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brian_b Apr 17, 2007 6:13 PM

Fare integration wouldn't be hard, just expensive.

Build a hand-held Chicago Card reader with a keypad. The Metra conducter keys in the cost and you touch your card to the reader. The fare is then deducted. This would cost about $100-200 per reader, depending on how fancy you want it.

The expensive part would be adding the infrastructure. Each train would need some sort of wireless connectivity throughout the entire train so the conductor's reader works everywhere. Then the train needs to communicate to the central server to authorize and deduct the amount.

The CTA should be able to help out with the train-to-central-server communication as all the busses do it currently. The connectivity within the train is a different matter.


I would like to see this done and it would be cool if they made it into a framework where the money is just sent to the appropriate agency. Then the South Shore and the proposed southeastern Wisconsin trains could link in easily.

brian_b Apr 17, 2007 6:17 PM

^^^ This is an overly simplistic model though.

You would think that the agencies want to figure out some sort of system where you can have transfers so a commuter doesn't have to pay for two full fares.

You would also think that Metra would be interested in reducing the amount of conductor-to-customer contact required. If a customer could purchase and validate their fare without the need for a human on the other end, it could definitely reduce costs for Metra!

VivaLFuego Apr 17, 2007 7:38 PM

^ You're thinking about it too rationally, and ignoring the politics of it all. Every battle factors in here... city v. suburbs, state v. chicago, union v. administration, cta/metra vs. rta....etc.

j korzeniowski Apr 19, 2007 3:02 PM

Kruesi steps down ...

Marcu Apr 19, 2007 5:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b (Post 2773813)

The expensive part would be adding the infrastructure. Each train would need some sort of wireless connectivity throughout the entire train so the conductor's reader works everywhere. Then the train needs to communicate to the central server to authorize and deduct the amount.

Not necessarily. The reader can store the information and communicate it to the central server once it's plugged in or within a specified wireless zone.

On a different note, why not use this opportunity to wifi metra trains.

alex1 Apr 19, 2007 5:50 PM

Kruesi is gone. At the very least, the successor will have the backing of Daley but he doesn't seem like the right guy for the job...

MayorOfChicago Apr 19, 2007 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1 (Post 2779208)
Kruesi is gone. At the very least, the successor will have the backing of Daley but he doesn't seem like the right guy for the job...

"Huberman, whose confirmation as CTA president by the agency's board is virtually guaranteed, has served as a senior Chicago Police Department official, head of the city's Office of Emergency and Communications and, for the last two years, as Daley's chief of staff. In recent weeks, he has been viewed as a possible contender to succeed retiring Police Supt. Philip Cline.

But he acknowledged that his only hands-on transit experience was in college, when he drove a bus for three years."

You have got to be kidding me.....this is his first quote as the new leader of the CTA.

woodrow Apr 19, 2007 8:13 PM

I think this is a positive development. He isn't a political hack. He is a very intelligent, aggressive manager who has great interest in systems and efficiencies.
This appointment so ties into scandal management and IOC bids.
Huberman is clean. He didn't get his jobs through patronage, but because he is smart and was effective in the Emergency and Communications office. It may be only for political reasons, but Daley would REALLY want a bright, meritocratic manager. Kruesi was losing any effectiveness he had. Better CTA means better Olympics bid.

Attrill Apr 19, 2007 8:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 2779470)
"Huberman, whose confirmation as CTA president by the agency's board is virtually guaranteed, has served as a senior Chicago Police Department official, head of the city's Office of Emergency and Communications and, for the last two years, as Daley's chief of staff. In recent weeks, he has been viewed as a possible contender to succeed retiring Police Supt. Philip Cline.

But he acknowledged that his only hands-on transit experience was in college, when he drove a bus for three years."

You have got to be kidding me.....this is his first quote as the new leader of the CTA.

That doesn't worry me at all, he's shown that he knows how to manage. The first thing he needs to do is get the RTA funding formula fixed, and that requires more political skills than any transit specific skills. I think part of the problem with Kruesi was that he had the transit experience but lacked the political skills the job requires.

alex1 Apr 20, 2007 1:39 AM

I can't believe that some of you aren't worried that he has no experience as a transit leader.

There should be someone in charge that knows the perils of transit systems, how to improve them and at the same time, be an amazing lobbyist. Not someone that needs to "get to know the job" at a time which is extremely vital for the transit agency to get it right. At all levels.

While this guy may become a fine manager of the CTA, that's not what worries me most. Kruesi for all accounts and purposes was not a bad manager. He was however, awful at negotiations and horrible at public relations.

Marcu Apr 20, 2007 1:56 AM

This is Daley finally showing committment to improving the CTA. Huberman is a guy Daley trusts more than anyone out there.

ardecila Apr 20, 2007 2:41 AM

Also in the news today was Daley's trip to DC to confer with IL's congressional delegation to discuss a funding bill for transportation and security.

I imagine the transportation bill would include the Mid-City Transitway (in some form, transit, highway, or both), rehab monies for the O'Hare Branch, and MAYBE the Circle Line, but doubtful.

nomarandlee Apr 20, 2007 3:04 AM

Daley: City's Olympic bid panel seeks top executive
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Daley: City's Olympic bid panel seeks top executive

By DEANNA BELLANDI
Associated Press Writer
Published April 19, 2007, 7:47 PM CDT

CHICAGO --Transportation and security needs should Chicago host the 2016 Summer Olympics dominated a meeting between members of the Illinois congressional delegation and Mayor Richard M. Daley, who was in Washington Thursday to press the city's federal agenda.

Outside the meeting, Daley also announced that the city's Olympic bid committee was looking to hire a chief operating officer, said Jodi Kawada, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

A national search is under way for a COO who would work with businessman Patrick Ryan, who is chairman and CEO of the Chicago 2016 committee, said the group's spokesman, Patrick Sandusky.

Chicago beat out Los Angeles last weekend to be named the U.S. Olympic Committee's bid city. The International Olympic Committee won't pick a 2016 host until 2009, and other bidders are expected to include Madrid, Prague, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Not surprisingly, the Olympics were a hot topic of conversation at Daley's meeting with a bipartisan group of about a dozen lawmakers that included Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Reps. Ray LaHood and Judy Biggert.

"It isn't as if the mayor came in and said 'I need $100 million and I need it now,' thank goodness," Durbin said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

But Durbin said the mayor did talk about what the city will need to be successful in its bid, including transportation and security.

"Receiving and moving people efficiently and safely is going to be a major task that we're gonna help him with," Durbin said.

Lawmakers say when it comes to transportation — roads and mass transit — Illinois has projects that need to get done regardless of whether the Olympics are in Chicago. That's why delegation members say they want to urge Gov. Rod Blagojevich and state lawmakers to pass a capital budget with matching dollars to claim federal money.

"The CTA clearly has financial problems and its aging infrastructure," Durbin said. "That has to be addressed, Olympics or not."

Chicago Transit Authority president Frank Kruesi resigned Thursday and Daley immediately recommended the CTA board hire his chief of staff, Ron Huberman, to head the nation's second-largest transit system.

Talk about the Olympics did not include specific requests for money, focusing more on concepts rather than hard details, LaHood of Peoria said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

If Chicago gets the Olympics, LaHood said there would be more federal money for transportation and security, made easier by prominent Illinoisans in Congress, including Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, and fellow Sen. Barack Obama, who is running for president.

"We've got some pretty high-profile, powerful people," LaHood said.

Daley's federal agenda also includes urging lawmakers to pass immigration reform, increase funding for affordable rental programs and "commonsense" federal gun legislation in light of the Virginia Tech killings.



Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

nomarandlee Apr 20, 2007 9:55 AM

End of the line for CTA boss
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/3...-cta20.article

End of the line for CTA boss
STAFF SHUFFLE | Kruesi's exit may improve relations with lawmakers

April 20, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com

Convinced that CTA President Frank Kruesi has made too many enemies in Springfield, Mayor Daley on Thursday took that polarizing issue off the table in the quest for mass transit funding.

Daley accepted the resignation of his longest-serving and most trusted adviser and handed the reins to a more recent version: chief of staff Ron Huberman.

Huberman's only transportation experience is the three years he spent driving a school bus while working his way through college. But Daley said he has what it takes to make the cost-cutting decisions lawmakers will demand in exchange for more funding.

To avoid fare hikes and service cuts, the CTA needs $110 million in operating funds. A pension funding mandate that takes effect in 2009 will require another $176 million a year.

"He's very knowledgeable. Very smart. Very practical," Daley said of Huberman. "He works with people well. He brings in very innovative, creative people. ... It's all about management. If you start selecting people because of their background ... dealing with one issue, many times, they cannot manage."

The mayor said he has given Huberman a mandate to do a "top to bottom" review in the quest to cut costs. "I don't say, 'You can't do this and you can't do that.' ... Everything has to be on the table. There can't be any restrictions," Daley said.

Huberman, 35, said he was committed to finding innovative ways "to tighten the belt and ... deliver service more efficiently."

Kruesi said his decision to step down has nothing to do with him becoming a lightning rod for lawmakers and riders fed up with derailments, mechanical breakdowns and daily service delays.

"It struck me as a good time to go because I've been doing this for a long time and also because we got through the winter well, the three-track operation [on the Brown Line] went well and really now, it's up to the General Assembly," said Kruesi, who's angling to play a major role in Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid.

Kruesi and Daley have been a team for more than 30 years. In 1993, he was banished to Washington after a behind-the-scenes falling out with Daley only to be welcomed back as CTA president four years later.

Thursday, Daley insisted there would be no pension sweetener like the one Kruesi tried to arrange for himself in 2003, only to have the mayor pull the plug. Hours later, a top mayoral aide appeared to crack the door open to that possibility.

The Sun-Times reported the day after the mayoral election that Kruesi's departure was imminent. Daley angrily denied it. The mayor also had defended Kruesi after a pair of aldermen called Chicago a world-class city with a "third-world transit system."

But City Hall sources said the mayor now has concluded Kruesi has made so many enemies in Springfield -- including powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan -- lawmakers won't even think about helping the CTA until he's gone. Kruesi also has been engaged in behind-the-scenes power struggles with CTA chairwoman Carole Brown.

"He's a difficult human being. It's an imperial kind of attitude. ... The next person is unlikely to be as abrasive as Frank. There'll be a lot of contented smiles around the [Statehouse] building," said a legislative source.


''The next person is unlikely to be as abrasive as Frank.

nomarandlee Apr 20, 2007 9:57 AM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/3...cbox20.article

Ron Huberman's transit itinerary

April 20, 2007

• Outgoing CTA chief Frank Kruesi's pet project, the Circle Line, is still in discussions, but the $1 billion goal is to build a 13-mile loop stretching from Old Town to Bridgeport between the United Center and downtown. The biggest project since the L was built, the line would connect the city's CTA and Metra lines.

• Lobbying the General Assembly for badly needed infrastructure repairs. The CTA says it has $5.8 billion in unmet capital needs.

• Service improvements that will allow the trains -- and buses -- to pull into stations on time.

• The ongoing $500 million-plus Brown Line reconstruction project that already has begun -- and Huberman likely will see to completion.

nomarandlee Apr 20, 2007 10:02 AM

New leader's track record: cleaning up government
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/3...side20.article

New leader's track record: cleaning up government

April 20, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com

If CTA riders are looking for somebody who will shake things up at the agency they love to hate, they've got their man in Ron Huberman.
For the last two years as Daley's corruption-fighting chief of staff, Huberman wore out his housecleaning broom while keeping a lid on future troubles.

He presided over a nearly total overhaul of the mayor's Cabinet and uncovered a Water Management payroll scam involving a Bridgeport ring that included the brother-in-law of the mayor's brother, John Daley.

He ordered ethics training for all city employees and installed an elaborate performance accountability system to hold department heads' feet to the fire and improve the productivity of city crews.

Huberman, 35, said Thursday he plans to bring that General Electric-style system to the CTA.

"That will be a welcome change," said CTA board chairwoman Carole Brown, who had a power struggle with outgoing CTA president Frank Kruesi.

Longtime cynics laughed when Huberman claimed he didn't know who sponsored Hired Truck czar Angelo Torres while promising in the same breath to turn the city's rigged hiring system into a "meritocracy."

But City Hall has taken genuine steps in that direction at the behest of federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan. Huberman also hammered out the Shakman settlement that creates a $12 million fund to compensate victims of City Hall's rigged hiring system. And he played a pivotal role in Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid.

The CTA will be a different kind of challenge for the Israeli-born Huberman, a former Chicago Police officer and 911 center chief who hails from a family of Holocaust survivors.

With the clock winding down on the legislative session, Huberman must cut costs and smooth feathers Kruesi ruffled in Springfield. Depending on how he does, CTA riders will either dodge another bullet or face a combination of massive service cuts and fare hikes.

whyhuhwhy Apr 21, 2007 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dolemite (Post 2784163)
I've said this time and time again. I used to take the Blue Line on occasion, from Cumberland to UIC-Halsted. One hour each way=unacceptable. Especially considering that it usually takes about 45 minutes in traffic, and about 15 minutes when there isn't any.

I agree.

I'm always looking for ways to take transit, but if a system is broken it is broken. You should have seen the look on my face when I was literally in stop and go rush hour traffic, the worst traffic at the worst time of day on arguably one of the worst freeways in the metro area working AGAINST the express lanes (Kennedy inbound from O'Hare to Montrose at 5PM, you can imagine), and I was passing the Blue line on my left.

And everyone in their car was witnessing this too. We were all in stop and go, creeping along at 15mph when we were moving, and here was this in-your-face advertisement to our left that read "Don't take CTA! Driving even at rush hour is faster!"

Something needs to be done. The transportation infrastructure is ready to snap here. I am seeing this first hand--the whole network of transit and freeways has gone far downhill just in the past 3 years. Maybe I'm ignorant but is ANYTHING being done about this? There are horrible freeway bottlenecks that simply shouldn't exist to move people efficiently (I-290 goes from 4, to 3, back to 4 lanes, with HUGE backups on either side of this bottleneck, for example), and if driving inbound Kennedy from O'Hare to Montrose at rush hour in stop and go is literally faster than the Blue line, there is something not right.

A lot of people in this city are between a rock and a hard place. People WANT to like and take transit, but the CTA is giving them absolutely no reason to get off the road when sitting in your car at rush hour is faster!

ArteVandelay Apr 22, 2007 1:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy (Post 2784659)
I agree.

A lot of people in this city are between a rock and a hard place. People WANT to like and take transit, but the CTA is giving them absolutely no reason to get off the road when sitting in your car at rush hour is faster!

The CTA, particularly the Blue Line, can obviously be incredibly frusterating. However, the problems with transit, highway congestion, etc, are deeply complicated. I encourage you to browse through this thread as there are many good points made about reasons for congestion, slow trains, etc, before just venting without anything meaningful to add. I don't mean to pick on you, but I get frusterated when I'm on a train platform and someone sees me with a hardhat and vest on and simply asks, when are the slow zones going away?? As if I could just tell them - well, the CTA is just putting up these slow zones for fun. No - in reality the powers at the CTA - higher ups in rail ops, engineering, etc, are deeply concerned about the state of their rail system and its current state of safety and dependibility. The answer to that question is as much political as it is about the CTA, and I encourage you to educate yourself about the issues the CTA is facing, and help educate others as well. I feel that a top down overhaul with Kruesi being gone is a good first step, and more support from Springfield is vital as well.

Anyway, VivaLaFuego as made some great points about how the CTA truely has overhauled a lot of its rail system recently - it just doesn't happen to be any portions that (to be brutely frank), white citizens ride very often. I'm talking Dan Ryan Redline Branch, Green Line, and Douglas Blue Line. Now that northside branches are falling into the state of disrepair that those other branches were in its an uproar. Should any line every reach the state the Blue Line currently is? - No. But this isn't a new development, and with time the CTA will get it straigntened out. Hopefully moving forward the CTA is efficient enough and allocated enough money to keep the system from reaching the state it currently is in.

MayorOfChicago Apr 23, 2007 6:04 PM

I think a lot of it has to do with the northside branches that are falling apart are ones moving 185,000 people every day into downtown for work. Not just that it's white people. Not to mention the blue line to O'hare. Such an embarrassment for the tens of thousands of visitors who use that line each summer when on vacation.

Marcu Apr 23, 2007 8:46 PM

Pink Line
 
Is the pink line here to stay? I always thought it was a bad idea and I wasn't really sure why the CTA was focusing on running a second line through a lower density area while neglecting repairs. Does anyone know its approx. annual operating budget?


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