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Chicago Shawn Nov 25, 2009 11:39 PM

New PACE suburban express routes launching next week...
 
On November 30, 2009, Pace will expand service on Route 855 Plainfield - East Loop Express and launch three new Express Routes: Route 655 Bolingbrook - Schaumburg Express, Route 755 Plainfield - IMD Express and Route 889 Harvey/Blue Island - Rosemont Express.

These routes, along with Pace’s Express Service to Popular Destinations (ESPD), comprise a new addition to Pace’s family of services: the Express Service Network. For only $4 per one-way trip, Pace’s Express Service Network is designed to improve connectivity throughout Northeast Illinois and provide access to jobs, schools, medical care that may not be available in a rider’s local area. These service improvements which are a part of Pace’s Vision 2020 long range strategic plan, have been made possible by ICE (Innovation, Coordination, and Enhancement) funding and JARC (Job Access and Reverse Commute) Program grants.

Route 655 Bolingbrook – Schaumburg Express will operate weekday rush hours between the Pace Bolingbrook Park-n-Ride on Old Chicago Drive and the Pace Northwest Transportation Center in Schaumburg via I-355 with intermediate stops in Downers Grove, Addison, and Itasca, with the latter two offering Park-n-Ride lots.

Route 755 Plainfield – IMD Express will operate weekday rush hours between a new Park-n-Ride lot adjacent to the Plainfield Village Hall and the University of Illinois at Chicago via I-55 with intermediate stops at the Pace Bolingbrook Park-n-Ride on Old Chicago Drive, the Ashland CTA, and the Illinois Medical District.
(This route will also serve the UIC east campus, ending at the Racine Blue Line station)

Route 855 Plainfield – East Loop Express is an existing route that will be expanded to operate select trips to and from the new Park-n-Ride adjacent to the Plainfield Village Hall. The route also serves Pace Park-n-Ride lots in Romeoville, Bolingbrook, and Burr Ridge, and travels to North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago via I-55.

Route 889 Harvey/Blue Island – Rosemont Express will operate weekday rush hours between the Harvey Transportation Center and the CTA Blue Line Rosemont station via I-294 with courtesy stops in Harvey, Calumet Park, Blue Island, and Alsip.

denizen467 Nov 28, 2009 7:21 PM

High-speed rail

If you look at the Russian HSR bombing today, diminishing public concern about global warming, undiminished government concern about terror, and state and national budget miseries for the foreseeable future, it seems that HSR network buildout would be much less likely now than it was just six months ago.

Busy Bee Nov 28, 2009 8:04 PM

Wasn;t that the second bombing on that Russian HSR route? If so, then I don't know how it really changes anything. China, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Benelux and the UK have had no such terrorist acts on HSR. The Spanish incident was Basque terrorism, no?

You cannot cower and avoid implementing needed transportation policy because of the potential of terrorism. You just have to adapt to it.

denizen467 Nov 29, 2009 10:14 AM

^ I share your aspirations and optimism. However I don't think what you've mentioned addresses the concerns..

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4581848)
Wasn;t that the second bombing on that Russian HSR route? If so, then I don't know how it really changes anything.

Chances of recurring terrorism is what worries people. A one-off event can fade into the past.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4581848)
China, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Benelux and the UK have had no such terrorist acts on HSR.

Well, none of those have notable terrorist enemies, do they? (With the exception of the UK as a US ally, and of course they did get attacked. Not their HSR, but their capital's subway - which is much more disruptive to them than their barely-existent HSR link.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4581848)
You cannot cower and avoid implementing needed transportation policy because of the potential of terrorism. You just have to adapt to it.

The US Congress and state legislatures can (cower and avoid), and they would, many of them. Politicians will tend to avoid blatantly risky security decisions. Look at all the years and years of contortions that have taken place in the air travel system to adapt it to a "post 9/11" world. After all that, some will argue it is foolish to build a brand new system with blatant vulnerabilities.

You can fortify the air travel system to the point where the average person is comfortable that it is virtually totally free from threat. In contrast, HSR is the opposite -- nothing anyone can do can give similar comfort.

Anyhow, I'm just suggesting that's how some politicians will feel. And a couple HSR incidents like this over the span of a few years and more of them will feel that way.

VivaLFuego Nov 29, 2009 4:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4582592)
In contrast, HSR is the opposite -- nothing anyone can do can give similar comfort.

Well, you can secure the ROW unlike the Russians, for starters.

In terms of securing the vehicles, of course it starts to become more like air travel in terms of passenger and baggage screening, which would start to eat into the potential time-savings of rail, which does call into question how much money we should be throwing at this to compete with existing transportation systems if such security requirements are inevitable before too long.

denizen467 Nov 29, 2009 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4582797)
Well, you can secure the ROW unlike the Russians, for starters.

Ideally -- but, nearly impossible. You could try building it Japanese Shinkansen style -- the entire thing on a robustly constructed (in Japan, because of earthquakes; in the US because of explosions) elevated viaduct for hundreds of miles and therefore prevent access to the tracks -- but that would be cost prohibitive and possibly rejected as ugly.

Or you could install surveillance cameras every 50 yards for hundreds of miles, including under viaducts, and pay people to watch them. That would be cost prohibitive, and could be circumvented (if the Secret Service can let in an uninvited guest to the White House and the FAA can fail to timely get the military involved with a passenger jet out of contact for over an hour, how reliable could an attempt at 300 miles of 24/365 surveillance be?).

ardecila Nov 29, 2009 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4582921)

Or you could install surveillance cameras every 50 yards for hundreds of miles, including under viaducts, and pay people to watch them. That would be cost prohibitive, and could be circumvented (if the Secret Service can let in an uninvited guest to the White House and the FAA can fail to timely get the military involved with a passenger jet out of contact for over an hour, how reliable could an attempt at 300 miles of 24/365 surveillance be?).

Motion detector technology... it's pretty simple. If you fence off the ROW, there won't be animals crossing or anything, so the only motion would be the trains, occasional birds, and trespassers, be they friend or foe.

You also have to keep in mind that any terrorists are not going to redouble their efforts simply because we built some new rail lines. Since 2001, Homeland Security has prevented pretty much every terrorist plot. Preventing terrorism is not a matter of increased security in airports and busy locations, it's a matter of better intelligence, and so far the government has shown themselves to be good at this. If it gets to the point where airport security or track surveillance is necessary, then several lines of defense have already failed. This only applies to terrorist organizations and foreign-agent saboteurs, of course - a Timothy McVeigh can really only be stopped by security procedures.

Russia and Spain to the US are apples-to-oranges, too. The US has nowhere near the levels of domestic unrest that those countries do. Hell, we have less domestic unrest than Canada.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 30, 2009 3:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4583054)
The US has nowhere near the levels of domestic unrest that those countries do. Hell, we have less domestic unrest than Canada.

Haha the Teabaggers and Faux News would beg to differ!

ardecila Nov 30, 2009 8:07 AM

I've yet to see them turn to violence. They disagree strongly with the current administration, but many consider themselves patriots and wouldn't dare perpetrate a terrorist attack on US soil.

ChicagoChicago Nov 30, 2009 3:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4583520)
Haha the Teabaggers and Faux News would beg to differ!

Face meets palm...

Tom In Chicago Nov 30, 2009 8:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4581848)
The Spanish incident was Basque terrorism, no?

No. . . Al Qeida. . . but they were quick to blame ETA at first. . .

. . .

mwadswor Nov 30, 2009 8:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4582592)
In contrast, HSR is the opposite -- nothing anyone can do can give similar comfort.

I completely agree that US politicians can and will act on baseless and unlikely threats. This is a safety first at any and all costs type of country, and I don't see that changing any time soon. If the option is between mild risk for a small percentage of people in exchange for vastly improved transit infrastructure or absolutely minimal risk in exchange for the status quo, this country will take the status quo every time.

That said, I don't buy that HSR would be considered less secure than air travel. HSR is inherently much much more secure because it runs on rails. There have been hijackings, bombings, etc. of planes for decades, and the US has responded extremely minimally. What caused the US to respond and really freak out over airline security was not an airplane hijacking, it was somebody turning that airplane into a guided missle and attacking something else. US politicians are nutty over airline security because they realized that a plane is a whole lot of explosive power that can be piloted to pretty much any target a terrorist wants that's not buried under a mountain. It's not really the plane security they're worried about, it's everything else the plane can hit.

That doesn't apply to HSR. First of all, HSR runs on rails and can only go where the rails go. Secondly, if it's electric powered, it's not a prebuild explosive. It'll make a nice projectile if the terrorist breaks the tracks, but it won't explode like something loaded with gasoline will. The HSR is still a potential target, but it's not as dangerous as an airplane because it has a very limited ability to damage anything else. You still need cameras to monitor the track where it runs near sensitive areas/potential targets, but that's not a significant portion of the tracks.

nomarandlee Dec 1, 2009 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mwadswor (Post 4584379)
That said, I don't buy that HSR would be considered less secure than air travel. HSR is inherently much much more secure because it runs on rails. There have been hijackings, bombings, etc. of planes for decades, and the US has responded extremely minimally. What caused the US to respond and really freak out over airline security was not an airplane hijacking, it was somebody turning that airplane into a guided missle and attacking something else. US politicians are nutty over airline security because they realized that a plane is a whole lot of explosive power that can be piloted to pretty much any target a terrorist wants that's not buried under a mountain. It's not really the plane security they're worried about, it's everything else the plane can hit.

That doesn't apply to HSR. First of all, HSR runs on rails and can only go where the rails go. Secondly, if it's electric powered, it's not a prebuild explosive. It'll make a nice projectile if the terrorist breaks the tracks, but it won't explode like something loaded with gasoline will. The HSR is still a potential target, but it's not as dangerous as an airplane because it has a very limited ability to damage anything else. You still need cameras to monitor the track where it runs near sensitive areas/potential targets, but that's not a significant portion of the tracks.

We are starting to veer of track here.......Though the hijackings for trains are definitely less likely (though there has been cases to be sure) trains are not much less at risk to sabotage then planes are and arguably are more at risk. As long as there is not a bomb or gun on board once planes are in the air it is pretty hard to regular Joe to bring down a plane along its route unless they happen to get their hands on some sort of hand held SAM. Those that who wish to sabotage a train route have countless miles of track with which to choose to run a train right of its tracks and cause heavy damage.

They are also at risk of bombs going boom inside the carriages and if they are going 150-200mph that could cause a lot of havoc. If start screening for explosives then you are losing a nice chunk of the time savings rail supporters give. And whoever said that it will only take one of two incidents for a train bombing before the public or media demand that screening be implemented was right.


Quote:

That doesn't apply to HSR. First of all, HSR runs on rails and can only go where the rails go.
Video Link

emathias Dec 3, 2009 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago (Post 4584378)
No. . . Al Qeida. . . but they were quick to blame ETA at first. . .

. . .

Yes. And the ETA did bomb the airport parking garage in Madrid in 2006.

the urban politician Dec 3, 2009 10:07 PM

Can we get back to talking about transit developments in Chicagoland?

emathias Dec 3, 2009 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4590046)
Can we get back to talking about transit developments in Chicagoland?

Why do people in Chicago seem to pee in CTA elevators with impunity?

Don't they have cameras in there? Isn't quality of life a good enough reason to turn those tapes over to the Police and let them beat the living daylights out of the offenders?

VivaLFuego Dec 4, 2009 12:16 AM

In general, it's difficult to develop effective deterrents to people who feel like they've got nothing to lose.

ardecila Dec 4, 2009 12:21 AM

I've got a better idea... public toilets. Not the kiosk type on the sidewalk, but a handful of 5 or 6 storefronts around the downtown area. To prevent abuse and vandalism, you post a security guard. The bathrooms would be unisex, with a large number of urinals and a small number of toilets (in private stalls).

I have problems finding a bathroom when I'm downtown, so I imagine it must be a common problem. Usually I go to Macy's or Millennium Park.

I will admit, though, that we are rather spoiled in Chicago when we can only complain about urine in CTA elevators and (occasionally) on trains. Most other cities like NY, SF, Boston, or here in New Orleans have big problems with people urinating on the street, as well as other sanitation issues. Chicago is lucky that the city already spends quite a bit keeping the streets clean and deterring public urination/littering.

mwadswor Dec 4, 2009 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4590304)
I've got a better idea... public toilets. Not the kiosk type on the sidewalk, but a handful of 5 or 6 storefronts around the downtown area. To prevent abuse and vandalism, you post a security guard. The bathrooms would be unisex, with a large number of urinals and a small number of toilets (in private stalls).

Are unisex bathrooms bigger than 1 toilet and urinal even legal?

OhioGuy Dec 4, 2009 12:46 AM

Um, I got on the red line one day and found that someone had shit on the floor at the back of one of the cars. It was in the area that would be closed off for just the driver if the car was turned around. I immediately turned around and found a seat elsewhere in the car. I must admit it was rather entertaining watching after each stop the reactions of people as they entered the back part of the car.


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