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

nomarandlee Mar 24, 2008 11:32 PM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...tory?track=rss

Metra, Canadian National spar over rail line they both covet
By Richard Wronski | Tribune reporter
10:43 PM CDT, March 23, 2008

Metra and the Canadian National Railway Co. are at loggerheads over the railroad's $400 million plan to divert freight traffic around Chicago, a proposal that also puts suburbs at odds with each other and with the City of Chicago over train congestion and blocked railroad crossings.

In documents filed with federal regulators, Metra says Canadian National's plan has the potential for "major disruptive delays in commuter rail service, which would have devastating effects on the riding public," while the rail company vows to work with Metra to "reasonably address and accommodate its concerns."

Metra is asking regulators to impose several conditions on Canadian National's proposed purchase of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway that Metra says are needed to protect its on-time service, schedules on current lines and future expansion.......................
.....

Dale Mar 25, 2008 12:49 AM

Chicagoans -

Ian Wright, British host of The Travel Channel's "America: the Wright Way", toured Chicago tonight. He took the el and seemed visably impressed. He remarked that it was cleaner and much more spacious than the Tube. And he liked the fact that it afforded an above-the-street view of the city.

nomarandlee Mar 25, 2008 1:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dale (Post 3436819)
Chicagoans -

He remarked that it was cleaner and much more spacious than the Tube..

:sly: i have yet been to London but have seen many photo's and I have a hard time buying that. The one thing I it does have over the London system is air conditioning which I hear is brutal in summer in London.

the urban politician Mar 25, 2008 1:27 AM

^ I've ridden both. I think they are both equal in their cleanliness (frankly, I don't know what's up with a lot of you Chicagoans and your "the L is so filthy!" nonsense), but Chicago's train cars are definitely more spacious than London's, IMO.

Dale Mar 25, 2008 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3436889)
^ I've ridden both. I think they are both equal in their cleanliness (frankly, I don't know what's up with a lot of you Chicagoans and your "the L is so filthy!" nonsense), but Chicago's train cars are definitely more spacious than London's, IMO.

It must be a Chicago thing, to diss your transit ... in contradistinction from the propensity of the Londoner to brag about theirs.

emathias Mar 25, 2008 2:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neuman (Post 3436495)
...
Does $24 million seem kind of high to anyone else? This kind of technology is found in many high end cell phones, but those cost, what $500 tops? So why the high price tag? How expensive is each unit? Whats the cost of installation per bus and the cost of linking it to the CTA'S website?...

I think you've under-estimated the cost of installation, as well as initial maintenance. There's also a fair amount of testing of the system involved. Plus, a $500 GPS tracker doesn't broadcast back.

The LoJack is not constantly broadcasting, it's just activated if the car is stolen, so while they use similar technology it's not exactly the same. And you said LoJack is $1,200, right? But you're only allowing $1,500 for the CTA's more robust, more flexible product?

Plus, if you consider LoJack to be like a Gateway PC, and what the CTA is getting to be like a dedicated Linux server purposed for a high-availability system, you kinda start to see the difference. A basic Gateway PC can be had for $500, but a solid, reliable server may run you 5 times that (maybe more).

They also have to be built to handle relatively rough conditions, and, I would assume, to broadcast at a higher average power than most cell phones to ensure a stable connection.

Finally, the central parts of the system, built to be reliable, would have to be fairly robust and that doesn't come cheap, and I don't know how much the software to tie them all together costs, but I do know that logistics software usually isn't cheap. Hiring people to administer the system doesn't come cheap, either.

Do I think $24 million seems high - yeah, at least a little. Do I think it's unreasonably high? No, I don't.

VivaLFuego Mar 25, 2008 2:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neuman (Post 3436495)

Does $24 million seem kind of high to anyone else?

No. I'm pretty sure I've already explained the cost components earlier in this thread, and I don't feel like rehashing it. You're vastly underestimating the complexity of the system. Alot more parts and labor are involved than buying a $300 part and plugging it in.

Chicago3rd Mar 25, 2008 5:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neuman (Post 3436495)

Does $24 million seem kind of high to anyone else?

One of the most idiotic things that CTA has to do by law is go with the "lowest" bidder. A great case in point...ever wonder why those stupid Electronic Bus identifiers at the top of the the front of the bus often don't work.....even on the newer buses? Well each time they go to purchase them they have to send out another bid...and they will more than likely end up with signs from a different company. That means different parts and different reasons for them breaking down as well as programming them. Does it make sense? We hate CTA for it...stupid CTA...but they are required to bid like that.

We need a best buy formula for everything CTA purchases.....best bang for the buck...short term along with long term...not "cheapest" short term horribly expensive long term.

As far as this system being over priced...guess I would have taken your points a little more seriously if you would have an exact comparision...from say other cities and their systems. Apples to apples. Plus.....do phone companies really keep track of your phones where abouts (all of them) and broadcast that out live?

emathias Mar 25, 2008 8:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3438196)
...
Plus.....do phone companies really keep track of your phones where abouts (all of them) and broadcast that out live?

God, I hope not!

emathias Mar 25, 2008 8:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 3436654)
.....

I can't believe Metra might put a wrench in this. This is SO important to the freight rail movement in Chicago, and it would add a lot more to the local economy than the STAR line ever would ...

VivaLFuego Mar 25, 2008 10:03 PM

CTA just announced some significant service increases on several south lakeshore routes:
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/w...ticleid=110240

This improvement in frequency makes the CTA service ever more desirable than the parallel Metra Electric service, in which Metra apparently has little interest in beefing up. Particularly for South Shore residents who are stuck riding local all-stop trains downtown, the CTA express buses (particularly the #14 and #26) generally provide a faster option that probably picks them up closer to their front door. The #2 actually distributes people to/from major trip generators in west Hyde Park (the hospital and dense apartment blocks) who otherwise have a significant hike to Metra. The #6 closely parallels the Metra Electric and isn't any faster, but now runs with such good frequency that it is always a good default option that requires no trip planning and much quicker access time.

Exit question for you all: These CTA improvements, - Good thing or bad thing? Detrimental to Metra?

nomarandlee Mar 25, 2008 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3438695)
I can't believe Metra might put a wrench in this. This is SO important to the freight rail movement in Chicago, and it would add a lot more to the local economy than the STAR line ever would ...

I agree, I just hope they are trying to get assurance and reasonable terms for their services and wouldn't go as far as trying to impede the sail. I also find Canadian National's take on the STAR line right on target and hopefully some pols will listen to them.

Marcu Mar 25, 2008 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3438196)
One of the most idiotic things that CTA has to do by law is go with the "lowest" bidder. A great case in point...ever wonder why those stupid Electronic Bus identifiers at the top of the the front of the bus often don't work.....even on the newer buses? Well each time they go to purchase them they have to send out another bid...and they will more than likely end up with signs from a different company. That means different parts and different reasons for them breaking down as well as programming them. Does it make sense? We hate CTA for it...stupid CTA...but they are required to bid like that.

We need a best buy formula for everything CTA purchases.....best bang for the buck...short term along with long term...not "cheapest" short term horribly expensive long term.

As far as this system being over priced...guess I would have taken your points a little more seriously if you would have an exact comparision...from say other cities and their systems. Apples to apples. Plus.....do phone companies really keep track of your phones where abouts (all of them) and broadcast that out live?

Can't they just adjust the product specifications? Instead of putting out a proposal for "electronic bus identifiers" put one out for "electronic bus identifiers with [insert tech specs or warranty requirements]". Easier than changing the law.

Abner Mar 26, 2008 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3438894)
Exit question for you all: These CTA improvements, - Good thing or bad thing? Detrimental to Metra?

Well some service is being reduced, so I'd call it service changes rather than improvements. The increase in frequency for the 6 is good, but I do kind of wonder why that bus has to make so many turns in Hyde Park--it seems like it would shave a few minutes off the trip to just stay on Lake Park and then go straight to Stony Island, rather than going over to Hyde Park Blvd. That would also make it more convenient for most people, since nobody lives east of Hyde Park Blvd. I'm sure there's a reason they do it that way though. Of course I'd rather just be able to take Metra...

VivaLFuego Mar 26, 2008 3:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3439686)
Well some service is being reduced, so I'd call it service changes rather than improvements. The increase in frequency for the 6 is good, but I do kind of wonder why that bus has to make so many turns in Hyde Park--it seems like it would shave a few minutes off the trip to just stay on Lake Park and then go straight to Stony Island, rather than going over to Hyde Park Blvd. That would also make it more convenient for most people, since nobody lives east of Hyde Park Blvd. I'm sure there's a reason they do it that way though. Of course I'd rather just be able to take Metra...

I think the routing of the 6 is a combination of historical precendence (minor reason) and the fact that going down Hyde Park Blvd serves many, many more residents than Lake Park (major reason). When the major South Lakeshore service revisions were under way about 5 years ago, they had the X28 following the routing you suggest, but moved it to Hyde Park largely on account of increased demand for it there.

Abner Mar 26, 2008 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3440414)
I think the routing of the 6 is a combination of historical precendence (minor reason) and the fact that going down Hyde Park Blvd serves many, many more residents than Lake Park (major reason). When the major South Lakeshore service revisions were under way about 5 years ago, they had the X28 following the routing you suggest, but moved it to Hyde Park largely on account of increased demand for it there.

Really, that's surprising. Hyde Park is at the edge of the neighborhood whereas Lake Park is closer to the middle, although still pretty far east. I guess the tracks plus the ugliness of Lake Park must detract a lot of people living east of them. Those buses just CREEP down Hyde Park.

The parallel bus service isn't that bad, but it kind of sucks that a lot of people living farther south sit through a 15-minute crawl along a local route before reaching the express portion. Also, it would really help tie the lakefront South Side neighborhoods together if you could take rapid transit between the neighborhoods, rather than only being able to get downtown from any given neighborhood. The shape of the lake makes it impossible to get between, say, Bronzeville and South Shore without taking two buses, but the Electric would allow for this very nicely.

VivaLFuego Mar 26, 2008 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3440722)
Really, that's surprising. Hyde Park is at the edge of the neighborhood whereas Lake Park is closer to the middle, although still pretty far east. I guess the tracks plus the ugliness of Lake Park must detract a lot of people living east of them. Those buses just CREEP down Hyde Park.

The parallel bus service isn't that bad, but it kind of sucks that a lot of people living farther south sit through a 15-minute crawl along a local route before reaching the express portion. Also, it would really help tie the lakefront South Side neighborhoods together if you could take rapid transit between the neighborhoods, rather than only being able to get downtown from any given neighborhood. The shape of the lake makes it impossible to get between, say, Bronzeville and South Shore without taking two buses, but the Electric would allow for this very nicely.

Agreed on better connecting South Shore to other south side neighborhoods via transit. However, residents along the southern portion of the 6 can take the 26 during rush hours (or possibly the 14 any time of day, depending where they live) and bypass the Hyde Park portion, significantly speeding up their trip.

Via Chicago Mar 27, 2008 4:41 PM

from the Sun Times

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...032608.article
Quote:

Downtown CTA stop to get $67 mil. facelift

March 27, 2008
Recommend (4)

BY MARY WISNIEWSKI Transportation Reporter

The dingy and dimly lit L station at Grand and State is getting a $67 million face-lift, which will include new tiles, new lighting and a 2,000-square-foot expansion of the mezzanine.

The renovation is the first major update since the station was built in 1943. The design will be similar to previous Red Line subway station renovations at Chicago, Lake and Jackson.

The Chicago Department of Transportation wants to complete the work by early 2010. Federal money will cover about 80 percent of the cost, with about $1.4 million from the city and state funds making up the rest.

The Grand station is the Red Line’s ninth busiest, with more than 8,000 passengers a day. The upgrades will include new granite floors and stairs, three new elevators and a new escalator.

The station will be open to riders throughout the project, though some entrances and exits will be temporarily closed.

Traffic in a one-block radius will be affected starting next week through October. Grand Avenue will go down to two westbound lanes. State Street north of Grand will be cut to two northbound lanes and one lane southbound. Southbound traffic must turn west on Grand. State Street south of Grand will have one northbound lane.

Floyd Long, 27, a chef who commutes to Grand from the South Side, said he thought the money would be better spent elsewhere.

“The Red Line is perfect — the station looks fine to me,” Long said. “It’s the Green Line that needs it. Those stations are old.”

OhioGuy Mar 27, 2008 5:42 PM

Monroe, Clark & Division, and North & Clybourn all need face lifts as well - particularly the first two. And are they EVER going to get Washington finished? I never see any work being done there.

Mr Downtown Mar 27, 2008 7:09 PM

^Some of us are working to get these three stations preserved and restored, rather than remodeled. The state office of historic preservation is raising all kinds of spurious roadblocks, claiming to have "lost the file" several times.


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