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

the urban politician May 18, 2007 4:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2842627)
Can't wait to see how out of control it gets when Daley's gone.

^ Ya really think Daley's been that instrumental?

I don't know, in my opinion he's been about as hands off as one can get. If anything, I'd like to see a mayor with a bit more passion about transit than this guy. LA's mayor comes to mind..

Eventually...Chicago May 18, 2007 1:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2842662)
^ Ya really think Daley's been that instrumental?

I don't know, in my opinion he's been about as hands off as one can get. If anything, I'd like to see a mayor with a bit more passion about transit than this guy. LA's mayor comes to mind..

I was at the ULI spring council meeting where da mayor spoke, he was pretty passionate about infrastructure. He was incredibly critical of Bush essentially ignoring infrastructure funding. (although he didn't use his name, he simply said the federal government) (hmm... wasn't there like 300 billion dollars sunk into the war?). I think daley has been fighting for transit as much as he is able to. I don't think that chicagoans going down to springfield comes off very well. Since a lot of the state stupidly resents chicago. Heck there are even a lot of outer suburbs that generally pooh-pooh the city.

Unfortunately i have a feeling it is going to take a crisis in order for the rest of illinois to realize that without a good, efficient chicago this state has absolutely nothing going for it.

Eventually...Chicago May 18, 2007 1:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2842731)
I saw one of the photo treads from Rome a week ago.... and what general filth and graffiti there was in the outer areas.... It reminded me of how good house keeping can be gone in an instant... and thus urban beauty...

That generally goes for all of italy's cities. Except a few small coastal towns.

OhioGuy May 20, 2007 1:37 AM

The trains sucked today! Something happened with a crane at one of the construction sites downtown which caused the east & north loop to be entirely closed, which in turn meant only Red line and Green line trains could operate on the elevated tracks in downtown. I boarded the brown line around 4pm this afternoon at Armitage and an hour later I got off at the Chicago stop. So I spent 1 hour traveling 1 mile. The train was moving *maybe* 2 mph the entire time. The backup was made even worse by the fact the CTA had shut down the red line subway this weekend, forcing all red line trains onto the brown line tracks to the loop. I got fed up with it and just decided to walk all the way down to Symphony Hall from the Chicago brown line stop. My feet are killing me now considering I had worn flimsy flip flops that I wouldn't have had I known I'd be doing so much walking. I know it wasn't the CTA's fault that something happened to a crane downtown, but boy was it a frustrating situation.

(btw, someone needs to work with the train operators on enunciation. My train's conductor made an announcement twice about the situation and both times I couldn't understand much more than 30% of what he said... so I never really had any grasp on what was going on and why we were stuck)

ardecila May 20, 2007 5:31 AM

Well, elevated trains are more susceptible to what happens around them. When that stuff happens to include large-scale construction, expect problems once in awhile. We've also had the Loop shut down because trucks have gotten stuck underneath it, we've had it shut down for building fires, etc.

As far as I know, the subways are only shut down for maintenance work or for train accidents/derailments. (The Great Loop Flood notwithstanding)

VivaLFuego May 20, 2007 6:09 AM

I wonder what happened, sounds kind of major....but they do always air on the side of safety, if there is any shred of doubt whatsoever they shut down sections of track. Where I think this could be improved is in communication, i.e. if there's a known delay, to very quickly broadcast it out to stations and to train operators so that announcements can be made, i.e. if you were aware of particularly long travel times leaving Armitage you could have at least considered other options Things seemed to be flowing fine when I rode the Red a few minutes ago, so I guess it's resolved (the #22 was a nightmare earlier, but in a good way: I'm delighted to see 3 consecutive crush loaded buses on the weekend)

headcase May 20, 2007 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2846426)
I wonder what happened, sounds kind of major....

Here
Quote:

The multi-ton crane was erected to lift air conditioning equipment to a roof between Michigan and Wabash, in a mid-block alley that retains the name of Garland Court, a former three block long street that has devolved into a service route and dumpster haven.

A loud boom resounded throughout the east Loop as the alley - sorry, street - cracked under the weight of the crane, upending the cab and leaning the crane into the back of a Jeweler's Row building facing Wabash, sending a hail of bricks and debris crashing to the pavement, crushing a loading dock and possibly damaging the foundation.

Buildings along the block were hurriedly evacuated, and service along the Loop 'L', already overtaxed by the addition of Red Line trains diverted from the State Street subway, was shut down along its Wabash and Lake Street legs, with Brown Line service terminated at the Merchandise Mart.
SSDD

CGP124 May 20, 2007 8:08 PM

I was probably on the same train or one slightly before or after it. The best part about the whole deal was they didn't tell us at armitage or Sedgewick, when they told us about a minute after we left sedgewick, and then we sat about 5 feet away from the stop at Chicago for 15-20 minutes. I mean I understand you can't control a situation like that, but you can make your best effort to stop people from being stuck on a train for an hour+.

OhioGuy May 20, 2007 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CGP124 (Post 2847034)
I was probably on the same train or one slightly before or after it. The best part about the whole deal was they didn't tell us at armitage or Sedgewick, when they told us about a minute after we left sedgewick, and then we sat about 5 feet away from the stop at Chicago for 15-20 minutes. I mean I understand you can't control a situation like that, but you can make your best effort to stop people from being stuck on a train for an hour+.

LOL, you're ordeal sounds exactly like mine. We had just departed Armitage and suddenly we slowed to a crawl. I swear I saw a turtle pass us below. :haha:

I guess the hold up was occuring because they couldn't let brown line trains onto the loop, so they were having to turn them back at Merchandise Mart which meant both brown and red lines got backed up. I wouldn't have hopped on the El and headed downtown had I known I was going to be stuck on it for about an hour. They definitely should have been informing riders on the southbound platforms. Oh well. It was an experience nonetheless. :)

OhioGuy May 20, 2007 10:56 PM

BTW, I happened to have my camera while I was stuck on the El. So here are a few photos I took. (actually I took about 55 photos, but most of them are of the skyline) :)

My car was pretty empty as you can see. Also if you notice, I'm actually on the red line. I hopped on the brown at Armitage, but upon hearing that the brown wouldn't be going down to the loop I switched at Sedgwick to the red line which was directly behind.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/215/5...c0c94fec_o.jpg

Looking ahead you can see two other trains waiting to make the stop at Chicago:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/207/5...b3fab069_o.jpg

Finally I'm next in line for the Chicago stop:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/218/5...f1dc3dfa_o.jpg

And looking behind there is another train waiting (and no doubt several more further back out of my view):
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/214/5...37bc0677_o.jpg

i_am_hydrogen May 21, 2007 2:19 PM

'3-track nightmare' really no big deal
CTA | Agency's scare tactics are off track -- so far -- as L travel times change little during Brown Line overhaul


May 21, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter mjthomas@suntimes.com


The CTA said it would be "hell," and L riders were warned their travel times might double.

But a month after the CTA closed one of four tracks at the Belmont and Fullerton L stations, riding the Red, Brown, Blue and Purple Express lines takes about as much time as before. The track work is part of the expansion of the Brown Line.

In some cases, riding the rails is even speedier.

That's what Sun-Times reporters found when they rode trains at rush hour, right before and one month after train service on the CTA's busiest rail corridor was cut dramatically April 2.

Read more at Chicago Sun-Times

Marcu May 21, 2007 6:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen (Post 2848186)
'3-track nightmare' really no big deal
CTA | Agency's scare tactics are off track -- so far -- as L travel times change little during Brown Line overhaul


May 21, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter mjthomas@suntimes.com


The CTA said it would be "hell," and L riders were warned their travel times might double.

But a month after the CTA closed one of four tracks at the Belmont and Fullerton L stations, riding the Red, Brown, Blue and Purple Express lines takes about as much time as before. The track work is part of the expansion of the Brown Line.

In some cases, riding the rails is even speedier.

That's what Sun-Times reporters found when they rode trains at rush hour, right before and one month after train service on the CTA's busiest rail corridor was cut dramatically April 2.

Read more at Chicago Sun-Times

Maybe cutting a few trains per hour in exchange for speedier commutes while on those trains should become permanent.

alex1 May 21, 2007 9:12 PM

^perhaps if the CTA went down to just one track, all our problems would be solved. so far, less tracks = speedier and more reliable commutes.

ardecila May 22, 2007 4:28 AM

CTA seeks to decrease workers' benefits
By Jon Hilkevitch
May 22, 2007

CTA officials uncorked proposals Monday to save an estimated $32 million a year by requiring transit agency employees and retirees to pay more toward pensions and health insurance.

The reforms, contained in legislation that will be distributed to state lawmakers Tuesday in Springfield, rely on approval to issue more than $1.5 billion in bonds to help pay for pension and health-care funding shortfalls, Chicago Transit Authority officials told the Chicago Tribune's editorial board.

"Our current retirement and health-care benefits are too rich for what we can afford," CTA Chairwoman Carole Brown said.

The reforms, combined with bonding authority and state approval of $110 million in additional operating subsidies, would solve the transit agency's immediate problems, officials said. But the agency needs almost $6 billion in capital-improvement funds to bring the transit system up to a state of good repair, they said.

The effort to rein in CTA employee benefits is the latest overture to show state lawmakers that the transit agency deserves more funding.

Brown and new CTA President Ron Huberman are expected to release a contingency plan Thursday containing fare increases and service cuts that would be implemented as early as July if lawmakers deny its request for $110 million.

Labor employee benefit costs represent more than 70 percent of the CTA's operating budget, officials said. Unless those costs are lowered, the transit agency must raise fares and cut service.

Rest of the story @ the Trib

nomarandlee May 24, 2007 8:09 PM

CTA President warns of fare hikes
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...052407.article

CTA President warns of fare hikes


May 24, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporter/mjthomas@suntimes.com

The CTA would end the Yellow Line and Purple Line Express routes and hike fares to as high as $3.25 unless Springfield comes up with $110 million by July 1, CTA President Ron Huberman warned today.

The Chicago Transit Authority’s latest gloom-and-doom threats come amid an ongoing budget crisis at the agency. Huberman made the announcement during a morning news conference, saying the changes would go into effect in September without the bailout.

Without the Legislature’s help, Huberman warned, the CTA will also be forced to slash 840 jobs and cut 63 bus routes — including routes now offered as alternatives to avoid delays on the North Side because of track work.
The fare increases would include a new, tiered pricing structure that would cost riders more during the morning and afternoon commutes.

Cash fares now are $2 per ride. Under the new proposal, rail fares would jump to $3.25 for rush-hour rides and $2.50 for off-peak rides. Bus fares would jump to $2.75 during peak hours and $2.25 for off-peak.

“None of these are ideal scenarios,” Huberman said. “We hope that we don’t have to make any of these cuts.”

The CTA board will meet next week to approve Huberman's recommendations. A series of public meetings will be held in June. Huberman said the cuts would likely cost the CTA 260,000 weekday bus and rail rides.

The Yellow Line, or Skokie Swift, travels from Howard to Dempster. The Purple Line Express runs from Howard to the Loop during the weekday rush. The bus routes on the chopping block are the current routes without Sunday service.

“Of all the options available to us, this plan puts the least direct burden on our riders,” he said.





------------------------------------------------

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/4...-cta25.article


Giving fare warning
CTA BUDGET WOES | New chief's dire scenario: $3.25 rides and cuts in L, bus service


May 25, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter mjthomas@suntimes.com

The CTA will end the Yellow Line and Purple Line Express routes and increase fares to as much as $3.25 by mid-September unless there is new funding to balance its budget, CTA President Ron Huberman warned Thursday.


More than 63 bus routes and 840 jobs also would be cut under the plan, which was requested by the Regional Transportation Authority in case state lawmakers don't come through with $110 million in extra funding to plug the CTA's budget shortfall by July 1.


The CTA's latest doomsday threats came hours before the RTA unveiled a plan to raise $452 million a year in operating funds for the CTA, Metra and Pace with a quarter-percent sales tax hike for Cook and the collar counties, and a 0.3 percent increase in Chicago's real estate transfer tax.
Without additional funding, the CTA will have to cut bus and rail service by 13 percent, including bus routes now offered as alternatives for North Side L tracks under construction, Huberman said.

Fare increases would range from 25 cents to $1.25 under a new tiered-pricing structure that would cost riders more during rush-hour commutes. Cash fares are now $2 per ride. Chicago Card users pay $1.75.

Under the proposal, rail fares would jump to $3.25 for rush-hour riders paying cash and $2.50 for off-peak rides. Bus fares would increase to $2.75 during peak hours and $2.25 for off-peak.

The CTA would also divert nearly $57 million in capital funds that would have been used for the renovation of buses and trains.

Huberman said all of the proposed changes would generate $97.5 million for the CTA but likely cost the agency 260,000 of its 1.6 million weekday bus and rail rides.

"None of these are ideal scenarios," he said. "We hope we don't have to make any of these cuts."

Charlene Washington -- a rider of the Yellow Line, which stretches between Howard and Dempster -- hopes so, too. "So many people depend on getting from Skokie to downtown," Washington said. "That is ridiculous."

Rider Gary Solovyov, 20, called the threatened fare increase "a bluff."

"It's already at $2. I can't imagine it would increase," Solovyov said.

Roughly 2,000 and 9,000 rides are taken each weekday on the Yellow and Purple lines, respectively. The Purple Line runs from the North Shore to Howard, with express service south from Howard.

Threats of service cuts and fare hikes come from the CTA nearly every year -- and sometimes the threats are hollow. But when the agency followed through in 1997 -- cutting service by 10 percent to save $25 million -- ridership plummeted.

This time around, the CTA is pairing its doomsday scenario with a plan to shore up the agency's dwindling pension reserves by requiring employees to make a larger contribution toward their pension and retiree health care benefits, saving the CTA $32 million a year. But the CTA's bus and rail unions are against the changes because they say it punishes workers for the CTA's failures.

Before the CTA board votes on the proposed doomsday cuts, the CTA will hold a series of public meetings in June.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has said there's no support among House Democrats for raising state sales or income taxes, but he might consider the RTA's proposal to increase sales tax in the six-county region. "It's only a regional tax. So there might be a different result. But I just wouldn't know right now," he said.

Contributing: Shamus Toomey, Cyndi Loza and Whitney Woodward


CHICAGO THREAT AUTHORITY
Past warnings the CTA has made:

* February 1997: CTA threatens elimination of bus routes and an end to late night "owl" service on some buses and trains, including the Green, Purple and Blue lines. The cuts went into effect within 15 months.

* May 1999: CTA boss Frank Kruesi warns "we'll have to shrink our operations" without Gov. George Ryan's proposed transportation funding bill, which later passed.

* August 2002: CTA officials say they can't rule out a 2003 fare hike because of the sluggish economy. The hike was avoided.

* October 2003: Kruesi announces plans for first fare hike since 1991 -- boosting standard fare from $1.50 to $1.75 -- to cover budget shortfall. The increase is approved a month later.

* June 2004: Mayor Daley warns of another fare hike and drastic service cuts without help from Springfield. By October, the threat widens to stopping all overnight trains and axing 30 bus routes and 1,000 jobs. The plan was shelved two months later.

* April 2005: CTA board sets a summer "doomsday" deadline to lay off 2,000 workers and cut service by 40 percent, including ending the Purple Line Express. Cuts avoided with $54 million state bailout in June.

* October 2005: Facing a budget shortfall and rising fuel costs, CTA proposes $2 fares. The hike is approved a month later.

* May 2007: New CTA boss Ron Huberman warns that without Springfield's help, the Yellow Line and Purple Line Express trains will die and fares will be hiked to as high as $3.25 in September.


CTA DOOMSDAY PLAN
The CTA is threatening to make the following changes by mid-September to balance its budget:

* No more Yellow Line and Purple Line Express trains.

* Elimination of the 63 bus routes that currently do not have Sunday service.

* Rush-hour fares would increase to $2.75 for bus riders and $3.25 on the L. Off-peak fares would increase to $2.25 for bus and $2.50 for rail.

* The price of the 30-day pass would increase to $122, from $75.

* The cost of transfers would double from 25 cents to 50 cents.

* Nearly $57 million in capital funds would be diverted to the operating budget, delaying maintenance for buses and rail cars.

* Pay raises for non-union employees would be deferred.

Taft May 24, 2007 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 2856021)
http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...052407.article
The Chicago Transit Authority’s latest gloom-and-doom threats...

Nice unbiased reporting. :rolleyes:

This isn't a threat. Huberman made it clear that without large cuts, a severe fare hike or additional money, the agency will go bankrupt in short order. This is fact, not an attempt at bullying.

Even after Huberman has made cuts, has worked with Springfield to radically reform the pension system, etc. people still don't get that the CTA is massively underfunded.

Taft

OhioGuy May 24, 2007 8:49 PM

Whoa, $1.25 extra just to ride during rush hour?!?! And actually it would be a $1.50 increase for me (I use the Chicago card). That's too much of a hike. I was thinking it would maybe jump up about 50 cents, which it does for off-peak hours... but $1.25 is a big increase! Guess I'd just try to avoid riding on the trains between approximately 3pm & 7pm on weekdays. :(

Hopefully the asshats down in Springfield won't screw over transit riders in Chicago.

Grego43 May 24, 2007 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 2856126)
Hopefully the asshats down in Springfield won't screw over transit riders in Chicago.


The founding of the State of North Illinois is long overdue. Chicagoland would be MUCH better off without the rest of the state sucking up all the tax revenue.

j korzeniowski May 24, 2007 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grego43 (Post 2856271)
The founding of the State of North Illinois is long overdue. Chicagoland would be MUCH better off without the rest of the state sucking up all the tax revenue.

i've thought about this from time-to-time. i would love to see any data that actually backs this up. we could make a nice capital mall out of unused/abandoned shoreline on the south lakefront (but then the south and north sides would want to secede from one another, heh heh.)

anyways, back on topic. to springfield, run by chicagoans, in the immortal words of howard stern's father, "don't be stupid, you moron[s]."

ardecila May 24, 2007 11:20 PM

I like North Illinois. We'd have enough of a rural constituency from all of the farmland north of I-80; this would also include Galena, Rockford, DeKalb, and maybe the Quad Cities (minus Davenport), in addition to Chicagoland.


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