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ardecila May 22, 2013 5:29 AM

Walgreens itself won't tear the store down, no.

I don't think there's a real plan yet, so there's no insider information that Walgreens could have been privy to.

My preferred alignment would have the Red Line crossing Dakin midblock, shifting pretty far away from the corner of Irving/Sheridan. The station would move to the north side of Irving along the cemetery wall, and a transit plaza would be carved out of the corner of the cemetery (this back corner is unused IIRC).

Justin_Chicago May 22, 2013 1:12 PM

I know Walgreen's would not tear the building down, but wishful thinking is that the eyesore will go away with eminent domain. Anyways, it has been almost a year since I read anything about the redline/purpleline modernization plan. Interim improvements lead me to believe it will be a while before we see anything happen. I am getting jealous of the DC and LA transit threads.

VivaLFuego May 22, 2013 2:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by K 22 (Post 6136323)
Quick question for the crowd:

I've mentioned this before but I want to bring it up again.

For service to the United Center, would you prefer a Damen/Lake Green Line station or a Madison/Paulina Pink Line station?

Both are about the same distance from the arena.

Aside from the IMD Blue Line station (~0.4 miles), there's Ashland-Lake
(~0.5 miles) and the #20 (very frequent service) and the #19 (non-stop after several pickups throughout downtown).

Remember that United Center only has events on what, maybe 130-150 days a year, with activity on those days generally concentrated entirely within a short time window. That sets a pretty low threshold to allow for cost-effective capital investments with public funds for the sole purpose of serving stadium ridership... with the caveat of whether all that land used for stadium parking has so much revenue potential if re-developed that the stadium ownership could justify subsidizing transit costs to allow for less on-site parking --- somewhat analogous to the model the Cubs have gradually fallen into.

VivaLFuego May 22, 2013 2:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ehilton44 (Post 6135893)
Wow, what happened between 1990-1995 to bus transit? Looking at it as a line chart over time really puts the decline into context -- most of it (from a pure numbers stand point) happened on the bus side.

In response to a significant (but relatively soft) downward trend in ridership in the late 80s, CTA's trial balloon of targeted tactical service reductions caused a public firestorm, so all pressure for budget balancing was on fares, starting with the 1990 budget year. During late 1990 and early 1991, the recession caused a harsh drop-off in sales tax receipts, with the end result being that in a span of about 20 months, the base fare rose 50%, from $1 to $1.50 by the end of 1991. As the spiral continued into 1992, CTA finally instituted the first round of service reductions and also nearly doubled the price of the monthly pass.

ehilton44 May 22, 2013 3:14 PM

With the practice facility and proposed "LA Live"-esque development happening all between Paulina and the United Center, Madison/Paulina definitely seems like the way to go.

While I'm a fan of putting an infill station there, I don't see it as much of a priority as I used to. Whenever I go to events at the United Center I take the Green/Pink to Ashland/Lake and then walked (not bad, especially in good weather) and also taken the 9-Ashland Bus when coming from the North Side. In prior years I've taken the buses that stop right outside the UC, but they are always mobbed after games so I try to avoid them. When I'm heading north after the game I do really miss the X9 though!

Between Ashland/Lake, IMD, the 20, event specific buses, and the 9 (which will soon be BRT hopefully), the UC is already pretty well serviced by public transportation. Obviously a new station would help even more, but maybe there are other places in the city that need the money more?

K 22 May 22, 2013 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ehilton44 (Post 6137157)
With the practice facility and proposed "LA Live"-esque development happening all between Paulina and the United Center, Madison/Paulina definitely seems like the way to go.

While I'm a fan of putting an infill station there, I don't see it as much of a priority as I used to. Whenever I go to events at the United Center I take the Green/Pink to Ashland/Lake and then walked (not bad, especially in good weather) and also taken the 9-Ashland Bus when coming from the North Side. In prior years I've taken the buses that stop right outside the UC, but they are always mobbed after games so I try to avoid them. When I'm heading north after the game I do really miss the X9 though!

Between Ashland/Lake, IMD, the 20, event specific buses, and the 9 (which will soon be BRT hopefully), the UC is already pretty well serviced by public transportation. Obviously a new station would help even more, but maybe there are other places in the city that need the money more?

Understood.

I'm just not enamored with the IMD stop since you have to basically walk a city block just to get OUT of the station. :)

ardecila May 24, 2013 9:12 PM

Does anybody think it would be good to run a Racine bus? It could go from the Chicago Blue Line station down Ogden to Racine, jog over to Morgan for the Green Line transfer, then back to Racine for the Blue Line transfer and down to Cermak.

Maybe just make an extension of the existing #60? It runs at a decent frequency, it would provide a nice circumferential link, and it goes through areas where there's a lot of growth.

jpIllInoIs May 25, 2013 3:26 PM

Reps. Lipinski and Grimm Launch transportation caucus
 
Surprised this didn't already exist, but I'm glad Lipinski is involved.

Dan Lipinski office release

U.S. Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) are announcing the formation of the Congressional Public Transportation Caucus aimed at addressing issues facing the country’s public transportation systems, including rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and traditional bus service. This bipartisan Caucus will provide a forum for members of Congress to engage in constructive dialogue on the challenges and needs of mass transit agencies across the country as increasing demand and decreasing funding are putting unprecedented pressure on America’s public transportation systems.

“Public transportation is vital to people from all walks of life in communities all across northeastern Illinois. Buses, trains, and light rail that run safely and reliably reduce congestion on our roads, improve travel times across all modes, cut down on air pollution, and make our communities more attractive places to live, work, and own businesses,” said Rep. Lipinski, who sits on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “Maintaining and improving our public transportation systems must be a part of the solution to creating jobs at home and ensuring our competitiveness in the global marketplace. I look forward to joining Congressman Grimm in calling attention to these issues as co-chair of the new Congressional Public Transportation Caucus.”

“New York City has the largest public transit system in the nation – transporting millions of commuters each day by bus, rail, and ferry,” Rep. Grimm said. “A strong public transport system is crucial to our economy and our livelihood, which is why it must be maintained and updated to meet growing demand and ensure the highest levels of safety. Unfortunately, there is currently a gap between where our public transportation infrastructure needs to be and where it is today, which is why this caucus is so important. As co-chair of the Congressional Public Transportation Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on solutions that will improve our aging public transportation system and bring it well into the 21st century.”
...

“Transit is a key component of America’s transportation system, which is the backbone for the country’s economy,” said Joe Costello, Executive Director of the Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority and founding member of the transit advocacy group Getting America to Work. “We appreciate the leadership of Congressmen Lipinski and Grimm in creating this caucus to focus more national attention on this critical need.”

jpIllInoIs May 29, 2013 4:00 PM

Chicago transit plans get a little love
 
The Long, Hot Summer of Transportation Initiatives
by John Greenfield

STREETSBLOG

"Trust me, my friends, this is the year sustainable transportation blows up in Chicago. Say what you want about Rahm Emanuel’s record on education, crime and privatization. But since he took office in early 2011, joined by forward-thinking Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein and shrewd CTA President Forrest Claypool, the city has embarked on a number of bold projects to encourage walking, biking and transit use. I promise the next three months are going to be a tipping point as we make the move from the car-centric status quo to becoming a healthier, more efficient and more vibrant city."

sammyg May 29, 2013 6:22 PM

With the Divvy bikes launching soon, has anyone seen a station being set up? I can't believe they'll be able to put in all 75 in less than 3 weeks.

Rizzo May 31, 2013 1:59 AM

Pedestrian Scramble is in on Jackson and State. Singals are installed but not yet functional and it looks like signs need to be installed yet. The wet paint got a bit messed up from today's rains, but still looks good from what i can see.

Also there's buffered bike lanes going towards Chicago along Milwaukee from the existing Kinzie cycle track. This was accomplished by slightly narrowing travel lanes.

Also if you are over by Clark and Lasalle check out the new subway station mezzanine going in. The walls are going up and you can get a rough feel for the layout.

the urban politician May 31, 2013 3:26 AM

^ I didn't know they were already working on pedestrian scrambles. Do you know if any other pedestrian scrambles are planned, and where?

Personally, I think Michigan and Randolph makes sense as one, as well as perhaps one near Water Tower Place on the Mag Mile.

ardecila May 31, 2013 3:41 AM

The Jackson/State is a CDOT pilot program. I think they're going to evaluate the effects on traffic.

These things always seemed like a novelty to me; they really only make sense at huge intersections. Michigan/Randolph is really the only great candidate I can think of in the downtown area, or Michigan/Chicago. Most other intersections are small enough and the cycles short enough that the diagonal crossing doesn't save much time. Not to mention that traffic patterns usually allow for easy jaywalking.

killaviews May 31, 2013 6:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6147750)
The Jackson/State is a CDOT pilot program. I think they're going to evaluate the effects on traffic.

These things always seemed like a novelty to me; they really only make sense at huge intersections. Michigan/Randolph is really the only great candidate I can think of in the downtown area, or Michigan/Chicago. Most other intersections are small enough and the cycles short enough that the diagonal crossing doesn't save much time. Not to mention that traffic patterns usually allow for easy jaywalking.

I think they make sense at other intersections. I would especially like to see these at intersections with more than 4 corners. Those intersections are confusing to many pedestrians and the wait already takes forever. For example, the intersections of Clark, Halsted, and Barry and Milwaukee, North, and Damen.

ardecila May 31, 2013 10:22 PM

Gabe Klein mentioned in an interview that the signaling would become too confusing to introduce a scramble phase into a six-way intersection. He suggested that they might prohibit turns at these intersections as a way to increase pedestrian friendliness, however. Many of them could also get large curb extensions after turns are outlawed, making them feel more plaza-like. In some cases, it may make sense to reroute one of the three streets, as CDOT did many years ago in Lincoln Square.

Mr Downtown Jun 2, 2013 12:55 AM

For some reason, CTA felt it had to reroute the 130 and 151 to avoid Jackson & State now—even though the biggest delay was always the 151 waiting for peds to clear the north leg of the intersection, which now should be much less of a problem.

LouisVanDerWright Jun 3, 2013 9:32 PM

Final go-ahead for the Elgin-O'Hare tollway was given today. Hopefully there will be a ROW for future Blue Line extensions included:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1080991.story

nomarandlee Jun 3, 2013 10:05 PM

Good god I hope not. Nothing needed less then for the CTA to keep over extending itself to areas that are long past the point of implementing TOD that could possibly warrant the investment. If the Blue Line moved west of O'Hare we are starting to talk about +1 hour long trips on cumbersome CTA trains deep into Sprawlesville.

Money and focus much better served to upgrading the consolidating the network already in place.

Rizzo Jun 4, 2013 12:31 AM

Taking the Blue Line out to O'Hare is miserable enough. But I never take it for granted considering I don't own a car. I don't recall seeing accommodation in the drawings for median ROW for rail. But I believe it will accommodate express buses in some manner. Possibly extra-wide shoulders.

ardecila Jun 4, 2013 12:52 AM

There will be a reservation in the median, which could accommodate either rail or bus in the future. Initially, the new tollway will operate with express buses using shoulders, as Hayward mentioned.

Mr Downtown Jun 4, 2013 1:24 PM

CTA can't legally operate in DuPage County or west of York Rd., though of course all sorts of joint agreements are possible.

LouisVanDerWright Jun 4, 2013 3:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6151879)
Taking the Blue Line out to O'Hare is miserable enough. But I never take it for granted considering I don't own a car. I don't recall seeing accommodation in the drawings for median ROW for rail. But I believe it will accommodate express buses in some manner. Possibly extra-wide shoulders.

Taking the Blue Line to O'Hare is a joyride compared to trying to drive there during rush hour so you can have the privilege of paying $25 a day to keep your car there. Unless it is late night or between 11:00 and 2:00, driving to O'Hare is miserable. I hate doing it and avoid it at all costs. It's not even so much the traffic taking longer (because it is usually about equal in travel time with the Blue Line), it's about the horrendous stop/go nature of traffic on 90. You'll be cursing along at 50 MPH and come around a corner and have to slam on your brakes. It's awful and way worse than traffic elsewhere in Chicago's freeway system. At least on the Dan Ryan or Eisenhower you can expect that once you hit traffic you'll be crawling along at 10-25 MPH until you get onto the Kennedy where the nutty start/stop shit begins.

ardecila Jun 6, 2013 4:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6151912)
There will be a reservation in the median, which could accommodate either rail or bus in the future. Initially, the new tollway will operate with express buses using shoulders, as Hayward mentioned.

Also, the Jane Addams Tollway is being planned with in-line bus stations, each direction on opposite sides of the tollway and parking lots with connections to local Pace/private shuttles. The Barrington Road interchange is being designed as a prototype for other stations on the bus route.

You can see the exclusive bus lanes in dark red. The cyan is a pedestrian bridge spanning the highway.

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/6261/addams.jpg

emathias Jun 6, 2013 2:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6154822)
Also, the Jane Addams Tollway is being planned with in-line bus stations, each direction on opposite sides of the tollway and parking lots with connections to local Pace/private shuttles. The Barrington Road interchange is being designed as a prototype for other stations on the bus route.

You can see the exclusive bus lanes in dark red. The cyan is a pedestrian bridge spanning the highway.

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/6261/addams.jpg

I have to admit I have no idea how that's supposed to work based on that diagram. It certainly doesn't look like something I'd want to have to navigate on foot.

ardecila Jun 6, 2013 8:11 PM

Sorry, it's a detailed image. Buses will travel in general purpose lanes except when it get congested, and then they can use shoulders. At interchanges, buses take the exit ramps on the right as if they were exiting the highway, but then quickly veer left into a special buses-only lane (in dark red) that parallels the highway and goes beneath the crossing street. There's a platform on this lane for the bus to stop and pick up passengers; the platform has a stair/elevator up to a pedestrian bridge that links to the opposing direction's platform, park and ride lots, and terminals for local buses, taxis, and shuttles. The platforms for each direction are on opposite sides of the highway.

Is that any clearer?

The SPUI design doesn't prioritize pedestrians, but it does have fairly wide sidewalks/trails and safe crossings. Pedestrians will also have the option of crossing I-90 via the station bridge. AFAIK, Hoffman Estates and the other municipalities have not yet considered any kind of TOD.

the urban politician Jun 6, 2013 8:19 PM

^ Wow, that's impressive. I look forward to seeing it whence it's completed

emathias Jun 6, 2013 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6155702)
...
Is that any clearer?
...

Yes, thank you.

ardecila Jun 7, 2013 4:33 AM

I should also mention that these improvements are not funded yet. The Tollway is doing preliminary design so that it can leave space for the stations during the upcoming Addams rebuild; this will keep costs down when Pace applies for funding later on.

I'm not sure what to think, honestly. It's very clever, and it seems like it might be more pleasant than a median station, but the devil is in the details. Hopefully the platforms and bridge will be enclosed, and the local municipalities encourage TOD at underutilized parcels next to the stations. On a bigger picture, this bus line will only take travelers to Rosemont, where they can transfer to the Blue Line. Inter-suburban journeys are possible but without TOD around stations, nobody will be able to walk anywhere after they get off the buses.

CTA Gray Line Jun 9, 2013 3:04 PM

Metra grapples with contract to revamp fare collection
 
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...tation-systems

Officials concerned about consultant's low cost


By Richard Wronski Chicago Tribune reporter

June 8, 2013

Metra is considering hiring a firm for $825,000 to figure out how to revamp its
fare payment structure and integrate it with the CTA's new Ventra system, but — in a switch — officials are worried that the consultant might be charging too little.

Some Metra board members balked at awarding the contract until several concerns were addressed, including whether the proposed consultant had the expertise necessary for the job.

The contract with the firm recommended by Metra's staff, LTK Engineering
Services, based in Ambler, Pa., was so far below the $2.4 million proposal from CH2M HILL, of Englewood, Colo., that board members were alarmed.

"It is disturbing to me that I see this price differential," said Norman
Carlson, a railroad consultant by profession. "I am concerned they underbid it."

He feared the company would come back to Metra after winning the contract with additional charges.

The officials decided to postpone a decision on the contract for two weeks until other board members could weigh in.

Whichever consultant Metra hires, it will play a crucial role in bringing
Metra's fare payment system into the 21st century, and putting the commuter rail agency in sync with its sister agencies, the CTA and Pace.

State law requires that the transit agencies implement a "regional" fare payment system by Jan. 1, 2015.

"The system must allow consumers to use contactless credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards to pay for all fixed-route public transportation services," according to the statute.

Metra staffers recommended LTK from six firms to help transition from the
agency's paper-based ticketing system.

Metra CEO Alex Clifford said the consultant Metra hires will provide "a
comprehensive look at getting cash off the trains and a way to accept credit
cards in the future, and if there are smartphones (for ticketing) in our future,
too."

The CTA is scheduled to roll out its Ventra fare-collection system this summer.

The contactless card will replace the popular Chicago Card
and Chicago Card Plus for CTA and Pace riders next year.

Ventra will have a debit card option offering customers an opportunity
to pay bills online and to use the debit account for direct deposits
and other cashless transactions, the CTA says.

But Ventra has come under strong criticism after the Tribune
revealed a host of hidden fees associated with the cards.

The CTA awarded a $454 million contract to Cubic Transportation Systems in
November 2011 to create the open fare system, and Pace joined the contract last year.

According to the CTA, Metra was offered the opportunity to participate
in the Ventra program, but the commuter railroad declined.

That's not the same version Clifford offered Friday. While Metra may ultimately participate in the Ventra system, the agency was "an afterthought" during the CTA's planning with Cubic, he said.

"The CTA went on its journey without Metra aboard," Clifford said.

rwronski@...

Twitter @richwronski


Mike Payne

emathias Jun 10, 2013 8:25 PM

Anyone know why CDOT is so far behind in their Divvy installations? It's absurdly behind considering they're supposed to be launching on Friday.

sammyg Jun 11, 2013 7:47 PM

There was something on the facebook page about it being pushed back to July, but I can't find it now.

emathias Jun 11, 2013 7:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 6160960)
There was something on the facebook page about it being pushed back to July, but I can't find it now.

They do realize the cycling season for all but the most dedicated bike die-hards isn't really that long. This should have launched at the beginning of May if they really wanted people to use it, not in the peak heat of summer.

What's most grating is that they say, "While we are going to begin installing stations beginning this Thursday, we decided to push back the full system launch for two weeks to Friday, June 28 to ensure we have the necessary time to test stations and ensure the system is fully functioning."

CDOT told all the Aldermen that they would be installing stations starting LAST WEEK, and didn't correct that information until after the dates they gave them had passed.

That's just HORRIBLE management. It's really inexcusable to not communicate schedule changes to your constituents before the dates have passed. Seriously, whoever is running this thing is literally incompetent and should be fired.

Quote:

UPDATE ON YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Dear Founding Member,

We've been working around the clock to bring bike share to Chicago and wanted to give you an update on our progress.

Divvy has been on an aggressive launch schedule, aiming to begin limited operations this week. While we are going to begin installing stations beginning this Thursday, we decided to push back the full system launch for two weeks to Friday, June 28 to ensure we have the necessary time to test stations and ensure the system is fully functioning.

The first Divvy docking station will appear at Daley Plaza and will be on display during the Bike to Work Week Rally on Friday morning starting at 7am. Divvy bikes will be ready to ride from the first 75 stations when the system becomes fully operational on June 28. That's when you'll be able to use your key to unlock Divvy bikes from any station.

Here's what else you need to know:

Your Membership period has not begun. We will send you your Divvy key in time for June 28, and your Membership begins when you activate it online or by phone. We'll begin sending out keys very soon, but you'll want to wait to activate it until you can begin using it at the end of the month.

We welcome you to join us on June 14 from 7:00-8:30am in Daley Plaza. Gather with other Chicagoans and check out the first Divvy station! If you're a "Gear" Founding Member, we'll have t-shirts at our booth available for you to pick up. If you won't be attending the event, please email your t-shirt size (S, M, L, XL) to info@divvybikes.com and we'll send it to you with your key.

If you have any other questions, please email info@divvybikes.com and we'll answer your questions as quickly as possible.

We want to thank you again for supporting Divvy and bike share in Chicago.

- The Divvy Team and the Chicago Department of Transportation

volguus zildrohar Jun 11, 2013 8:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 5722452)
http://discussions.chicagotribune.co...ne-20120604/10


A Red Line train moves north to the 95th Street stop in 2010. (Jose M. Osorio / June 4, 2012)

By Jon Hilkevitch

Tribune reporter

11:48 a.m. CDT, June 4, 2012

The entire south branch of the CTA Red Line will close for five months starting in spring 2013, with the transit agency offering free shuttle bus service to Green Line rail stations, so a $425 million track replacement project can be completed more quickly, officials said Monday.

The decision to close the Red Line from the Cermak-Chinatown station to the 95th Street terminal was made to condense the reconstruction from four years of weekend work to five months total, said CTA spokeswoman Molly Sullivan.

She acknowledged it will cause inconvenience to riders, but that the benefits of the project will come on line sooner.

“Dragging out the project would be delaying faster service by more than three years,’’ Sullivan said, adding that slow zones are in effect on 40 percent of the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line.

Completing the work in five months by shutting down the entire south branch, instead of four years of operating the line on weekdays only, will also save $75 million, Sullivan said.

The savings will also allow for some station upgrades, including elevators at three stations, she said.

The CTA is making the announcement now to get the word out and begin “extensive community outreach,’’ Sullivan said.

“We decided to make this announcement as early as we could to engage the community about the impacts of the project and (let people know about) the opportunity for jobs,’’ Sullivan said. “We will be seeking feedback from the community and planning town hall-style meetings.’’

The track system work will improve customer service by reducing the amount of slow zones, while also cutting operating costs for the transit agency, transit officials have said. Slow zones are currently needed to permit trains to travel safely on deteriorated sections of track.

The south branch of the Red Line has the highest slow zone percentage on the entire CTA rail system.

New steel rails, ties and ballast will be installed and drainage improvements made between the State Street subway portal, which is north of the Cermak-Chinatown station, and the 95th Street terminal, according to the CTA’s plan.

The project follows a 2006 project that upgraded signals, a portion of the power system and included some work on tracks and stations.

More than 50,000 riders board trains on the south branch of the Red Line on an average weekday, CTA statistics show.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter: @jhilkevitch

Sorry to jump back to old news but this caught my attention.

A few years back SEPTA completed a similar project on the Market-Frankford El. Whereas it seems to be an overhaul for the Red Line, here two miles of elevated guideway was completely replaced. The actual work of the project took place over four years with regular weekend shutdowns during the summer and spring and 7-12 day shutdowns once or twice a summer allowing for replacement of large sections of guideway. During the workweek all year long service ran as normal and, like the Red Line, the MFL is the system's busiest spinal route. The final price tag was $567 million.

I have a difficult time imaging smooth operation of the MFL during a five-month shutdown. The western terminal of the line is a major suburban transit hub similar I'd assume to 95th/Dan Ryan. The cost difference between the two timetables is not insignificant but is it worth that kind of major shutdown for such an important route? I attended several community meetings during the course of SEPTA's project and more than once they made it clear that they weren't interested in doing a total shutdown because of how important the route is to the area and commuters. How well is it being received?

LouisVanDerWright Jun 11, 2013 9:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by volguus zildrohar (Post 6161047)
Sorry to jump back to old news but this caught my attention.

A few years back SEPTA completed a similar project on the Market-Frankford El. Whereas it seems to be an overhaul for the Red Line, here two miles of elevated guideway was completely replaced. The actual work of the project took place over four years with regular weekend shutdowns during the summer and spring and 7-12 day shutdowns once or twice a summer allowing for replacement of large sections of guideway. During the workweek all year long service ran as normal and, like the Red Line, the MFL is the system's busiest spinal route. The final price tag was $567 million.

I have a difficult time imaging smooth operation of the MFL during a five-month shutdown. The western terminal of the line is a major suburban transit hub similar I'd assume to 95th/Dan Ryan. The cost difference between the two timetables is not insignificant but is it worth that kind of major shutdown for such an important route? I attended several community meetings during the course of SEPTA's project and more than once they made it clear that they weren't interested in doing a total shutdown because of how important the route is to the area and commuters. How well is it being received?

They are only able to shut the Red Line south branch down because it is largely redundant with the Green Line. The main headache is for people living south of 63rd street where the Green Line terminates. Even then, the buses are fairly efficient as a replacement. The shutdown seems to be going all right and of course there have been no complaints from the demographic that elected the mayor (rich north side yuppies).

emathias Jun 11, 2013 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6161066)
They are only able to shut the Red Line south branch down because it is largely redundant with the Green Line. The main headache is for people living south of 63rd street where the Green Line terminates. Even then, the buses are fairly efficient as a replacement. The shutdown seems to be going all right and of course there have been no complaints from the demographic that elected the mayor (rich north side yuppies).

Part of the reason bus can be competitive with the Red Line was that service had degraded so much. It's important to remember that the CTA estimates that travel times between 95th and Roosevelt, a distance of just over 10 miles, may improve by as much as 20 minutes. That's a huge improvement for that distance. If they did the phased weekend work, there might be incremental improvements during the 4 year project, but most of that improvement wouldn't be seen until all construction zones were eliminated. This project for Chicago is too late, really, and should never have been allowed to degrade to this level. If Philly's project was more preventative and done relatively earlier in the decline of the line the before/after speed differential may have been much less. In Chicago's case, it's projected to be such a huge improvement that it would just be torture to make people wait four more years.

Plus, not only does the Red Line run close to the Green Line for 2/3 of its length, and near several Metra Lines (commuter rail), but it runs in the center of an expressway that has service roads on both sides for the whole length that can accommodate the shuttle buses quite well.

Chicago Shawn Jun 12, 2013 4:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6160977)
They do realize the cycling season for all but the most dedicated bike die-hards isn't really that long. This should have launched at the beginning of May if they really wanted people to use it, not in the peak heat of summer.

What's most grating is that they say, "While we are going to begin installing stations beginning this Thursday, we decided to push back the full system launch for two weeks to Friday, June 28 to ensure we have the necessary time to test stations and ensure the system is fully functioning."

CDOT told all the Aldermen that they would be installing stations starting LAST WEEK, and didn't correct that information until after the dates they gave them had passed.

That's just HORRIBLE management. It's really inexcusable to not communicate schedule changes to your constituents before the dates have passed. Seriously, whoever is running this thing is literally incompetent and should be fired.

I agree. I'm actually a little pissed about this and hope its not a representation of how this program will work going forward. This week, I received two emails, one from Alderman Reilly's newsletter which stated a number of bike stations were already installed or are currently being installed. I actually went looking for one this afternoon that I plan on using frequently once the system is live. After coming up empty handed, I check my email again and see the Divvy announcement that the launch is now off until June 28th. Really? Notice of a 2 week delay just 2 days before a well advertised start date and a delay notice that has not even been communicated to Alderman who are advertising it to city residents.

They are already missing out on 1/3 of the summer now, the best time of the year to attract people to this service and make it fiscally sustainable to expand.

Mr Downtown Jun 12, 2013 6:55 PM

Crain's has pictures of the unfinished shell of the Block 37 station.

Mr Downtown Jun 12, 2013 7:07 PM

The winning Burnham Prize design for BRT stations has been announced. It's by Hesam T. Rostami and Bahareh Atash of Toronto. The idea is that most part would be the same, but bent wooden components would vary depending on location, solar orientation, and neighborhood character.

http://i.imgur.com/vKR70aV.png

http://i.imgur.com/cYSCcFc.png

More at Chicago Architectural Club website
More at Arch Daily

emathias Jun 12, 2013 7:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6162118)
Crain's has pictures of the unfinished shell of the Block 37 station.

It's nice to see it in the news, but the photos are not very good. The New York Times' photos of the 2nd Ave subway were a lot better done, but then again they probably had better access to that for staging floodlights and stuff.

I don't care if it's ever a station, but I do wish they'd finish the track work and run some trains between the Blue Line and the South Side. I think adding a few trains to the O'Hare branch and running them to 63rd/Cottage Grove would be something useful and helpful for the growth of that part of town. The current 20-minute headways on that branch don't exactly inspire ridership, and giving the U of C a 1-seat ride to O'Hare seems like a good idea strategically.

emathias Jun 12, 2013 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6162132)
The winning Burnham Prize design for BRT stations has been announced. It's by Hesam T. Rostami and Bahareh Atash of Toronto. The idea is that most part would be the same, but bent wooden components would vary depending on location, solar orientation, and neighborhood character.
...

My understanding is that this is in no way binding to CDOT, but these are nice-looking designs and would be, as the jury noted, iconic.

ardecila Jun 13, 2013 12:42 AM

$150M is the cost for a station buildout, but not for a connecting track. They could build some CMU walls along the sides, lay out tracks, and demolish the knockout panels to complete the connection for a lot less.

The BRT shelters are interesting. The concept of interchangeable wood conponents works well with the city's history as a lumber center and the birthplace of balloon framing. We probably have just as much history with wood as we do with steel and brick, even if the city is rapidly replacing frame structures with masonry ones. The rounded glass on the shelters may prove to be too costly, so it might make sense to simplify the idea a bit.

OhioGuy Jun 13, 2013 1:38 PM

CTA revenues lower than expected

Quote:

CTA fare revenues for the first four months of the year are less than expected, with seven-day passes taking the biggest hit since the agency hiked the cost of its fare passes, CTA officials revealed Wednesday.

In mid-January, the price of the CTA’s seven-day pass jumped 22 percent, from $23 to $28, although one-day and three-day passes increased by even larger percentages.

ardecila Jun 16, 2013 2:42 AM

Clark/Division CTA

Station Mezzanine
http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/8094/do13.jpg

Entrance, NE corner LaSalle/Division
http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/3517/t3q3.jpg

N830MH Jun 16, 2013 5:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 6163049)

Can I ask a quick question for you? Why the fare is getting more expensive. I just don't understand it. How much all-day pass? Do you know? Is still same or did they change a fare?

There is no reduced fare for seniors, disabled, youth, & college student as well. Why? They never have reduced fares for a long time.

emathias Jun 16, 2013 1:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 6166078)
Can I ask a quick question for you? Why the fare is getting more expensive. I just don't understand it. How much all-day pass? Do you know? Is still same or did they change a fare?

Dude, read the article and read the CTA website. Those are very basic questions you're asking, and you should do at least the minimum of reading before asking questions that have easy answers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by N830MH (Post 6166078)
There is no reduced fare for seniors, disabled, youth, & college student as well. Why? They never have reduced fares for a long time.

You're just factually wrong. Which is because you haven't even bothered to read anything on the subject. There are reduced fares for seniors, disabled, youth and college students.

If you're going to join the discussion, please do us all a favor and at least have your facts in order.

Rizzo Jun 17, 2013 3:05 AM

I noticed Granite floor installations at Clark and Division. Progress is looking good.

ardecila Jun 17, 2013 4:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6166678)
I noticed Granite floor installations at Clark and Division. Progress is looking good.

Isn't that premature? Why put out finished flooring before the mezzanine is enclosed?

Rizzo Jun 17, 2013 4:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6166779)
Isn't that premature? Why put out finished flooring before the mezzanine is enclosed?

No it's not in the mezzanine but the platform level. I should have clarified.

Chicago29 Jun 18, 2013 1:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6166188)
Dude, read the article and read the CTA website. Those are very basic questions you're asking, and you should do at least the minimum of reading before asking questions that have easy answers.



You're just factually wrong. Which is because you haven't even bothered to read anything on the subject. There are reduced fares for seniors, disabled, youth and college students.

If you're going to join the discussion, please do us all a favor and at least have your facts in order.

He asked some questions and the discussion continues, no worries. Sometimes even the commonly known details of projects among people here are not easily found online. No need to be condescending. :tup:

OrdoSeclorum Jun 18, 2013 2:15 PM

The Grand Neighbor's Association is hosting a meeting on the 25th with the Ashland-Western Bus Service Coalition--the car-dependent-business group with the Orwellian name that's trying to kill BRT.

If any of you are in the area, might be worth stopping in to put in a good word for transit investment on the West side.

http://chicagograndneighborsassociat...posed-changes/


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