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Chicago3rd Sep 13, 2006 3:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
Can somebody explain to me how the purple line express (PLE) works? Does it actually run on its own tracks?

The reason I ask is this. Instead of a complicated A or B red line mechanism, why not just have the PLE act as the de facto express line of the north side? Have it skip Wellington, Diversey, Armitage, Sedgewick (having the red and brown already serve those), while also having the PLE stop at Bryn Mawr and perhaps one other place (Sheridan? you get the picture).

It seems so easy. That's how it is in Manhattan. For example, in a given route, intead of having a 1 Express & 1 local, a whole train line acts as the express line of a given route, in this case the 2 train.

Can't the same be easily applied to Chicago's north side? Have the PLE make one or two stops north of Belmont, and eliminate some of its stops south of Fullerton, while having the red and brown lines stop at EVERY stop in between, with plenty of transfer points.

This is assuming that the purple line has its own tracks

That looks good on paper, but...at rush it isn't.
In the morning all three lines are pretty packed heading south into the city. By the time the Purple and Brown get to Armitage they are both pretty maxed out as is the Red Line at Fullerton. So having the Purple line skip Belmont through Armitage would cause a huge huge lack of capacity issue.

Also...there is a major transfer that occurs at the Merchandise Mart. It is at this station that people transfer to either the brown or purple line depending on what side of the loop they want to hit first. This can shave as much as 15 minutes off....depending on the side you need to get to first.

CTA just needs to tell me that when this project is over in 2009 that the redline from the Clark Junction south will be up to full speed. If not then they need to be fired.

Chicago3rd Sep 13, 2006 3:59 AM

CTA

Is there an actual real action/pac group out there that is working to stop all the abuses of CTA? Who are the aldermen that are concerned about CTA's ways?
When the state auditor comes out exposing CTA for all its miss management who will make sure that report doesn't disappear in a week? Who is going to make the Mayor take control and El and clean house? Who monitors Customer Service complaints and resolutions? No one.....

Isn't it about time a group be formed like SPUR in San Francisco?

Taft Sep 13, 2006 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
CTA

Is there an actual real action/pac group out there that is working to stop all the abuses of CTA? Who are the aldermen that are concerned about CTA's ways?
When the state auditor comes out exposing CTA for all its miss management who will make sure that report doesn't disappear in a week? Who is going to make the Mayor take control and El and clean house? Who monitors Customer Service complaints and resolutions? No one.....

Isn't it about time a group be formed like SPUR in San Francisco?

http://www.bettertransit.com/

The organization doesn't really have legs, though. Also, I don't really agree with a lot of their initiatives. It seems like they primarily target "equal transit rights" kind of issues, not looking at how the system as a whole would function.

For instance, they strongly opposed the Pink/Circle line plans on the grounds that people living on the south branch of the blue line would be adversely affected. They took the side of a relatively small group of people who would have had longer commute against a large portion of the city that will actually see benefits from the plans.

Another issue they are big on is improving green line service. Which sounds good on its face, but far worse when you actually look at ridership statistics on the line. The green line has, by far, the lowest ridership in the entire el system--it is a "money loser," if you will. I think its impressive how frequent the trains on the green line currently run given this, but the CBT sees it as the poor getting shafted.

Taft

VivaLFuego Sep 13, 2006 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft
http://www.bettertransit.com/

The organization doesn't really have legs, though. Also, I don't really agree with a lot of their initiatives. It seems like they primarily target "equal transit rights" kind of issues, not looking at how the system as a whole would function.

For instance, they strongly opposed the Pink/Circle line plans on the grounds that people living on the south branch of the blue line would be adversely affected. They took the side of a relatively small group of people who would have had longer commute against a large portion of the city that will actually see benefits from the plans.

Another issue they are big on is improving green line service. Which sounds good on its face, but far worse when you actually look at ridership statistics on the line. The green line has, by far, the lowest ridership in the entire el system--it is a "money loser," if you will. I think its impressive how frequent the trains on the green line currently run given this, but the CBT sees it as the poor getting shafted.

Taft

Pink, Purple, and Yellow are all lower, actually. The West branch of the green gets decent ridership, but the south branch is pathetic and easily duplicated by the red line which is just a few blocks away.

Chicago3rd Sep 13, 2006 7:58 PM

Sorry...it is the whole system that needs to be fixed. No one is responsible and no one is open about what is really happening there. Chicago's public....those who pay for it are getting screwed all around and we need to fix it.

This cities government knowns to keep people fractured...that is why we have what we have now....Aldermen in wards that resemble post war Berlin and a non-responsive public transit system.

VivaLFuego Sep 13, 2006 9:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
Sorry...it is the whole system that needs to be fixed. No one is responsible and no one is open about what is really happening there. Chicago's public....those who pay for it are getting screwed all around and we need to fix it.

This cities government knowns to keep people fractured...that is why we have what we have now....Aldermen in wards that resemble post war Berlin and a non-responsive public transit system.

Public transit in this country (except in NY) is very political, so transit decisions and operations rarely make rational sense from a planner's perspective. chicago is no exception, why was billions spent renovating lines no one rides, millions continuously spent operating lines (bus and rail) that no one rides, while the north side red line, the highest ridership by far, crumbles to pieces? Why? Politics, of course.

pip Sep 13, 2006 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
Sorry...it is the whole system that needs to be fixed. No one is responsible and no one is open about what is really happening there. Chicago's public....those who pay for it are getting screwed all around and we need to fix it.

This cities government knowns to keep people fractured...that is why we have what we have now....Aldermen in wards that resemble post war Berlin and a non-responsive public transit system.

The CTA is a mess. The trains are one big giant delay. Every day between every stop. While Daley seems to have fixed up much of Chicago he certainly let the CTA slide into junk.

Carole Brown, the CTA Chairman, has a blog which you post too.
http://ctachair.blogspot.com/

spyguy Sep 14, 2006 12:20 AM

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=120653

Alternatives Analysis Studies for Proposed Rail Extension Projects Approved by Chicago Transit Board

09/13/06

Today the Chicago Transit Board approved a $3.5 million contract to perform Alternatives Analysis studies for the proposed rail line extensions on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red, Orange and Yellow lines. CTA is considering extending the Red Line to 130th Street, the Orange Line to the Ford City Mall and the Yellow Line to Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard shopping center.

An Alternatives Analysis study is a required planning step in the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) process for pursuing New Starts grant program funding for major transit system expansions. The studies will examine all of the transit options available and a locally preferred alternative will be determined for each area.

“Conducting Alternatives Analysis studies is a critical step in taking transit projects from concept to reality,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “Investing in this planning process puts CTA in position to compete for significant new federal funding.”

“Expanding service on the Red, Orange and Yellow lines would serve as a catalyst for ridership growth and provide valuable connections to facilitate regional travel and promote transit-oriented development that would benefit both the City of Chicago and suburbs alike,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

Extending the Red Line from its existing south terminal at 95th Street to a new terminal at 130th Street would streamline bus-to-rail connections for 12 CTA bus routes and four Pace routes and could also connect the line with the South Shore commuter rail line and Metra’s proposed SouthEast service commuter rail.

Extending the Orange Line to Ford City would complete the original Orange Line plan to provide improved access to downtown from the far southwest side and from the central city to the strong employment corridor along South Cicero Avenue.

The proposed Yellow Line extension would provide service to major destinations such as Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard, Cook County Courthouse and adjacent office, and retail and residential developments currently just beyond the reach of the existing CTA terminal on Dempster Street. Expanding service would also strengthen the reverse-commute flow along both the Yellow and Red lines, and make better use of CTA’s existing service capacity.

The Alternatives Analysis studies will be conducted concurrently over the next few years.

The FTA New Starts program requires conceptual transit project proposals to proceed through a formal process of planning, design and construction. The FTA process consists of five formal steps: Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction.

FTA Formula Funds provided the funding for the $3.5 million contract, which was awarded to Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc., one of the world’s largest planning, engineering, and program and construction management organizations with more than 150 offices worldwide.

spyguy Sep 14, 2006 12:22 AM

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=127352

CTA Names Contractor to Connect Red and Blue Line Tunnels

09/13/06

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $94.1 million construction contract to build connecting tunnels and tracks that will link the Red and Blue Line subways and connect them to the planned rapid transit station at 108 N. State Street, also referred to as Block 37. The contract also will cover modifications to the State Street and Dearborn Street subway platforms for installation of connecting track and the replacement of rail ties on adjacent Blue and Red Line track.

Development of the site at 108 N. State Street is being conducted by The Mills Corporation for the City of Chicago. The Mills development includes the new CTA subway station.

“The partnership with the City of Chicago and The Mills has made it possible to leverage our resources for an extraordinarily important infrastructure improvement that will provide a critical link for our entire system,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “This will be the CTA’s first major tunneling project since the Dearborn Subway project was completed in 1951.”

“Because the development site is between the Blue and Red Line subways, we have a unique opportunity to connect these busy lines and enhance options for subway operations,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “It will enable the CTA to grow transit and continue to grow ridership.”

As part of the project, the contractor will build two short connecting tunnels and tracks that will link the existing Red and Blue Line subway tunnels with the new transit subway station. The contractor will accomplish the task by digging a trench using a technique called cut and cover, which was also used when two smaller CTA subways – the Logan Square Subway and O’Hare Subway – were constructed by the City of Chicago in 1970 and 1984, respectively.

CTA also plans to modify the fare control areas in the Red Line subway at Randolph/Washington, Washington/Madison, Madison/Monroe and Monroe/Adams; modify the continuous platforms north of Washington inside the Red and Blue Line subways to connect them to the new transit station; and replace approximately 4,000 rail ties in both subway tunnels as part of the contract.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and conclude in fall 2008. When the contractor’s construction schedule is finalized, CTA will inform customers of how the work could potentially affect bus and rail service in the Loop.

Funding for the platform modifications, rail tie replacement, and tunnel and track construction will come from CTA capital funds generated from the issuance of capital grant receipt revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects throughout the CTA.

The overall cost of the transit center is estimated at $213.3 million of which The Mills will pay $40.9 million. The remaining $172.4 million will be funded by the CTA and the City of Chicago. The CTA has allocated $130 million in capital funds generated from the issuance of revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects. The City of Chicago has allocated
$42.4 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue under an intergovernmental agreement specifically covering infrastructure expenses related to the track and tunnel connections.

brian_b Sep 14, 2006 12:38 AM

Man, I wonder if I'm riding the same CTA as everyone else.

Anyway, I just got back from a whirlwind 2 month trip around Europe and we used a lot of public transport. I've come to the conclusion it's not all that fantastic in most places...

I really enjoyed the newest U-Bahn trains (completely articulated - one unbroken passageway from car 1 to car 8!)in Berlin and other German cities and the newer S-Tog trains in Copenhagen have pretty cool display boards showing their progress along their routes (I took a photo and am going to try to upload it).

the urban politician Sep 14, 2006 12:39 AM

^ Wow a lot of good news in the 4 hours since I last checked in.

I like this statement:

“Expanding service on the Red, Orange and Yellow lines would serve as a catalyst for ridership growth and provide valuable connections to facilitate regional travel and promote transit-oriented development that would benefit both the City of Chicago and suburbs alike,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

the urban politician Sep 15, 2006 7:26 PM

9/15/06
The Chicago Transit Authority will hold a second round of public meetings this month to receive input on the proposed Circle Line project. The first round of meetings was held in May. The meetings are part of the Alternatives Analysis study—the first step in pursuing federal funding for major transit projects. The Alternatives Analysis study is designed to examine all the transit options available and determine a locally preferred alternative.

Meeting dates and venues are:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Bucktown/Wicker Park
Chicago Public Library
Second Floor Community Room
Chicago, IL 60647


Wednesday, September 27, 2006
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The National Teachers Academy –
Professional Development
Lunch/Auditorium Room
55 W. Cermak
Chicago, IL 60616


Thursday, September 28, 2006
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The First Baptist Congregational Church
Community Room
1613 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60612


All locations are accessible to people with disabilities.

The proposed Circle Line would link all of CTA’s rail lines and all of Metra’s lines in a study area bounded by 39th Street on the south, Fullerton Parkway on the north, Western Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the east, creating improved transit connections throughout the six-county region and helping to further ease traffic congestion and improve travel times.

DMJM+Harris, A Joint Venture, which specializes in transit/rail, highway and bridge, marine, aviation and energy infrastructures is conducting the Alternatives Analysis study. The Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program requires transit project proposals to proceed through a process of planning, design and construction. The FTA process consists of five formal steps: Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction.

spyguy Sep 16, 2006 11:42 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...s-metra16.html

Metra rolling out new message boards
September 16, 2006
BY MONIFA THOMAS

After announcing record ridership numbers, Metra said Friday it will introduce new display boards at its downtown stations that will provide riders with more detailed information about their trains' status.

The new gate boards, part of a $6.8 million contract announced Friday, will not only tell riders when a train is running late, but for the first time will provide the cause of the delay.

The boards could post simple messages such as "vehicle on tracks" or "chemical spill," for example, two scenarios that have put Metra trains hours behind schedule in recent months.

Another possibility raised at Friday's board meeting was adding estimated delay times on the new monitors.

Currently, display boards at station platforms can only flash a few lines of scrolling text, limiting the information available to riders.

And while announcements about delayed or canceled trains are broadcast at stations, it's often hard to make out what is being said.

As part of the contract, Metra plans to upgrade the voice announcement system and replace 60 to 70 TV screen-like monitors at stations with easier-to-read versions.

The first of the new visual display boards will be installed at Union Station beginning next March
, Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said. Then it's on to Ogilvie Transportation Center and the stations at La Salle, Randolph and Van Buren streets.

The last of the boards should be installed by August 2008.

the urban politician Sep 18, 2006 8:42 PM

^ Great find.

If history repeats itself, then Chicago's civic & business leaders will back this up and it will get the funding it needs in the future.

Can't lose our hub status out to Kansas City, can we?

Busy Bee Sep 19, 2006 12:15 AM

I want to see this happen more than anything, but I think that the railroads should pony up alot more of the cash.

VivaLFuego Sep 19, 2006 9:29 PM

Reconstruction of the 12th st Metra station is finally out for bid...good to see some progress on this, that old station is a disgrace.

It's interesting though, because of how drastically that area has changed....those platforms are the last vestiges of the old Central Station. Obviously not worth saving...anything that was worth saving has been long demolished.

denizen467 Sep 22, 2006 4:21 AM

So now the Green Line could play a huge role in the urban planning of the 2016 Olympics. When it was rebuilt a couple of years ago, were any parts on the South Side rebuilt? How old are the parts from Roosevelt to Garfield?

VivaLFuego Sep 22, 2006 4:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467
So now the Green Line could play a huge role in the urban planning of the 2016 Olympics. When it was rebuilt a couple of years ago, were any parts on the South Side rebuilt? How old are the parts from Roosevelt to Garfield?

The stations along the south branch were mostly rebuilt in the 80s and 90s so they are all handicap accessible and reasonably modern. The Garfield station is just a couple years old, very nice. The structure and track was all renewed so it's in fine shape as well. For me, the green line isn't the concern as much as the areas around the green line...

denizen467 Sep 23, 2006 5:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
The stations along the south branch were mostly rebuilt in the 80s and 90s so they are all handicap accessible and reasonably modern. The Garfield station is just a couple years old, very nice. The structure and track was all renewed so it's in fine shape as well. For me, the green line isn't the concern as much as the areas around the green line...

Yeah, on the one hand we bring economic development to the people who need it most ... but on the other hand, hosting an Olympics is maybe a once-in-a-century opportunity; inviting the entire world and then showing them a dilapidated (and dangerous?) part of town could severely backfire P.R.-wise. But overall I'm optimistic that with 7 years between selection and hosting, there would be time to work those things out.

LA21st Sep 23, 2006 5:50 PM

Does any think a possible expanison of the Green Line is in the works in time for the Olympics?Instead of Cottage Grove being the last stop, how about adding future stations at 63rd/Woodlawn and 63rd/Stony Island? Or even going south to service the South Shore neighborhood?


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