment. Look at a property tax bill, it's there as a line item. I've wondered why no politician type has suggested using it to pay for capital investments...

Unfortunately, telling voters that "PROPERTY TAXES ARE TEH SUXXOR AND R TOO HIGH !!" is a good way to buy votes. People and demagogic politicians just say that taxes are bad, rather than looking at potential returns of what that tax money could be spent on. To a large extent, it's not a question of if taxes are "too high", but rather if the citizenry are getting their money's worth out of the taxes they pay.

Bless Wikipedia, it has some very good information on the above taxing district I mentioned:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago...ation_District

Also interesting to see just how far along the they had gotten in the planning and design stages of a downtown distributor and subway system...

Chicago Shawn Jan 26, 2007 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2591370)
Actually, there already is an Urban Mass Transit taxing district that currently gets a 0% assessment. Look at a property tax bill, it's there as a line item. I've wondered why no politician type has suggested using it to pay for capital investments...

Unfortunately, telling voters that "PROPERTY TAXES ARE TEH SUXXOR AND R TOO HIGH !!" is a good way to buy votes.

Say what? How long has that been there? Good god, the region could start implimenting property taxes for transit tommorow. Just a small assessment would generate millions in revenue in the first couple years alone.

Jaroslaw Jan 27, 2007 3:58 AM

-When we mention Asian mass transit, we should keep in mind also that it's closely tied to property development... in most Asian cities, you invest in the line, you get areas around the stations for residential and retail, 5,000 units per station or something like that, and the profits from that pay for the subway construction, while providing future users. The Hong Kong MTR has a deal like this now in Shenzhen, and there are many others.

The only area where I could potentially see this work in Chicago would be the south lakefront, with a lot of eminent domain issues, or deciding to develop the land between LSD and the Metra tracks. The olympic parcel could be a part of that.

Neuman Jan 27, 2007 1:07 PM

So from those number posted earlier, CTA revenue collected covers a larger portion of operating expenses than those that New York's RTA collects for it Subways? I think not.....

I saw figures a year or two ago that had New York covering roughly 60-65% of operating expenses through fares. That was the highest in the U.S. Chicago was 2nd at around 50%, if that high....

spyguy Jan 27, 2007 9:03 PM

http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/m...searchType=all

Transit funding fix? Not from the RTA

The Regional Transportation Authority is taking a pass on recommending any specific ways to boost funding for public transit here. The RTA is slated to release its strategic plan next week, and while some had hoped the agency would throw its weight behind specific new fees or taxes, sources say the RTA will present only a menu of options, leaving tough decisions to Gov. Blagojevich and lawmakers. Without more subsidies, the local transit operators have warned of sharp cuts in service. [Greg Hinz]

Chicago Shawn Jan 27, 2007 9:08 PM

^Ugh, here we go again. Another round of political chicken.

VivaLFuego Jan 27, 2007 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neuman (Post 2593073)
So from those number posted earlier, CTA revenue collected covers a larger portion of operating expenses than those that New York's RTA collects for it Subways? I think not.....

I saw figures a year or two ago that had New York covering roughly 60-65% of operating expenses through fares. That was the highest in the U.S. Chicago was 2nd at around 50%, if that high....

that 60% is probably just for the subway division (NYCTA), I was pulling budget figures from its parent organization (NYMTA) which includes the buses and LIRR.

the urban politician Jan 28, 2007 2:33 AM

You gotta love how Crains keeps riding Daley's ass on this issue. Sort of makes up for the eerie silence coming from Chicago's other two newspapers:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...ticle_id=27177
January 27, 2007:
Mayor Daley, fix our rapid transit system
Chicago's rapid transit system is rolling toward a disastrous tipping point.
So far, riders have stuck with the elevated train system as service has gotten worse and worse. As Greg Hinz reported last week, delays, slow zones and derailments are crippling this crucial cog in the city's infrastructure. Derailments, delays and equipment malfunctions make every morning's commute a crapshoot. Meetings are missed, work goes undone and precious hours are wasted as workers sit on stalled trains.

At some point, ridership will plummet as commuters abandon the trains for more reliable transportation and businesses depart downtown for more accessible locations. The effect on the city's economy will be devastating.

Only Mayor Richard M. Daley can save the train system. So far, he's mostly ignored the deterioration of service as trains swell with downtown office workers commuting from the gentrifying neighborhoods of the North and Northwest sides — a predictable side effect of the middle-class renaissance he worked so hard to foster.

Now he must make the el his top priority. He must personally take the lead in pressing Springfield and Washington for the billions needed to fix the system. And he must make clear to CTA management that maintenance and repair should take precedence over glitzy projects like the Circle Line and the downtown super-station.

If the mayor needs personal incentive to get involved, he should consider two things: Without a functioning rapid transit system to move spectators around the city, Chicago can forget about landing the 2016 Olympics; and anger over lousy train service on the South Side contributed to Mayor Jane Byrne's defeat by Harold Washington in 1983.
He'll need to be both creative and flexible. For example, he should be willing to cede oversight of CTA capital spending to a broader transit agency like the Regional Transportation Authority. And he should look for new ways to finance repairs and upgrades, perhaps by privatizing operations such as the CTA's garages.

It won't be easy or glamorous. But securing reliable, efficient rapid transit for future generations of Chicagoans would make a fine mayoral legacy.

Chicago2020 Jan 28, 2007 10:30 PM

Does anyone think Daley has a chance to get re elected this year? I mean whats the overall consensus on the Daley administration in Chicago? Before I moved to Phoenix in 2001 :yuck: , Daley was very popular. Now nearly all the labor unions do not want to endorse him in this years election.


On another note, did anyone come up with a figure as to how much it would cost to get the CTA back on track???

spyguy Jan 28, 2007 11:22 PM

^As it is right now, I have no doubt that he will win easily.

VivaLFuego Jan 29, 2007 12:16 AM

^ re: the Crain's op-ed

1) it's great that the business community is starting to get vocal about the city's transit woes, hopefully legislators will start listening and act to effect change/progress

2) Not sure why so many people are down on the Circle Line. Aside from the obvious of improving interconnectivity in the Chicago central area and speeding up cross-town trips, it provides the potentially huuuuge benefit of the linkup to all the Metra lines. By this I mean, it could go a long way towards solving Chicago's age-old problem of a lack of rapid transit hookup to commuter rail. The Circle Line would serve the Mag Mile, River North, North/Clybourn, Wicker Park, United Center, Medical Center, Chinatown, Soldier Field, and the Loop, all of which are potential destinations for visiting suburbanites who could get off Metra, hop on the Circle straight to their destination. The Circle Line plan includes potential transfers to every Metra Line where it intersects with the Circle. If these facilities are built right and there's a successful marketing effort through the Chicago area about the new transit possibilities, the line could be an incredible success, boosting transit ridership not just in the heart of Chicago, but throughout the metro area.


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