SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

ardecila Jun 18, 2018 2:23 PM

I'll agree we need to be careful with this technology. Even it it does work as advertised, both from an engineering and financial standpoint, it's not a cure-all for transportation and we shouldn't talk about it that way. It is a solution to the narrow, specific problem of getting a small few business travelers on a nonstop trip to O'Hare quickly and painlessly.

For example, the "spurs" that others mention here to McCormick Place, Fulton Market and Water Tower are a terrible idea. We already have transit systems to take people around downtown, and they will have direct connections to Musk's tube at Block 37. If we decide we need to improve those systems, the "fix" should be a true public transit line/downtown circulator that is available to everyone and priced accordingly, fully integrated with the CTA system. A few spur tunnels should not become an excuse for the city's continued inaction on the downtown circulator problem.

Moreover, virtually any other corridor Musk could build within the city (including to Midway) would either require a similarly high fare, putting it out of reach for most Chicagoans, or a hefty public subsidy, which is a waste of taxpayer money compared to traditional transit options. In a subsidized, public-transit mode (say, a line below North LSD or Sheridan) the system would likely break down under the demand... political pressure would keep fares relatively low but demand would quickly overwhelm the system.

So I do hope this is the one and only Musk tube we get in Chicago, unless or until Musk learns to apply his magic cost savings to something that resembles a traditional subway line.

Baronvonellis Jun 18, 2018 3:15 PM

Yea, this is only competing with taxi's that go between the loop and ohare. People that take the blue line between ohare, and belmont for example can't even use it. It's not going to do anything else. And mostly used for business travelers. It will help reduce some of the traffic on the Kennedy and reduce some pollution. This also might help Chicago get Amazon H2, and another billionaire wants to pay it!

Via Chicago Jun 18, 2018 3:32 PM

has it been mentioned this technology dosent even have federal approval? environmental impact studies havent even been commenced (which can take years to compile)? how the hell does he expect to "start drilling" in 3 months?

also, i still dont understand the target market for this route. if youre not going directly to Daley Plaza, whats the incentive? most people along the blue line corridor are stopping somewhere in between. and if you are a business person, odds are your meeting could be anywhere in the city (this notion that business travelers only go directly downtown is flawed). while this is supposedly cheaper than uber at the given time, years from now who's to say. but if you ARE a businessperson, than odds are youre expensing your trip anyway. so the notion that its cheaper than a cab dosent really matter, since the cab will take you directly to your destination with all of your luggage and the price difference in the scheme of things really isnt that much. wheras with the Loop you would have to still fend for yourself to figure out the "last mile" or whatever. traffic on the kennedy can suck, but not necessarily on all days or all hours...ultimately the question is how many people are willing to pay the tradeoff for something like 20 minutes in time savings, and among that group how many are actually want to go to Daley Plaza as opposed to somewhere else? hes talking about the volume this can accommodate (and he will definitely need the volume to make this not a complete failure), but im just not seeing it

ardecila Jun 18, 2018 3:41 PM

^ Experience in European and Asian cities would seem to indicate that business travelers do prefer a rail option to the city center that comes frequently and provides a predictable travel time. And Chicago has an even greater (relative) concentration of businesses in the CBD than London or Milan, which have more of a mixed-use core and business scattered over several districts.



In other news, CTA is spending $50M on the Garfield Green Line station for what is, approximately, zero transit value. This station was just built in 2000! And majorly spruced up in 2013 for the Red Line south diversion. At least the architecture is becoming more sophisticated and less like a Mega Bloks set (thank Theaster Gates for that).

Also, sadly, their development vision for this area includes two existing park and ride lots next to the station, which will remain untouched by this project. :yuck:

Quote:

Green Line gets a boost with $50 million overhaul of historic Washington Park station
The plan will transform the 1892 Garfield Green Line stop into a new “community focal point”
By Jay Koziarz Jun 15, 2018, 12:24pm CDT


Partly financed by a $25 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the $50 million project aims to improve commutes with extended platform canopies, new public art, and an upgraded elevator and escalators.

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/AbS4..._Gateway.0.png

Vlajos Jun 18, 2018 3:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8224181)
Correct. We are seeing it already with Libertarians, paid shills, and other dependable public transportation opponents arguing that any and all public transportation planning should be halted since driverless cars will completely, 100% solve traffic congestion, and they'll be here in 2 years (they said 2 years 5 years ago). What these people don't understand is that whatever capacity improvements are enabled by driverless cars will induce more demand. So it's not going to accomplish much. Plus, it's going to be much more expensive to ride in a driverless cab than to take a traditional city bus. And much, much more than a driverless city bus, which will likely actually make money.

Also, it should be pointed out that the same characters who advocate abandoning all rail transit planning aren't out there arguing to abandon highway planning, even though they claim that the capacity of existing highway infrastructure will be increased.

Who the hell is advocating for the abandonment of rail transit? I don't know anyone in Chicago doing that.

JK47 Jun 18, 2018 3:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8224184)
The whole "skate" issue is troubling because a skate that travels on rails could be considered a railroad under the law, and railroads have the power of eminent domain...

...the states and federal government frequently granted the power of eminent domain to privately-owned railroads when they were built in the 1800s and that is still on the books.


You're not a lawyer, I am, and reading this hurts my brain. Railroads don't have "special powers" such as the power of eminent domain. That power rests entirely with the government and it cannot be "granted" to a private entity. The government may exercise the power of eminent domain on behalf of a private entity (see Kelo v City of New London) but it isn't actually bestowing that power on a private company (note: Pfizer is in no way a railroad).

JK47 Jun 18, 2018 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8223241)
The Interstate Highway System was built by the federal government and made toll-free in large part to shatter the stranglehold of railroads and transit companies in commuting and intercity travel and shipping.


This is absolute hogwash. The Interstate Highway system was constructed further to the National Interstate Defense Highways Act of 1956. The network had been planned since the 1920's after the trials and tribulations of the 1919 US Army Convoy (which Eisenhower was part of as a junior officer) that drove 3000 miles across the country on the patchwork of highways. Roosevelt kick-started planning of the highway network in the late 30's and Eisenhower championed it after seeing the Reichsautobahn and how it helped facilitate the defense of Germany.

PKDickman Jun 18, 2018 4:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Khantilever (Post 8223846)
What, exactly, is the concern here? There isn’t a public alternative that is being displaced by this service (the main competitor is Taxi/Rideshare, not the Blhe Line).

This is an illusion.

Using pre-uber taxi numbers between O'hare and the loop there are 339,000 trips per year. At 1.25 passengers/trip and 25 bucks each, he could take 'em all and only gross $10 mil a year. It'll take a hundred years to pay off the cost of construction.

It is not remotely viable without bleeding a large number of riders from existing transit. I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. On one hand it frees capacity for other riders. On the other hand, having a destination at both ends of a transit system fills the reverse commute and is what makes it viable.

By using small, high speed, independent vehicles, he not only reduces the travel time, he can reduce the platform wait to however long it takes to fill up the Muskmobile.
He is betting that this convenience has a dollar value, and he aims to find out what it is.
But have no illusions, this is a vampire to existing transit.

The convenience factor is not new. In the heyday of streetcars, we did the same thing. We ran modest capacity vehicles very often. They weren't fast, but they ran so often that the platform wait was minuscule and complex trips weren't eaten up by missed connections.

Unfortunately our two biggest transit mistakes, the nickle fare and transfer, signed the death knell for that convenience. It left the only sustainable path to be one of efficiency. Putting more passengers on fewer vehicles at the expense of service.

I tend to say let him try, with a few caveats and concerns.

It should never cost the taxpayer any thing but his fare.
I should not inconvenience taxpayers or endanger passengers.
And he should not keep spouting bullshit while using my statement of "no skin off my nose" to imply that the things he is saying are true.

I also have real concerns about running lithium batteries in tunnels. A fire in one of his battery packs can produce enough hydrogen fluoride gas to raise a mile of 14ft tunnel to to the LC50.

And, if and when it fails, I am concerned with what use he'll find for a long term lease on 36 miles of tunnels under the city.

JK47 Jun 18, 2018 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 8224392)
and if you are a business person, odds are your meeting could be anywhere in the city (this notion that business travelers only go directly downtown is flawed).


No. I've done a fair amount of business travel and I've worked with brokers and consultants for years. If travelers are flying in and coming into the city then odds are they're coming into the downtown area. The Loop isn't the only business nexus but it is a few dollars of a cab ride from the other high percentage areas (Fulton Market/West Loop and Near North). Large portions of business travelers aren't going to the South Side, West Side, or North Side. The businesses there are far too small on the whole for that kind of travel to make economic sense. The largest volume of business travelers, by far, will be heading downtown.


Quote:

while this is supposedly cheaper than uber at the given time, years from now who's to say. but if you ARE a businessperson, than odds are youre expensing your trip anyway.

Again, as someone with an expense account I'll tell you times have changed a lot in the last 10 years. Travel expenses are heavily scrutinized now an companies are trying to incentivize frugality (such as by adding unused amounts from expense budgets to the company bonus pool) in order to control costs. Another method is making preferred methods easier to book and expense (such as integration of Uber with our expense reporting & travel management app meaning I have to do nothing versus having to save, scan, and submit a report for a taxi receipt). Travel methods and providers are getting heavily scrutinized to the point where deviations are documented and require justification to your line manager.


Quote:

since the cab will take you directly to your destination with all of your luggage and the price difference in the scheme of things really isnt that much.

Yeah that's just not true nowadays. The price difference matters a lot to companies especially ones with a lot of traveling employees. Those costs add up. What doesn't matter all that much to your employer though is if you have to walk a few blocks with your luggage. Your convenience takes a back seat to the budget.


Quote:

wheras with the Loop you would have to still fend for yourself to figure out the "last mile" or whatever.

That last mile was planned out before the traveler left on their trip. Anyone who does this enough has learned how to figure these things out. With all the abundant transportation options in Chicago's CBD that's really a non-issue. The last mile is a lot harder in smaller cities and towns in the hinterlands.


Quote:

traffic on the kennedy can suck, but not necessarily on all days or all hours...ultimately the question is how many people are willing to pay the tradeoff for something like 20 minutes in time savings, and among that group how many are actually want to go to Daley Plaza as opposed to somewhere else?

Business travelers will pay for predictability especially when it lets them cut down on the amount of slack time in their schedule. Planning extra time to negotiate the Kennedy (knowing how bad it can get) and then laying about the airport waiting for your flight isn't pleasant. Ultimately we just want to go, get the job done, and go home. So if worst case is downtown traffic means its a 10 minute walk to the station and then 15 minutes to the airport I'll take that in a hearbeat over having to pad my schedule with 45 minutes of time just in case the Kennedy grinds to a halt.

Mr Downtown Jun 18, 2018 4:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 8224392)
has it been mentioned this technology dosent even have federal approval? environmental impact studies havent even been commenced

Project isn’t using federal funding. No requirement for an EIS. He’ll just need a FONSI from Illinois EPA, which shouldn’t be too difficult to get.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JK47 (Post 8224420)
You're not a lawyer, I am, and reading this hurts my brain. Railroads don't have "special powers" such as the power of eminent domain.

Then you’ll want to take a closer look at 610 ILCS 5/17:
Sec. 17. If any such [railroad] corporation shall be unable to agree with the owner for the purchase of any real estate required for the purposes of its incorporation, or the transaction of its business, or for its depots, station buildings, machine and repair shops, or for right of way or any other lawful purpose connected with or necessary to the building, operating or running of said road, such corporation may acquire such title in the manner that may be now or hereafter provided for by any law of eminent domain.
(However, in this context we should note that this 19th century law has been amended so it doesn't apply to railroads incorporated after July 1, 1985.)

Most states have similar statutes giving eminent domain powers to railroads, pipeline companies, utilities, and plank road companies.

Busy Bee Jun 18, 2018 4:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8224404)
In other news, CTA is spending $50M on the Garfield Green Line station for what is, approximately, zero transit value. This station was just built in 2000! And majorly spruced up in 2013 for the Red Line south diversion. At least the architecture is becoming more sophisticated and less like a Mega Bloks set (thank Theaster Gates for that).

Also, sadly, their development vision for this area includes two existing park and ride lots next to the station, which will remain untouched by this project. :yuck:

The south side Green Line is a cash vacuum. The rehab back in the 90's should have consisted of demolishing the elevated and excavating a trench ROW (cost effective considering the alleyway route through miles of mostly vacant land at the time) and extending the lost eastern leg in a subway under 63rd to SI Ave. and ideally tunneling a western leg to Englewood under the Dan Ryan. I know this sounds crazy but consider the upfront rehab costs at the time and the ongoing maintenance cost on 110+ year old elevated structure + stations...

jmecklenborg Jun 18, 2018 5:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Halsted & Villagio (Post 8224275)
The upside if this succeeds is through the roof.

There is no doubt that this can succeed technologically because there is absolutely no new technology involved in this airport express line. I am incredibly skeptical of this thing's ability to recover its multi-billion price tag in a timely fashion.

I am a big fan of express rapid transit lines but as we all know they are virtually non-existent outside of New York City. The Superstation was a chance to create a downtown hub for express CTA rapid transit service to O'Hare and Midway with new local service into neighborhoods beyond those points.

In theory, a new mode incompatible with existing CTA rapid transit service could do that admirably well. But we're seeing no indication that that is remotely on Musk's radar.

And it doesn't really matter if the express service runs at 55mph or 600mph. The fact is that the actual transit time between DT Chicago and O'Hare security involves all sorts of walking and shuffling around at either end. The actual trip to the airport is a fraction of that time.

And for someone flying from Chicago 3~ hours to New York City...the total time of the trip, from the time they physically stand up to leave until the time they unlock the door to their apartment or hotel, is barely affected. Under absolutely ideal circumstances, door-to-door on that trip would be 6 hours. You just saved 30. Big deal.

jmecklenborg Jun 18, 2018 5:18 PM

Also, here is some information on the potential use of eminent domain in Texas for their proposed high speed rail line:
https://www.texascentral.com/rumors-...minent-domain/

I don't know what the law is in Illinois, but politicians can be very easily bought off. Especially with all of this irrational "stopping progress" sentiment motivated by Musk's unrelenting hype campaign, there will be public pressure on already corrupt Illinois elected officials to bow to the Muskman.

Via Chicago Jun 18, 2018 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8224523)
And for someone flying from Chicago 3~ hours to New York City...the total time of the trip, from the time they physically stand up to leave until the time they unlock the door to their apartment or hotel, is barely affected. Under absolutely ideal circumstances, door-to-door on that trip would be 6 hours. You just saved 30. Big deal.

yea this is kind of what i was getting at. in the scheme of things, sitting down on the vehicle to get you to from the airport to your final destination...regardless if you choose a cab, or the blue line, or a new technology...at the end of the day its splitting hairs IMO. once youve got your baggage and are on your way...mentally you feel "arrived". sitting in traffic sucks, as does the blue line, but youve already cleared 95% of the hurdles that have been thrown in front of you. if the cab or CTA is taking long, you sit there and stare at your phone like everyone else and the minutes stop mattering (especially when its only a difference between getting there in 15 minutes, and getting there in 30 minutes)

Jim in Chicago Jun 18, 2018 6:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kngkyle (Post 8221258)
Also mentioned the possibility of clearing TSA screening at Block 37.

I have a hard time figuring out how this would work. By definition, if you clear TSA at Block 37 MuskRail would need to drop you off at ORD airside, beyond the normal TSA checkpoints (or have some other secured path from the station.) The former means the trains would need to delve quite a way into the terminals, and with them being a fair walk apart would mean a fair bit of walking unless the tunnel path split into multiple spurs at ORD. What about T5 departures which are in an unconnected terminal. You'd clear security at Block 37 and then again at T5? The other option would mean carving out secure paths from wherever the train actually ends to the various terminals. And in either case, what about those with checked bags? Bag check is outside security, would the airlines need to provide a second set of baggage checking stations? This would also mean that TSA at Block 37 would need to screen checked bags, something they are not equipped to do, only hand luggage. I suppose they could split Block 37 into "hand luggage only, cleared" and "checked bags, not cleared" but then you'd need to also segregate them at ORD. Seems messy.

Then, think about the return. For domestic, baggage reclaim is outside security, this would mean you'd need to reclear security just to get to the MuskRail station, unless there were multiple places to board. If you chose a single station by baggage claim, that would imply two stations - one for departures inside security and another for arrivals outside security.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKDickman (Post 8221378)
In 2017 the taxi trips from O'hare to the loop were around 600 a weekday. No idea on the uber numbers though.

I've never thought about this, but ORD always seems like a sea of cabs, 600 a day seems intuitively low. I guess maybe many of the cabs are suburban or not going to the loop.

PKDickman Jun 18, 2018 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim in Chicago (Post 8224640)
I've never thought about this, but ORD always seems like a sea of cabs, 600 a day seems intuitively low. I guess maybe many of the cabs are suburban or not going to the loop.

There are also 75 other community areas for travelers to go and come.
Pre-uber 1,851,000 a year city total, post-uber 833,000

Baronvonellis Jun 18, 2018 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Via Chicago (Post 8224392)
also, i still dont understand the target market for this route. if youre not going directly to Daley Plaza, whats the incentive? most people along the blue line corridor are stopping somewhere in between. and if you are a business person, odds are your meeting could be anywhere in the city (this notion that business travelers only go directly downtown is flawed). while this is supposedly cheaper than uber at the given time, years from now who's to say. but if you ARE a businessperson, than odds are youre expensing your trip anyway. so the notion that its cheaper than a cab dosent really matter, since the cab will take you directly to your destination with all of your luggage and the price difference in the scheme of things really isnt that much. wheras with the Loop you would have to still fend for yourself to figure out the "last mile" or whatever. traffic on the kennedy can suck, but not necessarily on all days or all hours...ultimately the question is how many people are willing to pay the tradeoff for something like 20 minutes in time savings, and among that group how many are actually want to go to Daley Plaza as opposed to somewhere else? hes talking about the volume this can accommodate (and he will definitely need the volume to make this not a complete failure), but im just not seeing it


Like I said before, Oslo has a private express train to the airport. That's about $25, only saves 5-10 minutes but yet it's still pretty popular for business travelers and rich people. It also runs frequently at odd hours, so is more convenient if you are leaving on a early redeye. For business travelers it's a big perk to have for a city, and this will save much more time.

Halsted & Villagio Jun 18, 2018 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 8224523)
There is no doubt that this can succeed technologically because there is absolutely no new technology involved in this airport express line. I am incredibly skeptical of this thing's ability to recover its multi-billion price tag in a timely fashion.

I am a big fan of express rapid transit lines but as we all know they are virtually non-existent outside of New York City. The Superstation was a chance to create a downtown hub for express CTA rapid transit service to O'Hare and Midway with new local service into neighborhoods beyond those points.

In theory, a new mode incompatible with existing CTA rapid transit service could do that admirably well. But we're seeing no indication that that is remotely on Musk's radar.

And it doesn't really matter if the express service runs at 55mph or 600mph. The fact is that the actual transit time between DT Chicago and O'Hare security involves all sorts of walking and shuffling around at either end. The actual trip to the airport is a fraction of that time.

And for someone flying from Chicago 3~ hours to New York City...the total time of the trip, from the time they physically stand up to leave until the time they unlock the door to their apartment or hotel, is barely affected. Under absolutely ideal circumstances, door-to-door on that trip would be 6 hours. You just saved 30. Big deal.

Excuse the typos with my earlier post... I was on the train headed in to work. That said, this seems to be a more reasoned, thoughtful post on your part. Your earlier posts had a more decidedly biased tone to them which smacks of some sort of hidden agenda. Just throwing it out there... but maybe you stand to lose money if Musk succeeds? There is no question that with every technological advancement, there are those on the losing end as well. Just wondering... because in truth, why are you so concerned about Musk's ability to recover multi-billions in a timely fashion?

I mean, in theory I get where you are going with that but in actuality, lawyers will handle all of that. I am not a contract lawyer but I surmise and suspect that there will be all sorts of stipulations and contingencies in this deal... so much so that the Chicagoans should be well protected in the end. That is the one thing we need to be sure of if anything. There needs to be open disclosure/transparency at every stage of this process so that the public is assured that there is no way for this to come back and bite us in the arse.

But that is different from blatantly arguing against this. The argument should be for transparency and safeguards... not against this development as a whole.

Khantilever Jun 18, 2018 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PKDickman (Post 8224446)
This is an illusion.

Using pre-uber taxi numbers between O'hare and the loop there are 339,000 trips per year. At 1.25 passengers/trip and 25 bucks each, he could take 'em all and only gross $10 mil a year. It'll take a hundred years to pay off the cost of construction.

It is not remotely viable without bleeding a large number of riders from existing transit. I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. On one hand it frees capacity for other riders. On the other hand, having a destination at both ends of a transit system fills the reverse commute and is what makes it viable.

A few points:

1) I don’t believe Musk actually intends to make an economic profit on the project alone. This project is more or less a proof of concept; he practically said so in his press conference with Rahm, stating that covering operating costs will be easy but capital not so much.

2) The pie isn’t fixed. How often is the concept of induced or latent demand brought up in this thread? Not to mention the massive expansion of O’Hare to come and continued employment growth in the CBD.

3) There are likely to be revenue sources associated with the project other than fare collection.

C. Jun 18, 2018 7:21 PM

I want this tunnel to succeed! I just don't see how it's possible for Elon Musk's Boring Co. to do this project at the stated goals of:

*Breaking ground in 2019 and finish on time
*Coming in at under $1 billion for the stations, tunnel, and pods
*Construction being 100% entirely privately funded
*Having a positive ROI with passenger revenue being sufficient to recapture the initial capital outlays as well as operating, maintenance, and profit or any other strategy that would keep the managing company out of bankruptcy.

If Elon Musk gets just one of the above four, color me impressed! Elon Musk has an opportunity to prove the haters wrong, but it's hard to take seriously when this is the same company that sells flamethrowers.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/i...eMhqUUoPJPf7qX


All times are GMT. The time now is 4:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.