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Mr Downtown Feb 20, 2008 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3366330)
The Gray Line, as proposed, is a bad idea for a number of reasons, particularly in terms of the proposed cost and operating model.

I have my own questions about it--particularly some of the benefits claimed--but can you elaborate on the problems you see?

VivaLFuego Feb 20, 2008 3:55 PM

There actually have been consultant studies done on this. There would be major facility issues at the north end of the line, particularly north of Roosevelt where the line narrows to 3 tracks, and then there were significant terminal costs at Randolph with the service as proposed. The operating cost increases significantly when you leave fantasyland and realize that Gray line service, will, in fact, need conductors and manual fare collection and cannot be operated as a CTA line (doing so makes for an even more absurd capital cost, aside from the fact that your assets would get trashed). The proposal also didn't take into adequate account 1) the increased capital cost from more wear and tear on railcars and track infrastructure, 2) ADA compliance considerations, 3) station facility issues (maintenance, etc.), 4) not giving adequate consideration to the capital costs and logistics of segregating CTA-style and Metra-style service along the same ROW.....I think there's more I'm forgetting but it really would be much easier logistically and politically to focus on identifying a proper subsidy to Metra earmarked for increased off-peak service levels and forcing fare integration down their throats. Fare integration would give the biggest boost to peak-period ridership on the branch, at which point Metra can include in their capital plan an easing of the bottlenecks north of Roosevelt to increase thoroughput.

UChicagoDomer Feb 20, 2008 4:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3366902)
There actually have been consultant studies done on this. There would be major facility issues at the north end of the line, particularly north of Roosevelt where the line narrows to 3 tracks, and then there were significant terminal costs at Randolph with the service as proposed. The operating cost increases significantly when you leave fantasyland and realize that Gray line service, will, in fact, need conductors and manual fare collection and cannot be operated as a CTA line (doing so makes for an even more absurd capital cost, aside from the fact that your assets would get trashed). The proposal also didn't take into adequate account 1) the increased capital cost from more wear and tear on railcars and track infrastructure, 2) ADA compliance considerations, 3) station facility issues (maintenance, etc.), 4) not giving adequate consideration to the capital costs and logistics of segregating CTA-style and Metra-style service along the same ROW.....I think there's more I'm forgetting but it really would be much easier logistically and politically to focus on identifying a proper subsidy to Metra earmarked for increased off-peak service levels and forcing fare integration down their throats. Fare integration would give the biggest boost to peak-period ridership on the branch, at which point Metra can include in their capital plan an easing of the bottlenecks north of Roosevelt to increase thoroughput.

I've never understood all the clamor for Gray Line service. I don't how many times I've wanted to take the Metra from HP during non-peak hours, but either a) preferred the convenience of the Chicago Card, or b) the more likely scenario, either knew the Metra wasn't coming for another hour, or had no idea when the Metra was going to arrive.

more frequent service and a universal fare card would alleviate the problem of inter-agency competition and provide faster and better service (Metra is posh and fast; the No. 6 bus is a crowded, consistently late dump on 4 wheels).

since we're on the topic of increased Metra frequency, is there any chance that other Metra lines could increase service? i'm thinking specifically of BNSF, which has a stop at Halsted, which could provide train service to UIC's University Village, which currently lacks it. Or even the Milwaukee West Line (Grand/Cicero station, in an area not currently served by the el) and Milwaukee North Line (Grayland and Healy stations, in an area not currently served by the el)

Eventually...Chicago Feb 20, 2008 4:45 PM

my idea for an integrated fare system using the chicago card (CTA).

Right now conductors go person by person and collect fares. It is up to the conductor to remember how far people with 10 rides/monthly passes... are riding. So why not give them a little wireless, handheld device that has a reciever that can scan in chicago cards?

For the monthly pass rider-
I hold my card out, the conductor presses the reciever up to it, a little thing says "Monthly, Zone A to G" he moves on, everything operates like it currently does.

For the 10 Rider-
I purchase a cycle of 10 rides online and they get added to my chicago card. The conductor touches the reciever to my card and the screen pops up "3 rides remaining, Zone B to D" Everything else like normal.

For the occasional, one way rider that has a chicago card-
I tell the conductor "Lake-Cook to Union" as always he touches my card to the reciever and types in zone A to E. It prints out a receipt, (much like the portable credit card recievers do) and puts the receipt in the little clippy thing. All is well.

For the occasional, cash fare rider-
I say where i am going, hand him my money, he types in Cash, Zone H to A a receipt prints out and he puts it in the clippy thing.

Advantages:
Metra can streamline their tracking of fares and ridership digitally, rather than the 1950's way of using a hole puncher.
Riders get a real receipt, not the one-way tickets that are impossible to figure out what the heck is going on.
Minimal new equipment needed. They can continue to use their same trains, stations, conductors. No jobs replaced by machines so no union issues.

Disadvantages:
Well...That's what you guys are for :)

VivaLFuego Feb 20, 2008 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3367012)
since we're on the topic of increased Metra frequency, is there any chance that other Metra lines could increase service? i'm thinking specifically of BNSF, which has a stop at Halsted, which could provide train service to UIC's University Village, which currently lacks it. Or even the Milwaukee West Line (Grand/Cicero station, in an area not currently served by the el) and Milwaukee North Line (Grayland and Healy stations, in an area not currently served by the el)

Metra claims that due to freight conflicts on most routes, they've already maxed out their schedules. This is plausible on several routes, particularly the 2-track routes that share trackage with freight service (the ME not being included here, except for a few potential conflicts at 115/Kensington). The BNSF, UP-W and UP-NW are 3-track, so I'm skeptical that more mid-day service couldn't be added (though I'd buy the argument that it's not possible on the MD-W, MD-N, UP-N, SWS, RI, and HC without further investment in more sidings, interlockings etc). Until there's political pressure for them to use their ridiculously high operating subsidy (so high it necessitates lazy fare collection and diversion of operating funds to capital just to reduce their recovery ratio to the mandated 54%) to increase service levels, I'm not sure we'll get the real scoop on where/when they could actually run more service.

brian_b Feb 20, 2008 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eventually...Chicago (Post 3367021)
my idea for an integrated fare system using the chicago card (CTA).

Right now conductors go person by person and collect fares. It is up to the conductor to remember how far people with 10 rides/monthly passes... are riding. So why not give them a little wireless, handheld device that has a reciever that can scan in chicago cards?

For the monthly pass rider-
I hold my card out, the conductor presses the reciever up to it, a little thing says "Monthly, Zone A to G" he moves on, everything operates like it currently does.

For the 10 Rider-
I purchase a cycle of 10 rides online and they get added to my chicago card. The conductor touches the reciever to my card and the screen pops up "3 rides remaining, Zone B to D" Everything else like normal.

For the occasional, one way rider that has a chicago card-
I tell the conductor "Lake-Cook to Union" as always he touches my card to the reciever and types in zone A to E. It prints out a receipt, (much like the portable credit card recievers do) and puts the receipt in the little clippy thing. All is well.

For the occasional, cash fare rider-
I say where i am going, hand him my money, he types in Cash, Zone H to A a receipt prints out and he puts it in the clippy thing.

Advantages:
Metra can streamline their tracking of fares and ridership digitally, rather than the 1950's way of using a hole puncher.
Riders get a real receipt, not the one-way tickets that are impossible to figure out what the heck is going on.
Minimal new equipment needed. They can continue to use their same trains, stations, conductors. No jobs replaced by machines so no union issues.

Disadvantages:
Well...That's what you guys are for :)

Implementing such a system would be costly. You'd need to build up the infrastructure for the fare capture system all the way out into the farthest reaches of the Metra service area. But aside from that, I don't think it's all that difficult to do.

Eventually...Chicago Feb 20, 2008 6:02 PM

i thought about that too, but given the alternatives of trying to add scanners on the trains, and such, it doesn't sound too bad.

Lets put it this way, when i take the metra out every morning i can browse the internet on my computer, send emails from my phone and make phone calls to china. Hell, i can sit on the crapper and track elections in pakistan. If metra can't figure out a way to cheaply send information back and forth to whatever corner of the globe fox lake, joliet or harvard are on, shame on them. It is a little pathetic when the users of the system are light years beyond the system itself.

UChicagoDomer Feb 20, 2008 6:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3367150)
Metra claims that due to freight conflicts on most routes, they've already maxed out their schedules. This is plausible on several routes, particularly the 2-track routes that share trackage with freight service (the ME not being included here, except for a few potential conflicts at 115/Kensington). The BNSF, UP-W and UP-NW are 3-track, so I'm skeptical that more mid-day service couldn't be added (though I'd buy the argument that it's not possible on the MD-W, MD-N, UP-N, SWS, RI, and HC without further investment in more sidings, interlockings etc). Until there's political pressure for them to use their ridiculously high operating subsidy (so high it necessitates lazy fare collection and diversion of operating funds to capital just to reduce their recovery ratio to the mandated 54%) to increase service levels, I'm not sure we'll get the real scoop on where/when they could actually run more service.

well, didn't the Hamos bill that just passed contain anything that granted more oversight and control to RTA so that the efficiencies mentioned in the various posts in this thread could be mandated??? it just kills me that chicago has so much rail infrastructure and untapped rail potential (if one considers all of the Metra and CTA routes as one system), yet maintains this sprawling, over-extended, and costly bus system.

optimally (assuming they get the federal funds they're seeking for upgrades to the Geneva/Elburn and Harvard lines), Metra would run trains all day with rush-hour type headways (perhaps with non-rush routes starting from stations within city limits if demand is too low in the burbs), and buses would be used solely as feeders to CTA and Metra stations (with exceptions for arguably indispensable routes like the 151, that basically need to end up downtown).

VivaLFuego Feb 20, 2008 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3367397)
well, didn't the Hamos bill that just passed contain anything that granted more oversight and control to RTA so that the efficiencies mentioned in the various posts in this thread could be mandated??? it just kills me that chicago has so much rail infrastructure and untapped rail potential (if one considers all of the Metra and CTA routes as one system), yet maintains this sprawling, over-extended, and costly bus system.

optimally (assuming they get the federal funds they're seeking for upgrades to the Geneva/Elburn and Harvard lines), Metra would run trains all day with rush-hour type headways (perhaps with non-rush routes starting from stations within city limits if demand is too low in the burbs), and buses would be used solely as feeders to CTA and Metra stations (with exceptions for arguably indispensable routes like the 151, that basically need to end up downtown).

There is some greater oversight on the part of RTA, but now the power structure is even more skewed to the suburbs so why would anything change for the better?

Also, I disagree with downplaying the importance of the bus system, which is the heir of the streetcar system. Routes like the 20 Madison, 22 Clark/Wentworth, 36 Broadway/State, 49 Western, 56 Milwaukee (and many more) have played vital roles in guiding Chicago's urban form as we know it. These are corridors that warrant some form of serious transit (short of heavy rail rapid), but over the years the street design concerns have been made with only driver in mind, and not buses/pedestrians (most of these streets once had raised island boarding areas for streetcars, wider sidewalks, etc.) And further, the northside lakeshore express buses are absolutely needed because the rail system simply doesn't have adequate capacity in that corridor to meet demand.

That said, I agree that much of our rail network is drastically underutilized; in the city/CTA realm, it's largely due to some combination of disinvested neighborhoods (Green/Pink) and poor land use (Orange), and in the burbs/Metra realm, its because service frequency in the off-peak/weekends isn't what it should be and the relative lack of integration with the urban transit (CTA) system. The Pace network of feeder buses and the suburban taxi services actually interface with Metra quite well, so all parties deserve some commendation for that. Other causes for underutilization are more minor, isolated, and usually political in nature, e.g. the lack of a major park'n'ride facility on the Dan Ryan branch, the bizarre relationship between the south lakeshore CTA/Metra services, the lack of a South Loop L stop, etc.

MayorOfChicago Feb 21, 2008 9:49 PM

^ I agree with the poor land use. I was bored yesterday at work and actually jumped on the Orange Line by my office and rode it to Midway and back, just to listen to music and kill an hour.

I felt bad for the people coming back from Midway. There were 8 of them, the only people on the car, and they were all coming into Chicago with huge suitcases and staying downtown. It was their first trip to the city, and they were very excited - which was entertaining to watch.

Well first we leave Midway and they're all babbling how close together the houses are, how thin they are, how tall they are, and how long they are. They thought it was really cool. Then. We get to the 80% of the trip that goes through rundown industrial areas. They were all amazed and talking nonstop how ugly and industrial the area was. The scattered houses, railways, factories, smokestacks. I mean I live here, so I know it's just an industrial area of the city. You could tell that in their minds THIS was Chicago. It obviously got better once we arrived at Halsted. But that ride in from Midway is quite misleading. I'm not sure how the riders get to the train, I'm guessing buses? It would have been nice had their been more residential areas the Orange Line could have served directly...

I understand why it went where it did though....just too bad it had to work out that way. Think how the Brown Line is such a part of those neighborhoods, and so many thousands of people can just walk down the street and hop on the train (like me).

OhioGuy Feb 21, 2008 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 3370243)
I felt bad for the people coming back from Midway. There were 8 of them, the only people on the car, and they were all coming into Chicago with huge suitcases and staying downtown. It was their first trip to the city, and they were very excited - which was entertaining to watch.

Well first we leave Midway and they're all babbling how close together the houses are, how thin they are, how tall they are, and how long they are. They thought it was really cool. Then. We get to the 80% of the trip that goes through rundown industrial areas. They were all amazed and talking nonstop how ugly and industrial the area was. The scattered houses, railways, factories, smokestacks. I mean I live here, so I know it's just an industrial area of the city. You could tell that in their minds THIS was Chicago.

I fear this type of experience for some of the IOC members that potentially visit the city over the next year & a half, though on the green line instead of the orange line. A ride south from downtown to Washington Park goes through some pretty ugly areas and I just wonder what their reactions will be, particularly when we're proposing to have the Olympic Stadium in a location that basically requires attendees to go through such a blighted area. I swear if you didn't know better, you'd think you were riding the green line through Gary, what with the shape some of the buildings are in and the amount of vacant abandoned land in & around the green line.

UChicagoDomer Feb 22, 2008 2:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3367571)
over the years the street design concerns have been made with only driver in mind, and not buses/pedestrians (most of these streets once had raised island boarding areas for streetcars, wider sidewalks, etc.)

see, e.g. that hideous stretch of North Avenue near Clybourne where the pittance of a sidewalk devoted to pedestrians suffices for about two or at most three people abreast. its particularly jarring to watch the bicyclists brave the traffic on North (and a good number of them do, even in winter). i'm surprised the "bike lobby" (http://www.biketraffic.org/) hasn't bitched to alleged bike advocate Daley about some of these streets. If the streets are going to suck for pedestrians they could at least be improved for bikers.

Abner Feb 22, 2008 2:24 AM

That's nothing. Just imagine how hideous the Mid-City Transitway would be, connecting O'Hare and Midway to all the other transit lines!

Chicago3rd Feb 22, 2008 4:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 3370243)
^ I agree with the poor land use. I was bored yesterday at work and actually jumped on the Orange Line by my office and rode it to Midway and back, just to listen to music and kill an hour.

I felt bad for the people coming back from Midway. There were 8 of them, the only people on the car, and they were all coming into Chicago with huge suitcases and staying downtown. It was their first trip to the city, and they were very excited - which was entertaining to watch.

Well first we leave Midway and they're all babbling how close together the houses are, how thin they are, how tall they are, and how long they are. They thought it was really cool. Then. We get to the 80% of the trip that goes through rundown industrial areas. They were all amazed and talking nonstop how ugly and industrial the area was. The scattered houses, railways, factories, smokestacks. I mean I live here, so I know it's just an industrial area of the city. You could tell that in their minds THIS was Chicago. It obviously got better once we arrived at Halsted. But that ride in from Midway is quite misleading. I'm not sure how the riders get to the train, I'm guessing buses? It would have been nice had their been more residential areas the Orange Line could have served directly...

I understand why it went where it did though....just too bad it had to work out that way. Think how the Brown Line is such a part of those neighborhoods, and so many thousands of people can just walk down the street and hop on the train (like me).

I transfered here sight unseen in 1997 from San Francisco for a 2 year stay and as the Orange line made the trip to the loop I thought the same thing...what the hell am I doing here! I can't make it 2 years. 11 years later I am so in love with this city.

nomarandlee Feb 22, 2008 8:05 AM

Blue Line extension
 
The whole article is postedsince its got a lof of information and details I at least don't know about and I don't really want to slice it. If someone insist on editing it then I can do it or a mod can...

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,5831660.story

Cook-DuPage corridor project would extend Blue Line
RTA to begin public hearings next month on highly conceptual plan
By Richard Wronski | Tribune reporter
11:34 PM CST, February 21, 2008

An ambitious but highly conceptual plan to greatly expand commuter rail and bus service through the heavily congested corridor connecting central Cook and DuPage Counties was presented Thursday to the Regional Transportation Authority board.

The key element of the proposal, the result of a three-year study by a committee of suburban mayors and county commissioners, would be an extension of the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line on an east-west route from suburban Forest Park as far west as the Yorktown shopping center in DuPage County.

While the elements of the study are not all new, it is the first time they have been compiled in one cohesive proposal.

The goal of the 133-mile project would be to provide better mass-transit options for the 750,000 commuters who travel the car-jammed Eisenhower Expressway and Tri-State and Reagan Memorial Tollways.

"We found a large suburban market that's not well-served by transit right now," said Bill Lenski, manager of corridor planning studies for the RTA.

The project remains highly conceptual, with few specifics on how to implement it.

An initial cost estimate is $5.5 billion, which is far more than other ambitious commuter projects that have already been the focus of regional transportation planners for years, all competing for fewer federal matching dollars.

Indeed, the RTA began grappling Thursday with its new role of prioritizing the major transit projects put forth by the CTA, Metra and Pace.

The funding legislation approved last month by the General Assembly gives the RTA more oversight and power to sign off on the transit agencies' wish lists.

The main artery of the Cook-DuPage corridor project would be the Blue Line extension.

The route would be intersected at four points between the city and Interstate Highway 355 by north-south feeder routes.

Three of these routes would be a combination of so-called bus rapid-transit routes, offering faster travel and fewer stops than regular bus service, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes on expressways.

One feeder, known as the J-Line because of its shape on a map, would use bus rapid transit to connect Naperville and Aurora on the south using the Reagan Memorial corridor to Oak Brook, O'Hare International Airport and the Woodfield/Schaumburg area.

Another bus rapid-transit line would travel on I-355. The plan also calls for extending the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway east to the airport.

The fourth feeder would be a rail component, using the Indiana Harbor Belt tracks to carry passengers from O'Hare to Midway Airport. The idea has been on planners' drawing boards for more than a decade.

The policy committee of suburban mayors and county commissioners recommended the package over two other options.

Public hearings on the project will be held next month.

The RTA intends to begin the next phase of the planning process over the summer, in cooperation with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and other transportation agencies.

Extending the Blue Line from its current terminus in Forest Park to DuPage County is listed in the Chicago region's 2030 long-term master plan.

"But it is not obviously as far along in the planning stages as CTA projects that have already qualified" for placement on a federal list of new projects, said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney.

CTA projects that are on the so-called new-starts list and currently are in the alternatives analysis phases of planning include Red, Yellow and Orange Line extensions and the Circle Line, which would connect all CTA and Metra rail lines.

"The CTA continues to work with the RTA, Metra and Pace on identifying opportunities to enhance and expand transit," Gaffney said.

rwronski@tribune.com

More articles

OhioGuy Feb 22, 2008 8:30 AM

Does the blue line really need to be extended *all* the way outside the county to Lombard when that area already has Metra service??? I don't have any problems with the Yellow line extension to Old Orchard Shopping Mall considering the area doesn't have Metra service. But Lombard does. I don't have any problem with the Orange Line extension to Ford City Mall because that's actually part of the city of Chicago. Lombard isn't. And I don't have any qualms with the red line being extended further south because that serves more of the city. Extending to Lombard won't. Personally I'd still like to see the brown line extended to Jefferson Park. Serving a dense area of the city with rail transit sounds better to me than extending the CTA rail lines even further out into the suburbs. And of course there is the circle line as well. To me, this blue line extension should be dead last unless DuPage county wants to fund it entirely themselves.

k1052 Feb 22, 2008 2:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3371405)
Does the blue line really need to be extended *all* the way outside the county to Lombard when that area already has Metra service??? I don't have any problems with the Yellow line extension to Old Orchard Shopping Mall considering the area doesn't have Metra service. But Lombard does. I don't have any problem with the Orange Line extension to Ford City Mall because that's actually part of the city of Chicago. Lombard isn't. And I don't have any qualms with the red line being extended further south because that serves more of the city. Extending to Lombard won't. Personally I'd still like to see the brown line extended to Jefferson Park. Serving a dense area of the city with rail transit sounds better to me than extending the CTA rail lines even further out into the suburbs. And of course there is the circle line as well. To me, this blue line extension should be dead last unless DuPage county wants to fund it entirely themselves.

The Blue Line is all ready as long as it should be IMO. Anything further out should be handled by Metra.

The primary expansion projects involving the the CTA should be the Red Line extension, the Circle Line, and the West Loop Transportation center.

Secondary projects should include extending the Orange Line to Ford City, extending the Yellow line to Old Orchard, adding a couple Yellow Line stops,

I don't see much in the way of feasably extending the Brown Line. You'd have to tear through a neighborhood with elevated or go subway ($).

MayorOfChicago Feb 22, 2008 3:18 PM

It's a cute proposal - but who in their right mind would sit on the Blue Line for what would probably be HOURS to get out to Lombard when they can just take a Metra train downtown in half the time?

The CTA L lines certainly aren't meant for long haul, I mean look how long it takes you just to get to Forest Park. Do they really think someone will take a bus from Naperville to Lombard and then switch and take the blue line lumbering through the west side of the city to get downtown? Hell no, they'll jump on Metra.

I do love the O'hare to Midway proposal though, even though I've already heard about it. Too bad it'll never happen in my lifetime.

MayorOfChicago Feb 22, 2008 3:24 PM

And why can't we honestly start acting on ANY of the proposals out there before we start bringing up more? This state just loves to dream big on transit, but where's the action??

Grey Line
Circle Line
Red Line extension
Yellow Line extension
Orange Line to Ford City
Blue Line to Schaumburg
Blue Line to Lombard
Metra Star Line
O'hare to Midway
Midcity Transit
Clinton Street Transit Hub
Carrol Street Transitway
Metra to Rockford
Metra to Milwaukee
Metra to DeKalb
Express trains to O'hare
Express trains to Midway

I mean, it all just makes me want to piss myself thinking of the possibilities - but can't we just ACT and actually build one thing??

Oh Joy, we built the Pink Line. Right...you rehabbed a mile of track and re-routed an existing line. It's not THAT exciting.

Anyway, just a rant - but why can't we focus focus focus instead of just daydreaming...

VivaLFuego Feb 22, 2008 3:26 PM

Well, the primary trip generators in the I-88 corridor (namely the huge employement/economic stretch along 22nd and Butterfield from Oak Brook to Downers Grove) are very poorly served by radially-oriented transit, with the BNSF a few miles to the south. Presumably any extension would be high speed (70mph) with wider station spacing, some of them with large parking facilities. The net effect is something functioning more like BART.

Forest Park into downtown is only about 25 minutes right now. Upgrade the tracks to 70mph, and the trip from Oak Brook to downtown could be reasonably made in about 40 minutes, which beats the hell out of driving in rush hour traffic. under 50 minutes from the Lombard terminal. Oak Brook to downtown is pretty comparable in distance to O'hare-Downtown, and plenty of people make that trip (or did at least until the slow zone epidemic...and they will again once the tracks are fixed).

The biggest issue are the track-miles, and the car-miles that would be racked up traveling over them. It would be very expensive to maintain such a line, so fares and subsidy on the extension would have to be commensurate to support it (again, a la BART). Dreaming here (and this ain't gonna happen), but some I-88 toll revenue could be diverted to support it, as a contribution to reducing congestion.

EDIT: Another thought in re: travel times. The Blue Line ROW is 4-tracks wide from the Halsted portal to about Pulaski. Express trackage anyone? As long as we're dreaming big with billions of federal dollars, why not?


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