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marothisu Jan 4, 2023 3:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Chicago (Post 9829573)
Mr. Chicago here,
I do not quite get it , but be that as it may. Monorails work in cities as diverse as Detroit and Miami. Am I to understand monorails are impossible in Chicago? Furthermore on the topic of transportation in the area, between bicycles and cars, consider staggered commute hours or half -hours. Assign a street for bicycles only for an half-hour morning and evenings.

marothisu here,

You will need to write a letter to Lyle Lanley and ask him. He may have a difference of opinion to others on this forum. One of the reasons some here may think it's impossible is due to the opossums that hang out in the closets of monorails.

left of center Jan 4, 2023 4:06 AM

I call the big one Bitey.

ardecila Jan 4, 2023 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tcmetro (Post 9829595)
Is there any good reason that the station is at the airport? All the flights seem to be regional jets to big 3 hubs or Allegiant vacation oriented destinations. I can't imagine many of the South Shore passengers are interfacing with the airport in any other way.

It's just part of the pipe dream that South Bend will one day be a major airport. Which is unlikely given the small regional population in Michiana and the huge airports in Chicago, Detroit, Indy.

About the only good argument is that the airport is a better regional station, with plenty of parking for Chicago-bound passengers, and it's better for them to park at the airport instead of downtown South Bend. The airport stop is also convenient to the US-31/US-20 freeways which link up to Elkhart/Mishawaka, Goshen, etc. Unfortunately, it does nothing to encourage TOD or walkable development.

I will note the #4 bus connects downtown to the airport and runs every 30 minutes (hourly on weekends). It wouldn't be too hard to set up a timed transfer with proper signage, bus shelters, etc. Another route is probably needed to connect South Shore to the Notre Dame campus, they already run seasonal service for football games.

Mr Downtown Jan 4, 2023 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Chicago (Post 9829573)
Mr. Chicago here,
Monorails work in cities as diverse as Detroit and Miami.

Reality here.

Neither Detroit nor Miami has a monorail.

Steely Dan Jan 4, 2023 10:57 PM

I've only ridden 3 monorails systems in the US, and only one of them even vaguely resembles an urban mass transit system.

Las Vegas- a 4 mile line with 7 stops.

Seattle - a 1 mile 2-stop shuttle

Disney World - an amusement park ride.

Mr. Chicago Jan 4, 2023 11:40 PM

Mr. Chicago here,
Fact check: oh yes they do. In Detroit it is called The People Mover and while it runs only from to building to building, the principle, if you will, is the same. Also there is a similar system in Miami. As for the disconnect a monorail system or even light rail may physically have from the rest of the CTA - well- that is the whole point. Let me give an anecdote from locally here in NJ: the ACELA is our answer to the Shinkosan, however, the train never goes faster than 60 mph, Why? The tracks cannot support a train at 150mph. The Chicago system is old much like the NY system, Do not combine the good with bad. The gem of idea is the bid from some enterprise who would want to build, run and maintain the system using the bid money held in trust by the city for any repairs, Tax money to follow. The same financing can follow light rail. There are no possums, raccoons or squirrels here. This is serious business and if Chicago is hold its honored position as a leading business city then the city itself has to become an on-going concern that is worth the investment

DirectionNorth Jan 5, 2023 2:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Chicago (Post 9830541)
Mr. Chicago here,
Fact check: oh yes they do. In Detroit it is called The People Mover and while it runs only from to building to building, the principle, if you will, is the same. Also there is a similar system in Miami. As for the disconnect a monorail system or even light rail may physically have from the rest of the CTA - well- that is the whole point. Let me give an anecdote from locally here in NJ: the ACELA is our answer to the Shinkosan, however, the train never goes faster than 60 mph, Why? The tracks cannot support a train at 150mph. The Chicago system is old much like the NY system, Do not combine the good with bad. The gem of idea is the bid from some enterprise who would want to build, run and maintain the system using the bid money held in trust by the city for any repairs, Tax money to follow. The same financing can follow light rail. There are no possums, raccoons or squirrels here. This is serious business and if Chicago is hold its honored position as a leading business city then the city itself has to become an on-going concern that is worth the investment

The Detroit People Mover is widely regarded as one of America's worst transit failures - it costs $12 million in annual subsidies and total ridership in 2019 was just 1.6 million.

The Miami Metromover is successful because it connects their subway system to downtown, as the subway goes around downtown.

Chicago has a good subway system in the central city already; a people mover would be for show.

IrishIllini Jan 5, 2023 7:40 PM

Lets keep talking about Clybourn and Elston :D

A subway line running under the entirety of Clybourn has been long justified. Also feel the bike lanes should be improved upon and extended northward towards Belmont.

I think the natural center of gravity for the north branch is probably North & Clybourn. There's already a ton of foot traffic and it's largely box stores & surface/garage parking. Could easily be more than it is today.

Fullerton & Clybourn could also evolve into something similar / secondary node with some major infrastructure improvements (ideally road diets for both Ashland and Fullerton).

I think Elston is one of the few streets in the city that could, not without significant headache, go mostly car-free entirely south of Cortland. 90/94, which is the reason Elston sucks so much, is literally right there and traffic is already fairly light in my experience.

It would take a bit of time for its use to change into something more destination/entertainment oriented, but it could happen with the right plan in place.

Nouvellecosse Jan 5, 2023 8:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Chicago (Post 9830541)
Mr. Chicago here,
Fact check: oh yes they do. In Detroit it is called The People Mover and while it runs only from to building to building, the principle, if you will, is the same. Also there is a similar system in Miami. As for the disconnect a monorail system or even light rail may physically have from the rest of the CTA - well- that is the whole point. Let me give an anecdote from locally here in NJ: the ACELA is our answer to the Shinkosan, however, the train never goes faster than 60 mph, Why? The tracks cannot support a train at 150mph. The Chicago system is old much like the NY system, Do not combine the good with bad. The gem of idea is the bid from some enterprise who would want to build, run and maintain the system using the bid money held in trust by the city for any repairs, Tax money to follow. The same financing can follow light rail. There are no possums, raccoons or squirrels here. This is serious business and if Chicago is hold its honored position as a leading business city then the city itself has to become an on-going concern that is worth the investment

Fact check: No they don't. A monorail is a train running on a single rail, hence the name mono (one) and rail. It isn't a catch all term for any train that happens to run on an elevated guideway. The Detroit loop uses trains with two rails, the same as most urban transport systems around the world.

Kngkyle Jan 5, 2023 9:57 PM

How about a new line going from the Blue Line @ Jefferson Park to the Brown Line @ Kimball, continuing along Clybourn to the Red Line @ North/Clybourn, turning south along Halsted to the Blue Line @ Grand, connection to Green and Pink @ Morgan and further on to Orange Line @ Halstead.

Trains could be run from O'Hare to Midway, connecting to every other main CTA line in between and all of the "hot spots" for development in the city.

Maybe $20 billion? ~13 miles of subway track + 15 or so stations.

An alternative option would turn east from a station at ~18th/Halsted or Roosevelt/Halsted towards a terminus at McCormick Place/Museum Campus (One Central?) instead of going along the Orange to Midway.

streetline Jan 6, 2023 3:33 AM

If we're daydreaming about new rapid transit, how about starting a bit smaller, with a 2.5 mile branch off of the Red Line under Clybourn with stops at Cortland, Fullerton, Diversey, and Belmont.

That'd give us stations at every major cross street for bus connections (both east-west and north-south), with a nice fast 2/3 mile spacing between stations just like the Blue Line. And there'd be no walk-shed overlap with any other lines at any station except Cortland (which would be 1/3mi from Armitage, so even there the overlap isn't too bad).

This line would be servicing an area without current rapid transit that includes a one of a kind natural resource (the river) that seems destined for massive redevelopment over the coming decades.

And it'd be a simple straight shot entirely under the road, so in my dream we could build it cut-and-cover, for a quarter billion per mile, plus another quarter billion per station. Adding that up we could have a new line with 4 new stations in a very strategically important area for under $2B.

That's the cost of one large skyscraper; Lincoln yards alone is supposed to cost $6B and it's only a fraction of the land along the river that is likely to find higher and better use over the coming decades.

Busy Bee Jan 6, 2023 3:54 AM

Solid

ardecila Jan 6, 2023 4:51 AM

I don't love the idea of adding more branches. Think about it; there are limited slots in the State St subway, so every train that goes to the Clybourn branch is a train that can't go to Howard - and the section from North/Clybourn to Howard is the busiest part of the whole CTA system! During nights and weekends when frequency is already low, a branching design makes it twice as bad.

The other option is to run the Clybourn branch like a shuttle, and force riders to transfer to/from the Red Line. But that requires an elaborate/complex station design at the transfer point; you don't want the shuttle train on the same tracks as the main line.

I've seen some ideas to do this on the Green Line - all Green Line trains would then run to 63/Ashland, and the Cottage Grove trains would run as a shuttle to Garfield.

streetline Jan 6, 2023 6:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9831660)
I don't love the idea of adding more branches. Think about it; there are limited slots in the State St subway, so every train that goes to the Clybourn branch is a train that can't go to Howard - and the section from North/Clybourn to Howard is the busiest part of the whole CTA system! During nights and weekends when frequency is already low, a branching design makes it twice as bad.

The other option is to run the Clybourn branch like a shuttle, and force riders to transfer to/from the Red Line. But that requires an elaborate/complex station design at the transfer point; you don't want the shuttle train on the same tracks as the main line.

I've seen some ideas to do this on the Green Line - all Green Line trains would then run to 63/Ashland, and the Cottage Grove trains would run as a shuttle to Garfield.

That's a good point. On a similar note, I'd worry about the junction with the existing red line creating a bottleneck (or requiring an expensive underground flyover to avoid creating one).

But on the other hand, while I'm not a rail expert, I'm skeptical that the State Street subway is an unsolvable bottleneck. Maybe some aspect of current equipment or procedures limits headways to the 5 minutes between trains that is the current maximum rate on the Red Line schedule. But other rapid transit systems have tighter schedules.

For instance the MTA's 7 train has some runs scheduled within 2min of each other, and I see people online saying their headways are limited at 90 seconds. If the Red Line could match those 90s headways, we'd more than triple capacity; and if we went from 8 car trains to 10 car trains as well we'd have more than quadruple the current capacity.

Jasoncw Jan 6, 2023 7:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DirectionNorth (Post 9830870)
The Detroit People Mover is widely regarded as one of America's worst transit failures - it costs $12 million in annual subsidies and total ridership in 2019 was just 1.6 million.

The Detroit People Mover has that reputation because it combines Reagan-era anti-transit sentiment, anti-city sentiment, and anti-Detroit sentiment. And also because transit people tend to repeat the same "conventional wisdom" over and over (see the comments about monorails which are easily debunked by looking at all of the actual monorails in operation).

The Detroit People Mover is a better transportation project than pretty much any streetcar, and most light rail lines in the US.

Unlike streetcars, it's a circulator that actually does a good job of circulating people, coming every few minutes with very high reliability, fairly high speed, and surprisingly high capacity. It does this at a reasonable cost (lower operating costs, per mile and per hour, than, for example, both Seattle's streetcar and light rail). And unlike streetcars and light rail, it provides service that could not be provided cheaper and better just by using buses instead.

Is the service it provides more valuable than the costs? It easily is, even only considering its function as a parking shuttle. It makes the use of the downtown parking supply more efficient, since people can park anywhere downtown regardless of where their destination is. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and a lot of land to build enough parking garages in each individual area of downtown. Then there's the value it brings by connecting the various hotels throughout downtown to the convention center, and the value of people just being able to get around more conveniently in general.

Quote:

Chicago has a good subway system in the central city already; a people mover would be for show.
Interestingly enough, Chicago did study building a "central area circulator" in the 90s, and included an urban people mover, possibly using the same system as Detroit's, as one of the alternatives. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...view=1up&seq=9

DirectionNorth Jan 7, 2023 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasoncw (Post 9831693)
The Detroit People Mover has that reputation because it combines Reagan-era anti-transit sentiment, anti-city sentiment, and anti-Detroit sentiment. And also because transit people tend to repeat the same "conventional wisdom" over and over (see the comments about monorails which are easily debunked by looking at all of the actual monorails in operation).

The Detroit People Mover is a better transportation project than pretty much any streetcar, and most light rail lines in the US.

Unlike streetcars, it's a circulator that actually does a good job of circulating people, coming every few minutes with very high reliability, fairly high speed, and surprisingly high capacity. It does this at a reasonable cost (lower operating costs, per mile and per hour, than, for example, both Seattle's streetcar and light rail). And unlike streetcars and light rail, it provides service that could not be provided cheaper and better just by using buses instead.

Is the service it provides more valuable than the costs? It easily is, even only considering its function as a parking shuttle. It makes the use of the downtown parking supply more efficient, since people can park anywhere downtown regardless of where their destination is. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and a lot of land to build enough parking garages in each individual area of downtown. Then there's the value it brings by connecting the various hotels throughout downtown to the convention center, and the value of people just being able to get around more conveniently in general.

Interestingly enough, Chicago did study building a "central area circulator" in the 90s, and included an urban people mover, possibly using the same system as Detroit's, as one of the alternatives. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...view=1up&seq=9

Success of a transit system is measured in how many real life people use the system, not by how many use cases there theoretically are. In this case, 2 million people used it annually. Hardly a high ridership system. Although you're right, it's better than the abysmal streetcar projects elsewhere. Hardly a measure of success though :shrug:

Per mile and per hour cost hardly matter. A non-operating system costs $0 per mile, but it's not useful. I suppose a better question (to be answered in another thread) is: if you redirected that $12 million to buses, what ridership results would you get?

Anyways, I'm not Chicagoan, but the Loop exists and I don't see a transportation need for a PRT.

Busy Bee Jan 7, 2023 1:47 AM

The Chicago circulator pitched in the 90s was always a light rail/tram proposal not some PRT goofyness. I even remember seeing the logo for it that looked a bit like a Bilbao tram.

Jasoncw Jan 7, 2023 4:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DirectionNorth (Post 9832366)
Success of a transit system is measured in how many real life people use the system, not by how many use cases there theoretically are. In this case, 2 million people used it annually. Hardly a high ridership system. Although you're right, it's better than the abysmal streetcar projects elsewhere. Hardly a measure of success though :shrug:

Per mile and per hour cost hardly matter. A non-operating system costs $0 per mile, but it's not useful. I suppose a better question (to be answered in another thread) is: if you redirected that $12 million to buses, what ridership results would you get?

Anyways, I'm not Chicagoan, but the Loop exists and I don't see a transportation need for a PRT.

If you take a bus line with 10,000 riders a day that costs $50,000 per day to operate, and you spend $800 million rebuilding it as a light rail line, and since the service isn't actually an improvement it still only gets about 10,000 riders a day, and costs $250,000 per day to operate at the same frequency as before, is that a successful transit project because it carries more people than the People Mover, which is a 3 mile downtown circulator?

If the People Mover's money was redirected to the buses, you could either increase frequency across the bus network by about 10%, or you could add one additional major bus route (15 minute headways 24/7). Since the People Mover is already the 5th highest ridership route in the city, and since the potential bus routes with high ridership already have routes on them, it's almost certain that redirecting the People Mover's money to buses would result in lower overall ridership. It could be argued that the People Mover's trips are lower value, but people riding it are either downtown workers using it as part of their commute, or visitors taking it to go someplace to spend money.

And again, if you shut down the People Mover, hundreds of millions of dollars would have to be spent building parking garages, and I'm not exaggerating with that number. The NE corner of downtown has a football stadium, baseball stadium, and several large concert venues. The SW corner, over a mile away, has a convention center. In between there's offices, hotels, etc. and with more parking. Nowhere individually has enough parking within walking distance, the parking throughout downtown is shared via the People Mover.


Does a people mover make sense for Chicago?

The idea of using a people mover to connect Goose Island and the upcoming new casino to L lines makes sense. It could go from Lincoln Park to Goose Island to West Loop, and not only hit a fair number of destinations, but also relieve congestion on the loop, since people could use it to transfer between L lines without entering the loop.

Or a people mover that started in Chinatown, connected the various McCormick Place buildings together, and then ended at Alder Planetarium. It would connect a bunch of parallel transit lines with a bunch of major destinations.

Really, anywhere where you have a cluster of poorly connected destinations, where you don't need the length or the capacity of a full metro line (which Chicago needs several more of!), but where you want something better than buses, shuttles, and rideshare.

Mr. Chicago Jan 10, 2023 12:26 AM

Mr. Chicago here,
I might be imagining this idea but I believe back in the days of Rahm there was some kind of transportation improvement fund established. I seem to recall the amount of 7 billon dollars may be in that fund. What ever happened to that fund if it ever existed?

Randomguy34 Jan 11, 2023 12:20 AM

I think you're referring to the $7 billion "Building a Better Chicago". It was for infrastructure in general, not specific to transportation. The transportation investments focused on stuff like renovating CTA stations and constructing the 606 trail. The only one that wasn't completed was a full BRT treatment for Jeffery Blvd.

https://news.wttw.com/2012/03/29/ema...structure-plan

Steely Dan Jan 14, 2023 11:22 PM

Quote:

DeKalb, Ill., funds study on possible Metra service
City is 15 miles from current terminus of UP West line

By | January 13, 2023

DeKALB, Ill. — The DeKalb City Council has voted to fund a transportation study aimed at determining the feasibility of bringing Metra commuter rail service to the city.

At its meeting earlier this week, the council voted unanimously to fund a $98,379 study by Sam Schwartz Consulting LLC “to identify potential ridership, capital costs, and operating requirements as a basis for defining the financial feasibility” of Metra service.

The City Council and Northern Illinois University, which also supports the study, have asked that the results be delivered in 120 days.

Metra service on the Union Pacific West line currently terminates in Elburn, Ill., approximately 15 miles from downtown DeKalb; DeKalb’s bus system includes service to the Elburn station. Any expansion of Metra service to DeKalb faces a political hurdle in that DeKalb County is not one of the six member counties of Metra’s parent organization, the Regional Transportation Authority.
Source: https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...metra-service/




I don't how this would work with dekalb county not being part of RTA territory, but with a lot of Chicagoland kids attending northern, it seems like a smart idea.

Busy Bee Jan 14, 2023 11:37 PM

If UP-W gets extended to DeKalb then ME gets extended to Kankakee/Bourbonnais. It's only fair.

ardecila Jan 15, 2023 6:14 PM

I'm torn on this stuff... service to NIU is nice but I don't see how this doesn't turn into a sprawl generator. Metra expansions are tailor made for sprawl growth - big stations, big parking lots, far from existing town centers or walkable areas. They actively avoid placing stations "in town" - they know most of their ridership will drive to the stations, and it's hard to find parking for everyone in town without building expensive garages.

UP-W is also one of the country's busiest freight corridors. UP will demand a costly third track all the way out to DeKalb, like they did for Elburn.

twister244 Jan 15, 2023 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9839870)
I'm torn on this stuff... service to NIU is nice but I don't see how this doesn't turn into a sprawl generator. Metra expansions are tailor made for sprawl growth - big stations, big parking lots, far from existing town centers or walkable areas. They actively avoid placing stations "in town" - they know most of their ridership will drive to the stations, and it's hard to find parking for everyone in town without building expensive garages.

UP-W is also one of the country's busiest freight corridors. UP will demand a costly third track all the way out to DeKalb, like they did for Elburn.

I think for some towns/stations, yes, this is the case. I've only ridden the UP-NW route, and I feel like the stations in the inner/middle suburbs are less like that though. They have stops in the downtown areas (Des Plains, Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights), and there seems to actually be respectable urban development occurring in these areas. It's the further out burbs where things start to fall into the category you are speaking of.

ardecila Jan 15, 2023 9:49 PM

Those stations have been around for 100 years or more... i'm referring to Metra's outward expansions and suburban infill stops, which are entirely about huge parking lots. The UP-W extension to Elburn, the SWS extension to Manhattan, etc are all planned around huge parking lots in the middle of cornfields. Other proposed extensions like BNSF to Plano, UP-NW to Johnsburg, SES, etc have the same problem but at least they haven't been built yet.

It seems Metra refuses to expand the system in a way that encourages walkable urban development, and if they can't do that, why bother spending scarce dollars that are reserved for public transit?

Steely Dan Jan 16, 2023 12:05 AM

^ good points ardecila.

if metra won't re-use the existing train station in town, and we instead end up with a new stop in a cornfield on the edge of dekalb surrounded by a 10 acre park n' ride lot (a la manhattan and elburn), then this whole idea is stupid.

twister244 Jan 16, 2023 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9839973)
Those stations have been around for 100 years or more... i'm referring to Metra's outward expansions and suburban infill stops, which are entirely about huge parking lots. The UP-W extension to Elburn, the SWS extension to Manhattan, etc are all planned around huge parking lots in the middle of cornfields. Other proposed extensions like BNSF to Plano, UP-NW to Johnsburg, SES, etc have the same problem but at least they haven't been built yet.

It seems Metra refuses to expand the system in a way that encourages walkable urban development, and if they can't do that, why bother spending scarce dollars that are reserved for public transit?

In that case, yeah, I agree. If the station can be incorporated into the DeKalb in a way that's not on the outskirts of town, then sure.

OhioGuy Jan 16, 2023 2:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9840050)
^ good points ardecila.

if metra won't re-use the existing train station in town, and we instead end up with a new stop in a cornfield on the edge of dekalb surrounded by a 10 acre park n' ride lot (a la manhattan and elburn), then this whole idea is stupid.

That train station might not be the ideal location being further from NIU. Seems like a new station in between 1st Street & Pearl Street might be more ideal. It would be just one block southwest of the main retail corridor in downtown and from Pearl Street the walk to NIU's Central Quad is within 0.5 mile. Looks like there's a decent amount of land to the north of the tracks, as well as to the southeast, that could be redeveloped too in TOD-fashion.

OhioGuy Jan 16, 2023 2:45 PM

BTW, is there potential for Dekalb to have an arrangement with Metra that's similar to Kenosha? Kenosha County isn't one of the 6 member counties for Metra but has some type of special arrangement for service. Is that a possible avenue for Dekalb County to gain Metra service in Dekalb?

ardecila Jan 16, 2023 4:58 PM

A good compromise might be to re-use the existing downtown station and then do a 2nd station west of town that is more of a park-and-ride. The western station would be more convenient to Huskie Stadium and NIU's highrise dorms. Then 2 more stations in Cortland and Maple Park. The Elburn station kinda sucks, but there is at least a pedestrian connection to the town's street grid.

I understand the necessity of park and rides, but it's unacceptable for the train to entirely bypass town centers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 9840335)
BTW, is there potential for Dekalb to have an arrangement with Metra that's similar to Kenosha? Kenosha County isn't one of the 6 member counties for Metra but has some type of special arrangement for service. Is that a possible avenue for Dekalb County to gain Metra service in Dekalb?

With Kendall, DeKalb, and Boone/Winnebago Counties all looking for Metra extensions, I think the state house will have to look at this issue. The RTA Act already allows for portions of a county to join RTA, so if they want they can create a tax corridor around the rail lines while leaving the rest of the rural areas untaxed. I think if they tried that though, Kane and Mchenry

left of center Jan 16, 2023 7:02 PM

Why couldn't DeKalb County join the 6 county members as the 7th member and fund Metra as they do with a quarter percentage sales tax? Granted, it would only be 1 station to service the county, but it would be a start. Perhaps compromise and add 1 station between Elburn and DeKalb, at Maple Park perhaps?

If that is unpalatable to voters in DeKalb County, then I'm sure something could be worked out ala Kenosha County as some posters have mentioned.

I also agree with above posts that the station should be located in the center of DeKalb. Repurposing the old train station should be a priority. If that's not possible, a new station with an emphasis on an urban format should be built.

Tom In Chicago Jan 17, 2023 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9840050)
. . . and we instead end up with a new stop in a cornfield on the edge of dekalb surrounded by a 10 acre park n' ride lot (a la manhattan and elburn), then this whole idea is stupid.

As far as political boondoggles go, I don't have a problem with ones that involve rail. . . even if it means a depot in a cornfield at the edge of DeKalb. . . I mean, sure, it should be avoided at all cost, but if the momentum is there to get rail out to a park and ride to kick things off, I'm just fine with it. . .

. . .

Randomguy34 Jan 19, 2023 4:39 PM

Ridership numbers from the recent Metra board meeting. MED and UP-N's numbers look incredible! Wouldn't be surprised if they're one of the best performing commuter rail line's in the country.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FmzUNgiX...pg&name=medium
https://docs.google.com/gview?url=ht...&embedded=true

twister244 Jan 19, 2023 5:56 PM

Weekend numbers look pretty good too on most lines. It's probably going to be a while before we get back to 2019 numbers. I suspect most people will commute a couple days a week moving forward as opposed to 4/5 days to the office in the city.

twister244 Jan 21, 2023 1:28 AM

So.... I was lucky enough to get to ride these bad boys on my way home tonight on the Blue Line....

https://www.transitchicago.com/cta-i...duled-service/

And Wow...... For a few minutes, I almost felt like I was on a train in a different city. They are amazingly bright inside, video screens, much better use of space, and smoother on the rails.

There really isn't anything newsworthy to my post... Other than if you see one amongst older cars - Go take that one. I wish every CTA rail car was like this!

MayorOfChicago Jan 26, 2023 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9845027)
So.... I was lucky enough to get to ride these bad boys on my way home tonight on the Blue Line....

https://www.transitchicago.com/cta-i...duled-service/

And Wow...... For a few minutes, I almost felt like I was on a train in a different city. They are amazingly bright inside, video screens, much better use of space, and smoother on the rails.

There really isn't anything newsworthy to my post... Other than if you see one amongst older cars - Go take that one. I wish every CTA rail car was like this!

I got one on the blue line both yesterday morning and this morning. Not sure if they're putting them out quietly for normal service?

That said both times I took it we stopped and had long delays at stations and in the tunnel and also moved much slower than normal. The next train in front of us was 17-20 minutes ahead both times (because the Blue Line is a DISASTER these days) so it wasn't signal related.

Mr Downtown Jan 30, 2023 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twister244 (Post 9845027)
if you see one amongst older cars - Go take that one

Not something you'll ever see, as they can't be trainlined with CTA's older cars.

Mister Uptempo Jan 31, 2023 9:30 PM

The US Department of Transportation announced the MEGA Grant awards for FY 2023, and $117,000,000 was awarded for the Metra-UP North rebuild between Fullerton and Addison.

The CTA Blue Line Forest Park Branch rebuild and the Chicago Gateway Project (which included the St. Charles Air Line Connector) were shut out.

In downstate Illinois, a request for the 10th Street Rail Corridor through Springfield was turned down for a MEGA Grant, but will be awarded an INFRA Grant instead. Award amount has yet to be disclosed but $78 million was the initial ask.

Link to the 2023 MEGA Grant Award Fact Sheet.

Klippenstein Feb 1, 2023 4:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 9853911)
The US Department of Transportation announced the MEGA Grant awards for FY 2023, and $117,000,000 was awarded for the Metra-UP North rebuild between Fullerton and Addison.

The CTA Blue Line Forest Park Branch rebuild and the Chicago Gateway Project (which included the St. Charles Air Line Connector) were shut out.

That’s disappointing. Is this the main grant that the Chicago Gateway Project was depending on to be a reality?

ardecila Feb 1, 2023 4:35 PM

Yes, but the MEGA was not specifically a rail program. There are several other big pots of money reserved for rail that Amtrak could go for, and there are further rounds of MEGA grant funding in FY23, FY24, FY25 so this won't be Amtrak's only bite at the apple for Chicago Gateway.

Still, I am very surprised that we didn't get a grant considering the regional support lined up behind it. It seems like most of the awards went to projects that have been in the works already for years, not to newer/more transformative ideas.

Chi-Sky21 Feb 1, 2023 8:40 PM

Wish this would include the bridges at the Clyborn station. Would be nice to fix that part over Ashland.

Randomguy34 Feb 1, 2023 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9854574)
Still, I am very surprised that we didn't get a grant considering the regional support lined up behind it. It seems like most of the awards went to projects that have been in the works already for years, not to newer/more transformative ideas.

That would explain why the NYC Gateway project received $300 million, despite it being a drop in the bucket compared to the $16 billion needed for it.

Randomguy34 Feb 19, 2023 3:56 PM

Metra and NICTD gave a presentation at Northwestern's Sandhouse Rail Group. There were a lot of interesting info, such as Metra moving to a regional rail model where there's frequent service throughout the day.

The one that caught my attention is that the CTA is exploring a combined station with Metra as a part of the Red Line Extension. Metra's CEO didn't recall where the RLE crosses over Metra and said 103rd St. He specifically said the station would be built over Metra's catenary wires, so it would HAVE to be the MED at 119th St. A transfer station between the Red Line and MED would be amazing, and one of the few direct transfers in Chicago. NICTD's CEO also hints at possible connections between the SSL and RLE at 130th St.

Metra is also looking into Proof-of-payment and fare integration with CTA & Pace, once they install their new ticket machines.

Video (1:48:35): https://metrarr.granicus.com/MediaPl...=5&clip_id=829
Fares (page 6): https://metra.com/sites/default/file...ile/index.html

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2023 4:16 PM

Good news but I'll just throw it out there how depressing it is the mention of potential interagency transfer points and integration is met with surprise at all - or that others like SSL @ 130th is still just "possible" when "of course" should by the ONLY reasonable expectation. BTW this still doesn't make RLE a good project.

*Debbie Downer horn*

Busy Bee Feb 19, 2023 11:05 PM

I'd wager a guess that a good chunk of people commenting on Chicago transit on an online forum are also familiar with the bullet point transit issues of other major cities. Yes the KOP extension is likely the worst transit project currently in the country - made more preposterous by the multitude of other more worthwhile expansion and modernization needs in the Septa network.

SIGSEGV Feb 20, 2023 4:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JuliusDoaner (Post 9870590)
it's hilarious that they think all this dense housing and TOD will sprout out of the new stations. There are stations in this city in super desirable neighborhoods that are still surrounded by parking lots, strip malls, and vacant lots, yet we're suppose to believe that developers will skip all of those neighborhoods that are far denser, far more desirable, far safer, and simply a better real estate bet and instead head down to the far southside and build all this TOD? lol ok

If the RLE didn't cost a ridicoulous amount of money I wouldn't even be complaining. But it's super damn expensive for what? Couple thousand more riders? Why not reintroduce the green line back to the south lakefront area? Would garner FAR more ridership

Well the silly thing is that fare integration and higher ME frequencies would basically obviate most of it (and... you could extend the RL a little bit around the Bishop Ford for a transfer station).

Mr Downtown Feb 20, 2023 4:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randomguy34 (Post 9870322)
CTA is exploring a combined station with Metra as a part of the Red Line Extension

I think Derwinski was just riffing Friday, and the PR and planning guys in the room probably cringed a bit when he said that. There's no such plan.

I was surprised to hear no mention of O'Hare service, and no mention of A-2 replacement, which were the two big topics last time Sandhouse was invited by Metra.

ardecila Feb 20, 2023 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9870710)
I think Derwinski was just riffing Friday, and the PR and planning guys in the room probably cringed a bit when he said that. There's no such plan.

I was surprised to hear no mention of O'Hare service, and no mention of A-2 replacement, which were the two big topics last time Sandhouse was invited by Metra.

Yes, at this point the basic outlines for RLE are basically set in stone. Adding a station, etc or additional scope would set the project back significantly.

Maybe they could make provisions to add it as a future infill station, but this is all utterly insane to build a 2nd intermodal station 3 blocks south of Kensington. If they really wanted an intermodal station they should have just routed the RLE to Kensington with a short el over 115th or a short cut/cover subway.

k1052 Feb 20, 2023 10:13 PM

Metra faces delay in plan for battery conversion of F40s

Commuter operator will issue new Request for Proposals after failing to reach agreement with Progress Rail


https://www.trains.com/trn/news-revi...rsion-of-f40s/

May this search turn out like the one for gallery cars.

If they really want to do this buy Euro BEMUs.

brian_b Feb 24, 2023 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9840519)
The Elburn station kinda sucks, but there is at least a pedestrian connection to the town's street grid.

Yeah, I don't think it's fair to complain about Elburn. The town already passed a TOD master plan and their Strategy #1 is to "Improve pedestrian/ bicycle connectivity to the Metra station and through Elburn." with the following specific goals:
  • Complete the sidewalk network throughout Elburn, particularly in and around downtown and the Metra Station.
  • Construct pedestrian rail crossing at First Street.
  • Improve bike/pedestrian connection to the Metra Station at Kansas Street.
  • Build out network of bike routes.

What more could you want from them? The town is so tiny that everything is a 15 minute walk or less from the station.

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/m...compressed.pdf


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