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

sentinel Oct 31, 2020 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 9090971)
^ Got it, much appreciated.

I’m not an Indiana taxpayer so let them throw away their money, I guess, but I’ve gotta say that creating a new transfer station at Hammond (when a station that serves Hammond already exists) just seems to make no sense.

I mean, I just don’t see a lot of people riding the train from Dyer to places further East. If this were Central London that would be a different story. But this is friggin Indiana—cornfields and all. People are just going to drive.

Seems like the top priority should be providing Chicago Loop service to communities that don’t yet have it.

But that is what's happening; Dyer, Munster and Hammond are essentially suburban Chicago, and have decent-sized suburban populations that are growing, so it makes sense to have transit access that brings people easily in and out of not just Chicago but the rest of the metro area too. Between those three towns, the population is over 100,000 people, not to mention other tens and hundreds of thousands in other surrounding towns, suburbs, villages, both in Indiana and Illinois too. 'Cornfields and all' is not accurate of that part of metropolitan Chicago, it is more similar to Greater London than you think. Look on google maps, the cornfields that surrounded that area are long gone, it's very much a highly developed suburban area (for better or worse).

galleyfox Oct 31, 2020 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sentinel (Post 9091099)
But that is what's happening; Dyer, Munster and Hammond are essentially suburban Chicago, and have decent-sized suburban populations that are growing, so it makes sense to have transit access that brings people easily in and out of not just Chicago but the rest of the metro area too.

The point wasn’t that these suburbs don’t need transit. It’s that they turned down a station in downtown Hammond, opting instead for a transfer station just down the road from an existing station to facilitate travel in the direction of South Bend.

Is there that much demand for a Dyer—>South Bend train trip involving transfers instead of just getting a cab to the existing Hammond station? The downtown Hammond station seems like a stronger option.

Unless. It’s possible South Shore is thinking longer term and hoping to keep intercity service to Indianapolis open as an option.

the urban politician Oct 31, 2020 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by galleyfox (Post 9091140)
The point wasn’t that these suburbs don’t need transit. It’s that they turned down a station in downtown Hammond, opting instead for a transfer station just down the road from an existing station to facilitate travel in the direction of South Bend.

Is there that much demand for a Dyer—>South Bend train trip involving transfers instead of just getting a cab to the existing Hammond station? The downtown Hammond station seems like a stronger option.

Unless. It’s possible South Shore is thinking longer term and hoping to keep intercity service to Indianapolis open as an option.

Exactly.

They are essentially removing one station (Hammond) and replacing with a new transfer station at Hammond.

Then, they are are creating 3 brand new stations.

Thus, with over $900 million in hard to get transit dollars, that region is only adding service to 3 new locations. All of this just in the hopes that people will ride the train from Dyer to places further East.

Just doesn’t seem like a great use of resources. But, whatever....

ardecila Nov 1, 2020 2:04 AM

Yeah I think the station decisions were unfortunate. Hammond’s existing station was always poorly positioned to serve downtown Hammond. The transfer arrangement at Gateway is important for the operating plan so that can’t be cut, and it’s hard to justify spending money to build a second Hammond stop 1 mile from the first one, especially in a heavily conservative state that is already rail-hostile.

That said, there’s certainly the possibility they could add a downtown station as infill in the future. And the Gateway stop is planned for some kind of TOD. The concept renderings are suburban schlocky trash but whatever privathe developer they bring in might provide a more truly urban design.

The routing that South Shore chose, bypassing most of NWI’s historic town centers, was based on needing to avoid conflicts with freight trains and maintain reliability in their schedule. There are also compatibility issues where South Shore’s electric wires and high platforms do not jive easily with freight trains. Plus, the Monon corridor was already owned by the public. South Shore got burned 10 years ago when they tried to build a line to Valpo on CSX track and CSX just vetoed the whole thing after millions spent on planning.

SIGSEGV Nov 1, 2020 3:53 AM

On a different NWI CR note, I've always thought the South Chicago line should be extended over the Calumet River to Ewing Ave (East Side) and into Indiana, serving Robertsdale, Whiting, East Chicago, the industrial wasteland (surely people still work there?) and the three casinos.

Mr Downtown Nov 1, 2020 5:15 AM

.

jpIllInoIs Nov 1, 2020 3:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9091541)
On a different NWI CR note, I've always thought the South Chicago line should be extended over the Calumet River to Ewing Ave (East Side) and into Indiana, serving Robertsdale, Whiting, East Chicago, the industrial wasteland (surely people still work there?) and the three casinos.

Why would City/State spend spartan transit funds on an extension into Indiana let alone to Indiana casinos?? Resulting in exported $$ from the city and competition to the future city casino. There is no revenue sharing from those casino. This is not well thought out Sig and a surprise departure from your customary insightful posts.

A much much shorter and less expensive extension of the SoCHI branch to the SteelWorks area with or without a Chicago Casino/Hotel complex would deliver a FAR better ROI for the City/ST transit funds.

SIGSEGV Nov 1, 2020 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpIllInoIs (Post 9091799)
Why would City/State spend spartan transit funds on an extension into Indiana let alone to Indiana casinos?? Resulting in exported $$ from the city and competition to the future city casino. There is no revenue sharing from those casino. This is not well thought out Sig and a surprise departure from your customary insightful posts.

A much much shorter and less expensive extension of the SoCHI branch to the SteelWorks area with or without a Chicago Casino/Hotel complex would deliver a FAR better ROI for the City/ST transit funds.

Illinois would pay for the extension to Ewing Ave, and Indiana/the casinos would have to pay to extend past the state line, but they probably wouldn't pony up. But by itself, an extension to Ewing Ave probably isn't worth it (even though it would give the East Side and its 24,000 residents much better access to downtown compared to taking the bus to the current South Chicago terminal) without also extending to Whiting (and possibly East Chicago).

That's true that it would add competition to a city casino though, so that is indeed a problem!

Randomguy34 Nov 1, 2020 6:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9091878)
Illinois would pay for the extension to Ewing Ave, and Indiana/the casinos would have to pay to extend past the state line, but they probably wouldn't pony up. But by itself, an extension to Ewing Ave probably isn't worth it (even though it would give the East Side and its 24,000 residents much better access to downtown compared to taking the bus to the current South Chicago terminal) without also extending to Whiting (and possibly East Chicago).

That's true that it would add competition to a city casino though, so that is indeed a problem!

I actually like the idea of an extension to East Side and Indiana in the future, but the current Indiana population is too low to justify it and even the bus ridership there is pretty low. Maybe once the refineries start closing and the brownfields get turned into housing, there could be justification for a MED extension.

In the meantime, bus service needs to be greatly improved in the area. Hammond and East Chicago are right next to each other but have different bus systems, and Whiting has to rely on Hammond buses to get to East Side and the South Shore Line. It would be great if there was a unified Indiana bus system, similar to NJ Transit and CT Transit, or if they decided to join the Pace network.

Mr Downtown Nov 3, 2020 11:58 PM

Hammond etc. haven't had any bus service for several years. Gary runs a couple of routes that do get into Hammond and East Chicago, but transitwise, things are pretty bleak in The Region.

SIGSEGV Nov 6, 2020 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9094660)
Hammond etc. haven't had any bus service for several years. Gary runs a couple of routes that do get into Hammond and East Chicago, but transitwise, things are pretty bleak in The Region.

That is indeed bleak. A place that looks like https://www.google.com/maps/@41.6792...7i16384!8i8192 certainly seems like it should have some transit...

jpIllInoIs Dec 8, 2020 5:39 PM

CSX Selects Construction Manager for the Forest Hill Flyover (P3) and 71st Street Gra
 
CREATE Home Link

December 4, 2020 - The CREATE partners are pleased to announce CSX has selected TranSystems
to provide construction management services for the CREATE Program’s Forest Hill Flyover (project
P3) and the 71st Street Grade Separation (project GS19), two parts of the 75th Street Corridor
Improvement Project (75th St. CIP). TranSystems has begun engineering and administrative
management services and is expected to continue until construction on the Forest Hill Flyover and
71st Street Grade Separation are completed. The construction manager will perform a variety of
inspection, management

ardecila Dec 12, 2020 5:56 PM

https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/...sportation.pdf

Looks like CDOT is finally ready to bid out the Damen/Lake station on the Green Line. Construction should start in the spring, only *2 years* after the "groundbreaking".

Never mind, this means nothing... there's like 3 versions of this presentation on the City's website, they just keep shifting the dates back. It'll start when it starts, I guess... :shrug:

SIGSEGV Dec 24, 2020 4:17 AM

I guess NWI has been wasting its money on this instead of transit:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/subur...rxa-story.html

They claim that it is wholly privately funded but I always have my doubts about such things...

Mr Downtown Dec 26, 2020 7:02 PM

How exactly is leasing the Cline Avenue Bridge to a private company to build and operate "wasting its money?"

SIGSEGV Dec 26, 2020 7:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9142889)
How exactly is leasing the Cline Avenue Bridge to a private company to build and operate "wasting its money?"

Most likely the taxpayers are on the hook if it doesn't work out, I would think. Maybe it's a good idea but I'm skeptical.

Mr Downtown Dec 27, 2020 12:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9142901)
Most likely the taxpayers are on the hook if it doesn't work out, I would think.

On the hook for what, exactly? Future maintenance?

The bridge is a private facility 100% owned and operated by United Bridge Partners, and uses no local, state or federal funds for its construction or operation.


Looks like UBP also gave INDOT $3 million for improvements to Route 912, the approach roadway.

https://www.clineave.com/

SIGSEGV Dec 27, 2020 4:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9143063)
On the hook for what, exactly? Future maintenance?

The bridge is a private facility 100% owned and operated by United Bridge Partners, and uses no local, state or federal funds for its construction or operation.


Looks like UBP also gave INDOT $3 million for improvements to Route 912, the approach roadway.

https://www.clineave.com/


I am not familiar with any of the details of the deal, but many of these deals are structured in way that if revenue projections are not met for whatever reason, the public partner has to reimburse the private partner. That may not be the case here, I don't know any details, and I'm happy to be wrong!

ardecila Dec 28, 2020 4:43 PM

It's a give and take usually. It's not always a raw deal for the public, unless you think paying tolls in general is a raw deal.

IIRC the Cline bridge proposal was unsolicited, so Figg and their investors saw strong potential in this project without needing to be persuaded. The state and local governments, for their part, did not saddle UBP with a ton of unrelated expenses, like rebuilding the approach roads, adding more local access ramps, or building a 4-lane bridge that would be oversized for the actual demand. As an outside observer, it seems they made sensible decisions to control costs, minimize risk and set up the bridge for fiscal sustainability so I'm not sure if they would demand a safety net from the public.

Most of Cline Ave is truck traffic heading to the steel mills, so it should be relatively steady, reliable traffic. The US steel industry isn't in freefall anymore.

https://www.nwitimes.com/business/lo...5d71508e9.html

This article seems to indicate that the fiscal risk is squarely on UBP, but in return they have restricted the ability of East Chicago to build any new free bridges that might compete.

Randomguy34 Jan 8, 2021 11:43 PM

An Indiana republican state senator introduced a bill to establish an Indiana passenger rail commission. If this is supported by other members in the state, then there's potential for new passenger rail to Chicago and the surrounding Midwest: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/9


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