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

Mr Downtown Jun 23, 2010 7:53 PM

That's a pretty stiff price for bike rental, which is normally $20-25 per day. Odd that they're starting with the visitor market, which is already well served by private firms at many of those same locations.

Taft Jun 23, 2010 8:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 4887679)
There may be some damage.

Speaking of grease. I hate walking along state between Bellevue and Oak where it's as if grease or some slippery substance was just poured over the sidewalks. Even more slippery when you walk across the subway grates. It was incredibly annoying and I have no idea where it all came from, but it stank horrible and the sidewalks were slippery.

This is probably 100% coincidental, but isn't that almost exactly where the fire/smoke was during the red line incident?

Is it possible that the two are linked? That something spilled on the surface leaked onto the tracks and eventually caught fire?

emathias Jun 23, 2010 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft (Post 4888646)
This is probably 100% coincidental, but isn't that almost exactly where the fire/smoke was during the red line incident?

Is it possible that the two are linked? That something spilled on the surface leaked onto the tracks and eventually caught fire?

My guess is that some of it's from those nearby restaurants, whether it's spilled garbage bins or precipitation from grease-laden smoke, although some definitely sounds like left-overs from the fire and/or response.

emathias Jun 23, 2010 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 4888267)
...
Given the price points, does anyone find this an attractive option?
...

The hourly charge seems acceptable, but what's with the membership card fees? That's just absurd!

Chicago Shawn Jun 24, 2010 6:52 PM

I would use it if there are neighborhood locations added. Until then, its too pricey for its limited scope. Its not expensive if multiple locations blanket inner-city neighborhoods, because you wouldn't be on the bike for more than a 1/2 hour to hour at a time. This is how it works in Paris, you keep checking bikes in/out every half hour, and your rides are free.

begratto Jun 25, 2010 2:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 4889923)
I would use it if there are neighborhood locations added. Until then, its too pricey for its limited scope. Its not expensive if multiple locations blanket inner-city neighborhoods, because you wouldn't be on the bike for more than a 1/2 hour to hour at a time. This is how it works in Paris, you keep checking bikes in/out every half hour, and your rides are free.

This is also how it works in Montreal, where the central neigbhourhoods are blanketed by 5000 Bixi bikes spreaded over 400 stations. You can never more than 2 blocks away from a station. See the map. The pricing is somewhat similar to the one in Chicago: $5 for a 24 hours "membership" (you can also get monthly or yearly passes), and then it's free, as long as you keep each of your rides shorter than 1/2 hour. It's hugely popular.

sammyg Jun 25, 2010 4:05 AM

if you could add this to your transit card (like I-Go) that would be great

VivaLFuego Jun 25, 2010 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sammyg (Post 4890683)
if you could add this to your transit card (like I-Go) that would be great

When the Chicago Card was first promoted and introduced circa 2003-2005, the idea was that eventually it would indeed function as basically a universal transportation card: transit, car-sharing, taxis, rentals, possibly even parking, etc.

As with most strategic plans, this dream too only lasted a few years in reality. The current trend in the transit industry, and CTA is making some moves to join in, is to completely outsource fare collection to an intermediary, presumably a bank, to issue the fare media (card/fob/whatever) and deal with the actual transactions, customer service, equipment maintenance, and so on, with revenue then remitted to the transit operation on some percentage or fixed-fee basis similar to the advertising contracts. At this point, the more likely scenario than the current Chicago Card is basically you'd have a credit card with a smart chip, or possibly some little keyfob, issued by MegaConglomerateBank, for universal quasi-instant payment. Depending on the RFID technology, this could potentially even remove the need to take anything out of your pocket, and fare collection would occur more similar to Open Road Tolling.

VivaLFuego Jun 29, 2010 6:29 PM

CDOT went to bid for an Alternatives Analysis study for the Carroll Avenue transitway. Solicitation materials here:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content.../Spec79089.pdf

Nothing too noteworthy. The original concept of an Ogden-Carroll transit line is officially scaled back only to the West Loop <--> River North portion of an eventual downtown distribution system that would also connect West Loop to East Loop. The study would be structured to conform to FTA Small Starts (under $250m) and New Starts programs. A small starts project, which based on cost would obviously be a bus project, could be up and running much faster than a new starts project, so there will be some interesting cost-benefit tradeoffs in a year or two when the "locally preferred alternative" is being refined.

Busy Bee Jun 29, 2010 7:45 PM

^At this point I'd rather wait for new starts funding for a full fledged light rail link than settle for a lame underground bus that will probably instantly be deemed outmoded and ill-suited.

ChicagoChicago Jun 30, 2010 3:21 AM

By the time they build the damn thing it will be too little, too late.

Mr Downtown Jun 30, 2010 3:29 AM

This particular route is much better suited to BRT than light rail, because you can do the circulation at both ends on ordinary streets without the engineering problems of light rail that eventually doomed the Central Area Circulator in the 90s.

Busy Bee Jun 30, 2010 3:58 AM

^I disagree. I think the climate in which the original early 90's circulator was proposed couldn't be more different now, where more and more not just industry people and advocates, but everyday people understand and want a modern fixed rail system, because of it's "psychological" and real dependability and the huge generation of private investment that is understood to come from new public transport rail infrastructure.

ardecila Jun 30, 2010 5:47 AM

I've been waiting for this... but I'm with Mr. D. Allowing the buses to transition onto street-level allows them to serve multiple destinations, and to detour around accidents and so forth. Street-running light rail may work in the sleepy downtowns of Dallas, Portland, and Charlotte, but in the extreme traffic of Chicago, it's just not gonna happen. There's a reason New York doesn't have light rail. In Europe, light rail is only a solution in suburbs or medium-sized cities. Of course, you can certainly use light rail in dense places, but only if it's grade separated somehow. You might be able to make it work somewhat if you shut down a street and converted it to a transit mall, but which streets can we afford to lose?

On the other hand, sending the buses from the transitway onto unmodified city streets with the worst traffic in the city is not the greatest idea. Signal priority is often bandied about, but it's not a good idea for the Near North, where the lights are already coordinated and signal priority would only mess up the system that prevents literal gridlock.

Prepaid boarding, on the other hand, and rush-hour street parking prohibitions (to allow for 3 buses to queue at each stop) would go a long way towards making the buses run more quickly. Michigan Avenue, in particular, really needs this stuff. I was at Water Tower today and was astonished at the 30-something people trying to board a 147. Prepaid boarding would greatly reduce the problem, and it would prevent tourists from fouling up the bus, in the place where the tourist concentration is highest.

VivaLFuego Jun 30, 2010 2:50 PM

Tend to agree with ardec --- bus can work fine if and only if it includes significant amounts of pavement with bus exclusivity or priority, with significant additional benefit from pre-paid/honor-based fare collection. To answer the question of "which streets can we lose?" the one that always comes up is Monroe, which one could imagine supporting a facility somewhat reminiscent of Denver's 16th Street, whose buses are very user-friendly and well-utilized. North of the river, one could postulate that Hubbard or Kinzie would make better bus malls than underground-out-of-sight Carroll Ave, depending on travel patterns in the area and whether the ideal service would be more streetcar-style (frequent stops, short trips) or fastest-possible connections between two or three endpoints (e.g. minimize travel time from the rail stations to Michigan Ave). While Carroll might seem ideal for said 'express' service, there is the consideration that Lower Wacker and Lower Michigan already exist, and depending on riders' actual origins and destinations, the travel market could arguably be served by a more modest investment in pavement/signal/vehicle projects for the 12X-series routes that already connect west loop to the Mag Mile/Streeterville/Navy Pier/Illinois Center areas.

I don't remember offhand --- when N-S Wacker is rebuilt, where will the access/egress locations be in each direction? I know headed WB/SB there is an exit onto Randolph, which allows for convenient access to the contraflow bus-only lane on Canal serving Ogilvie, but seem to recall that the NB/EB direction was more problematic for gracefully feeding buses.

Busy Bee Jun 30, 2010 3:12 PM

Quote:

In Europe, light rail is only a solution in suburbs or medium-sized cities.
Ardecila, I'm shocked at how wrong you are about this. Heard of Berlin? Rome? Prague? Budapest? Vienna? These are very large cities with street running light rail/tramways. Some may have forms of grade seperation (minor curbs, surface material) but they do a lot of mixed traffic street running. I see NO reason that a fixed rail system with as much grade and mode seperation as possible couldn't coexist and thrive on ANY street in Chicago. Are we forgeting that we used to have the largest streetcar network in the country?

Mr Downtown Jun 30, 2010 4:34 PM

^Largest in the world. Which we got rid of because the streetcars were always getting stuck in traffic!

Busy Bee Jun 30, 2010 4:53 PM

^One of the reasons. Imagine if instead of converting to trolleybus and diesel bus, the CTA had modernized those corridors (always comes to mind:Ashland), done central row partial grade separations(picture any number of European examples), trolley priority signaling (was there a primitive signal tech at the time) and coordinated streetscaping. OH if we could go back in time and just shake those fools.

Segun Jun 30, 2010 7:35 PM

I've never been to those European systems besides Amsterdam, but I have ridden the grade separated systems in Toronto, SF, Boston, Houston, Portland, and LA, and I'm not sold. I don't find them to be that more efficient and faster than a bus. The most grueling line I've been on is the Green Line from DTLA to Long Beach. The portions of the trip that are completely separated from the street run fast, but at the beginning and the end of the ride, it feels like the scenic railway at Six Flags Great America. And to make matters even more complicated is that there's almost no traffic in the industrial area it runs through on the way to Downtown LA. It just creeps. In Houston, the light rail running down main street took twice the time driving. Same thing with Portland. I got off the train and just took a taxi the rest of the way to the airport because it was so slow. I used these as illustrations because they're relatively new, as opposed to SF, Toronto and Boston, which also run slowly. These ideas sound good in theory, but when the maximum speed is 25 MPH, it doesn't offer much of an alternative to a bus. Hell, I'd rather have dedicated bus lanes, especially in a city with never-ending commercial streets like Chicago.

lawfin Jul 1, 2010 1:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4896335)
^Largest in the world. Which we got rid of because the streetcars were always getting stuck in traffic!

Buses clearly solved that problem extraordinarily well:whip: :jester: :shrug:


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