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

Mr Downtown Oct 30, 2009 7:49 PM

What's being illuminated here is the constant battle between convenience for daily commuters and legibility to infrequent users. For CTA, this debate is usually between proponents of highly visible rail lines and proponents of fragmented bus service that picks up patrons closer to their homes and drops them closer to their offices. That's why actual everyday commuters in South Shore wouldn't really see any advantage from the Gray Line.

For daily commuters, the 120-series bus lines provide good, reliable rush hour service from West Loop rail terminals to Streeterville offices. But to infrequent visitors, that service is often irrelevant (not running when they arrive) and invisible (hard to show on the map; even harder to see on the street). Suppose tomorrow we had a subway line with stops at Union, Ogilvie, Michigan/Wacker, NWMH, and Hancock. Would the Monday commute be more or less convenient for people who now ride 120-series buses virtually to the door of their office buildings? Including walking time, would their door-to-door time actually be reduced?

the urban politician Oct 30, 2009 8:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4532559)
What's being illuminated here is the constant battle between convenience for daily commuters and legibility to infrequent users. For CTA, this debate is usually between proponents of highly visible rail lines and proponents of fragmented bus service that picks up patrons closer to their homes and drops them closer to their offices. That's why actual everyday commuters in South Shore wouldn't really see any advantage from the Gray Line.

For daily commuters, the 120-series bus lines provide good, reliable rush hour service from West Loop rail terminals to Streeterville offices. But to infrequent visitors, that service is often irrelevant (not running when they arrive) and invisible (hard to show on the map; even harder to see on the street). Suppose tomorrow we had a subway line with stops at Union, Ogilvie, Michigan/Wacker, NWMH, and Hancock. Would the Monday commute be more or less convenient for people who now ride 120-series buses virtually to the door of their office buildings? Including walking time, would their door-to-door time actually be reduced?

^ I view this also being about making it a more convenient option for the millions of people living outside of city limits to conveniently get to River North/Streeterville/Mag Mile without having to drive.

Right now I basically visit Chicago by car even though I would love to take a train. Why? Because I don't work in the Loop, so when I visit the city (a few times per month) I'm usually headed north of the river, unless I'm in the mood to wander around and gaze at the Loop's architecture, or perhaps a trip to MP.

That's where most of the retail, entertainment, restaurants, and hotels are. That's where out of towners tend to be headed.

That's why the city had a free trolley system. Why would there be a free trolley if there weren't a demand? Those trolleys were absolutely filled to the brim every single time I saw them.

If I knew that I could take Amtrak to the Loop and then take a reliable train/BRT to the Mag Mile, that would be a game changer for me, because I sure as hell hate traffic and parking.

If now is not the time to really start implementing this, then when is the right time? Over the years/decades more and more towers are going to get built in River North/Streeterville, more hotels are on the way--thus more congestion, more demand... who are we trying to convince here?

mcfinley Oct 30, 2009 8:25 PM

Free CTA rides for seniors will continue

source: http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...103009.article
Quote:

SPRINGFIELD — Free rides for senior citizens on Chicago-area public transit will continue after Senate Democrats blocked efforts today to undo the freebie impeached ex-Gov. Blagojevich bestowed on older voters last year.

The perk for seniors served as a flash point that doomed a financial bailout package for the Chicago Transit Authority, leaving the agency facing the prospect of service cuts, route eliminations or layoffs to offset a $300 million deficit.

“If they take out hurting the seniors, we can work something out. But it’s the hurting of the seniors, balancing the CTA on the back of the seniors, that’s the problem,” said Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago). “Don’t hurt the seniors, and we’ll work with CTA.”

Hendon, a candidate for Congress and lieutenant governor, also dished out a barb or two toward Mayor Daley, saying the onus for finding a funding fix for mass transit rests with the mayor.

“It’s called Chicago Transit Authority, so the city of Chicago has a responsibility. If Mayor Daley can raise $1 billion for Olympics, he can’t come up with a couple million for CTA?” Hendon said.

A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said efforts to round up votes for a financial aid package were hurt by Gov. Quinn’s shifting position on a bailout and the free-rides-for-seniors program.

“It doesn’t help that the governor flipped and is now against it,” Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said. “We just don’t have the votes.”
This is a little frustrating. The CTA is trying to shore up its annual deficit by reducing the subsidy to seniors that can afford to pay, yet Hendon is blocking the move while claiming it's the city of Chicago's responsibility to find funding for the budget gap.

Sure, I get that the State can make stipulations if it's going to provide additional funding to the CTA, but unless they plan on providing year-over-year revenues to cover the subsidy to the elderly in addition to their annual contribution, screw them.

the urban politician Oct 30, 2009 8:38 PM

^ He's right about one thing, though--if Daley can rally his troops around the Olympics and Millennium Park, maybe he should do something to really prioritize transit in Chicago.

I'm not saying the CTA's budget issues are his fault or in his hands. But if the guy....ugh, whatever. Daley's useful life as Mayor is spent, as far as I'm concerned. Chicago really needs some fresh blood.

Haworthia Oct 30, 2009 9:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4532675)
^ He's right about one thing, though--if Daley can rally his troops around the Olympics and Millennium Park, maybe he should do something to really prioritize transit in Chicago.

I'm not saying the CTA's budget issues are his fault or in his hands. But if the guy....ugh, whatever. Daley's useful life as Mayor is spent, as far as I'm concerned. Chicago really needs some fresh blood.

I agree that Daley does not prioritize transit enough, but I am very worried about what sort of mayor Chicago will get when Daley steps down/has the office stripped from him by the icy hands of death. Perhaps we could get a more transit friendly major, but I'm worried they would not keep pushing the development of the loop, an epic disaster in my opinion.

Now, my dream is for Ron Huberman, former head of the CTA, to became mayor.

the urban politician Oct 30, 2009 9:50 PM

^ Yeah, Huberman doesn't seem too bad on the surface. I'd like to hear a little more about his views, etc

Mr Downtown Oct 30, 2009 9:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4532612)
Right now I basically visit Chicago by car even though I would love to take a train.

Why does the 124 bus not meet your needs? Or the 151? Just because you don't know about them?

VivaLFuego Oct 30, 2009 10:39 PM

While I think there are a number of things Daley's City Hall could do to better aid CTA (e.g. re-orienting CDOT to value pedestrians and buses above private vehicles, a more aggressive transit-oriented posture in the zoning code, going to bat against the aldermen when CTA wants to cut blatantly inefficient services, etc.), it's prudent to bring up that just in 2008, Daley supported both an additional .25% sales tax and a city-only real estate transfer tax.

the urban politician Oct 31, 2009 2:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4532851)
Why does the 124 bus not meet your needs? Or the 151? Just because you don't know about them?

^ They're bus routes.

I don't use buses unless I"m forced to. I learned my lesson in NY.

So upgrading that route to BRT/rail just isn't worth it in your mind? To each his own, but that's what I call second rate transit; kind of unbecoming for what we're supposed to be calling a first rate, world class city.

Nowhereman1280 Oct 31, 2009 3:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4533290)
^ They're bus routes.

I don't use buses unless I"m forced to. I learned my lesson in NY.

So upgrading that route to BRT/rail just isn't worth it in your mind? To each his own, but that's what I call second rate transit; kind of unbecoming for what we're supposed to be calling a first rate, world class city.

Lol, thats because the busses in NYC suck balls. In Chicago buses are usually faster and more reliable than the train. If you've only been using the El here, man are you wasting your time...

ardecila Oct 31, 2009 3:31 AM

Yea, bus service here is arguably some of the best in the country, both in terms of the size of the network and the frequency of service. Bus Tracker is an amazing benefit, too, but it shouldn't be restricted to people with smart phones... busy stops should get screens like those in the L stations, with Bus Tracker info and advertising. JC Decaux might get pissed, but we're not here to make them happy.

OhioGuy Nov 1, 2009 3:31 PM

:hell:

Effort to end free mass-transit rides for Illinois seniors gets derailed at state Capitol

Quote:

DEANNA BELLANDI

Associated Press Writer

4:35 p.m. CDT, October 30, 2009



CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois senior citizens can continue riding for free on mass transit, but the perk means other commuters could see their fares increase.

Officials and lawmakers had talked about limiting the freebie to low-income seniors to lessen the burden on cash-strapped mass transit systems in the Chicago area, but lawmakers didn't have the votes Friday.

"On so many levels, there were so many things wrong with that plan. I'm glad it's dead," said Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago.

By not bringing the matter to a vote, lawmakers also avoided the politically thorny issue of irritating seniors, a dependable voting bloc around the state, just months before Illinois' Feb. 2 primary.

Lawmakers said it would be wrong to take the benefit from the elderly that was started last year by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"We want the seniors to ride free all over the state," said state Sen. Rickey Hendon, D-Chicago.

But Democratic Sen. Martin Sandoval of Cicero called lawmakers' inaction "hypocritical" because seniors would be affected if transit agencies cut services — and minorities and the working class would be hurt by fare increases — because of funding shortfalls.

The Regional Transportation Authority has said Chicago-area mass transit agencies could save about $37 million if the free rides were curtailed with the largest amount of savings — about $25 million — for the Chicago Transit Authority.

The CTA is already considering layoffs, fare increases and service cuts. A CTA spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

RTA Board Chairman Jim Reilly called income restrictions on senior free rides "a common-sense approach" that would have maintained transit services and restored needed revenue to the transit agencies.

Keeping rides free for all seniors means the commuter rail system Metra will go forward with its proposal to raise fares on one-way and weekend tickets, and raise the penalty from $2 to $5 on people who wait to buy tickets on a train when a station ticket agent is available.

"The majority of Metra's riders will not be affected by a fare increase," spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said.

Pardonnet said the fare increases will bring in about $6 million, money that could have been found if the senior free rides program was limited.

MetroLink on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities isn't planning any fare increases because of the continuation of the free rides, spokeswoman Jennifer Garrity said.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 1, 2009 6:06 PM

^^^ They raise a good point in the article, the seniors are going to be hurt a hell of a lot more by having to wait 2x's as long in the freezing cold for a bus or a train than the younger generations. Not only will the trains and buses have to run less frequently, but older people as less likely to use new technology that would enable them to access bus tracker and know exactly when to head outside. Whatever, you can't have your cake and eat it too, the elderly will be hurt either way, I would just prefer the option that doesn't screw the rest of us as well...

VivaLFuego Nov 1, 2009 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4533290)
I don't use buses unless I"m forced to. I learned my lesson in NY.

Chicago isn't New York, all the moreso since Chicago now has by far the newest and most reliable bus fleet of any big city transit agency, along with, of course, Bus Tracker. The others have hinted at it, but the bus ain't what it used to be.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4535051)
^^^ They raise a good point in the article, the seniors are going to be hurt a hell of a lot more by having to wait 2x's as long in the freezing cold for a bus or a train than the younger generations.

This touches on a pretty interesting and controversial topic of transit research, actually. Long story short, transit-dependent populations in general obtain maximum utility by keeping fares to a minimum even if that means reduced levels of service, in contrast to choice riders who get maximum benefit from having higher fares supporting higher levels of service. This phenomenon is apparent when you consider that "transit cities" like Chicago, New York, Philly, DC tend to have substantially higher fares and of course higher levels of service than cities where transit is almost exclusively for the transit-dependent - the latter cities where the bus costs $1.25 but doesn't actually get anyone out of their cars if they have one. I just bring this up to point out that it's very messy and complicated when talking about who is impacted and to what extent by fare levels versus service levels - most of us on SSP will fall in the camp that would much prefer maintaining service levels than low fares, but that's just one slice of the transit (and voting) constituency.

Zerton Nov 2, 2009 6:36 PM

I don't understand how I'm expected to have more money in college than a senior is expected to have?

ChicagoChicago Nov 2, 2009 7:05 PM

The free rides issue pisses me off more than any single issue in the Illinois general assembly. We all know what the real problem is...THERE"S AN ELECTION NEXT YEAR. Nobody wants to potentially piss off their largest voting demographic in an election year.

Dipshits like Quinn of course say that seniors just can't afford to pay for fares, yet the proposal would only have required seniors making more than $22k a year to pay a fare of less than a dollar. Over a third of seniors riding the CTA make in excess of $55k. But they vote, so they're safe.

And people wonder why this state is in such financial trouble.

a chicago bearcat Nov 3, 2009 3:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4536563)
The free rides issue pisses me off more than any single issue in the Illinois general assembly. We all know what the real problem is...THERE"S AN ELECTION NEXT YEAR. Nobody wants to potentially piss off their largest voting demographic in an election year.

Dipshits like Quinn of course say that seniors just can't afford to pay for fares, yet the proposal would only have required seniors making more than $22k a year to pay a fare of less than a dollar. Over a third of seniors riding the CTA make in excess of $55k. But they vote, so they're safe.

And people wonder why this state is in such financial trouble.

Agree with your first point completely, as it is blatantly obvious.

but, I remember Quinn wanting to limit senior discount but backing down because he didn't have the votes to pass it.

and if those are real stats I'd love the source. Doing ridership and traffic flow studies on a project, and that sounds like an appropriate precedent.

ChicagoChicago Nov 3, 2009 5:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a chicago bearcat (Post 4537509)
Agree with your first point completely, as it is blatantly obvious.

but, I remember Quinn wanting to limit senior discount but backing down because he didn't have the votes to pass it.

and if those are real stats I'd love the source. Doing ridership and traffic flow studies on a project, and that sounds like an appropriate precedent.

So did I...and then he went and shit the bed and said it was an important program that he wanted to keep.

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?sec...cal&id=7093395

nomarandlee Nov 3, 2009 7:41 PM

Populist pandering combined with needless entitlements. No wonder why debt holes keep getting bigger with such a mentality.

emathias Nov 9, 2009 7:11 PM

When's the City going to start talking more about the transit components of the Central Area Action Plan?


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