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ardecila Nov 23, 2012 12:43 AM

That's true, but inflation isn't the best index because it's an average and doesn't take into account the rising income inequality. You really have to compare CTA fares to the income trend of the lowest wage-earners, not the economy as a whole. The problem is that CTA's costs are not scaling in line with working-class wages, because CTA's costs are driven by labor and that labor is unionized.

The real solution is to make the taxing system more progressive.

emathias Nov 23, 2012 3:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5911104)
That's true, but inflation isn't the best index because it's an average and doesn't take into account the rising income inequality. You really have to compare CTA fares to the income trend of the lowest wage-earners, not the economy as a whole. The problem is that CTA's costs are not scaling in line with working-class wages, because CTA's costs are driven by labor and that labor is unionized.

The real solution is to make the taxing system more progressive.

That might be one way to scale it in some cities, but given that Chicago is the American city where the demographics of ridership most closely reflect the demographics of the city at large (even more closely than New York - there's something like a 98% alignment in Chicago), I don't think your method has merit in this particular city.

ardecila Nov 24, 2012 12:34 AM

Interesting if true. It's great that CTA is so democratic. Do you have a source?

I'm still not sure it matters, though. Raising CTA fares, even just to match inflation, will still disproportionately affect the lowest wage-earners, whose wages are not rising in parallel with inflation.

electricron Nov 24, 2012 2:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5912191)
Interesting if true. It's great that CTA is so democratic. Do you have a source?

I'm still not sure it matters, though. Raising CTA fares, even just to match inflation, will still disproportionately affect the lowest wage-earners, whose wages are not rising in parallel with inflation.

Nobody wages are rising faster than inflation. Not even the relatively well to do union backed government employees. At some point, those using any system must pay to keep that system growing.

harryc Nov 24, 2012 5:01 AM




Nexis4Jersey Nov 24, 2012 5:29 AM

How long does it take to decorate the car?

the urban politician Nov 24, 2012 5:55 AM

Damn, that's pretty cool

harryc Nov 24, 2012 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5912424)
How long does it take to decorate the car?

Not sure - but the employees seem to enjoy themselves greatly.




must be a perminant setup.

denizen467 Nov 26, 2012 5:58 AM

^ Would be an easy way to convert the naysayers on the new aisle-facing railcars.

Mr Roboto Nov 27, 2012 2:27 AM

cant believe i helped elect this moronic prick. i mean seriously???? Does this idiot have the slightest clue about the need for affordable mass transit? i honestly thought this guy would have some basic understanding of urban planning and development. boy was i wrong. he is a political ass clown with no sense whatsoever in these matters.

even if you agree prices had to go up, or really, even if you have a big mouth and are generally known as an asshole like him, you dont say what he said unless you are clueless.

Emanuel on CTA increases : Chicagoans can choose to drive‎‏


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/p...0,793097.story


By John Byrne

Clout Street

4:10 p.m. CST, November 26, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a message Monday for CTA riders upset about upcoming fare hikes: they’re not really fare increases, public transit remains a bargain and commuters can “make that choice” about whether to drive or take buses and trains.

“Fares stayed the same. Basic fares stayed the same, which you cannot say about gas prices,” said Emanuel in his first public comments since the CTA announced a 2013 budget proposal last week.

chicagopcclcar1 Nov 27, 2012 2:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey (Post 5912424)
How long does it take to decorate the car?

The six passenger cars are in normal service on the Yellow line. They are removed from service sometime at the end of September or the beginning of October. By Thanksgiving, they're ready to roll. Much of the decorations used every year is premeasured and goes on easily. Crews volunteer for the work. This year they fashioned a new Santa's House for the decorated flat car that rides between passenger cars #4 and #5. The passenger cars are also capable of train-lining with the flat car which has air brakes. CTA 'L' cars do not have air brakes.

DH

chicagopcclcar1 Nov 27, 2012 2:52 AM

2013 CTA Holiday Train at East Cottage Grove
 
http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...ttageGrove.jpg

The six passenger cars are CTA 2893-2898, but surprisingly they are not consisted in numerical order.

DH

untitledreality Nov 27, 2012 3:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Roboto (Post 5915008)
even if you agree prices had to go up, or really, even if you have a big mouth and are generally known as an asshole like him, you dont say what he said unless you are clueless.

Agreed. Just keep your mouth shut, let CTA brass answer any and all questions regarding the matter. If you absolutely must make a comment say something politically correct by deferring to the CTA financial team on terms of "more comprehensive knowledge regarding the matter at hand"

Having the Mayor come out and say "It is what it is, if you don't like it don't use it... I dare you" is childish and irresponsible. The CTA rail system has seen years of steady growth, why on earth would you say anything to jeopardize that, especially when the most sought after constituents are likely the ones with the ability to choose others means of transit... or cities.

ardecila Nov 27, 2012 4:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5915082)
Agreed. Just keep your mouth shut, let CTA brass answer any and all questions regarding the matter. If you absolutely must make a comment say something politically correct by deferring to the CTA financial team on terms of "more comprehensive knowledge regarding the matter at hand"

Having the Mayor come out and say "It is what it is, if you don't like it don't use it... I dare you" is childish and irresponsible. The CTA rail system has seen years of steady growth, why on earth would you say anything to jeopardize that, especially when the most sought after constituents are likely the ones with the ability to choose others means of transit... or cities.

Dude's a major hothead... but this gets to the larger point of his neoliberal stance. He sees transit as an amenity to attract corporations and the wealthy, many of whom are fairly eco-conscious and don't mind taking the L or buses, even though they could afford to drive. The transit-dependent people won't desert the CTA, since it's still cheaper than driving in almost all cases.

On some level, I sympathize... the CTA simply can't keep plowing capital investment into operations, or the transit-dependent will really be up shit creek when the viaducts start falling down. CTA can't rely on strong growth in sales or real-estate tax revenues to balance the budget, either, which leaves fare increases and labor adjustments. Claypool has done both - it was unrealistic to expect him to make up the shortfall entirely through playing hardball with the unions.

However, Rahm's rhetoric is really disappointing. I'd love to see an attempt to expand reduced-fare programs (and reduce barriers to access) in conjunction with any fare increases. That would be the compassionate approach...

emathias Nov 27, 2012 2:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryc (Post 5912512)
...
must be a perminant setup.

Looks more like a "peppermint setup" ... :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Roboto (Post 5915008)
cant believe i helped elect this moronic prick. i mean seriously???? Does this idiot have the slightest clue about the need for affordable mass transit? i honestly thought this guy would have some basic understanding of urban planning and development.
...

The biggest problem with public transit in the U.S. is that attitude right there - that it needs to affordable ahead of being effective. Realistically the current pricing is a steal. The proposed pricing is still fair and very reasonable compared to most European systems, particularly if compared via PPP vs. exchange rate. Especially compared to systems that have zoned fares, the CTA is not priced unreasonably.

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5915082)
...
The CTA rail system has seen years of steady growth, why on earth would you say anything to jeopardize that, especially when the most sought after constituents are likely the ones with the ability to choose others means of transit... or cities.

While I agree he should have been more politic, I think you overestimate the impact of his statement by a huge margin. People make transit decisions based on the facts on the ground, not due to statements by politicians. The facts on the ground are that the fares are still reasonable, service for "choice riders" continues to improve, visible appearance of stations and rolling stock is improving under Emanuel which most impacts choice riders. In other words, people who value action over words see the action and act on that regardless of whatever comes out of Rahm's pie-hole.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5915096)
Dude's a major hothead... but this gets to the larger point of his neoliberal stance. He sees transit as an amenity to attract corporations and the wealthy, many of whom are fairly eco-conscious and don't mind taking the L or buses, even though they could afford to drive. The transit-dependent people won't desert the CTA, since it's still cheaper than driving in almost all cases.

On some level, I sympathize... the CTA simply can't keep plowing capital investment into operations, or the transit-dependent will really be up shit creek when the viaducts start falling down. CTA can't rely on strong growth in sales or real-estate tax revenues to balance the budget, either, which leaves fare increases and labor adjustments. Claypool has done both - it was unrealistic to expect him to make up the shortfall entirely through playing hardball with the unions.

However, Rahm's rhetoric is really disappointing. I'd love to see an attempt to expand reduced-fare programs (and reduce barriers to access) in conjunction with any fare increases. That would be the compassionate approach...

I'd personally love to see fare-subsidy programs moved outside of the CTA's budget into some sort of more comprehensive social service agency.

Before you say that's insensitive, consider this:

Currently, if you're poor enough to need assistance in Chicago, you have to go to one agency for housing assistance, one for medical assistance, one for transit assistance, etc. Wouldn't it be far more compassionate and humanizing for those in need to be able to go to one agency, get their income situation evaluated one time, and then have access to whatever it is they need assistance with? So I don't just advocate moving reduced fare media out of the CTA's purvey, but centralizing all the human services programs into one access point for those in need. THAT would be the compassionate thing to do, not having a bunch of different agencies that people need to decipher and separately qualify for.

Mr Roboto Nov 27, 2012 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5915450)

The biggest problem with public transit in the U.S. is that attitude right there - that it needs to affordable ahead of being effective. Realistically the current pricing is a steal. The proposed pricing is still fair and very reasonable compared to most European systems, particularly if compared via PPP vs. exchange rate. Especially compared to systems that have zoned fares, the CTA is not priced unreasonably.

No it needs to be effective too, thats a given. I would never say affordability is MORE important, but it certainly is very important.

Even if the CTA is still reasonably priced, and I agree that it is (I dont agree with the increase on the passes only though), what he said showed incredible insensitivity to the issues that working class people who use CTA deal with. Riding mass transit is a necessity for many and for them to be impacted in their wallet with no recourse, and to hear their problem completely dismissed by him, is a real slap in the face. Thats all i am complaining about.

electricron Nov 28, 2012 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Roboto (Post 5916031)
Riding mass transit is a necessity for many and for them to be impacted in their wallet with no recourse, and to hear their problem completely dismissed by him, is a real slap in the face. Thats all i am complaining about.

Individual fares didn't go up. It's the passes; daily, weekly, monthly, etc that did. Passes are discounts, it's the discounts that was reduced.
Riding the trains with discounted fares isn't a necessity. In some locales, more than half the riders are using discounts.

If the options were to reduce the discounts or reduce the services, I'll favor reducing the discounts every time. Personally, I would prefer to see all discounts eliminated, maybe-just-maybe the trains would not require as much subsidy if half the riders were not riding free or with half fares.

MayorOfChicago Nov 28, 2012 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Roboto (Post 5915008)
cant believe i helped elect this moronic prick. i mean seriously???? Does this idiot have the slightest clue about the need for affordable mass transit? i honestly thought this guy would have some basic understanding of urban planning and development. boy was i wrong. he is a political ass clown with no sense whatsoever in these matters.

even if you agree prices had to go up, or really, even if you have a big mouth and are generally known as an asshole like him, you dont say what he said unless you are clueless.

Emanuel on CTA increases : Chicagoans can choose to drive‎‏


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/p...0,793097.story


By John Byrne

Clout Street

4:10 p.m. CST, November 26, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a message Monday for CTA riders upset about upcoming fare hikes: they’re not really fare increases, public transit remains a bargain and commuters can “make that choice” about whether to drive or take buses and trains.

“Fares stayed the same. Basic fares stayed the same, which you cannot say about gas prices,” said Emanuel in his first public comments since the CTA announced a 2013 budget proposal last week.

?? Wasn't he just pointing out that generally people will either choose to drive or choose to take the CTA, and even with these increases it's still much much cheaper on average to take the CTA. He wasn't saying "quit your bitching...if you don't like it just drive to work". He was out there at the transit stops almost every day while running for mayor and has been a huge pusher for using buses and trains. Maybe people mistook his words, and obviously the media is REALLY pushing this just trying to get a story, but he's obviously not going to stand there and tell people he's raising fares and that they should shut up and drive.

I think it's a huge misunderstanding. He even stated in the first place it's $50 to cab downtown from the airport many times, and it's $5 to take the train. If people have the choice to drive or take the train - they're obviously still goign to be fine with the price difference of taking the train.

Gas prices go up up up, but transit prices don't slowly slide, and while they still need to increase, it's more of a sensation when it happens because it's more in big bursts than a few cents every month.

Kippis Nov 28, 2012 11:46 PM

^ I think Rahm did something that many mayors would cringe to do: be brutally honest in front of your constituents.

The most obvious example: pay $5.00 to take a 45-minute Blue line train downtown, or $45-50 for a cab that may get stuck in a 1-2 hour perpetual parking lot we call the Kennedy Expressway at the height of rush hour. Is it really that hard for some folks to understand this concept? Chicago's transit system is still a steal in comparison to other systems in a national and global context. Maybe I'm just being a prick, but that's how I see it...

Standpoor Nov 29, 2012 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5917503)
Personally, I would prefer to see all discounts eliminated, maybe-just-maybe the trains would not require as much subsidy if half the riders were not riding free or with half fares.

Can you name a business sector in this country that does not give out discounts for frequent/bulk customers? Especially one where the marginal cost of adding a customer is minimal. It is better to take the guaranteed money up front and allow them to ride as much as they want. The increased use is not going to cost more but changes in revenue will.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Roboto (Post 5916031)
Even if the CTA is still reasonably priced, and I agree that it is (I dont agree with the increase on the passes only though), what he said showed incredible insensitivity to the issues that working class people who use CTA deal with.

Exactly, this is being talked about so much because the CTA is in a rut of bad public relations. The Tribune story on the 11 bus illustrates that there is a sense that CTA does not listen or understand their ridership, at least among some. They have failed to adequately explain their actions in a way that reassures the public that they understand why, when and where people take the CTA.

Whether you’re a politician or a business person, empathy is necessary to reassure your clientele that you are giving them a fair deal. No one has adequately explained why passes are going up and not base fares, especially on a system that relies so heavily on passes. Everything I have read over the past few years suggests that people want small incremental increases, yet the CTA is setting up large one time increases without explaining why. Furthermore, no one in government has said that they understand it will be hard for some but the CTA needs the money. Instead it comes across as “why are you complaining, I am not raising fares, look how bad ass I am.”

Or another example, he talked about the $5 fare from O'Hare as if it would only affect those going downtown. Now I agree, $5 to downtown is a good deal but what about $5 to Cumberland, Jefferson Park, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kippis (Post 5917648)
^ I think Rahm did something that many mayors would cringe to do: be brutally honest in front of your constituents.

The most obvious example: pay $5.00 to take a 45-minute Blue line train downtown, or $45-50 for a cab that may get stuck in a 1-2 hour perpetual parking lot we call the Kennedy Expressway at the height of rush hour. Is it really that hard for some folks to understand this concept? Chicago's transit system is still a steal in comparison to other systems in a national and global context. Maybe I'm just being a prick, but that's how I see it...

He wasn’t brutally honest. He was politician honest. He didn’t say why pass holders were bearing the costs of the system. He did not include bikes, car share, shuttle vans, a friend dropping you off, walking, or metra as alternatives but just said driving. He did not mention how some people are transit dependent. He did not talk about how CTA is raising the cost of passes at a time where slow zones are creeping up or on the eve of a massive disruption in service. He did not say how they are going to keep fares the same for 3 years when costs will continue to increase or how large of a fare increase will be needed after those 3 years are up. If you watch the video, he comes off as caustic, it is just his personality.


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