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ardecila Jun 16, 2012 2:22 AM

Anybody go to the BRT meetings this week? I couldn't make it, but I'm interested to see what was presented.

Based on the description, it sounds like the meetings were just intended as a trial balloon to see how the community might accept various BRT features. I'm guessing an actual proposal will come in the next round of meetings in the fall.

CTA Gray Line Jun 17, 2012 1:11 AM

CTA To Hold Hearings On Red Line Shutdown Plan
 
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/...shutdown-plan/

Updated 06/13/12 – 6:18 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — CTA officials have been working hard behind the scenes to have some answers to placate South Side Red Line riders when two public hearings take place next week on the reconstruction project, and its scheduled five month shutdown.

“Folks from Altgeld Gardens could face three-hour trips to get to their jobs downtown,” said rider Michael Payne, in comments to the CTA’s board Wednesday.

He said a bus-dependent plan is fraught with problems in the event of accidents and the inevitable rush-hour traffic tie-ups.

CTA Chairman Terry Peterson said that has already been anticipated, and said Thursday that he has initiated talks at the highest level to minimize problems.

He said he has met with Acting Metra Chairman Larry Huggins and that CTA President Forrest Claypool and Metra CEO Alex Clifford also have spoken.

The focus is how Metra can adjust schedules on its Electric and Rock Island Districts to accommodate more riders.

The Electric District’s lines, in particular, were built for far more riders than it carries today. Payne suggested setting up CTA fare equipment at Electric District stations and letting riders use either fare card.

Peterson asked Payne for a detailed proposal.

The first hearing of the hearings will occur 6-8 p.m. Monday at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. CTA will host a second hearing at the same time Thursday in the gymnasium of Kennedy-King College, at 6343 S. Halsted St.

CTA will reroute Red Line trains to the Green Line, and close the south Red Line stations from Cermak/Chinatown to 95th, for complete track reconstruction and other upgrades. The $425 million project is the second round of heavy overhaul on the line since 2004, although CTA officials say this will be the most complete renovation since the line opened in 1969.

Peterson said his goal is to operate trains, without slow zones, at a minimum of 55 miles an hour. The shutdown will allow the work to be completed in five months instead of an estimated four years if limited to off-peak and weekend hours. CTA expects train schedules to be shortened by 10 minutes once the work is completed in the fall of 2013.

The CTA will also provide shuttle buses to Green Line rail stations as an alternative during the Red Line project. The closures affect nine stations, between the 95th Street terminal and the Roosevelt ‘L’ station. (See map below)

Here is the tentative re-route plan for the CTA Red line. (Credit: CTA)

CTA Gray Line Jun 17, 2012 1:36 PM

Final South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study Meeting
 
TO: Members of the South Lakefront Community
FROM: O-H Community Partners
DATE: June 12, 2012
RE: Flyer for South Lakefront Public Meeting on June 28th, 2012

Public Community Meeting for the South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study
When: Thursday, June 28, 2011 from 6pm-8pm
Where: Apostolic Church of God – Banquet Hall, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave. (at 63rd Street), Chicago, IL 60637

You are invited to the public community meeting for the South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study. This meeting will present the project evaluation results and the draft recommendations of the South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study. The study has focused on improving public transportation and enhancing Transit-Oriented Development in order to enhance mobility for residents and increase access to jobs within the South Lakefront Corridor. It is the third in a series of meetings.

We want to hear from you. Please join us for this important public meeting and feel free to invite others. A copy of the flyer is attached.

For more information please visit our website http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en...nsitstudy.html and follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-...99444600080441


RSVP: lisa.green@o-hcommunitypartners.com
*If you require ADA assistance please let us know.


Lisa Green
Senior Associate
O-H Community Partners, Ltd.
372 West Ontario Street, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60654

Direct: 312.705.6860
Main: 312.850.0600
Fax: 312.850.0601
lisa.green@o-hcommunitypartners.com
www.ohcommunitypartners.com
www.thefundwell.com

http://www.cityofchicago.org/dam/cit...cMtgSept12.pdf

Mister Uptempo Jun 19, 2012 10:57 PM

CHGO TRIB - CTA gets $20 million grant to expand 95th Street terminal
 
From the Chicago Tribune website...


By Jon Hilkevitch Tribune reporter

4:43 p.m. CDT, June 19, 2012

The CTA plans to begin upgrading and expanding the Red Line’s 95th Street terminal, which is the sixth-busiest station on the rail system, by 2014, although all the funding needed for the $140 million project has not yet been secured, officials said Tuesday.

Officials announced a $20 million federal grant to help overhaul the rail and bus terminal, which is a transit gateway for about 20,000 commuters on the South Side and south suburbs.

The improvements are designed to reduce bus and pedestrian congestion while enhancing safety, help speed up arrivals and departures at the busy station and create jobs, officials said. The CTA is in the early stages of planning and design, they added.

Construction details aren’t set yet, but the agency will keep the station open during the project, said CTA spokeswoman Molly Sullivan.

The station project will follow a $425 million track-replacement project on the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line that will require the shutdown for five months starting next May of the branch between 95th Street and the Cermak-Chinatown stop.

The 95th Street station, in addition to being the southern terminus of the Red Line, has the most bus routes of any CTA rail station. The buses include CTA, Pace, Greyhound and paratransit services. More than 1,000 CTA and Pace bus trips are made to and from the terminal daily, officials said.

The 43-year-old station has “reached capacity and current conditions do not allow for optimal bus operations and pedestrian movements,’’ Sullivan said.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

ardecila Jun 19, 2012 11:44 PM

So... After a five-month closure that forces thousands of riders to make sacrifices, CTA will begin a huge construction project at 95th?

I wonder what they're gonna do? Wider platforms for each bus route would be nice, and additional stairs/escalators from platform level.

emathias Jun 20, 2012 4:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Uptempo (Post 5739910)
...
The 43-year-old station has “reached capacity and current conditions do not allow for optimal bus operations and pedestrian movements,’’ Sullivan said.
...

This sounds like BS, since daily ridership at 95th has dropped by nearly 60% since 1980.

ardecila Jun 20, 2012 5:13 AM

Something's fishy here. It seems odd that we haven't heard a whisper about the Red Line extension in a year and yet Rahm's CDOT has been loudly trumpeting the station rehabs and infill stations to anyone who'll listen.

Makes me wonder if the Red Line extension is being sidetracked so that Chicago can use its New Starts dollars for the North Main project.

Beta_Magellan Jun 20, 2012 3:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5740194)
This sounds like BS, since daily ridership at 95th has dropped by nearly 60% since 1980.

The main issues are with bus circulation, and ridership doesn’t necessarily correspond with the number of buses using the facility. From what I understand, the 95th Street terminal’s been technically over-capacity for its entire lifetime. From the Red Line EIS:

Quote:

Current operations within the bus terminal are not ideal or desirable, but are required due to the number of bus routes that must access the terminal. Nineteen CTA and Pace bus routes utilize the 95th Street terminal. Of these, two CTA routes (N5 and N9) and two Pace routes (395 and 1012) operate infrequently or during overnight hours and do not require a bus bay in peak periods. In addition to CTA and Pace, Greyhound Bus Lines occupy a bus bay in the terminal. Thus, a total of 16 bus routes require at least one bus bay during the morning peak. Eleven of the 16 bus routes require two bus bays because two buses are scheduled in the terminal at the same time. A minimum of 27 bus bays are required to accommodate current schedules. Since the 95th Street terminal contains only 20 bus bays, the terminal is operating over capacity.

In addition to the twenty-seven bays needed to accommodate current schedules, an additional five bays would be required for a drop off area at the terminal consistent with CTA standard operation elsewhere. The lack of a drop off area slows passenger boarding and alighting, creates congestion at the bus bays, and causes buses to back up onto 95th Street. Implementing a drop off area in the terminal increases the number of additional bays required to 12 (32 total bus bays).
There might be some over-design there, but everything I’ve heard anecdotally about the 95th Street terminal (I’ve never used it myself) makes it sound pretty cramped.

I’m agnostic about the extension being sidetracked—on the one hand, it’s a long-delayed project that will benefit an area that has the ridership potential to support a short extension. On the other, it’s also an area with decreasing population and running eight-car trains to 130th will only increase the CTA’s operating costs, whereas the Red-Purple project doesn’t increase operating costs and serves denser areas with stronger growth potential—plus, maintenance should always take precedence over expansion.

Also, I think it’s likely Rahm’s trumpeting all these rehabs because he has the money in hand and wants to get things done, which is a smart move because it gives him something concrete to point at if he ends up having a tough election cycle (which I could see happening if murders get out of hand or a scandal breaks) and serves as a nice way of distinguishing his administration from the endless fantasy-mapping-amid-deferred-maintenance that occurred under Daley (a caricature, of course—look at Brown and Douglas—but it often felt that way). Plus, we frankly don’t know how much longer New Starts will be around, so we might have to be satisfied with small stuff for a long time.

ardecila Jun 21, 2012 2:20 AM

Well, for a $140 million cost, they ought to be doing something big. That seems about right for adding another 12 bus bays.

I wonder how they'll do it? They could push State and Lafayette outward, suspend the bays over the Ryan's traffic lanes, or shift the offramps northward and extend the bays in that direction.

Regardless of how they do it, I hope the new area includes wider bus platforms. The current ones are unpleasant and shamefully narrow; in winter I've gotten splashed by buses several times.

Beta_Magellan Jun 21, 2012 7:51 PM

Ina Q&A with Grid Chicago Forrest Claypool commented on the status of the Red Line extension:

Quote:

That’s still in the normal plodding federal processes, you know, alternatives analysis, environmental analysis, all those things are still ongoing. We have the funding for them. Senator Durbin has been very helpful in that regard. It’s just one step at a time.

That project as much as anything is dependent obviously on a robust new federal transportation bill, so it’s something that we’ll be really pursuing. I’ll be shocked if there’s going to be any action on that before the [presidential] election but I think after the election we’re going to have a lot of work to do.

OhioGuy Jun 22, 2012 3:16 AM

Well I had an interesting experience today. I was on the brown line heading to Lincoln Square. When we stopped at Southport, I stepped out of the train so that people could exit. Just as I was stepping back into the train, the woman standing next to me moved to the space where I'd been standing, causing me to momentarily lose track of my feet placement. I ended up stepping down right on the rather large gap between the platform & train and down I went. My *entire* left leg fell completely down between the train & platform. I heard a few gasps from people on the platform who had just exited the train and they helped pull me up and I immediately got inside the train, the doors closed, and we were off. I doubt the conductor even saw what happened. I'm relatively thin, but I'm still surprised my entire leg coud fit between the gap, particularly at a newly rebuilt station where I would have thought more attention would be placed on eliminating large gaps between the train & platform.

Btw, the brown line runs wonderfully between the north main line & Western. No slow zones. Such a change from my days living in Lincoln Square! I also checked out the new Morgan station on the green/pink lines and it looks good! I wonder if they'll stick with a similar modern design for the Cermak infill station in the south loop?

denizen467 Jun 22, 2012 12:03 PM

^ Glad you were ok.

----------------------------

Well several weeks ago I should have known better than to put "very very soon" and a reference to a CTA construction project in the same sentence. However, the Purple Line viaduct swap-ins presumably will happen this weekend, as there are el closures over the weekend there. The new steel viaducts for Greenleaf, Dempster, and Grove were pre-constructed and these giant structures were left waiting in the middle of streets or parking lots, waiting to be shifted into place upon the demolition of the crumbling existing ones. (Today, the CTA website refers only to Dempster and Grove, so not sure of the date for Greenleaf.)

Anyway, exciting picture-taking apparently awaits this weekend for people interested.

emathias Jun 22, 2012 2:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5740493)
The main issues are with bus circulation, and ridership doesn’t necessarily correspond with the number of buses using the facility. From what I understand, the 95th Street terminal’s been technically over-capacity for its entire lifetime. From the Red Line EIS:



There might be some over-design there, but everything I’ve heard anecdotally about the 95th Street terminal (I’ve never used it myself) makes it sound pretty cramped.

I’m agnostic about the extension being sidetracked—on the one hand, it’s a long-delayed project that will benefit an area that has the ridership potential to support a short extension. On the other, it’s also an area with decreasing population and running eight-car trains to 130th will only increase the CTA’s operating costs, whereas the Red-Purple project doesn’t increase operating costs and serves denser areas with stronger growth potential—plus, maintenance should always take precedence over expansion.

Also, I think it’s likely Rahm’s trumpeting all these rehabs because he has the money in hand and wants to get things done, which is a smart move because it gives him something concrete to point at if he ends up having a tough election cycle (which I could see happening if murders get out of hand or a scandal breaks) and serves as a nice way of distinguishing his administration from the endless fantasy-mapping-amid-deferred-maintenance that occurred under Daley (a caricature, of course—look at Brown and Douglas—but it often felt that way). Plus, we frankly don’t know how much longer New Starts will be around, so we might have to be satisfied with small stuff for a long time.

So, wait, according to that interview you linked to in Grid, the extension is still plodding along pending funding. Part of the reason 95th is so crowded with buses is that so many buses south of there terminate there. Presumably if the line is extended, at least some of them could be transitioned to new stations - for example the 103 and 106 probably won't need to go to 95th anymore, and it seems likely 95th could be changed from a terminus for some of the other bus routes to simply another stop on a redesigned route like most other mid-line stations.

So when the Red Line is extended, 95th will be much less important. $140 million is a chunk of change. I don't see why they'd dedicate that much to a station that they're also working to reduce the importance of. It just seems like an enormous waste of money.

VivaLFuego Jun 22, 2012 2:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5742811)
The new steel viaducts for Greenleaf, Dempster, and Grove were pre-constructed and these giant structures were left waiting in the middle of streets or parking lots, waiting to be shifted into place upon the demolition of the crumbling existing ones. (Today, the CTA website refers only to Dempster and Grove, so not sure of the date for Greenleaf.)

Anyway, exciting picture-taking apparently awaits this weekend for people interested.

Greenleaf was done a couple weekends ago.

untitledreality Jun 22, 2012 7:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5742883)
I don't see why they'd dedicate that much to a station that they're also working to reduce the importance of. It just seems like an enormous waste of money.

If the extension ever comes to fruition how many years away are we looking at for completion? 8 years? 10 years? More?

A decade of intensive use as the Red Terminus alone justifies the investment... additionally, if the extension is completely, what kind of passenger traffic would the Dan Ryan be experiencing?

emathias Jun 22, 2012 7:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 5743277)
If the extension ever comes to fruition how many years away are we looking at for completion? 8 years? 10 years? More?

A decade of intensive use as the Red Terminus alone justifies the investment... additionally, if the extension is completely, what kind of passenger traffic would the Dan Ryan be experiencing?

Say it takes 10 years until the extension is complete. Say it takes 3 years before funds are finished being sourced and the 95th station is complete. That would mean that $140 million gets 7 years of extra use. $20 million per year. 4 million riders a year. So you're spending $5 per rider for a short-term benefit.

Brown Line stations cost, what $540 million for 17 stations that have at least a 20-year life and served about 37 million riders last year. That's 73 cents per rider (for 20 years of riders at present ridership). THAT's a good deal. $5 per rider - not so much.

Take $20 million, give 95th a good make-over, and put the other $120 million into the extension. That's nearly 10% of the projected cost of the extension right there.

schwerve Jun 22, 2012 7:25 PM

Seems to me the CTA needs to time all of these projects a little better. If they push off the Red Line Track Reconstruction to summer 2014 they can potentially have the Cermack Green Line station in place (would need a slightly accelerated timetable) and can rebuild the 95th Street Station in conjunction with its closure.

Standpoor Jun 22, 2012 8:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 5742584)
Btw, the brown line runs wonderfully between the north main line & Western. No slow zones. Such a change from my days living in Lincoln Square! I also checked out the new Morgan station on the green/pink lines and it looks good! I wonder if they'll stick with a similar modern design for the Cermak infill station in the south loop?

That seems like it is a bigger than normal gap but the gaps are pretty big and they are exacerbated by the height difference between the car floor and the platform. Watching strollers get stuck in them day in and day out is rather annoying. I was also surprised when all the construction was completed that such large gaps were left. Maybe one day the entire system will have self leveling cars and we won't have to worry as much. Glad you were not hurt and the operator should have been watching or at least check that nothing is stuck before closing the doors and pulling away. Or am I giving too much credit to the train operators.

There is one slow zone southbound between Irving Park and Addison that drives me crazy solely because it is so soon after I get on the train. Other than that, most slow zones are below Diversey. The total slow zones on the Brown line are the third worst at 21 percent, behind the Dan Ryan leg and Purple Express, so that tells you how slow the trip is below Diversey.

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 5743304)
Seems to me the CTA needs to time all of these projects a little better. If they push off the Red Line Track Reconstruction to summer 2014 they can potentially have the Cermack Green Line station in place (would need a slightly accelerated timetable) and can rebuild the 95th Street Station in conjunction with its closure.

It seems to me that this is not how Rahm works. Let us do something and do something now seems to be his moto. Bike lanes, Dan Ryan reconstruction, etc., he seems to be in a hurry. Whether that is because he is running for something else soon or wants a lot of accomplishments before 2015, I do not know, but he does not put off projects solely because they might be easier later. Full funding for 95th has not been found, so he wouldn't wait on that.

the urban politician Jun 22, 2012 10:31 PM

Wow, OhioGuy, that was a scary experience for you!

Glad you're still with us...

nomarandlee Jun 23, 2012 12:40 AM

Just out of sheer curiously I am interested in the cost differentials of replacement and upkeep regarding subways lines versus exposed grade/elevated lines have to deal with weathering. Any of our transit experts here know of a good site that parses out the differences?


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