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arenn Jul 3, 2009 9:09 PM

Grand is under reconstruction, so the public address system might be non-functional.

ardecila Jul 4, 2009 5:58 AM

Can someone answer a question for me? I routinely ride CTA buses, but almost always in the downtown area or crosstown buses, say, the 78 or X80. I pay a $2 fare on these buses.

However, I've heard reports from several people that the buses running up the North Side, say, the 22 or 156 - cost $2.25. This goes against all posted signage.

I understand that a round-trip with transfer would be $2.25, but these are one-way fares.

Are some buses more expensive than others?

jc5680 Jul 4, 2009 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4340301)
Can someone answer a question for me? I routinely ride CTA buses, but almost always in the downtown area or crosstown buses, say, the 78 or X80. I pay a $2 fare on these buses.

However, I've heard reports from several people that the buses running up the North Side, say, the 22 or 156 - cost $2.25. This goes against all posted signage.

I understand that a round-trip with transfer would be $2.25, but these are one-way fares.

Are some buses more expensive than others?

depends on if you pay with cash or farecard, but cash fare for all busses is $2.25. Farecard is only $2. Ride prices went up a few months back.

http://www.transitchicago.com/fareoverview.aspx

ardecila Jul 5, 2009 5:47 AM

Ah, thanks for the clarification. Essentially, the additional $.25 is a "cash handling fee". That's irritating.

emathias Jul 6, 2009 2:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4341296)
Ah, thanks for the clarification. Essentially, the additional $.25 is a "cash handling fee". That's irritating.

It's not a "cash handling fee" since you can put cash into the ticket machines available at CTA stations and select other places.

It's a "cash paid on the bus slows boarding, let's encourage people to use passes" fee. Also, you can't buy a transfer on a bus when paying cash.

Mr Downtown Jul 6, 2009 7:06 PM

What I think is wrong is that it punishes poor people, people who don't have the money to buy monthly passes, don't have credit cards to link ChicagoCardPlus to, and don't have retail outlets or rail stations in their neighborhoods where they can purchase or reload regular ChicagoCards. So the poor dollar store worker or disability recipient ends up paying $4.50 cash money for a crosstown bus ride that involves a transfer.

It's a fare policy thought up by young rapid-transit-riding North Side MBAs who said "it works fine in European cities where there's a tobacconist every 300 meters." They have no inkling of what it's like to live in neighborhoods where a supermarket is a mirage, and cannot imagine folks so poor that they buy cigarettes one at a time.

VivaLFuego Jul 6, 2009 8:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4343168)
What I think is wrong is that it punishes poor people, people who don't have the money to buy monthly passes, don't have credit cards to link ChicagoCardPlus to, and don't have retail outlets or rail stations in their neighborhoods where they can purchase or reload regular ChicagoCards. So the poor dollar store worker or disability recipient ends up paying $4.50 cash money for a crosstown bus ride that involves a transfer.

It's a fare policy thought up by young rapid-transit-riding North Side MBAs who said "it works fine in European cities where there's a tobacconist every 300 meters." They have no inkling of what it's like to live in neighborhoods where a supermarket is a mirage, and cannot imagine folks so poor that they buy cigarettes one at a time.

I don't think it's as obvious as you make it seem - if cash fares are lower than the magnetic/smart card fares, then the latter options, which are more cost efficient for CTA to operate, become even less attractive for any rider regardless of income, thereby requiring an increase to the cash fare sooner than otherwise because no savings were realized in cash-handling from bus fareboxes. It's a pick-your-poison dilemma; CTA seemed to generally try to ease that burden by making transit cards available at all grocery stores and currency exchanges, the latter of which are quite common in poor areas and many of which are also equipped with the scanners. From CTA's website;
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...es_outlets.pdf
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...es_outlets.pdf

I'm reasonably confident that you could geocode those addresses, plug them into GIS, and find that most Chicago residents (rich/poor alike) aren't too far away from a place to buy a transit card.

Besides, your latter comment ignores the fact that the most recent fare increase placed the greatest percentage fare increase upon Chicago Card users of the rail system (probably the wealthiest segment of CTA users), whose effective fare increased from $1.82 to $2.25 (+24%) due to no longer receiving the 10% reload bonus. Meanwhile the 7-day pass, generally the lowest income ridership group, increased only from $20 to $23 (+15%). There was clearly an intent of some 'progressiveness' in the fare changes.

Mr Downtown Jul 6, 2009 8:55 PM

What I thought was most problematic was eliminating any transfer option if you pay with cash. That's a real blow to someone who starts and ends his trip far from a rail station.

VivaLFuego Jul 6, 2009 9:01 PM

^ Agreed. The elimination of cash transfers altogether was ostensibly a cost saving measure, but I've never see any actual numbers that highlight the various forces involved - I'm sure there were some shifts among fare media after the change, and if anything probably gave an additional boost to usage of the 1-day and 7-day passes. I'm not sure why it wasn't considered viable to simply up the cash transfer fee to $0.50 or something, though.

Zerton Jul 7, 2009 12:34 AM

This is good for me and sox fans. :D

Quote:

Work begins on Metra 35th St. station

June 29, 2009
BY GUY TRIDGELL Staff writer
Metra officially broke ground this morning on a new station to serve U.S. Cellular Field and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
The $11.7 million stop on the Rock Island District Line will take about a year to complete.
The project at 35th and Federal streets will be built with $6.8 million in federal economic stimulus money. U.S. Bobby Rush (D-1st) of Chicago also secured a $4.9 million grant.
"We are happy to offer our riders this new station," Metra executive director Phil Pagano said in a statement. "We think it will fill a big need for commuters, area students, workers and residents of the growing Bridgeport and Bronzeville neighborhoods."
The station was named after deceased state Rep. Louvana "Lou" Jones (D-Chicago) during a ceremony on the IIT campus.
Guy Tridgell can be reached at gtridgell@southtownstar.com or (708)633-5970.
http://www.southtownstar.com/news/16...d-0629.article

Zerton Jul 7, 2009 12:36 AM

More detailed

Quote:

Finally, a Metra station for the Cell
June 30, 2009
By Guy Tridgell
One of the great injustices for fans of baseball, higher education and common sense was remedied Monday.

Metra finally broke ground on a new commuter station at 35th and Federal streets, three blocks east of U.S. Cellular Field.

The stop, already a year behind schedule, will open next fall on the Illinois Institute of Technology's campus.

Soon White Sox fans in the suburbs can make the choice of spending a few dollars to take a train to the game or applying for a home equity loan to park in the gold mine that is stadium parking. (Whether the Pace shuttle service between the park and suburbs sticks around remains to be seen.)

And IIT faculty and students who live in the south suburbs no longer have to brave the Dan Ryan Expressway every day.

But the biggest benefit to the new stop might be an end to the head scratching over why a station was never built in the area around the park in the first place.

The lack of Metra service next to the Cell made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Two sets of Metra tracks, the Rock Island District and SouthWest Service lines, flow on the west and east sides of the park.

Tens of thousands of riders roll past the stadium each day, but not one can stop and get off the train.

For the longest time, Metra didn't care.

The commuter railroad and its former chairman, Jeff Ladd, viewed the South Side and south suburbs as an outpost somewhere near Carbondale.

"Why would anyone want to live or work there," seemed to be the line of reasoning.

The Sox were completely disinterested in helping the people that keep their turnstiles spinning, making sure that "fan," "friendly" and "White Sox" should never appear together in the same sentence together. (The team's absence at the dais for Monday's station dedication did not go unnoticed.)

The folks at IIT, who were offering the land to build the station, were left to stew.

Visitors to the Cell simmered in traffic.

But all of that is history now.

About 200 people attended a morning ceremony for the future 35th Street station along the Rock Island District Line, a Joliet-to-Chicago route that serves New Lenox, Mokena, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Blue Island and Chicago's Beverly and Morgan Park communities.

In a sign of how times have changed, Metra is starting to talk about tweaking its schedule to accommodate game times.

"This is a lovefest," IIT president John Anderson said. "It should remain that way."

Like other modern stations with heated platforms and specialized ramps to assist riders with disabilities, the 35th Street stop comes with a big price tag. Construction is estimated at $11.7 million.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st), of Chicago, secured a $4.9 million grant in 2005 to get the planning process rolling.

The rest of the money came from another South Sider. Metra landed $6.8 million through President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package to pay for the rest of the project.

The station will be named after Lovana "Lou" Jones, a deceased state representative who represented the Bronzeville community for 20 years in Springfield. Jones was a close friend of the Rush family.

While it would have been nice to give the riders that will use the station some input into the name, we'll take the station.

It's about time.
Guy Tridgell can be reached at gtridgell@southtownstar.com or (708) 633-5970
http://www.southtownstar.com/news/tr...idgell.article

lawfin Jul 7, 2009 4:20 AM

South Side hopes Olympics bring a CTA 'Gold Line'
South Side group says CTA-Metra line would benefit underserved area and 2016 venues


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7670117.story

By Richard Wronski | Tribune reporter
July 7, 2009

Transit riders already have a choice of Red, Green, Blue, Brown, Orange, Yellow, Pink and Purple Lines, but a coalition of South Side activists also would like commuters to go for the Gold.

Underserved by rapid transit, residents there would benefit from a proposed "Gold Line," an innovative hybrid of both Metra and the CTA, according to Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, or SOUL.

With the city bidding for the 2016 Games, the line also would serve key Olympic venues, say SOUL members, who represent more than 20 churches and community organizations.

"The project would help support the needs of thousands of people on the South Side," said Dhyia Thompson, co-chair of the group's Gold Line Task Force.

Related links

*
CTA shows off the first of 58 new accordion-style hybrid buses

Although the Olympics served as inspiration, the real goal is better access to jobs -- especially Downtown and in the suburbs -- as well as improved transportation options, supporters say. Parts of the South Side, particularly neighborhoods close to the lakefront and south of Jackson Park, are among the city's most densely populated and the most in need of additional rapid transit, SOUL believes.

Under the group's Gold Line plan, more frequent trains would be provided on the Metra Electric District Line. The plan also calls for allowing transfers between Metra trains and CTA buses and adding a new station at 35th Street.

The proposal faces a number of obstacles. These include securing funding, overcoming a historic lack of cooperation between Metra and the CTA, even proving that the line is needed.

SOUL estimates that implementing the Gold Line would cost $159 million. This would pay for adding 26 Electric District Highliner cars for $91 million as well as for new tracks, station upgrades and fare equipment.

But funding for big-ticket mass transit projects is already scarce to non-existent, experts say. The Regional Transportation Authority has lobbied vigorously for a $10 billion, five-year capital plan to maintain and expand transit systems, but the legislature this spring came up with only a "status quo" $2.7 billion capital package.

But the bulk of the money for the Gold Line or any major capital project would have to come from the federal government.

Metra and the CTA already have projects in the planning stages that those agencies say would help the underserved Southeast Side and south suburbs and would bolster public transportation to the Olympic venues. One project, Metra's proposed SouthEast Service Line, would extend commuter rail service through the city on existing Union Pacific/CSX railroad tracks to 20 suburbs in south Cook and Will Counties. A preliminary estimate puts the line's cost at over $524 million, but the figure is likely to be much higher.

Meanwhile, the CTA is looking at an extension of the Red Line that would connect the current terminus at 95th Street with 130th Street. Estimates for that project range from $210 million to $1.1 billion, depending on the specific route.

Gold Line supporters say a key component of their plan calls for permitting commuters to transfer between Metra and the CTA.

"If you take both Metra and the CTA to work, the problem is there's no transferability," Thompson said.

While the two agencies operate independently, the RTA has been working to implement a universal fare card which it hopes to start testing next year.

The Gold Line is similar to a Gray Line proposal, which transit advocate Mike Payne created and has promoted for several years. The concept received little traction at the CTA and Metra. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has included it on a list of long-range projects, but The Gray Line plan isn't considered a high priority, a spokesman said.

Mr Roboto Jul 7, 2009 1:15 PM

^This seems relatively simple and easy to implement, and i think it would get a lot of riders from south shore, hyde park etc. What is the major malfunction here?

And they really need to make transferability between the two systems much more seamless, this would be a good place to make that work.

cyked3 Jul 7, 2009 4:20 PM

Gold Line
 
I realize that one of the most obvious advantages to the Gold Line proposal is its incredibly low cost, but I wonder if a more ambitious proposal that would connect the Gold Line to Union Station/Olgivie Station through River North would pay dividends in terms of political support from a more diverse set of constituencies.

I think it makes sense to integrate the Gold Line with the proposed Carroll Avenue transit line.

http://www.rivernorthresidents.com/m...p%20color2.pdf

The Carroll Avenue transit line proposal links Union/Olgivie with Streeterville and it would be relatively easy to simply connect this line to the Gold Line instead of having the Gold Line terminate at Millennium Park and extending the Carroll Avenue line north. Significantly, like the Gold Line right of way, all of the Carroll Avenue right of way has already been preserved for a transit line. If the Gold Line were continued north and then west to connect with Union/Olgivie, there could be direct transfers made with the Red, Blue, Brown and Green Lines, which is far preferable to leaving the Gold Line totally unconnected to any transfer stations. And there is already a huge demand in the vicinity of Millennium Park, Streeterville and lower River North for connections to Union/Olgivie.

An extended Gold Line would serve a lot of constituencies that the proposed Gold Line would not.

For example, the large office buildings around Aon Center and lower River North use dozens of buses every day at their own expense to carry commuters from Union and Olgivie Stations to their offices. These could all be replaced by an extended Gold Line. Surburbanites coming into the City would have direct access to some of the most important tourist destinations -- Cubs and Sox fans could take a train to Union Station, hop on the an extended Gold Line to quickly connect to the Red Line and on to either ball park. McCormick place and the cultural venues at the Museum Campus would hugely benefit from improved access to Union Station and the other transit lines. McCormick currently relies on a busway to connect the convention center to downtown hotels and conference participants have to rely on cabs to go most other places in the city. Olympic Village residents could quickly and easily get from their homes to anywhere downtown or anywhere else in the City along the Red or Blue lines. Olympic tourists from across the Midwest and from hotels across Chicago could efficiently travel from Union and Olgivie Stations to the most important Olympics venues. And, of course, the benefit to South Siders in Hyde Park, Kenwood, South Shore, etc. would be far greater with connections to other transit lines and the West Loop than it would be with a line only connecting to the Millennium Park area.

I realize that this type of connection would probably require standard CTA vehicles and thus the cost would balloon to a billion dollars but, hey, that's what the Olympics and the Feds are for, right?

Marcu Jul 7, 2009 5:32 PM

Looking at an RTA map, I really don't see how the areas dense enough to support transit are underserved.. There appears to be good access via Metra Electric, Green Line, and LSD buses. Then again I am not familiar with the area so I don't really know how effectively these three options are. Perhaps a cheaper solution would be to make service more frequent on exisiting infrastructure. Even with federal funds, the CTA would have to pick up operational costs and I'm generally hesitant of supporting any EL expansion until the existing system is shown to be adequately funded over the long-term and functions well.

emathias Jul 7, 2009 6:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cyked3 (Post 4344840)
I realize that one of the most obvious advantages to the Gold Line proposal is its incredibly low cost, but I wonder if a more ambitious proposal that would connect the Gold Line to Union Station/Olgivie Station through River North would pay dividends in terms of political support from a more diverse set of constituencies.

I think it makes sense to integrate the Gold Line with the proposed Carroll Avenue transit line.
...

I think youre sense of geography is a little off, since if the Gold Line went through River North, it would then have to go south to get to Ogilvie and Union.

As long as we're talking pie-in-the-sky, I think a more useful approach would be to keep the present kind of over-head catenary wire rail, but tunnel it north under Streeterville, then north under Clark to Fullerton, then west, eventually connecting to the Bloomingdale ROW and on west to Harlem or so. Cost? Like I said, pie-in-the-sky, probably in the realm of $10 billion. If it were well-connected to the "L" system, it would likely be well-used from the get-go, and if coupled with good zoning and growth near stations, could probably become the heaviest-used line in the city within a decade after completion (assuming the zoning changes were implemented at project start and not project completion).

schwerve Jul 7, 2009 7:19 PM

Here's the question in my mind re: "gold/grey line" is it cheaper to run more frequent service as with the existing train sets on that line or would it better to just turn that entire section of line into a BRT. You would maintain the rest of the metra electric but turned a part of the trunk and the branch into BRT you could get the types of frequencies desired, connect to the proposed monroe transitway, and carrol avenue/streeterville Navy Pier without the massive capital costs required to connect the train line to the rest of the system.

Attrill Jul 7, 2009 7:29 PM

The CTA just received the first of the new articulated buses paid for by the stimulus package:

Quote:

All 58 Buses Scheduled to Arrive by Fall 2009

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced the arrival of the first articulated hybrid bus purchased with federal stimulus funds. All 58 of the buses in the order are scheduled to arrive by fall.

"The arrival of these buses is another example of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at work for CTA riders," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "Without these funds CTA would not have been able to purchase these much-needed buses. With our budget constraints and nearly $7 billion in unfunded capital projects, it is a challenge to upgrade the system while still being fiscally prudent."

With this new bus, the CTA now has 151 articulated hybrid buses in its fleet. Once all 208 articulated hybrid buses are in service, the CTA estimates that the hybrid technology will help to save the agency over $7 million annually in parts, labor and fuel.......

orulz Jul 7, 2009 7:38 PM

Or run it on the SCAL to Union Station or thereabouts. Gosh the SCAL is such a useful right-of-way. It could be used for any one, or perhaps a combination of the following transit-related purposes:

-South/eastward extension of the Clinton Subway
-South/eastward extension of the Carrol/Clinton "River Line"
-Potential route for HSR to reach Union Station from the IC lines
-Route for "Gold / Gray" line trains, or even Metra Electric, to reach Union Station and connect with other transit lines

....And the city wants to turn it into a pedestrian/bike path! Seriously. If you're on foot or on a bike, is it really such a terrible inconvenience to use 16th street instead?

VivaLFuego Jul 7, 2009 9:39 PM

Just because an ROW is there doesn't necessarily mean it makes a good rapid transit candidate. The IC/ME has some issues that make it less than ideal:
- South of the flyunder at Marquette, it is only competitive with the #6, #14, #26, and #X28 for a limited number of origin-destination pairs - generally these buses can more quickly and more directly connect South Shore residents with their downtown destination than the ME can (certainly the 14 and 26 are as quick given their express run up Lakshore from 67th.
- Between 18th and 47th streets, there is minimal population or employment along the route, which makes a rapid transit (either bus or rail) justification very weak.

The case would be stronger if ME trains were already packed to the gills due to high passenger volume in the corridor, but it's just not the case even when ME trains are running very frequently in rush hour.

Sure, you could reduce service on the parallel bus routes in an effort to shift riders to rail but I'm not sure what that would accomplish other than annoying those riders. Start with some sort of fare integration, which may well help ridership on the ME (probably mostly riders currently taking the #6 during rush hour), but not nearly enough to justify an upgrade to rapid transit service unless the population density along the south lakefront literally triples to be in the same realm as the north lakefront. Even if ME trains ran every 20-30 minutes in the off-peak people would still just take the #6 and #14, and those that did switch to the ME due to the increased frequency wouldn't come anywhere near a large enough increase in revenue to justify the added service cost.

lawfin Jul 7, 2009 10:16 PM

Chicago High Speed Developments

http://www.midwesthsr.org/docs/06_30..._STL_Study.pdf

http://www.midwesthsr.org/docs/Chica..._June_2009.pdf


http://www.midwesthsr.org/docs/Chica..._June_2009.pdf

Zerton Jul 7, 2009 11:12 PM

^ The last diagram on the last link told me a lot about the expanse of that project.

Taft Jul 8, 2009 2:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zerton (Post 4345662)
^ The last diagram on the last link told me a lot about the expanse of that project.

Wow. Glad you pointed that out.

From that doc: $37.5 million per mile, total cost of $11.5 billion. And that's just for one corridor, I think.

Yowza!

electricron Jul 8, 2009 3:02 PM

Up front costs is why European countries have built HSR only one line at a time. With more countries in Europe, the expanse of HSR seems fairly quick. Never-the-less, they have been at it for 30 years. Additionally, not every HSR line in Europe was built for 200+ mph trains.

schwerve Jul 8, 2009 5:41 PM

going back the gold/grey line to expand on my previous point. Instead of running more frequent train service, in my mind it would be better to turn part of that right of way into a BRT Trunk line. By utilizing the proposed monroe street transitway and columbus ave (see CAAP) it can more directly integrate the southside into downtown. In addition you can use the existing well traveled bus network an eventual BRT network to feed into the trunk such not just the south chicago branch of the current ME but also the 71st street bus, 55th, etc. Each can be built as BRT and provide direct connections to downtown.

It seems to me this is a cheaper alternative and provides far better service than just running more frequent trains. Opinions?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3604/...f2a49d5f61.jpg

Mr Downtown Jul 8, 2009 6:11 PM

^I think it's not really addressing the ridership needs. You have five feeder bus lines that are passing both the Red Line and the Green Line before ever getting to the lakefront busway. Why wouldn't eastbound feeder bus riders simply transfer to the rapid transit lines, as they do now?

On the other hand, you've provided no front-door service in the heavily populated west end of South Shore or Jeffery Manor. The market is for door-to-door service from those areas of the South Side to the Central and West Loop. The Metra Electric ROW is unfortunately just not very well-suited for that.

schwerve Jul 8, 2009 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4347110)
^I think it's not really addressing the ridership needs. You have five feeder bus lines that are passing both the Red Line and the Green Line before ever getting to the lakefront busway. Why wouldn't eastbound feeder bus riders simply transfer to the rapid transit lines, as they do now?

I think in general they would, but the sense I get from watching the city is that they would want to make those routes BRT regardless, with that trunk you've added significant options for a rider not to just get downtown but direct access to the entire lakefront. Its a matter of improving and utilizing existing ridership to help pay for capital costs of increased service in the area the gold line is theoretically targetting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4347110)
On the other hand, you've provided no front-door service in the heavily populated west end of South Shore or Jeffery Manor. The market is for door-to-door service from those areas of the South Side to the Central and West Loop. The Metra Electric ROW is unfortunately just not very well-suited for that.

I choose those feeder routes off the top of my head as they made some logical sense, you can make them anyones you want really, its fairly modular like that.

VivaLFuego Jul 8, 2009 8:13 PM

Operationally, you're basically proposing a similar "zoned" or "tiered" express service comparable to what already exists on the north lakefront (the 130s and 140s), wherein multiple routes sharing a high capacity trunk (lakeshore) have different origin and destination points to serve a wide array of trips.

The difference is a lot more people live on the north side - so demand is high enough to justify frequent bus service on the many tiered express bus routes. If the south lakefront doubled or more in population, the case for such a bus network would be much stronger, but it seems like that could still happen with existing infrastructure (Lakeshore Drive) rather than a great deal of construction work on the IC ROW.

On a much more general note and as a general critique of most rapid transit concepts that get tossed around, Chicago's geographic/economic structure, as a generalization is just a much more natural fit for being served by scalable express bus service, commuter rail, and high frequency arterial bus service - rapid transit is certainly viable in various corridors due to concentrated, high-volume, bidirectional trip density (e.g. the North Main portion of the Red Line), and also justified to serve as a 'trunk' for collecting downtown-bound trips from a given region of the city even if running through lower-density areas (the Dan Ryan Red, Orange Line, O'Hare Blue Line... but its a tough sell to justify two collector rapid transit lines on the south side and three on the west side).

schwerve Jul 8, 2009 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4347401)
Operationally, you're basically proposing a similar "zoned" or "tiered" express service comparable to what already exists on the north lakefront (the 130s and 140s), wherein multiple routes sharing a high capacity trunk (lakeshore) have different origin and destination points to serve a wide array of trips.

The difference is a lot more people live on the north side - so demand is high enough to justify frequent bus service on the many tiered express bus routes. If the south lakefront doubled or more in population, the case for such a bus network would be much stronger, but it seems like that could still happen with existing infrastructure (Lakeshore Drive) rather than a great deal of construction work on the IC ROW.

I think that's generally true and I think the improved ridership on the southside wouldn't justify the full build out of that system on its own. However, the majority of the major costs on such would theoretically already be built.

the Cental Action Plan already calls for the monroe transitway, lakefront busway to mccormick, and the clinton street busway. Plans already exist and were going to be constructed on a number of feeder routes to be built as BRT. Essentially the cost of such a proposal isn't any more than building the trunk to link the existing proposals, 6 miles of road on an existing ROW, that's it. I'm just using the "gold line" proposal to argue for it.

lawfin Jul 8, 2009 9:47 PM

^^^^Have their been any studies that attest that people may opt for PT at a greater frequency if the modality is train versus bus.

I for one know many people who think nothing of jumping on the L or the metra but you could not drag them on a bus.


Additionally, do impact studies try to measure the effect of the removal of busses from surface streets. It seems that buses have a tendency to really clog traffic....see Clark Street for one. This problem would not be present with rail.

ALso isn't the on going maintenance and fuel costs of buses substantial higher than trains....I thought I read the ration was in the area of 1.8 : 1

schwerve Jul 9, 2009 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4347401)
but its a tough sell to justify two collector rapid transit lines on the south side and three on the west side.

But we do have two collector rapid transit systems on the south side, the red line and south lake shore drive . My argument is basically to consolidate the south east side express bus routes and the south chicago branch of the metra electric into a mostly grade separated bus rapid transit trunk along that stretch of right of way. It would improve reliability, transit times, frequency, traffic, consolidate ridership,and connect those routes more directly into the transit system as a whole for relatively nothing (if you consider Monroe/Clinton Busways and a in-place BRT design as sunk costs post ~2012).

Dan Ryan Red Line: 54,360 Avg Weekday

South Lake Shore Rts 2,6,10,14,26,X28: 37,423 Avg Weekday
ME South Chicago ~10,000 (40,000 for all ME, not sure SC contribution)

VivaLFuego Jul 9, 2009 1:35 AM

^But the South Lakeshore isn't a collector rapid transit line - it's the trunk portion of zoned express bus system. It sounds like what you're suggesting is to use the street-running portion of the South Chicago branch to create a busway for the #6 to run in and switching to 1/4-mile-to-1/2-mile stop spacing along that portion - which sounds like a good idea to me (more cost efficient to operate/maintain in the long term given demand and density), aside from the major capital investment made to rebuild all those stations recently and the politics involved with such a project (e.g. the short-lived idea to replace the green line with enhanced bus service)
Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 4347596)
^^^^Have their been any studies that attest that people may opt for PT at a greater frequency if the modality is train versus bus.

I for one know many people who think nothing of jumping on the L or the metra but you could not drag them on a bus.

Rail bias is real - but generally travel time and travel comfort play a higher role in someone's mode choice than rail v. bus. Rail tends to be quicker and more comfortable than bus, but people will take a bus over a train if its faster and/or more comfortable (for example the big spikes on the 146/147 last year while the Red Line was riddled with slow zones and construction).

Zerton Jul 9, 2009 1:55 AM

I find buses actually more comfortable but they just seem to take a lot longer.

Mr Downtown Jul 9, 2009 3:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 4347596)
Also isn't the on going maintenance and fuel costs of buses substantial higher than trains

Other way around:

Operating costs
BUS                $60/1000 place miles        $3.80/revenue vehicle mile
LIGHT RAIL $96/1000 place miles $9.30/revenue vehicle mile
RAPID RAIL $50/1000 place miles $6.50/revenue vehicle mile
a "place mile" is a passenger place (seated or standing) carried one mile


These statistics on operating costs come from "Characteristics of Urban Transportation Systems," a Federal Transit Administration report from 1992:
I would certainly like to cite more recent statistics, but can't until FTA funds a new study.

ardecila Jul 9, 2009 8:17 AM

Characteristics of Urban Transit Systems?

Sounds like someone in Bush I's administration was having some fun.

On a more serious note, why is light rail so expensive? The lighter vehicles require far less energy to operate. Is it just that the catenary systems on light rail lines require intensive maintenance?

Mr Downtown Jul 9, 2009 2:58 PM

^There's catenary, track, substations, ticket machines, and signals to be maintained. The vehicles require more expensive maintenance. They deadhead more than buses.


As for energy usage, here are some numbers from the Transportation Energy Data Book, 28th Edition, U.S. Energy Dept.

BTU of Energy Used per Passenger-Mile of Travel
7605   light rail average all systems
4800 light rail serious urban systems*
4315 transit buses
3700 heavy rail
3514 autos
1853 motorcycles

*estimated from Figure 2.2 after excluding North Little Rock, Memphis, Kenosha, and Galveston tourist lines.


The transit bus numbers are for all lines and systems nationwide; Chicago's heavily used system would have lower energy use per passenger. Conversely, the heavy rail numbers will be dominated by New York and Washington; Chicago's modestly used system will have somewhat higher energy use per passenger.

OhioGuy Jul 9, 2009 3:30 PM

On Chicago-L.org, it says "overhaul of the Clark/Division station is now planned for 2010." This was as of 2007. Does anyone know if Clark/Division is still scheduled to be updated next year? And if it does begin next year, will it take years & years like Grand?

k1052 Jul 9, 2009 3:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 4348914)
On Chicago-L.org, it says "overhaul of the Clark/Division station is now planned for 2010." This was as of 2007. Does anyone know if Clark/Division is still scheduled to be updated next year? And if it does begin next year, will it take years & years like Grand?

I believe they've used up most of the money that they were going to spend rehabbing Clark/Division on Grand instead. I think you can expect Clark/Division to retain its crypt like glory for a while longer.

VivaLFuego Jul 9, 2009 4:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4348864)
^There's catenary, track, substations, ticket machines, and signals to be maintained. The vehicles require more expensive maintenance. They deadhead more than buses.


As for energy usage, here are some numbers from the Transportation Energy Data Book, 28th Edition, U.S. Energy Dept.

BTU of Energy Used per Passenger-Mile of Travel
7605   light rail average all systems
4800 light rail serious urban systems*
4315 transit buses
3700 heavy rail
3514 autos
1853 motorcycles

*estimated from Figure 2.2 after excluding North Little Rock, Memphis, Kenosha, and Galveston tourist lines.


The transit bus numbers are for all lines and systems nationwide; Chicago's heavily used system would have lower energy use per passenger. Conversely, the heavy rail numbers will be dominated by New York and Washington; Chicago's modestly used system will have somewhat higher energy use per passenger.

While I think these numbers are important and instructive, I have an issue with measuring transit performance and efficiency with "passenger-miles" as it basically begs the land use question that impacts average trip lengths. Energy usage per trip would be a better measure, I'd argue, and well-utilized transit systems would start to look much better given that (rapid rail and bus) transit trips are shorter than auto trips on average. Cars are indeed more efficient than transit for long trips, but that misses the point of an integrated transportation and land use strategic planning policy. The assumption that a single passenger-mile by car is equivalent to single passenger-mile by transit from the perspective of the rider and society introduces substantial bias to the metric that isn't clearly identified by the inclusion of comparable per-trip metrics.

Put another, more blunt way, passenger-mile stats tend to be the default tool of choice for the various anti-transit advocates, so I think it's necessary to point out these issues whenever they're brought up. Unfortunately, funding in this country tends to be largely apportioned to agencies based on the passenger-miles they provide, rather than trips, which is one component - in addition to local politics of course - of why CTA provides 80% of Chicagoland transit trips but receives around 55% of Chicagoland transit funding, and why CTA and it's short average trip lengths (relative to lower-density 'sunbelt' cities) is under constant budgetary pressure to maintain such high fare recovery ratios in support of a large highly utilized network.

If publicly-supported mass transit exists as a supplement and charity service filling in the gaps of a fixed development pattern and auto-oriented transportation network, then passenger-miles is a fine unit for performance measurement. But if transit is ever to be viewed as an essential public utility in coordinated support of a regional economy, the US will have to move to measuring based on total trips provided.

VivaLFuego Jul 9, 2009 5:11 PM

^ re: Clark/Division, there's also ongoing talk of building a new entrance at LaSalle/Division as well, which obviously would make it a much more expensive project than otherwise. Not sure of the status. I suspect you won't hear much of anything about it until both (a) Illinois actually enacts a capital plan to match the funds from (b) the next major Federal transportation reauthorization. The vast majority of major CDOT projects are from state and federal capital money, which also explains why Chicago's roads have gotten so bad over the last 2 years as the state money disappeared around 2005 and road maintenance has consisted of pothole patching rather than reconstruction.

Dr. Taco Jul 9, 2009 5:27 PM

heh...

http://illinoispolicyinstitute.org/n...m_medium=email

k1052 Jul 9, 2009 6:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4349124)
^ re: Clark/Division, there's also ongoing talk of building a new entrance at LaSalle/Division as well, which obviously would make it a much more expensive project than otherwise. Not sure of the status. I suspect you won't hear much of anything about it until both (a) Illinois actually enacts a capital plan to match the funds from (b) the next major Federal transportation reauthorization. The vast majority of major CDOT projects are from state and federal capital money, which also explains why Chicago's roads have gotten so bad over the last 2 years as the state money disappeared around 2005 and road maintenance has consisted of pothole patching rather than reconstruction.

I don't see how they can possibly justify the sure to be massive expense for such a limited gain since the station is just one block away.

emathias Jul 9, 2009 7:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4349124)
^ re: Clark/Division, there's also ongoing talk of building a new entrance at LaSalle/Division as well, which obviously would make it a much more expensive project than otherwise. Not sure of the status. I suspect you won't hear much of anything about it until both (a) Illinois actually enacts a capital plan to match the funds from (b) the next major Federal transportation reauthorization. The vast majority of major CDOT projects are from state and federal capital money, which also explains why Chicago's roads have gotten so bad over the last 2 years as the state money disappeared around 2005 and road maintenance has consisted of pothole patching rather than reconstruction.

I'd find it much more useful if they'd plan on a stop at Goethe and Clyborn instead of just an extra exit at Lasalle. It's easily a mile between Clark/Division and North/Clyborn. If you coordinated planning for a stop there with some TOD development, it'd really help extend the Clyborn corridor south to connect Division to North.

lawfin Jul 9, 2009 8:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4349428)
I'd find it much more useful if they'd plan on a stop at Goethe and Clyborn instead of just an extra exit at Lasalle. It's easily a mile between Clark/Division and North/Clyborn. If you coordinated planning for a stop there with some TOD development, it'd really help extend the Clyborn corridor south to connect Division to North.

1.1 miles

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...27595&t=h&z=15


Does anyone know the route the L follows underneath the near north area...

I think your idea at goeth and clybourn might be a good idea....at least conceptually

VivaLFuego Jul 9, 2009 9:53 PM

Is there any decent precedent for constructing an infill subway station from scratch along a live railroad? I'm sure it's technically possible but it seems like an immense project (e.g. hundreds of millions of dollars fully burdened with design costs and such - think of the costs involved in the Roosevelt Connector project in the early 90s to build a new flying junction to create the current Red Line routing, or of course Block 37 which is just a flat junction). The 'infill' station projects in rail networks nationwide that come to mind tend to be either elevated or at grade, and in best cases exist where the original line was built to allow for it. To my knowledge the only such unused 'hook' for easy(er) expansion or construction in CTA's subway system is the flying junction under Lake and Canal.

Mr Downtown Jul 10, 2009 4:43 AM

State/Roosevelt was also a "hook" for future expansion: the original tunnel included a center tail track that descended to allow a flying junction for a future Archer subway. That was finally used in the late 80s when the HoDaR connection was built.

As for infill subway stations, there's Lake on the Red Line. :) (A little joke for us oldtimers. For four decades the State Street subway only made three stops along its continuous downtown platform, but in the late 90s CTA decided to add a fourth, closer to the State/Lake walking transfer.)

ardecila Jul 10, 2009 5:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4349746)
Is there any decent precedent for constructing an infill subway station from scratch along a live railroad? I'm sure it's technically possible but it seems like an immense project (e.g. hundreds of millions of dollars fully burdened with design costs and such - think of the costs involved in the Roosevelt Connector project in the early 90s to build a new flying junction to create the current Red Line routing, or of course Block 37 which is just a flat junction). The 'infill' station projects in rail networks nationwide that come to mind tend to be either elevated or at grade, and in best cases exist where the original line was built to allow for it. To my knowledge the only such unused 'hook' for easy(er) expansion or construction in CTA's subway system is the flying junction under Lake and Canal.

Not along a live railroad, but the two underground stations on Metrolink in St. Louis were built into a tunnel not designed for them. From the looks of it, they were a simple cut-and-cover job.

Conceptually, I can think of a few methodologies to build an infill station that wouldn't require a total shutdown of the line. You could probably get away with a total shutdown on Clybourn, fortunately, which would make matters easier.

Also... IF the Clinton Subway is ever built, plans include a station at Division/Larrabee, pretty close to Clybourn/Goethe.

schwerve Jul 10, 2009 6:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4349746)
Is there any decent precedent for constructing an infill subway station from scratch along a live railroad? I'm sure it's technically possible but it seems like an immense project (e.g. hundreds of millions of dollars fully burdened with design costs and such - think of the costs involved in the Roosevelt Connector project in the early 90s to build a new flying junction to create the current Red Line routing, or of course Block 37 which is just a flat junction). The 'infill' station projects in rail networks nationwide that come to mind tend to be either elevated or at grade, and in best cases exist where the original line was built to allow for it. To my knowledge the only such unused 'hook' for easy(er) expansion or construction in CTA's subway system is the flying junction under Lake and Canal.

there was a study completed by BART in 2003 for an underground infill station at 30th & Mission, estimated cost: 450 Million

http://www.bart.gov/about/planning/sanfrancisco.aspx

lawfin Jul 10, 2009 7:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 4350620)
there was a study completed by BART in 2003 for an underground infill station at 30th & Mission, estimated cost: 450 Million

http://www.bart.gov/about/planning/sanfrancisco.aspx

^^^^Jeezuz.....I can't believe it is that expensive for one station....wow...

WHy is it so much.....trust me I know nothing about constructing subways or their stations but wouldn't mind learning a bit; if someone is willing to point me toward some good resources

Boy....I cannot get over that cost.


How much is it to build new subway by the mile?

ardecila Jul 10, 2009 9:17 AM

^^ It's hard to give a per-mile cost because so few subways are built in the US, and because local conditions change costs dramatically. There really are no good standards of comparison from which to make accurate estimates. This is just one reason why contractors often are able to fleece government to some degree in transit projects.


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