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

j korzeniowski Jul 26, 2007 6:56 PM

lots of wheeling and dealing going on to get the rta bailed out by mid-august.

here is a story from the 'burbs' daily herald:

link

p.s. what is with the board lately, and it showing additional extra pages beyond the actual last page of the thread? strange.

the urban politician Jul 27, 2007 2:01 AM

^ I extracted this from the link, which I found encouraging:

"Suburban Republican Sens. Dan Cronin of Elmhurst and John Millner of Carol Stream initially opposed the mass transit bailout because 60 percent of the money would have gone to the CTA, 30 percent to Metra and 10 percent to Pace -- despite the suburbs paying nearly two-thirds of the new taxes. The compromise would see the CTA getting 48 percent, Metra 39 percent and Pace the remaining 13 percent.

"We're working to change it, making it more favor the suburbs," said Cronin, noting Democrats will need some suburban Republican support to get the three-fifths required for approval. That three-fifths majority also would allow lawmakers to override Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's expected veto."

alex1 Jul 29, 2007 5:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2974657)
^ I extracted this from the link, which I found encouraging:

"Suburban Republican Sens. Dan Cronin of Elmhurst and John Millner of Carol Stream initially opposed the mass transit bailout because 60 percent of the money would have gone to the CTA, 30 percent to Metra and 10 percent to Pace -- despite the suburbs paying nearly two-thirds of the new taxes. The compromise would see the CTA getting 48 percent, Metra 39 percent and Pace the remaining 13 percent.

it looks like Chicago will need to work on a combination of tax hikes to get the CTA working at a world class level. 1. get at least 55% of the new tax money & 2. inact a citywide tax that injects even more necessary capital into the system.

j korzeniowski Jul 29, 2007 8:32 PM

things getting interesting, but the tone has been more positive the last week. also, i suppose i could stand the increased fares as described below (not the doomsday $3.25 fares) if it means good service, and improving transit throughout the region. (and if it didn't mean another fare increase for awhile, which i think the lawmaker below, Rep. Mathias, is intimating, which is fine, as i have read that nyc wants to up its fare to $3.00 by 2010, or so, but i would have to go back and find that info.)

anyways ...


Lawmaker: Fare Hikes 'Probably' On The Horizon


CHICAGO (WBBM) -- For the first time, a legislator involved in the talks over mass transit funding is suggesting that a fare hike may be needed even if new funding sources are approved.

WBBM's Bob Roberts reports.

"As I see it, there will probably be some fare increases," said Rep. Sidney Mathias (R-Arlington Heights), the GOP spokesman on the Illinois House Mass Transit Committee. "But they will not be in the same nature as there would be if this funding were not there. This would substantially reduce any fare increases in the near future."


Link, WBBM Chicago.


also, another republican, this time aurora's rep. wyatt, seems to be on board for the new funding plan: "If they run the (RTA) the say it should be run, it's a good thing," he said.


Link, Aurora Courier News

j korzeniowski Jul 29, 2007 9:12 PM

surely this has been covered before, but canadian firm bombardier will be producing the next generation L cars, and i had been wondering how the cta predicament would affect that order. while i still don't know, i did come across this pdf on wikipedia that gives a few more details as to what the interior would look like--the exterior looks largely the same. (in fact, now i am sure i remember reading complaints on how the cars would look the same, but i will post this anyways for the interior shots.)

low budget pdf, but i think the interior improvements are much-needed, and i am a bit disappointed in reading that the cta will not receive the new rolling stock until 2010, as i was sure i had read 2008. it turns out, however, the cta only receives the prototypes for the cars next year, and then, i assume, tests them out for a year or more before their official introduction:

Link.

Pandemonious Jul 29, 2007 10:09 PM

Am I the only one that thinks the new layout sucks? That long linear row of seats seems to me like it will just make it easier for a piece of shit bum to sleep across them all. I know I am not the only one who has gotten into an el car that was crowded and had no seats only to find a bum taking up 4 seats (the two that currently face the aisle by the door, with his feet and bags on the adjacent side facing seat).

I definitely prefer the old layout. Obesity is running rampant in this country.. the seats however have stayed the same size but now there is no buffer zone at all.

I do like that there will now be something overhead to grab onto, but that could have been accomplished with the old seating layout IMO.


About the new fare hikes:
I don't think I would mind a small fare hike so much if it meant increased service/comfort/something.. but I suspect service may actually become worse, while costing more.

orulz Jul 30, 2007 1:46 PM

I rather dislike layouts with forward/rearward facing seats. First, half the people wind up facing backwards, which sucks. Second, there's never nearly enough knee room. Even a 6' tall person can't sit comfortably. Longitudinal seating is just better, IMO. Not to mention the significantly increased capacity due to more space for people to stand up.

j korzeniowski Jul 30, 2007 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by orulz (Post 2979904)
I rather dislike layouts with forward/rearward facing seats. First, half the people wind up facing backwards, which sucks. Second, there's never nearly enough knee room. Even a 6' tall person can't sit comfortably. Longitudinal seating is just better, IMO. Not to mention the significantly increased capacity due to more space for people to stand up.

i think i'm with you, orulz. i will miss the forward-facing seats, but i will not miss the backwards-facing seats. the fact that we are getting new rolling stock, and that there will be enhancements to the interior, i.e., the next stops "written out" on an LED panel, is what i care most about.

in other news, i heart julie hamos. here is a rosier outlook of the situation than some of the others you will find by doing a google news search for "chicago transit authority," though others still have a hopeful tone. julie hamos is impressive in the few soundbites she has on the video in the link below, as i had never heard her speak before.

also, we're stuck with blago till 2010, aren't we? i'm guilty too, though, as i voted for him.

Lawmakers close to transit deal


July 26, 2007 - Lawmakers in Springfield are close to a deal to keep Chicago's mass transit system running. It includes $500 million to bail out the CTA, Metra and Pace, and avoid service cuts and fare hikes.

Link, WLS Chicago

VivaLFuego Jul 30, 2007 10:07 PM

imho, the best seating layout for a modern L car was acheived with the 3200s, with the 2-1 transverse seating in the middle of the car. This ensures the center aisle is fuller utilized by standees while also providing the much more desirable transverse seating for those seated (and with most of the system, it's nice to have a bit of a view). Pan would probably have liked the 6000s: all tranverse seating, with narrow benches and no seat divisions. That is, non-fat people could easily share a bench, and the aisle was wide enough for plenty of standees to fill up the whole car (which had cleverly operable windows, too!)

the urban politician Jul 31, 2007 3:28 AM

Would the new funding bailout for CTA/Metra/Pace only be a bailout for this year, or are we looking at longer term sources of revenue with these new sales tax increases?

In other words, do we find ourselves in the same exact boat 1 year from now?

VivaLFuego Jul 31, 2007 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2981168)
Would the new funding bailout for CTA/Metra/Pace only be a bailout for this year, or are we looking at longer term sources of revenue with these new sales tax increases?

In other words, do we find ourselves in the same exact boat 1 year from now?

To answer your 2nd question, the answer is no. The first question would require a long answer with an in-depth discussion of public transit finances (e.g. breaking down expense vs. revenue streams). But the short answer is that historically, given enough time, any budget surplus usually finds its way into wage and benefits increases for union employees, meaning that inevitably every transit system will be in crisis when the wages and benefits awarded to the union by the arbitrator leave the transit agency in an untenable financial position as a result of expenses (wages) inflating at a faster pace than revenue (fares + subsidy).

That said, diversifying the CTA's subsidy sources (including real estate transfer tax along with sales tax) provides a little extra cover against any drastic sudden deficits caused by a fluctuating economy, and provides a little tempering of the imbalance between the inflation of sales tax revenues and the inflation of wages (wages historically inflate faster, and this problem was further exacerbated in recent years when sales tax revenues fell as a result of online sales, which escape the transit tax). It's also worth noting that the sales tax only covers merchandise and goods, while an ever-growing proportion of spending is on professional services, which do not pay the transit tax.

My guess is that this deal would provide between 5 and 15 years of relative stability until the next inevitable transit funding crisis, depending on how the overall local economy performs (in re: overall productivity and in the division between different types of shopping, online vs. store, goods vs. services) and depending how quickly the labor contract arbitrators eat up any room in the budget for improved wages and benefits.

Wright Concept Jul 31, 2007 6:41 PM

^ Haven't Chicago/CTA been in this same boat for the past 5 summers? I lived there for 3 of those 5 years and it wasn't pretty when that topic came up.

OhioGuy Aug 1, 2007 5:04 AM

I just finally got home to Lincoln Square after sitting at the damn Wellington brown line stop for 30 f*cking minutes! :hell: Their joke of a schedule says that trains run every 7-8 minutes during the 10pm and 11pm hours. Ha! :yuck: Not even close tonight. In the end it took me 45 minutes to go just 3.5 miles. I could have walked home quicker than the CTA got me here. :hell:

dboggie Aug 1, 2007 3:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 2983785)
I just finally got home to Lincoln Square after sitting at the damn Wellington brown line stop for 30 f*cking minutes! :hell: Their joke of a schedule says that trains run every 7-8 minutes during the 10pm and 11pm hours. Ha! :yuck: Not even close tonight. In the end it took me 45 minutes to go just 3.5 miles. I could have walked home quicker than the CTA got me here. :hell:

I believe someone was struck by a train along the brown line last night and that probably explains your delay. The CTA is not very good about communicating delays to customers.

OhioGuy Aug 1, 2007 4:25 PM

A teenager was struck by a train in Albany Park and as a result the CTA was only operating trains to the Western station. But I'm not sure why it took a half hour for a train northbound from the loop to make a stop at Wellington? I saw three different brown line trains heading south while I just sat there and waited, and waited, and waited on the northbound platform. Go figure they had another brown line train immediately following the one that finally came after I'd waited for a half hour. The spacing was ridiculous. Management of the situation last night was not particularly impressive IMHO.

nomarandlee Aug 2, 2007 5:33 AM

Pace board will cut routes, raise fares
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3823968.story

Pace board will cut routes, raise fares
Legislature stalemate holds up transit funds


By Richard Wronski | Tribune staff reporter
August 2, 2007

Several suburban Pace routes will be eliminated and bus and paratransit service fares will start to rise starting next month as a result of the legislature's failure to approve new funding for mass transit.

,,,Paratransit service users—including the disabled and elderly, many of whom are on fixed incomes—will feel the sting first. On Sept. 1, paratransit fares will increase regionwide to a standard $3 charge, from $2.25 in Chicago and $2.50 in DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. Suburban Cook paratransit riders already pay $3.

Other fare increases and service cuts will be phased in through January 2008. Some of these moves could be rescinded by the Pace board if the Illinois legislature provides funding.

ardecila Aug 2, 2007 5:37 AM

These accidents on the at-grade section of the Brown Line just make it all the more apparent to me that grade separation needs to occur along this segment.

I'll excuse the Pink and Yellow Lines, because pedestrianism is much lower in Cicero and Skokie, but Albany Park is an extremely dense, multi-cultural, highly-pedestrian area where trains running at-grade poses a serious safety hazard.

Was grade separation even considered as part of the Brown Line rehab? I get the impression that anything beyond station expansion/renovation was out of the question.

honte Aug 2, 2007 6:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2986149)
but Albany Park is an extremely dense, multi-cultural, highly-pedestrian area where trains running at-grade poses a serious safety hazard.

I like that part... as if cultural clashes between residents are causing people to be thrown in the way of oncoming trains... ;)

Mr Downtown Aug 2, 2007 9:19 PM

Why are trains at grade--with gates, bells, etc.--more dangerous than trucks or buses at grade? Raising the Brown Line would significantly increase the noise, no way to win friends. The tracks predate the subdivision of lots and streets west of Western, so they don't even require a city franchise.

OhioGuy Aug 3, 2007 12:14 AM

Maybe the at grade portion of the brown line should be sunk underground and extended via subway to Jefferson Park for better rail connectivity on the north side. :D

(we just need some money is all...) ;)


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