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

ardecila Jan 21, 2007 8:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoju (Post 2577542)
Obama getting elected may help.

I doubt it. Obama has shown no indication of strongly pursuing pork projects for Illinois, beyond his reasonable duty to the state; he doesn't want to be labelled as a demanding, money-grubbing congressman. I doubt he will help us out more than any other city if he is elected president.

However, Obama's policies (if elected president) might in fact lead to an increase in Federal transit spending across the board, which would indirectly benefit us, NYC, LA, and a whole host of other cities like Detroit and Milwaukee who are trying to move past the bus transit stage.

Chicago Shawn Jan 23, 2007 1:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norsider (Post 2577330)
Funding this, funding that. Blah blah blah. Screw all these "ideas" for funding. The damn federal government could fix the entire CTA, plus build 2 new subway lines for what it costs them to spend ONE F-ING MONTH in Iraq. We don't need "ideas," we need money. 15 billion may sound like a lot of money to me and you and the guy down the street, but it's not. It's chump change, boys. We need to tell the government to stop wasting it in the Middle East and start investing within the borders of the USA.

And please stop helping the cause of those that would shut us down by constantly jawing about how expensive everything is. Just stop. It's not expensive AT ALL. We just need to change priorities. And oohing and aahing over the pricetags doesn't help us with this effort in the slightest.

A-FUCKING-MEN! You spoke my mind. I'll one-up that with a question, can anyone at all think of a major infrastructure project built in the last 15 years anywhere in the US which did NOT involve a design around gas guzzeling, smog producing cars. I sure can't, which only re-enforces why so much money is sent back to the Middle East through the department of Defense. Gotta keep the cheap oil flowing, gotta keep the proffits of the oil lobby up, gotta keep the paradox going of the American Joe forced to shell out shitloads of cash for personal transportation, gotta keep spending more, more, more and more tax money on a ever exapnding system of bigger, longer, wider roads, highways, bridges, overpasses, underpases and Texas-sized stack interchanges at a $half billion a pop.

No one ever fucking complains at the cost of highway construction, that is always "progress" but somehow fixing our nation's crumbeling rails is wastefull pork and un-American Socialism. :hell:

Rail Claimore Jan 23, 2007 6:01 AM

It makes the news only now because the busiest lines in the system... the north side elevated, the northwest side blue, and both subways, are experiencing problems. Every other line in the city is either newly rebuilt, relatively young, or is currently being overhauled. This westsider ain't complaining. :haha:

Seriously though, I read the other day that the brown line rennovation was only to extend the platforms and redo the stations. Is any work being done at all on the actual track structure?

VivaLFuego Jan 23, 2007 2:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 2582999)
It makes the news only now because the busiest lines in the system... the north side elevated, the northwest side blue, and both subways, are experiencing problems. Every other line in the city is either newly rebuilt, relatively young, or is currently being overhauled. This westsider ain't complaining. :haha:

Seriously though, I read the other day that the brown line rennovation was only to extend the platforms and redo the stations. Is any work being done at all on the actual track structure?

Short answer, no, the structural work (primarily flange angles) was already completed over the last 5 years. I think at some point in the 80s or 90s there was significant track work (i.e. new rail and ties where needed) so in general the Brown Line track and structure are in pretty good shape at this point.

That said, probably within about 15-20 years the Brown will need significant track and structure work, just like the Green will too (realistically the rail infrastructure components only last about 25-40 years before needing major work).

the urban politician Jan 24, 2007 4:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj
From my vantage point it wasn't until this Daley administration took over that there was any serious attempt at tackling the 60 plus years of deffered maintence. Other than Jane Byrne orange line/Ohare extension, what did any other administration do to update and modernize the CTA?

As of late....
Green Line Redo
Douglas Line Redo
Fare Automation system
Subway station Updates
Power washing the subway tunnels
Brownline capacity expansion

Clearly the Daley administration have just been sitting on their asses again

^ Um, or it could be that Daley has been in office for 18 years AND COUNTING. What Mayor since his father has come anywhere close to that?

More time, naturally more gets done--even if you're dragging your feet. Seems simple to me

Marcu Jan 24, 2007 5:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2584062)
From my vantage point it wasn't until this Daley administration took over that there was any serious attempt at tackling the 60 plus years of deffered maintence. Other than Jane Byrne orange line/Ohare extension, what did any other administration do to update and modernize the CTA?

As of late....
Green Line Redo
Douglas Line Redo
Fare Automation system
Subway station Updates
Power washing the subway tunnels
Brownline capacity expansion

Clearly the Daley administration have just been sitting on their asses again.


Is power washing the subway tunnels really that big of an accomplishment? Almost sounds like a joke or parody. Also, the fare automation was just done so Chicago doesn't look like a joke compared to other cities.

Chicago Shawn Jan 24, 2007 5:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2585179)
Is power washing the subway tunnels really that big of an accomplishment? Almost sounds like a joke or parody. Also, the fare automation was just done so Chicago doesn't look like a joke compared to other cities.

Toronto still runs on cash, tokens and paper transfers, and yet it has a fare recovery rate of 80+%, the highest in North America for any rapid transit system. Just imagine what the CTA could do with an extra 30% of its budget comming from the fare box. Technology is not always a better way, I think the high number of faulty Chicago cards is a pretty clear example of that. How much money is the CTA losing from people getting free rides becuase the cards won't scan?

You know what is amazing, tonight in Bush's State of the Union address, he set a goal to reduce gasoline consumption by 20%, and yet not one word was muttered about increasing use and funding of public transit. Not one fucking word! Agian, public transit takes a back seat in the public view of transportation policy.

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2007 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2585179)
Also, the fare automation was just done so Chicago doesn't look like a joke compared to other cities.

Actually we had this implemented years before the other major systems, but by all means, please continue with your preconceived notion of perpetual and thorough idiocy and incompetence at CTA!

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2007 3:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 2585225)
Toronto still runs on cash, tokens and paper transfers, and yet it has a fare recovery rate of 80+%, the highest in North America for any rapid transit system. Just imagine what the CTA could do with an extra 30% of its budget comming from the fare box. Technology is not always a better way, I think the high number of faulty Chicago cards is a pretty clear example of that. How much money is the CTA losing from people getting free rides becuase the cards won't scan?

CTA saves alot of money (several million, I think $5-10 million per year) by reducing and otherwise consolidating cash handling, which is very expensive and tedious. That said, by being first to market, our system isn't as nice as some of the others.

Quote:

You know what is amazing, tonight in Bush's State of the Union address, he set a goal to reduce gasoline consumption by 20%, and yet not one word was muttered about increasing use and funding of public transit. Not one fucking word! Agian, public transit takes a back seat in the public view of transportation policy.
I noticed this too. Aaaaargh. We already have clean technology that can move people around for most of their daily tasks in a very efficient and scalable manner, no need to throw money at R&D for technology that doesn't exist and may never prove economically viable.... c'mon George let's start by growing our cities smarter and investing in and promoting transit use for people's day-to-day trips (i.e. work, school)

Marcu Jan 24, 2007 6:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2585884)
Actually we had this implemented years before the other major systems, but by all means, please continue with your preconceived notion of perpetual and thorough idiocy and incompetence at CTA!

Don't take it so personally. I was just lucky enough to have been on the subway systems in DC, NY, LA, SF, Boston, London, Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest, and Paris. I guess I just have slightly higher expectations than powerwashing the subways.

nergie Jan 24, 2007 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2586294)
Don't take it so personally. I was just lucky enough to have been on the subway systems in DC, NY, LA, SF, Boston, London, Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest, and Paris. I guess I just have slightly higher expectations than powerwashing the subways.

Our CTA is a joke, Singapore and HK have so much nicer systems it makes you wonder WTF. Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the richest country on earth and our GD politicos are bumbling numbskulls who couldn't buy an idea with a fistful of $100 bills. When Hastert was Speaker why couldn't he and
Durbin work together to find funding for the CTA. Also the f-ing farmers downstate need to realize that Chicagoland is what makes Illinois.

Marcu Jan 24, 2007 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2586392)
Our CTA is a joke, Singapore and HK have so much nicer systems it makes you wonder WTF. Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the richest country on earth and our GD politicos are bumbling numbskulls who couldn't buy an idea with a fistful of $100 bills. When Hastert was Speaker why couldn't he and
Durbin work together to find funding for the CTA. Also the f-ing farmers downstate need to realize that Chicagoland is what makes Illinois.

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.

Chicago Shawn Jan 24, 2007 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2585891)
CTA saves alot of money (several million, I think $5-10 million per year) by reducing and otherwise consolidating cash handling, which is very expensive and tedious. That said, by being first to market, our system isn't as nice as some of the others.

Thanks, I knew it saved money, but that is a higher ammount than I expected. I would really love if the CTA would bring in more of the multi-card machines NYC's MTA uses in all of its stations. We have one on the Chicago Red Line mezzanine. I really hate being forced to find a currency exchange to buy a multi-day pass, and making sure I have cash on hand for the purchase. BTW, what is the cut retailers recieve when they sell CTA passes?

And what is the situation for advertising on CTA property? Is there a board who decides where ads can be placed? Why can't more of our stations and train cars be turned into billboard space? If advertising is a for profitt venture, then surley the CTA can squeeze some more revenue out of it. Plaster everything in ads if it means more revenue for the system.

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2007 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2586294)
Don't take it so personally. I was just lucky enough to have been on the subway systems in DC, NY, LA, SF, Boston, London, Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest, and Paris. I guess I just have slightly higher expectations than powerwashing the subways.

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

Quote:

Annual Ridership:
LAMTA - 467
MBTA - 260
NYMTA - 2200
WMATA - 337
CTA - 497

Operations Revenue:
LAMTA - 278
MBTA - 424
NYMTA - 3749
WMATA - 529
CTA - 558

Operations Expenditure:
LAMTA - 1428
MBTA - 985
NYMTA - 8234
WMATA - 1104
CTA - 1082

Operations Subsidy:
LAMTA - 1870
MBTA - 873
NYMTA - 5005
WMATA - 671
CTA - 524

% Operations Recovery:
LAMTA - 19%
MBTA - 43%
NYMTA - 46%
WMATA - 48%
CTA - 52%

Operation expense per ride:
LAMTA - $3.06
MBTA - $3.79
NYMTA - $3.74
WMATA - $3.28
CTA - $2.18

Subsidy per ride:
LAMTA - $4.00
MBTA - $3.36
NYMTA - $2.28
WMATA - $1.99
CTA - $1.05

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.

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2007 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 2586641)
And what is the situation for advertising on CTA property? Is there a board who decides where ads can be placed? Why can't more of our stations and train cars be turned into billboard space? If advertising is a for profitt venture, then surley the CTA can squeeze some more revenue out of it. Plaster everything in ads if it means more revenue for the system.

from the Suntimes:
Titan Worldwide has been awarded the exclusive contract to sell advertising media on the Chicago Transit Authority. In a three-year contract beginning Feb. 1, Titan will assume all advertising sales responsibilities within CTA’s service area, including the city of Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. Titan now controls all the major transit markets, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Seattle. Titan began five years ago with 12 employees and $3 million in revenue. Today it has more than 700 employees and pro forma sales for 2006 of about $400 million.

I can't give specifics at this point, but expect some pretty cool stuff and alot more ads on CTA property.

Chicago Shawn Jan 24, 2007 10:43 PM

^Thanks for the info.


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) but it gives a good idea. 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.


Holy crap, the CTA has the HIGHEST rate of fare recovery combined with the lowest expense per ride, and the lowest subsidy of those systems listed. I don't think I can ever really complain about CTA mismanagement again given those numbers, the blame purley needs to be on the outdated funding formula. This is the type of stuff that needs to be printed in newspapers to sway public opinoin. I mean, the CTA spends 50% less per ride than LA, with only 25% of the subsidy per ride that LA recieves, and its pretty far under the other numbers of other systems as well. That is really quite impressive, especially given the overall age of our system.

Chicago3rd Jan 24, 2007 11:25 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) but it gives a good idea. 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.

But I am in a quandry.
100% behind more comprehensive public transportation in Chicago.
100% getting more money for it
100% Don't trust CTA to spend it.

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2007 11:52 PM

^ Some restructuring of CTA oversight is probably in order; competent and fair oversight would go a long way towards winning public trust.

The problem is, the way politics work in this town, everything is part of a deal. So the oversight regime is changed; what do the lawmakers who enact these changes get in return? Why come to them with such a generous offer?

And yeah, the LA numbers do seem crazy high. Part of it is that the LA region is realizing the importance of transit since they've discovered you can't simply pave over the entire planet to solve congestion. However, it's possible the numbers could be skewed if that operating expenditure includes things like debt services (interest, etc.), but even if it does we still have ballpark numbers.

Wright Concept Jan 25, 2007 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2587028)
^ Some restructuring of CTA oversight is probably in order; competent and fair oversight would go a long way towards winning public trust.

The problem is, the way politics work in this town, everything is part of a deal. So the oversight regime is changed; what do the lawmakers who enact these changes get in return? Why come to them with such a generous offer?

And yeah, the LA numbers do seem crazy high. Part of it is that the LA region is realizing the importance of transit since they've discovered you can't simply pave over the entire planet to solve congestion. However, it's possible the numbers could be skewed if that operating expenditure includes things like debt services (interest, etc.), but even if it does we still have ballpark numbers.


They are skewed because also included in that costs are routine maintenance that they do quite frequently on Weekday evenings to keep the system running smoothly.

One other thing to keep in mind is that half of the Rail lines are carrying at a healthy ridership load (Red and Blue) While others need more riders to make the operating costs balance out (Gold and Green)

One of the most important things that plagued us was an entity called the BRU which forced the MTA via the Consent Decree (It expired in November) to take their operations money and purchase new buses while not enabling them to raise fares. That is a big reason why the numbers were skewed. If that were the case we'd be at a 40-50% recovery.

VivaLFuego Jan 25, 2007 1:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PracticalVisionary (Post 2587138)
They are skewed because also included in that costs are routine maintenance that they do quite frequently on Weekday evenings to keep the system running smoothly.

One other thing to keep in mind is that half of the Rail lines are carrying at a healthy ridership load (Red and Blue) While others need more riders to make the operating costs balance out (Gold and Green)

One of the most important things that plagued us was an entity called the BRU which forced the MTA via the Consent Decree (It expired in November) to take their operations money and purchase new buses while not enabling them to raise fares. That is a big reason why the numbers were skewed. If that were the case we'd be at a 40-50% recovery.

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; in fact I'd say its likely it does to some extent, since the sales tax subsidy is greater than all of the operating expenditures, though some of that difference could be made up of stuff like debt services. If someone can tell me what % of that sales tax revenue is directed for capital funds, I'll update the figures again.


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