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VivaLFuego Nov 21, 2006 5:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaleAvella
I don't disagree with you, but how is the Metra so great, in my opinion, compared to the CTA? Is it because of funding or competence?

Metra doesn't have to run copious amounts of hopelessly unprofitable off-peak and charity service like CTA. Metra also receives a relatively high share of the regional sales tax collections relative to the amount of service it provides.

So to answer your question, yes its funding, and its also expectations of the agency (i.e. people have realistic expecations of Metra, so Metra isn't criticized for running 4 trains per day on the Heritage Corridor, or running trains every 2 hours off-peak on other lines, for example).

Of course I don't want to take any money from Metra, since it is a major asset to the Chicago region, especially in its current well-run state (though I'm surprised people give them a pass on their failure to have any interest in integrating downtown services with CTA). But regional transit needs more funding, period.

Taft Nov 21, 2006 7:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Metra doesn't have to run copious amounts of hopelessly unprofitable off-peak and charity service like CTA. Metra also receives a relatively high share of the regional sales tax collections relative to the amount of service it provides.

So to answer your question, yes its funding, and its also expectations of the agency (i.e. people have realistic expecations of Metra, so Metra isn't criticized for running 4 trains per day on the Heritage Corridor, or running trains every 2 hours off-peak on other lines, for example).

Of course I don't want to take any money from Metra, since it is a major asset to the Chicago region, especially in its current well-run state (though I'm surprised people give them a pass on their failure to have any interest in integrating downtown services with CTA). But regional transit needs more funding, period.

Exactly! Take a look at the weekday schedule of one of their busier lines:

http://metrarail.com/Sched/cnw_n/cnwn_wki.shtml

They only try to run a train every 10 minutes at peak times. The rest of the day it is every hour or so.

Compare that to the CTA's Green line:

http://transitchicago.com/maps/rail/gp_clinton.html

Even though the green line is one of the least ridden lines in the system, it is still running a train every 8 minutes for most of the day. When the CTA has tried to trim service on these lines, they met with stiff opposition from community groups, "help the poor" organizations, etc. pretty much forcing them to keep a high level of service.

Imagine if Metra was told it had to run 6 times as many trains on all of its lines. They would never recoup that in ticket sales. Welcome to the CTA's world.

On an unrelated note, does anyone have stats on how much the CTA spends on bus service vs. train? I'm not sure I've ever seen the breakdown. Given their massive bus fleet, I'd imagine bus maintenance is a huge cost. But tracks are costly, too.

Taft

DaleAvella Nov 24, 2006 4:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft
Even though the green line is one of the least ridden lines in the system, it is still running a train every 8 minutes for most of the day. When the CTA has tried to trim service on these lines, they met with stiff opposition from community groups, "help the poor" organizations, etc. pretty much forcing them to keep a high level of service.

Likewise reactions of "serving the rich" when any mention of additional public transit along the north lakeshore (i.e. Streeterville, Clark St.) is proposed. I can see how politics rather than actual demand for transportation services clearly plays a role in CTA services, whereas this is less the case with Metra.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 24, 2006 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1
car advertisements. the ad world's goal is to change habits through psychology. it changed the place. also, the car manufacturer's had enough money to skew politician's priorties away from public funding for transit to public funding for highways and bigger roads.

sad really. our nation hasn't benefited from being so isolated either. Any dimwit traveling to Europe sees the benefits of great public transportation that places such as Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona or Paris have.

Well, yes it was the change in popular culture in addition to the fact that we could all afford cars, lets face it, they are cheep and easy, especially when the infrastructure for them is so built up as it is here. And honestly, even the biggest fans of Mass Transit, myself included, cannot deny that there is a thrill to driving a car and a certain feeling of freedom that doesn't quite exist with Mass Transit.

Anyhow, what would really be nice would be some more circular movement in the El system, you can't get anywhere that is not along your line with any efficiancy right now, its really annoying, trasferring to a bunch of busses every time you need to go West from the Red line! I agree with your points on how many more costs CTA has to deal with, but I really think they are worth it, I would hate not having 24 hr service on the main lines and the frequency of one train every <5 minutes durring rush hour!

alex1 Nov 25, 2006 7:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280
Anyhow, what would really be nice would be some more circular movement in the El system, you can't get anywhere that is not along your line with any efficiancy right now, its really annoying, trasferring to a bunch of busses every time you need to go West from the Red line! I agree with your points on how many more costs CTA has to deal with, but I really think they are worth it, I would hate not having 24 hr service on the main lines and the frequency of one train every <5 minutes durring rush hour!

i would say that a successful transit system has more then point A to B to A capabilities and runs trains every 2-4 minutes tops (any time of day). so I definately agree with all your points.

The circle line is one piece of that puzzle but it's just a small piece.

spyguy Dec 3, 2006 5:32 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/techno...l=chi-news-hed

Streaming video to aid CTA buses, train stops

By Charles Sheehan

Tribune staff reporter
Published December 3, 2006

Dozens of city buses and rail stations will be outfitted with streaming video technology as part of a pilot project that Mayor Richard Daley said will vastly improve security in Chicago.

The Chicago Transit Authority this month will install wireless transmitters in 40 buses--as well as at select rail stops--that will be linked to laptop computers and monitors in CTA security vehicles and the CTA command center.

An impetus for the $2.4 million pilot project, funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, was the mass-transit bombings in Madrid and London, Daley said Saturday.

"Let's be realistic. London was always at the forefront, and you see the detection recently in the London bombings and the reaction, how they found out who [the bombers] were so quickly," he said.

CTA President Frank Kruesi said cameras already installed in buses will be used to transmit the data over the new wireless network. "The mobile security network expands the capabilities of security cameras on our buses."

Images from onboard a bus can be viewed by a moving vehicle within 600 feet of the bus, giving emergency personnel better, more up-to-date information about what may be happening.

Each bus is fitted with internal and external cameras, and the same technology can be used to space buses between stops and provide better service, Kruesi said.

Officials hope to expand the system throughout the city after a six-month test.

The two mass-transit incidents in Europe have spurred security concerns. In 2004, train bombings in Madrid left 191 people dead and injured more than 1,700. In July 2005, a series of coordinated bomb blasts on underground trains and a bus killed 52 people in London.

aaron38 Dec 5, 2006 3:59 PM

Does the CTA have any plans for adding stations along existing lines, especially in areas of increasing density?
With the explosive growth of the Central Station area, it looks to me that it would make a lot of sense to add a station at 16th street, right before the red, orange and green lines all split.
There's a whole bunch of new customers moving into this neighborhood who'd be a lot more likely to jump on a CTA train if a stop is a right there instead of having to walk up to Roosevelt.
Just wondering if any plans were in the works.

VivaLFuego Dec 5, 2006 9:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38
Does the CTA have any plans for adding stations along existing lines, especially in areas of increasing density?
With the explosive growth of the Central Station area, it looks to me that it would make a lot of sense to add a station at 16th street, right before the red, orange and green lines all split.
There's a whole bunch of new customers moving into this neighborhood who'd be a lot more likely to jump on a CTA train if a stop is a right there instead of having to walk up to Roosevelt.
Just wondering if any plans were in the works.

There are plans but unfortuntaely nothing will happen in the near future.

The only short term new station will be Oakton on the Yellow Line in Skokie.

The city eventually wants to build Green Line stations at 18th or Cermak (to serve McCormick Place and South Loop), and then at either Western or Damen.

As part of the Circle Line Project, CTA wants to add a station at Roosevelt on the Douglas branch, a transfer station over the Eisenhower to the Forest Park branch, a station at Madison for the United Center, and a transfer station at Archer between the Circle, Red, and Orange lines (the north part of the station would have an entrance around 18th/Archer, which would serve some of the South Loop).

honte Dec 5, 2006 9:28 PM

^ Were the West Loopers ever successful in persuading the CTA to consider a Green Line stop near Racine?

denizen467 Dec 6, 2006 6:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
The city eventually wants to build Green Line stations at 18th or Cermak (to serve McCormick Place and South Loop), and then at either Western or Damen.

Was there specific mention of Cermak and of 18th, or is that just rough conjecture? Cermak makes a lot of sense for McCormick Place, but 18th is a little random (why not Cullerton and cover both McC and S Loop?).

VivaLFuego Dec 6, 2006 8:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467
Was there specific mention of Cermak and of 18th, or is that just rough conjecture? Cermak makes a lot of sense for McCormick Place, but 18th is a little random (why not Cullerton and cover both McC and S Loop?).

Well 18th is a half mile street, unlike Cullerton.

Last I "heard", the leaning was towards Cermak to serve McCormick place and all the planned development in the Cermak corridor.

the urban politician Dec 6, 2006 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte
^ Were the West Loopers ever successful in persuading the CTA to consider a Green Line stop near Racine?

^ Unfortunately, from what I read a few months ago, there are no plans at this time to build a stop there.

denizen467 Dec 9, 2006 8:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2492757)
Well 18th is a half mile street, unlike Cullerton.

Last I "heard", the leaning was towards Cermak to serve McCormick place and all the planned development in the Cermak corridor.

How is 18th a half-mile street?

VivaLFuego Dec 9, 2006 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 2498627)
How is 18th a half-mile street?

18th is a half-mile street between Roosevelt and Cermak.

alex1 Dec 12, 2006 5:14 AM

18th is longer then half a mile. From Indiana to Western. Unless there's an 18th n/s running street that I've never heard of.

bcp Dec 12, 2006 5:22 AM

major streets in chicago tend to be 1 mile apart...18th St. and a few others create a half-mile pattern IIRC

VivaLFuego Dec 12, 2006 6:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcp (Post 2504103)
major streets in chicago tend to be 1 mile apart...18th St. and a few others create a half-mile pattern IIRC

The numbering system is a little silly.....it's one mile from Madison to Roosevelt (12th St.), another mile to Cermak (22nd), another mile to 31st, then the miles are every 8 blocks thereafter going south.

18ths isn't actually halfway between Roosevelt and Cermak (it's closer to Cermak), but it serves as the "half-mile" street, i.e. a secondary arterial.

denizen467 Dec 12, 2006 7:20 AM

Roosevelt to Cermak is 1 mile?!? Jeez, I thought we could rely on a standard measuring unit of 800 street numbers = 1 mile. Where else is it bastardized on the north-south axis -- is it, say, 1 mile from Roosevelt to Congress (only 700 numbers)?

If you can't trust the 800 = 1 mile rule, whom can you trust? :irked:

VivaLFuego Dec 12, 2006 3:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 2504322)
Roosevelt to Cermak is 1 mile?!? Jeez, I thought we could rely on a standard measuring unit of 800 street numbers = 1 mile. Where else is it bastardized on the north-south axis -- is it, say, 1 mile from Roosevelt to Congress (only 700 numbers)?

If you can't trust the 800 = 1 mile rule, whom can you trust? :irked:

Congress is the "half-mile" between Madison and Roosevelt.

Chicago Shawn Dec 12, 2006 11:26 PM

Another delay....

I'm sick of the constant delays, it's almost everyday now. The CTA is becoming a joke of its former self. The system is going to calapse if more money isn't found. Just think how much worse the issue will be if the CTA is forced to defer another half billion away from maintainece over the next four years if the funding formula is not fixed...

CTA Red Line service back to normal

By Dan P. Blake
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 12, 2006, 3:47 PM CST


Southbound trains on the CTA's Red Line have resumed their regular route after a problem with the track this morning, but Orange Line trains will continue to travel in reverse direction around the Loop through the end of the day because of a defective switch, a transit spokeswoman said.

Southbound Red Line trains are again running through the subway, CTA spokeswoman Wanda Taylor said just after noon. The trains had been traveling along elevated tracks between the Fullerton Avenue and Cermak Road stations because of a cracked rail in the subway. Northbound trains were not affected.

Meanwhile, CTA Orange Line trains will keep traveling in a reverse direction from their normal routing around the Loop through early Wednesday morning, Taylor said.

Orange Line trains normally enter the Loop from the south and run clockwise around the inside elevated tracks beginning at the Library station, at State and Van Buren Streets.

But because of the malfunctioning switch, trains are running counterclockwise on the outer tracks, beginning at the Adams Street-Wabash Avenue stop and exiting the Loop after leaving Library, according to the CTA.

Customers will have to board Orange Line trains on the opposite side of the platform from which they normally board. Taylor said repairs will be made to the Orange Line overnight.

Also starting at 9 p.m., Pink Line trains will be re-rerouted on the outer elevated track for repairs to install a new switch, Taylor said. Once they enter the Loop, trains will operate in the reverse direction, and riders will have to board trains on the outer platforms in the Loop, the same platform as Brown Line trains.

The Red Line problem was the latest on that subway in a little more than a month.

On Nov. 10, passengers were stranded on eight CTA trains in the subway for more than an hour after a loose part near the wheels of one train knocked about 100 feet of electrified third rail slightly out of alignment near the North-Clybourn station. A number of passengers put themselves at risk by evacuating the trains.

Other trains were re-routed over the elevated structure, as they were today, until the problem was fixed.

The Red Line incident came nearly four months after a train derailment and fire in the Blue Line subway sent more than 150 people to hospitals.

VivaLFuego Dec 13, 2006 3:00 AM

The rail system is a disaster. They knew, back in the 90s, that the O'hare branch would need major track work by the mid 2000s. However, this project was deferred in order to roll it into the Airport Express, which itself was planned and executed incredibly poorly, so far using $100 million in capital funds, much of which could have been spent on track maintenance.

And all the while, 1) no one has made a serious political effort to find funding to fix the north part of the red line, hence much of it is slow-zoned and 2)track maintenance hasn't been as good systemwide the last few years because CTA is undertaking so many major construction projects simultaneously that track maintenance crews have been diverted (Cermak, Dan Ryan, Ravenswood).

More funding would of course help immensely, by allowing more budget for track, structural, railcar, and infrastructural maintenance. But it's also very clear that a series of bad decisions, that will take along time to correct, were made (or maybe not made) at the upper levels of CTA management, and these need to be identified and acknowledged.

The sad news is that even if CTA really got on the ball tomorrow about properly maintaining the rail system, I fear we're looking at probably 2008 or 2009 before we'd be looking at significant reliability improvements.

Wright Concept Dec 13, 2006 3:25 AM

I wonder when I was living in Chicago for 5 years, When will the CTA start rehabbing the Elevated Loop. That part is the oldest and most used part of the system.

pottebaum Dec 13, 2006 3:36 AM

How do you think ridership on the rail portion of the system is doing this year?

VivaLFuego Dec 13, 2006 4:05 AM

^visionary,

re: the loop, They basically do it in bits and pieces. The structure and track in the loop is all in good shape. They are about to start upgrading the signaling and switch system (finally!). Re: stations, the only ones that haven't been rehabbed are State/Lake, Randolph/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, and Lasalle/Van Buren. Randolph and Madison will be demolished to build a Washington/Wabash station, which I think is somewhere in the design phase. State/Lake is also in the design phase. I don't know about LaSalle/Van Buren. CDOT is lead on the downtown station projects, so maybe ask LA21st if he knows anything about it.

^pottebaum,
believe it or not, it's still going up! I credit ever growing school enrollments and continued revitalization and residential construction. Of course, it probably would have grown even more if service had been more reliable for the last year. . .

LA21st Dec 13, 2006 4:49 AM

Nothing on LaSalle/Van Buren.

The next big thing will be State/Grand. That station really sucks right now.:yuck:

Latoso Dec 13, 2006 7:12 AM

:previous: Yeah it does. And I should know, as I'm always stuck in that damp dungeon of a station. Speaking of which, will they ever redo Harrison? You'd think with all the college students using it that it would be better.

denizen467 Dec 13, 2006 7:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 2506562)
The next big thing will be State/Grand. That station really sucks right now.:yuck:

Amen. Any renders, or info?

Chicago Shawn Dec 14, 2006 12:07 AM

UGHHHHH!!!!! Here we go agian, a power failure on the red line. I have had it. Third World Countries have better systems than this. SO fucking pathetic.

The Illinois portion of that new expressway better be built as a toll road. No more wasting public money on this garbage with the never ending traffic paradox. As the news explains today, there are other infrastructure projects in the region far more worthy.

LA21st Dec 14, 2006 1:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 2506853)
Amen. Any renders, or info?

Not yet, but it sounds like it will be bigger than the State/Lake red line rehab.

VivaLFuego Dec 14, 2006 4:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 2508557)
Not yet, but it sounds like it will be bigger than the State/Lake red line rehab.

Yeah, I know it went out to bid a good year or 2 ago but they cancelled the contract. I was wondering if maybe there were some revisions to allow for potentially an eventual integration with the Carroll Ave. "transitway"? That would be so hot.

LA21st Dec 14, 2006 5:33 AM

Great question. Hmm...that would be awesome if it happens. I will ask around.

BVictor1 Dec 14, 2006 2:49 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Highway plan gets a boost
Routes to be studied for new Indiana link

By Stanley Ziemba
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 14, 2006


Illinois and Indiana have signed an agreement to study potential routes for the long-discussed Illiana Expressway, but actual construction and a formula to finance it are at least a couple of years away, Illinois transportation officials said Wednesday.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels announced the agreement during a Rotary Club luncheon Tuesday in northwest Indiana. Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Vanover on Wednesday confirmed the accord was reached in November.

The 63-mile roadway, as proposed by Daniels, would run 13 miles in eastern Will County and link Interstate Highway 57 with Interstate Highway 65 near Lowell, Ind. It also would connect with the Indiana Toll Road and Interstate Highway 94 in Michigan City, Ind.

First proposed by architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham nearly 100 years ago, the highway has been on transportation officials' wish list since the 1960s to relieve increasing traffic on Interstate Highways 80/94 between the two states.

"The Illiana Expressway would not only alleviate congestion, but also stimulate jobs all along its route, helping both the economy and quality of life throughout Chicagoland," Daniels said at the Rotary luncheon.

Under the agreement, an engineering firm is to be selected early next year to perform an environmental impact analysis and identify a final highway alignment, Daniels said in a news release.

The study, estimated to cost between $5 million and $10 million, is expected to take no more than three years. The Indiana Department of Transportation will be the lead agency on the study, and the two states will share its cost, Daniels said.

Neither Indiana nor Illinois transportation officials have estimated how much the expressway might cost.

But Daniels said the Indiana portion of the expressway would be built with private money, not tax dollars, and would be operated by a private firm as a toll road. The state would retain ownership of the expressway in Indiana, he said.

Illinois officials have yet to consider how the state might finance its portion, Vanover said.

"At this point, it's too early to look at financing," he said. "We don't even know yet if [the expressway] is feasible, although we believe it is, what it might look like and what its potential alignment might be."

He added that with the state's financial woes, "our main focus now is maintaining our existing interstate system."

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.), a longtime Illiana Expressway proponent, said the congressman is "very pleased" that the project appears to be moving forward. He and other officials have warned that with each passing year, the cost of building goes up and potential routes are eliminated as development spreads farther from Chicago.

"It's been talked about a long time, and the longer it is delayed, the more it is needed," said Weller spokesman Andy Fuller.

Village officials in Crete and Beecher in eastern Will County, whose roads are often inundated with trucks seeking to avoid traffic backups on I-80/94, also welcomed the announcement.

According to Daniels' office, 300,000 vehicles travel between Chicago and Indiana each day on I-80/94, the Indiana Toll Road, U.S. Highways 6 and 30 and local streets--and the number keeps growing. The number of trucks using the Borman Expressway (I-80/94 in Indiana), now 28,000 a day, is expected to increase by 50 percent in the next 20 years.

An Illiana Expressway would reduce truck traffic on the Borman by 22 percent and on U.S. 30 by 59 percent, according to the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

----------

sziemba@tribune.com



Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

VivaLFuego Dec 14, 2006 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 2509063)
Great question. Hmm...that would be awesome if it happens. I will ask around.

While not perfect, it would be a great first step towards the actual integration of the commuter rail system with rapid transit. I'm not holding my breath for cross platform transfers at Grand, but more likely something like a much larger mezannine that would allow for a direct connection in the paid area up to the street level BRT/Streetcar.

VivaLFuego Dec 14, 2006 3:52 PM

Oh lovely, more expressways! Meanwhile, our rapid transit system crumbles to dust. . .

Chicago3rd Dec 14, 2006 4:49 PM

Red Line Service Returns to Normal 7:38 p.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Service has resumed in both directions along the Red Line at normal speeds. Thank you for your patience while we restored service to normal.

So last night I was waiting for the Red Line at Belmont (6:35 p.m.)
The lady on the intercom said that the next Purple Line running north would all stops to Howard
The purple line came. The engineer said he was going north to Howard stopping at all stops.
Everyone loaded.
The Red Line pulled up.
The engineer kept saying he was heading north all stops to Howard.
Then he started yelling at a person holding the doors open.
The person at holding the doors open had NO CTA anything visible. All he had was a radio. He was yelling something about getting the Clark tower to tell the engineer to make it express.

ALL the while the red line (the first one heading north for some time) is now not moving again...because of this dispute. The Purple line is not moving either.

At this point we have 2 lines heading north being stalled by CTA Managers.

Finally the Purple line engineer told everyone to walk over to the red line so we all got off and got on the red line.

Then to add insult to injury...the very first red line heading north (the one I was in) because of the delay in the subway was now made to WAIT until the Purple line express train continued forward (Clark Tower had to switch the tracks Purple to Red back to Purple to Purple!!!!)

That is why the CTA sucks. It speaks volumes about CTA and its management.

VivaLFuego Dec 14, 2006 5:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 2509720)
Red Line Service Returns to Normal 7:38 p.m.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Service has resumed in both directions along the Red Line at normal speeds. Thank you for your patience while we restored service to normal.

So last night I was waiting for the Red Line at Belmont (6:35 p.m.)
The lady on the intercom said that the next Purple Line running north would all stops to Howard
The purple line came. The engineer said he was going north to Howard stopping at all stops.
Everyone loaded.
The Red Line pulled up.
The engineer kept saying he was heading north all stops to Howard.
Then he started yelling at a person holding the doors open.
The person at holding the doors open had NO CTA anything visible. All he had was a radio. He was yelling something about getting the Clark tower to tell the engineer to make it express.

ALL the while the red line (the first one heading north for some time) is now not moving again...because of this dispute. The Purple line is not moving either.

At this point we have 2 lines heading north being stalled by CTA Managers.

Finally the Purple line engineer told everyone to walk over to the red line so we all got off and got on the red line.

Then to add insult to injury...the very first red line heading north (the one I was in) because of the delay in the subway was now made to WAIT until the Purple line express train continued forward (Clark Tower had to switch the tracks Purple to Red back to Purple to Purple!!!!)

That is why the CTA sucks. It speaks volumes about CTA and its management.

Honestly this doesn't sound like that big of a problem, given the operational nightmare that is Clark Junction and the fact that they were still trying to restore regular service at the point you were boarding.

What's more troubling to me are the seemingly-permanent slow zones, trains stopping and sitting for 5 minutes or more between stations, evacuating broken trains, key signals and switches breaking every couple weeks, etc.

VivaLFuego Dec 14, 2006 8:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2510010)
The lost opportunity of the central area circulator is ever more glaring now.

I'm worried that the Circle line project should not be the next major build for the CTA. It should be a larger loop subway downtown. To me, we need a subway that circulates Canal, Congress, Columbus and Chicago.

It would tie in every Downtown Metra Station, Streaterville, Illinois Center, and Lakefront. It's sucks that Illinois Center has to run their own buses to the loop train stations... if that isn't a public policy failure i don't no what is.

If LA has been able to build miles of subways in the last 30 years, why hasn't Chicago been able to procure a minimal mileage segment of tunnels to at least expand the transit loop to where it should have been in the 1970's.

CTA runs the 122 and 123 shuttle buses to the train stations, so if I C runs their own shuttle, that's their perogative.

I agree with you on the circle line....ideally, there would be 2 circle lines. I say one along Clinton, Roosevelt, Michigan/Columbus, and Division (close to what you propose), and the other along Western, Belmont, and 35th. But that's just a pipe dream. I know I'd rather have one circle line at Ashland, plus the Carroll Ave. BRT/street car, as opposed to nothing at all.

Wright Concept Dec 14, 2006 9:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2509780)
Honestly this doesn't sound like that big of a problem, given the operational nightmare that is Clark Junction and the fact that they were still trying to restore regular service at the point you were boarding.

What's more troubling to me are the seemingly-permanent slow zones, trains stopping and sitting for 5 minutes or more between stations, evacuating broken trains, key signals and switches breaking every couple weeks, etc.

Didn't most of the trains on the Red and Blue lines received a mid-life rehab? (due to the '98 or '99 blizzard) But then again the tracks and signals are really old and need serious replacement.

VivaLFuego Dec 14, 2006 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2510336)
Yea i know we need to take what we can get. It's just amazing that both Streaterville and Illinois Center/Lakeshore East by themselves could constitute two major downtowns in terms of people who work/live/play in each one, but besides bus routes, there's no tie in the CTA heavy rail system at all, and worse, no plans too.

Well the Carroll Ave. street car plan would run all the way to Navy Pier, hopfully also hooking up to the Grand Red Line stop (see above about keeping fingers crossed that the Grand rehab will include room for an easy connection). The transitway seems to have a decent shot at happening, funded largely be renewal of the downtown TIF.

But yeah, had the Circulator project gone through, it would have been built-out by now.....how great would that be? Lakeshore east, Streeterville, the Loop, and the West Loop all connected by lightrail.

SapphireBlueEyes Dec 15, 2006 2:52 AM

Olympic Bids, could bid Farewell to Chicago
 
The major crisis with CTA will make our chance at getting the 2016 Olympics just a pleasant dream turned nightmare. It would be so sad with all the real estate boom in the city in recent years and other beautification developments, to have the rug pulled out from under us because of blatently inept CTA management officials. The slogan for the Clinton 92' Democratic Presidential Campaign was: "IT'S TIME FOR THEM TO GO!" The same is currently being shouted against cta's management.

-SapphireBlueEyes-
:notacrook:

Chicago3rd Dec 15, 2006 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2509780)
Honestly this doesn't sound like that big of a problem, given the operational nightmare that is Clark Junction and the fact that they were still trying to restore regular service at the point you were boarding.

What's more troubling to me are the seemingly-permanent slow zones, trains stopping and sitting for 5 minutes or more between stations, evacuating broken trains, key signals and switches breaking every couple weeks, etc.

It is worse than the Clark switch...since that has been updated with new signals and new switch...so it should be perfect by now....it is the fact that it is an example of CTA's management style...which is why we have the issuesm going out of wack now. The slow zones popped up over night. That is almost a miracle....if you ask me...just over night. The Redline (newspaper article in yesterday's tribune) has gone to hell in a hand basket with rail failure...this after they inspected it for a few days after the blue line problem.

The fact that we have a CTA that cannot at least maintain what we have....
They are waiting for a huge accident to say we told you so give us more money.

Chicago3rd Dec 19, 2006 7:37 PM

CTA Train Derails

***ODDLY ENOUGH THERE WAS A CTA STORY ABOUT THE RED LINE THIS MORNING THAT HAS DISAPPEARED!***

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...,2137527.story

CTA train derails

By Jeremy Gorner
Tribune staff reporter
Published December 19, 2006, 1:03 PM CST


CTA elevated tracks shared by the Orange and Green Lines in Chicago's South Loop were shut down this afternoon following a train derailment that forced the evacuation of roughly two dozen passengers, authorities said.

Ten ambulances were sent to the scene of the derailed northbound Orange Line train. The rear car of the four-car train left the tracks around 11:40 a.m. just south of the Roosevelt Road station, authorities said.



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The Chicago Fire Department escorted stranded passengers from the train and transported them to the ground using a snorkel basket, fire department spokesman Larry Langford said.

One person suffered an apparent anxiety attack, and another may have had an asthma attack, Langford said. Those two individuals and other passengers were being examined by paramedics at the scene. No serious injuries were reported.

Passenger Aisha Parker, 28, was in the rear car when it derailed. "The train was going around the turn, and it started shaking real loud," she said.

Immediately after the derailment, the train came to a stop and passengers started to stand up, Parker said. She then noticed the car was leaning and said she feared a shift in weight might cause the train to fall off the elevated tracks.

"I said, 'We're leaning, we're leaning. Everybody sit still,' "she recalled.

Power was temporarily shut off along the tracks, and the CTA was providing a shuttle bus for stranded Green and Orange Line riders, said Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Wanda Taylor.

Due to the derailment, shuttle buses were operating in both directions between the Roosevelt and 35th-Bronzeville-IIT stations for Green Line commuters, according to the CTA's Web site. At Roosevelt, customers can take a Red Line train or the No. 29 State bus to continue their commute.

The two extremities of the Green Line were operating—from Oak Park/River Forest to the Loop on the north and west, and from Ashland/63rd and 63rd/Cottage Grove to 35th Street on the south.

Orange Line trains were operating between Midway Airport and the Halsted station, where passengers were advised to transfer to the No. 62 Archer bus to complete their trips into the Loop. Also, shuttle buses were operating in both directions between Halsted and Roosevelt.

Chicago police cordoned off Wabash and State Street for several blocks south of 13th Street.

Tribune staff reporter Mitch Dudek contributed.



Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

brian_b Dec 20, 2006 4:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2509614)
Oh lovely, more expressways! Meanwhile, our rapid transit system crumbles to dust. . .

The South Shore expansion is much farther along in the planning stages than this expressway.

Chi_Coruscant Dec 20, 2006 5:30 AM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...l=chi-news-hed
New Yellow Line station could bring court fight

By Andrew Schroedter
Special to the Tribune

December 19, 2006, 8:50 PM CST

Skokie may soon begin eminent domain proceedings against two landowners to make room for a new Yellow Line stop, with the Village Board approving the step Monday if negotiations to buy the properties fail.

The Chicago Transit Authority railway station, expected to open on Oakton Street in 2008, could still be built without the additional parcels at 8116 and 8152-8200 Skokie Blvd., said Tom Thompson, Skokie's economic development coordinator.

But acquiring the land is vital because extra space is needed for a "kiss and ride" stop, a bus turnaround and a taxi drop-off area, officials said.

"You have to have more than just the property where the station sits," Thompson said.

The village has made several bids to buy the properties, officials said, but the buyers have not agreed to sell at a price that was determined by the village's appraiser.

"We've simply reached an impasse," said Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen.

Negotiations will continue, but if an agreement is not reached soon, the village could move ahead with the eminent domain proceedings. That step, unanimously approved by the Village Board at Monday's meeting, wasn't entered into lightly, officials said.

"This has been a goal of the village, to build this stop," said Trustee Randall Roberts. "This is a vital economic project for our village. This is very necessary."

The Skokie Boulevard properties house an auto repair shop and a truck rental business. Attempts to reach the property owners were unsuccessful.

The Oakton Street stop would be the third along the CTA's Yellow Line—also known as the Skokie Swift—which runs between Dempster and Howard Streets.

The location was chosen because of its nearness to the Illinois Science and Technology Park, a major employment hub in the village.

Plans for the new stop have been in the works for years. Federal and state grants totaling $10 million will offset the cost of the station, which the village hopes will spark redevelopment of the downtown area.

Skokie isn't using eminent domain to seize property for residential or commercial development, Van Dusen noted. The land would hold a railway station that would shuttle hundreds of commuters to work, home or other trains.

"We very much like to foster a cooperative spirit with our business community," Van Dusen said. "We don't want people to feel like they're under attack."
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

SkokieSwift Dec 20, 2006 6:22 AM

^They should "seize" the giant Aldi parking lot nearby, too. But as long as they don't touch the Crafty Beaver, it's all good. Downtown Skokie really needs this.

spyguy Jan 2, 2007 9:08 PM

http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/m...=n&searchType=

At Deadline

Bids for CTA's Grand redo come in high


Plans to renovate the CTA's Red Line subway stop at Grand Avenue have hit a financial hurdle, with the low bid coming in at $67.25 million, more than twice the city's estimate. A Chicago Department of Transportation rep says the department hopes to get more funding, but may have to seek new bids. The new station would feature bright lights, colorful tile and elevator service similar to renovated stops at Chicago Avenue and Lake Street. [Greg Hinz]

Marcu Jan 2, 2007 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 2542412)
http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/m...=n&searchType=

At Deadline

Bids for CTA's Grand redo come in high


Plans to renovate the CTA's Red Line subway stop at Grand Avenue have hit a financial hurdle, with the low bid coming in at $67.25 million, more than twice the city's estimate. A Chicago Department of Transportation rep says the department hopes to get more funding, but may have to seek new bids. The new station would feature bright lights, colorful tile and elevator service similar to renovated stops at Chicago Avenue and Lake Street. [Greg Hinz]

I don't understand how bids can come in at DOUBLE what the city estimated. My guess is either city incompetence or bid collusion on the part of the contractors. Also, how can it cost over $65 mil to replace some lights and tiles. I get on at Lake regularly and I just don't notice more than $5-10 mil worth of renovations. I guess the elevator can add an extra 1 or 2 mil but 67.25?

ChiArchie Jan 2, 2007 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2542450)
I don't understand how bids can come in at DOUBLE what the city estimated. My guess is either city incompetence or bid collusion on the part of the contractors. Also, how can it cost over $65 mil to replace some lights and tiles. I get on at Lake regularly and I just don't notice more than $5-10 mil worth of renovations. I guess the elevator can add an extra 1 or 2 mil but 67.25?

Well lets not just think the the General Contractors are bilking the CTA, or that the CTA is too incompentent. There is alot of costs that you never really see. The cost of using union trades with overtime pay, temporary barricades, the cost of working underground, i.e. moisture issues, moving materials, age of the last renovation.

I know it's all too easy to call the CTA names or just expect anything the City does is full of graf but there are some real costs that can be pushed aside.

VivaLFuego Jan 3, 2007 3:08 AM

I'd like to see the design drawings for this, they must be planning something major (Carroll Ave. streetcar hookup? :) ) otherwise I can't see how this would be so drastically higher than the Chicago rehab which I think was under $20 million about 7 years ago, which did involve significant excavation at the mezanine level as well as all the elevator, tiling, and lighting work.

Wright Concept Jan 3, 2007 3:22 AM

I think it's trying to find land or space to construct an elevator, that doesn't effect the existing building nearby on the street level. Also to excavate the extra dimensions needed for ADA. Also there might be some issues on finding a spot to place the elevator on the side platform since both staircase/escalators are on the middle of the platform.


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