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

Mr Downtown Sep 16, 2014 1:17 AM

About 150,000 suburbanites come to the Loop daily on Metra or Pace. That leaves 4.8 million for whom transit is pretty much irrelevant. It's one thing to convince suburban transit representatives to improve or extend Metra service, to add Pace shuttles, perhaps even to improve downtown CTA service. But persuading them to run owl service on South Side crosstown routes, or to invest in Ashland BRT?

It's fine to make theoretical arguments about how the suburbs owe their very existence to the center city, but politics is the art of the possible. The suburbs have far more population, far more jobs, and contribute far more tax revenue to transit. And that pesky Supreme Court has allowed them to have their own state representatives, who won't be too keen to vote for a new regional transit agency run by the city.

the urban politician Sep 16, 2014 1:32 AM

^. How does the MTA work in New York, politically? They have the same proportion of city dwellers vs suburbanites

phoenixboi08 Sep 16, 2014 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6730952)
^. How does the MTA work in New York, politically? They have the same proportion of city dwellers vs suburbanites

Since, the MTA is a regional organization with separate "divisions" responsible for managing the different services, its legitimacy stems from the fact that all of the counties represented pay [somewhat] equal shares. The funds are then distributed to the various sub-agencies; MetroNorth, LIRR, NYCT. However, this is the reason you get the stupid fighting between LIRR and MetroNorth, with the latter insisting it get its own "East-Side Access" equivalent since the LIRR will soon serve GCT...

In reality, if the MTA was one regional transportation agency, there wouldn't be a distinction between LIRR and MetroNorth, PATH and NJTT would be better integrated into the system, and there wouldn't be redundancy in staffing (legal, HR, planning, etc) between each sub-agency.

The MTA is really a one-off.

Maybe I'm off, but from my casual observations, things seem to work this way.

emathias Sep 16, 2014 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6730072)
^ The agency should be 1/3 suburban, 2/3 city despite the funding differential.

Why? Because the suburbs owe their prosperity to Chicago's existence. And without transit, Chicago would have become Cleveland or Detroit long ago.

The only reason I don't live outside the Midwest right now is due to Chicago's awesomeness. And I'll bet my right thumb there are a lot of other people who probably feel the same way.

The suburbs may owe their prosperity to Chicago, however that's a touchy-feely, wishy-washy reason to justify your proposed split (which I think is fair).

The best way to justify the split is to use international standards of what kinds of transit get created in various densities and then split the money based on which areas have those kinds of densities. The split can be variable after every Census estimate and areas that have existing service higher than their density warrants can either pay out of their own budgets the difference or submit a 10-year plan to rezone and promote growth to bring the area up toward the required density.

This would not only be objective and fair, it would give Chicago a huge mandate and incentive to invest in the South Side, because losing the Green Line would be a huge political blow to any mayor. It would also help justify appropriate construction of subways where they objectively make sense - in the Central Area - instead of extending them further and further away from the population center.

In other words, basing it on density would not only be objective and fair, it would encourage positive planning instead of the obtuse aldermanic abuse of zoning we currently suffer from.

ardecila Sep 16, 2014 2:14 AM

Politically, Cook County government could be a useful intermediary between city and suburb... They already have a close relationship (like ~100 feet lol) and at the county level, Chicago is dominant with just over half the total population but not the only thing. Cook County revenues account for about 70% of total receipts. Plus, Cook County suburbs tend to be denser and more transit-friendly on average.

This gets at Mr D's plan to roughly expand the CTA to cover all of Cook County (minus the northwest panhandle) and therefore claim almost all of Cook County's tax revenue. Metra's share of Cook County money would decrease substantially but the city itself would begin to remit some money to Metra on the condition of improved service on Metra Electric, Rock Island and other Chicago segments .

Notably, Toni Preckwinkle has come out strongly in favor of CrossRail Chicago and Transit Future, two visions that focus strongly on expanding good transit beyond the city limits.

LouisVanDerWright Sep 16, 2014 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisvfr800i (Post 6730226)
You think people that live in the suburbs are blood-suckers on society and deserve economic hardships be visited upon them? That goes a bit beyond the makeup of a transit funding board. You are downright hateful if those are your true thoughts.

Sick.

No, we think that the suburbs are generally filled with semi-bigoted political entities that do nothing but try to contain the ills of society in the city. You tell me what the more sociopathic behavior is: wishing ill on municipalities that refuse to have any part in carrying the burden of the poor or systematically denying access to superior civic amenities to any and all "undesirables". When Barrington starts accepting Section 8 vouchers then you can come and tell us that the suburbs deserve even the moral lowground because, as far as I'm concerned, the attitudes that drove white flight have never died in the majority of the suburbs.

Also, I'm not suggesting that poverty be foisted upon the denizens of the suburbs, I'm suggesting that an equal or greater portion of our social burden be borne by them. Anyone who disagrees is supporting a system of thinly veiled bigotry.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6730934)
It's fine to make theoretical arguments about how the suburbs owe their very existence to the center city, but politics is the art of the possible. The suburbs have far more population, far more jobs, and contribute far more tax revenue to transit. And that pesky Supreme Court has allowed them to have their own state representatives, who won't be too keen to vote for a new regional transit agency run by the city.

All the more reason to support political attitudes that are openly hostile to the suburbs. The status quo will never support a change in this system for the better so the only solution is to crush the status quo and FORCE them to accept change. The suburbs will start supporting a more logical approach to transit right quick when their tax base starts eroding and demographic change brings a larger portion of the population who rely on transit.

Chi-Sky21 Sep 16, 2014 2:45 AM

To me the question i toss around most is ...is it to late already to change the broken model of suburban sprawl? When does this not become feasible anymore? The system is set up for complete reliance on the automobile and there really is no alternative if you live in the suburb. Despite what many of us may want...the suburbs are not going anywhere and retooling them away from cars i think is impossible. They are a huge waste of resources...maintaining the roads, sewers, power....the paving over of productive land, the endless waste of resources. My theory is that Eisenhowers Interstate Highway System plan is the true downfall of america...it forever signed in blood our dependence on the automobile and unknowingly launched the plague of suburbia on us all. END RANT

Mr Downtown Sep 16, 2014 2:59 AM

Transportation geek that I am, I feel obligated to point out that Eisenhower had almost nothing to do with creating the Interstate Highway System—and to note that much of Northeastern Illinois's superhighway network was already under construction when Ike signed the 1956 bill. Suburban development was already roaring full speed ahead in the Chicago region by 1930, and the city approved its comprehensive system of superhighways in 1939.

BVictor1 Sep 16, 2014 7:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6730024)
So tell me how this unified group would be structured; how it would decide on regional priorities. Remember that the suburbs pay 72% of the cost of transit in this region, but take only 20% of the trips. If representation is based on taxation or on population, do you think the 6 suburban members (of 9) would be voting to fund even more service in city neighborhoods?

Amalgamation

CTA Gray Line Sep 16, 2014 7:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6731030)
No, we think that the suburbs are generally filled with semi-bigoted political entities that do nothing but try to contain the ills of society in the city. You tell me what the more sociopathic behavior is: wishing ill on municipalities that refuse to have any part in carrying the burden of the poor or systematically denying access to superior civic amenities to any and all "undesirables". When Barrington starts accepting Section 8 vouchers then you can come and tell us that the suburbs deserve even the moral lowground because, as far as I'm concerned, the attitudes that drove white flight have never died in the majority of the suburbs.

Also, I'm not suggesting that poverty be foisted upon the denizens of the suburbs, I'm suggesting that an equal or greater portion of our social burden be borne by them. Anyone who disagrees is supporting a system of thinly veiled bigotry.



All the more reason to support political attitudes that are openly hostile to the suburbs. The status quo will never support a change in this system for the better so the only solution is to crush the status quo and FORCE them to accept change. The suburbs will start supporting a more logical approach to transit right quick when their tax base starts eroding and demographic change brings a larger portion of the population who rely on transit.

Everyone is tippy-toeing around the Elephant in the room, all this conflict and city/suburb drama is based on Race -- and how each really sees the other, and acts on it.

Chi-Sky21 Sep 16, 2014 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6731076)
Transportation geek that I am, I feel obligated to point out that Eisenhower had almost nothing to do with creating the Interstate Highway System—and to note that much of Northeastern Illinois's superhighway network was already under construction when Ike signed the 1956 bill. Suburban development was already roaring full speed ahead in the Chicago region by 1930, and the city approved its comprehensive system of superhighways in 1939.

Thanks for the info!! since i was not alive back then and not the transportation expert...I did not know that! Something new i need to go look into now.

chrisvfr800i Sep 16, 2014 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTA Gray Line (Post 6731276)
Everyone is tippy-toeing around the Elephant in the room, all this conflict and city/suburb drama is based on Race -- and how each really sees the other, and acts on it.

The appearance of the race card took longer than expected in this discussion....but it was inevitable. It must be easy to feel you've won arguments when you've staked out the moral high ground for yourself.

Wanting your tax money to be spent locally = RACISM.
NOT wanting your tax money to be wasted on stupid pet projects = RACISM.
Wanting to live in a peaceful area with a little space to breathe = RACISM.
NOT wanting to live in an area infested with gangs and drugs = RACISM.
NOT wanting your children to attend schools that do a lousy job educating them = RACISM.

Living in the suburbs = RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait until my many non-white neighbors find out about this!

Lot's of luck with all your pipe-dreams ever getting funded when you insult the majority of people in the region.

LouisVanDerWright Sep 16, 2014 1:19 PM

Let me fix this for you:

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisvfr800i (Post 6731356)

Wanting your tax money to be spent locally Refusing to participate in programs that might require you to spend local tax dollars on a program that addresses larger societal ills = RACISM.
NOT wanting your tax money to be wasted on Writing off social programs as "stupid pet projects" = RACISM.
Wanting to live in a peaceful area with a little space to breathe White flight = RACISM.
NOT wanting to live in an area infested Suggesting that all poor people are affiliated with gangs and drugs = RACISM.
NOT wanting your Wanting to perpetuate a system with historical racial bias that forces minority children to attend virtually segregated schools that do a lousy job educating them = RACISM.

Living in the suburbs = RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait until my many non-white neighbors find out about this!

Lot's of luck with all your pipe-dreams ever getting funded when you insult the majority of people in the region.


Mr Downtown Sep 16, 2014 1:41 PM

Amalgamation would be almost impossible to achieve, but let's set that aside for a moment. The result would be the same thing, just with different names.

A MetroChicago government would have to have (for constitutional reasons) geographic districts of equal population. So immediately you have the same thing: six city councillors representing the former suburbs and three representing the old city of Chicago. Only now they're on completely equal footing, making the same arguments as a current alderman: why does Lincoln Park-Edgewater get 18 different bus routes when Carol Stream-Bloomingdale only has one? And when will that rail line connecting Bolingbrook and Plainfield finally be built? Let's abandon a couple of the little-used Old South Side lines and put that money to better use . . . .

chrisvfr800i Sep 16, 2014 1:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6731401)
Let me fix this for you:



I'm sorry to report that your "social envy-injustice disease" is terminal. :(

LouisVanDerWright Sep 16, 2014 2:01 PM

^^^ Lol, I'm about as libertarian/right wing as they get on these boards and even I can see the problems. Why is it that you cant?

chrisvfr800i Sep 16, 2014 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright (Post 6731453)
^^^ Lol, I'm about as libertarian/right wing as they get on these boards and even I can see the problems. Why is it that you cant?

I see problems in the world, but I do not see racism as the reason for all of them. I'm never going to be made to believe that most people choose to live in the suburbs...and want them to be nice places to live...because they hate blacks. As a right wing SSP forum member, I find the "Transit as Social Justice" meme, which is very common here, to be offensive and off-putting. It's never going to be a winning argument with people whose tax dollars already fund the majority of transit systems in the area, and from whom you want more.

Vlajos Sep 23, 2014 4:52 PM

Does anyone have any insight into why CTA bus ridership is plummeting? Rail ridership is growing quite nicely still.

Chicago Shawn Sep 23, 2014 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 6740304)
Does anyone have any insight into why CTA bus ridership is plummeting? Rail ridership is growing quite nicely still.

Two words: Divvy and Ventra. Bus drivers often waive people with problem cards past the farebox, I assume there is some ridership data leakage there. Meanwhile Divvy has racked up some 2 million rides in 14.5 months of operations.

Mr Downtown Sep 23, 2014 7:59 PM

Ventra. It's no longer possible for poor people to transfer from one bus line to another, which of course used to count as two boardings.


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