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

Nowhereman1280 Oct 4, 2011 7:07 PM

^^^ That's not possible. The tolls in those locations back bonds and their revenue is already spoken for and used to back those bonds. It is state revenue anyhow and would never be diverted to Chicago even if it were legally possible.

nicksplace27 Oct 4, 2011 7:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 5433093)
^^^ That's not possible. The tolls in those locations back bonds and their revenue is already spoken for and used to back those bonds. It is state revenue anyhow and would never be diverted to Chicago even if it were legally possible.

I know it's politically not feasible. But last time I checked, Chicago was in Illinois and the suburbs would wither and die without Chicago's cultural and economic base. So, it's not like a change in policy and funding mechanisms to recognize the metropolitian reality of the area wouldn't be helpful. Once those bonds mature and funding mechanisms can change; we should change them.

Other metropolitan regions do flexing. We should start to advocate for it to begin to mitigate this infastructure problem the whole region has.

ardecila Oct 4, 2011 10:19 PM

The suburbs already fund CTA through the sales tax.

To be honest, I don't think Chicagoans will put up with a European level of taxation. A new tax would only make the city less appealing to businesses and residents at a time when the city faces huge demographic issues. Personally, I'd rather focus all of CTA's energy on exacting greater savings out of the unions. If absenteeism is such a huge problem, then the problem employees should be fired, immediately - not sheltered behind a protective union.

I'd also aim for claiming a greater share of the existing sales tax revenue collected in the city. Where does the rest of the revenue go currently?

emathias Oct 5, 2011 3:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5433335)
The suburbs already fund CTA through the sales tax.

To be honest, I don't think Chicagoans will put up with a European level of taxation. A new tax would only make the city less appealing to businesses and residents at a time when the city faces huge demographic issues. Personally, I'd rather focus all of CTA's energy on exacting greater savings out of the unions. If absenteeism is such a huge problem, then the problem employees should be fired, immediately - not sheltered behind a protective union.

I'd also aim for claiming a greater share of the existing sales tax revenue collected in the city. Where does the rest of the revenue go currently?

I wrote this for another forum.

It's interesting. The Cook County portion has more or less kept up with inflation, although it has varied some year-by-year.

Overall, for Cook County only, 2010 generated 25% more sales tax revenue for the CTA as compared to 2000. According to this inflation calculator, inflation between 2000 and 2010 was a nudge over 26%.

Adding in the revenue now collected in the other counties, though, the CTA received 37.8% more in 2010 than in 2000.

Year-by-year, Cook County CTA sales tax (deduced from this RTAMS page):

00-01 < 1% decrease
01-02 ~$2.5 million, ~1% decrease
02-03 ~$3.5 million, ~1.3% increase
03-04 ~$8 million, ~3% increase
04-05 ~$10 million, ~3.7% increase
05-06 ~$20 million, ~7.3% increase
06-07 ~$4.5 million, ~1.5% increase
07-08 ~$12.9 million, ~4.2% increase + $30 million from outer counties
08-09 ~$4.4 million, ~1.4% decrease + $32 million from outer counties
09-10 ~$14.3 million, ~4.6% increase + $33 million from outer counties

In 2000, the CTA had a budget of about $819 million.
In 2010, the budget was proposed at $1,285 million, and increase of 57%.

In the 2010 budget, labor alone accounted for $852 million, 66% of the total budget with about 9,500 positions. In 2000, labor accounted for $613 million, which was nearly 75% of the budget, with 11,290 positions. 39% increase in wage costs, which exceeds inflation even on top of fewer workers. All things being equal, if the ratio of labor to non-labor expenses is decreasing, it points to a bigger issue with non-labor costs than with labor costs. In this particular example, though, given the reduction of workforce at the same time as over-inflation increases in labor costs, I think it points to an across-the-board problem with costs being out of control.

In 2000, the CTA carried 450.5 million riders, in 2010, the CTA carried about 517 million riders, an increase of about 14.8%. I think that probably means that the 9% increase in employees is at least somewhat defensible even if steps could be taken to make it not strictly necessary. What seems to be less defensible, however, is the much-higher-than-inflation growth in wage costs.

But looking at the budget numbers, what really jumps out to me is not just the accelerated growth in employee compensation, but the jump in the category of "Other Expense," that leaped from $49 million in 2000, to $192 million in the 2010 budget.

One thing that has been unavoidable, for the most part, is the jump in fuel and electricity costs from $35.5 million in 2000 to $139 million in 2009 and $103 million in 2010 (bus cuts=less fuel).

Fuel is what it is. We can help address that by replacing regular buses with hybrids, or continuing to have higher load factors and drive riders to electric trains but that's not a good short-term fix for a budget crisis.

Wages would seem to need to be curtailed. Seeing the wages exceed inflation during a time when private sector wages have increased below inflation is not sustainable.

And I really would like to know what the "Other Services" aka "Other Expense" category includes. That seems to have been a significant jump in those costs in 2010 vs. 2000.

ardecila Oct 5, 2011 8:20 PM

Total revenue for 2010 was only $14 million? Or is that the delta, and the percentage change is relative to the inflated-adjusted budget of the previous year?

I think CTA especially is hobbled because the people in charge of funding (the taxpayers/politicians) have a much more visceral reaction to the plight of the CTA workers than they do to gaps in the CTA's budget. They're perfectly willing to support higher wages for CTA employees, whom they view as members of their own community, but unwilling to pay higher taxes or higher fares to pay those employees. If presented with the dilemma, usually taxpayers will attribute CTA's huge budgetary issues to waste, graft, and corruption, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the huge compensation and benefits that CTA workers collectively earn.

Personally, I'd love to see CTA's unionized workers earn a high salary with zero pension benefits and little to no sick days or vacation time (health insurance would, of course, still be included). The high wages would compensate for the relative lack of benefits, and CTA wouldn't be saddled with hugely expensive long-term commitments. I'm starting to get really sick of this "borrow against the future" crap. We've been doing it at all levels of government since Reagan, at least.

VivaLFuego Oct 6, 2011 2:12 AM

Where did you get that year 2000 labor force number? In 2000 CTA had a headcount of 11,290.

emathias Oct 6, 2011 4:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 5434948)
Where did you get that year 2000 labor force number? In 2000 CTA had a headcount of 11,290.

I took it out of the budget documents on their website.

emathias Oct 6, 2011 5:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 5434948)
Where did you get that year 2000 labor force number? In 2000 CTA had a headcount of 11,290.

I took it out of the budget documents on their website, but I appear to have missed a dividing line and only included Transit Operations positions instead of the entire staffing. I corrected it.

ardecila Oct 11, 2011 11:08 PM

Quote:

Details of Emanuel's budget leaking: hotel, parking fees to rise; condo rebate to vanish
Posted by Greg H. at 10/11/2011 4:26 PM CDT


The first details of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's first proposed city budget are leaking out and, though sales and property taxes will remain unchanged, there'll be lots and lots of other pain spread all around.

---

* A "congestion fee" -- a higher tax on certain central area parking lots during certain portions of the day -- will be imposed. Team Rahm isn't yet saying how much the levy will be, but is reporting that funds will be used to rebuild two downtown el stations and pay for an express bus system known as bus rapid transit.
This is interesting, since Daley's inability to get a new parking fee passed is the only reason we don't already have rapid buses... anybody remember the $120 million that was owed to the CTA by the Bush-era FTA for BRT? Man, we could have had BRT on Chicago, Halsted, Jeffrey, and 87th by now.

I assume the two stations are Clark/Division and the new Washington/Wabash station.

the urban politician Oct 12, 2011 1:52 AM

^ I"m lovin' it!

Of course, when I come to Chicago I usually drive and park downtown (if I'm willing to pay for it, I still get to call myself an urbanist--after all, I'm not complaining that the parking isn't free).

Here's hoping they build an express BRT along Chicago Ave and have a stop on Damen. I just bought a rental property a stone's throw away from there...

Rizzo Oct 12, 2011 5:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5441182)
This is interesting, since Daley's inability to get a new parking fee passed is the only reason we don't already have rapid buses... anybody remember the $120 million that was owed to the CTA by the Bush-era FTA for BRT? Man, we could have had BRT on Chicago, Halsted, Jeffrey, and 87th by now.

I assume the two stations are Clark/Division and the new Washington/Wabash station.

I hope so.

ardecila Oct 12, 2011 9:43 PM

Well, those stations are the two that have gotten buzz lately. It seems like the South Loop infill station on the Green Line (16th, 18th, and/or Cermak) has been moved to the back burner. A year ago, it seemed like that was the next top priority for CDOT.

Also, anybody know what happened to the Navy Pier flyover or the LSD/IC bridges at 35th?

Baronvonellis Oct 13, 2011 1:27 AM

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news...metra-20111010

The Englewood Flyover project broke ground this week. This is a big part of CREATE and easing metra and Amtrack congestion. Glad it's going to go ahead now.

Rizzo Oct 13, 2011 6:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5442488)
Well, those stations are the two that have gotten buzz lately. It seems like the South Loop infill station on the Green Line (16th, 18th, and/or Cermak) has been moved to the back burner. A year ago, it seemed like that was the next top priority for CDOT.

Also, anybody know what happened to the Navy Pier flyover or the LSD/IC bridges at 35th?

The Navy Pier flyover still needs more funding.

sammyg Oct 13, 2011 1:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baronvonellis (Post 5442744)
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news...metra-20111010

The Englewood Flyover project broke ground this week. This is a big part of CREATE and easing metra and Amtrack congestion. Glad it's going to go ahead now.

Woo-hoo!

In other good news, the chicagobus forums have been posting pictures of the new 5000-series CTA cars beginning to arrive at the Skokie yards.
http://forum.chicagobus.org/topic/17...post__p__33497

lawfin Oct 13, 2011 11:43 PM

This goes out to Mr Downtown who I believe in the past has made the claim that highways are self-funded via user fees....ie gas tax. This puts the lie to that claim.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/...s-to-highways/


If my memory is inaccurate about said claim I apologize in advance.

Ch.G, Ch.G Oct 14, 2011 1:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 5443870)
This goes out to Mr Downtown who I believe in the past has made the claim that highways are self-funded via user fees....ie gas tax. This puts the lie to that claim.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/...s-to-highways/


If my memory is accurate about said claim I apologize in advance.

Someone definitely bandied about that rumor.

Rizzo Oct 14, 2011 3:49 AM

I know resurfacing projects aren't exactly big news, but Michigan Avenue from Oak to Illinois was all milled down today. Over the last couple of years, the metal plates had piled up, the roadway had sunk dramatically, and street corners overflowed with water. I wonder how many CTA buses died as a result of large potholes and collapsed grates.

Haworthia Oct 14, 2011 11:15 PM

An 'L' stop here is long overdue. Rahm is on a roll.

Quote:

City plans McCormick Place el station
Posted by Greg H. at 10/14/2011 5:12 PM CDT on Chicago Business
City Hall announced plans late Friday to build a $50 million el station on the doorstep of McCormick Placeā€”the first dividend of sorts from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed 2012 city budget.

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the new stop will be between Cermak Road and 23rd Street on the Green line. The line at that point runs along Wabash Avenue, about two city blocks from the western entrance to the McCormick Place.

McCormick Place now is served only by buses and the Orange line, which is several blocks farther west. Construction could begin next year, according to the department, with completion set for 2014.
Source:
Chicago Business

lawfin Oct 15, 2011 12:21 AM

^^^^The green line could use several more stops on the near south side like it used to have hopefully we'll see one at maybe 18th and say 31st or so. It could really help with developing the area I think.

Also eventually bring back 63rd all the way to stony or at least the 63rd Metra. Tie it in with the gray line or whatever it would be great.

Or right I am on the green line cool aid right now.....also extend it out to midway it'd be about 4 miles or so....how much could that be :)


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