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Mr Downtown Jun 11, 2012 4:18 PM

Multiple doors can be specified on any bus. I don't think MAN can meet Buy America regulations these days.

Busy Bee Jun 11, 2012 5:59 PM

Probably A question I could find out if I searched, but does every public transit agency have to meet Buy America regs? What about AC Transit out in Oakland that has a fleet of Van Hool's? Where those assembled in the US?

Do private coach operators have to meet any of those regs? Even Greyhound has Van Hool's now, and there are a few Setra's on the road out there...

emathias Jun 11, 2012 6:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5730263)
Probably A question I could find out if I searched, but does every public transit agency have to meet Buy America regs? What about AC Transit out in Oakland that has a fleet of Van Hool's? Where those assembled in the US?

Do private coach operators have to meet any of those regs? Even Greyhound has Van Hool's now, and there are a few Setra's on the road out there...

While there may also be local regulations in some areas, I think it mainly applies to purchases made with Federal funding.

Standpoor Jun 11, 2012 6:41 PM

Yes, it is a federal regulation. If you take federal money then you have to comply. It is also my understanding that AC Transit has used the State to, some say shadily, go around Buy America regulations by using federal money for operations and local money for purchases. Therefore no federal money went to "purchase" the Van Hool buses even though without federal money AC Transit would not be able to afford those purchases. Also, if I remember correctly, AC Transit no longer puts an emphasis on their partnership with Van Hool and buys American manufactured buses now.

VivaLFuego Jun 11, 2012 7:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5730151)
Multiple doors can be specified on any bus.

Indeed, it's an eternal question when buying artics. There are pros and cons of each. It's a no-brainer on "BRT" style routes with prepaid boarding, or on systems that can operate on a near-honor basis and have unmonitored electronic fare collection in the rear. If all fare collection is to occur at the front, multiple rear doors can become an operational hassle.

Quote:

I don't think MAN can meet Buy America regulations these days.
They simply don't sell to the North American market... not meeting Buy America is perhaps both a cause and symptom of that, but ultimately you would simply pay a fortune to get one over here even if purchasing with a non-federal funding source, and there is effectively no parts/maintenance support distribution network.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 5730263)
Probably A question I could find out if I searched, but does every public transit agency have to meet Buy America regs?

Depends on the funding source of the purchase --- if any federal funds are involved then Buy America is required unless a waiver is approved --- but generally when vehicles are bought with all local money (as New York MTA generally does), part of the deal in assembling that all-local funding source is that the vehicles are assembled locally, too, as they are in New York. Such a requirement also violates federal procurement regs, which disallow any state-by-state contracting preferences if federal money is involved.

Houston tried buying non-Buy America compliant light rail cars from CAF using local funds, to run on its federally-funded new light rail lines, and incurred pretty serious FTA sanctions with some very expensive resulting litigation.

Mr Downtown Jun 11, 2012 9:07 PM

I think back in the 80s MAN had a final assembly plant in North Carolina, which allowed them to meet the regs and sell to CTA and Seattle Metro.

Busy Bee Jun 11, 2012 11:35 PM

^And WMATA.

CTA Gray Line Jun 12, 2012 12:34 AM

CTA Promises More Alternate Trains, Shuttles For South Siders During Red Line Rebuild
 
http://chicagoist.com/2012/06/11/cta...ate_trains.php


The Chicago Transit Authority is going to great lengths to assure south side residents reliant on the Red Line that their commutes will be minimally affected by the five months the south branch of the line will be shut down for a complete rebuild next year.
When CTA made the announcement last week they said the 40-year-old branch was in such a state of disrepair that a complete shutdown was required, instead of working on the repairs on nights and weekends. The overhaul is expected to save the transit agency $75 million.


That's all well and good, but it's the alternate transportation plan—the train routes and shuttle services intended to get South siders who regularly use the Red Line to get to their destinations‐that left many scratching their heads. Here are the travel alternatives CTA has announced so far:

Free shuttle buses with 24-hour service from 69th, 79th, 87th and 95th/Dan Ryan stations to the Garfield station on the Green Line (including express service from stations with free entry at Garfield for shuttle bus riders and a local, station-to-station shuttle from 63rd to 95th/Dan Ryan)

Free rail entry for shuttle bus riders at Garfield on the Green Line
50 cent discounted bus rides on many South Side routes

24-hour Red Line service on Green Line tracks between Roosevelt and Ashland/63rd

Expanded bus service on existing routes


Sorry, but this isn't much. Tribune transportation reporter John Hilkevitch said as much and asked CTA, Metra and the Regional Transportation Authority what else was being considered, noting the plan was "hastily drawn" and relied too much on shuttle buses to move an average of 250,000 passengers a day from closed Red Line stations to Green Line stations.

Hilkevitch posited this would be an ideal time to put in place an integrated fare policy to allow affected Red Line commuters to board Metra's Rock Island Line, for example, easier.
The response Hilkevitch received from Metra spokesman Michael Gillis may as well have been a no comment.

"We have plenty of time to work on this before next May."

No, you don't.

It will be important to allow riders to transfer seamlessly between the CTA and Metra without being hassled about the different fares — a solution that has eluded (or been avoided by) the Chicago area's mass transit network for decades.

The RTA faces a Jan. 1 deadline to submit a fare-integration plan to the transit agencies for input, approval and implementation. The Illinois Legislature has set a 2015 deadline for the RTA system to implement common fare media, also known as a universal fare card, to be accepted by all three transit agencies.

To their credit last week, CTA officials quickly realized it will take time to get it all right, which is why they pushed for an initial meeting with Metra operations officials for this week, said CTA spokeswoman Molly Sullivan.

If Metra isn't being proactive about this—par for the course for them—CTA recognnizes the bad PR generated from this and is actively working on alternatives besides integrated fares. They're promising to boost train capacity and to run Red Line trains a little bit past Roosevelt so that some South side riders can still ride from, say, Bronzeville to points north without catching a shuttle. CTA also told Hilkevitch that what they've announced so far is a first draft and that, once the shuttle services begin next May, they'll be monitoring the progress and tweaking what isn't working to improve travel times.

For those of you wondering if this isn't going to happen on the North side, CTA president Forrest Claypool threw a gold glass of reality on that.

"I got news for people," Claypool said Tuesday on WBEZ's Afternoon Shift. "The north Red Line has to be rebuilt as well. And we're not that many years away from that happening."

Claypool said he would not want to completely shut down the North Side Red Line.

He said the Red Line is longer on the North Side than on the South Side and construction would likely be staggered, rather than have the entire stretch closed at one time.

"There clearly will be disruptions at that time, but at the end of the day years from now, assuming we get the proper federal support for that project, you will have literally a brand new railroad from the far northern suburbs to the very southern portions of the City of Chicago," he said.

ardecila Jun 12, 2012 3:04 AM

Good to see CTA is engaging Metra early. With the greenish Red Line covering areas north of 63rd and the Rock Island/ME covering points south, there will be substitute rail transit along the whole length of the Dan Ryan.

The Metra stations south of 63rd are mostly Zone C, which is a $3.50 fare. It would be great if Metra discounted these tickets to the $2.25 CTA rate and provided regular service to the Metra Electric stations instead of the stupid flag stop shenanigans.

CTA Gray Line Jun 12, 2012 7:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5730864)
Good to see CTA is engaging Metra early. With the greenish Red Line covering areas north of 63rd and the Rock Island/ME covering points south, there will be substitute rail transit along the whole length of the Dan Ryan.

The Metra stations south of 63rd are mostly Zone C, which is a $3.50 fare. It would be great if Metra discounted these tickets to the $2.25 CTA rate and provided regular service to the Metra Electric stations instead of the stupid flag stop shenanigans.


Better, get Metra to accept CTA Fare Instruments for payment (temporary pre-paid boarding - no on-board collection) on the Electric.

Nexis4Jersey Jun 12, 2012 10:45 PM

So Commuter rail will service De Kalb and La Salle one day?

http://www.midwesthsr.org/sites/defa...linois_670.gif

ardecila Jun 12, 2012 11:34 PM

There are vague plans for this, yeah. UP-West extension and Illinois Valley Commuter Rail.

Of course, this plan isn't set in stone. Those commuter extensions are very low priority. Right now, the biggest priority for the state is upgrading the St. Louis line, and then the regional lines to Dubuque and the Quad Cities. After that is a ton of work in and around Chicago, then the spur to Peoria. After that, maybe we'll see some momentum on the outer commuter-rail projects.

Mr Downtown Jun 13, 2012 12:28 AM

Those counties aren't part of RTA, so lots of magic would need to occur.

Nexis4Jersey Jun 13, 2012 4:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5732039)
Those counties aren't part of RTA, so lots of magic would need to occur.

Regional Rail means its not Commuter Rail , so it wouldn't fall under the RTA , probably the DOT like some instate Amtrak routes...it would just have more service than Amtrak. Like 6-12 roundtrips a day...

ardecila Jun 13, 2012 8:21 AM

That's far too much service. Six trains a day is good for DeKalb, but the Illinois Valley project... maybe three or four trains per day?

A 2003 study put the cost of the Illinois Valley project (to Peru) at $150M... maybe that's up to $200M today, plus an additional $50M for upgrades at Joliet.

Mr Downtown Jun 13, 2012 5:17 PM

Nexis, I hope you haven't misunderstood the dynamics here. Midwest High Speed Rail Association is just some fanboys who drew a map. There are no initiatives under way for those extensions.

Busy Bee Jun 13, 2012 6:21 PM

^Condescending?

I don't see any other group dedicating there lives and money to advancing the concept of true high speed rail in the midwest.

CTA Gray Line Jun 13, 2012 6:47 PM

CTA June 13 Board Meeting
 
At the CTA Board Meeting today Terry Peterson said that CTA had approached Metra, and they will find a way to work together during the Red Line shutdown.

Unexpected.


Mike Payne

ardecila Jun 14, 2012 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5732869)
Nexis, I hope you haven't misunderstood the dynamics here. Midwest High Speed Rail Association is just some fanboys who drew a map. There are no initiatives under way for those extensions.

MHSRA provides a conceptual framework for individual Illinois cities to push for expanded rail service, while incorporating existing plans. Ottawa is/was pushing heavily for the Illinois Valley project, while Peoria is pushing for a rail shuttle with a timed transfer at Amtrak.

MHSRA also first proposed the bullet train alignment through Champaign and Springfield, and Quinn subsequently found funding for a serious study of the alignment to be done by IDOT and UIUC.

Essentially, MHSRA is the go-between that builds the private-sector support for IDOT's rail plans, while also getting businessmen and politicians acquainted with the high quality of Asian and European rail systems. The fairly broad consensus around rail in Illinois is largely because of Rick Harnish's tireless efforts. They do not serve in any official planning capacity, but they are intimately connected with the people who do the official planning, and with the politicians who control what gets planned and funded.

emathias Jun 15, 2012 5:32 PM

Anyone know why the city is grinding of the bike lane on Wells in River North?

FOUND IT: Wells "re-striping"


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