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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

Mr Downtown Dec 9, 2013 3:19 PM

^Too much money to move too few passengers, on too few trains, too slowly and unreliably, too far from the terminal.

Amtrak doesn't have any baseline service heading out that way that it could supplement. So even if it continued every Illinois and Michigan train out to O'Hare, there still wouldn't be a train every hour. Amtrak wouldn't be able to turn the equipment for the next long-distance run as quickly, all for the sake of six passengers who would find themselves in Rosemont having to transfer to the ATS. And because the Loop-to-O'Hare segment would come at the end of all the train runs, any problems with timekeeping en route to Chicago would mean unreliable service for people anxious about catching their flights.

ardecila Dec 9, 2013 3:31 PM

Huh? Why wouldn't Amtrak just run a dedicated Union Station-O'Hare service on 20 minute headways? Or Metra could do it. I agree that there's too much freight interference to do through-running of Amtrak. I'm not sure what the travel time would be but it's gotta be faster than the Blue Line.

electricron Dec 9, 2013 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6368276)
Huh? Why wouldn't Amtrak just run a dedicated Union Station-O'Hare service on 20 minute headways? Or Metra could do it. I agree that there's too much freight interference to do through-running of Amtrak. I'm not sure what the travel time would be but it's gotta be faster than the Blue Line.

Why duplicate services already being provided by the Blue line? Most commuters given the option will choose to ride on the train with the cheaper fares.

sammyg Dec 9, 2013 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 6368396)
Why duplicate services already being provided by the Blue line? Most commuters given the option will choose to ride on the train with the cheaper fares.

It seems to work in London and Tokyo. Americans who would spend that kind of money might not be the type to consider trains or transit at all.

Mr Downtown Dec 9, 2013 7:10 PM

Amtrak or Metra can't be faster end-to-end unless the station is directly under the terminal. Even if you posit 20-minute headways, you've lost six minutes vs. Blue Line (8 minute headways) before you leave the platform. If you have to transfer to ATS to reach the terminal, you've lost another 10 minutes at O'Hare. The new train service would have to reach 90 mph through the grade crossings of Mont Clare and Elmwood Park.

So back up a minute and ask why no one offers airport bus service* from CUS to ORD if there's so much demand. Traffic congestion only makes the expressway slower than the Blue Line for an hour or so each afternoon. It works in London and Paris because it's a lot faster than the local rapid transit service, not because it's a train.

*Yes, you can ride Van Galder but they don't promote it because most runs have a layover out by the airport.

oshkeoto Dec 9, 2013 11:26 PM

^ Yeah, I have to admit I've never really understood the obsession with an O'Hare express - it seems like Chicago's version of the obsession with value-neutral or -negative streetcar projects in smaller, younger cities. A status symbol (look, we're like London or Tokyo!) rather than something that's actually practical.

Quote:

Despite the Paseo Prairie Garden, people always choose to hang out at the monument during the summer -- it's better shielded from traffic. It's worth noting that another hardscape plaza is proposed for the gravel lot at the SE corner:
Oy, really? That's so dumb. I know it's a weird plot, but there really ought to be development at that corner.

nomarandlee Dec 10, 2013 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto (Post 6368828)
^ Yeah, I have to admit I've never really understood the obsession with an O'Hare express - it seems like Chicago's version of the obsession with value-neutral or -negative streetcar projects in smaller, younger cities. A status symbol (look, we're like London or Tokyo!) rather than something that's actually practical..

I dunno. I certainly get it. I mean through much of the day it can take well up to an 45m-hour to get to O'Hare by taxi in snarled traffic. Not to mention the price. The price is right on the Blue Line but it is often cramped as hell and relatively prodding with 15 stops between and on days like this even the cars remain cold.

Not to mention O'Hare is one of the farthest airports from downtown in the US while the Kennedy is the 2nd most jammed highway in the US and its not a good combination. Also its not just the likes of London and Tokyo that are doing airport express. The likes of Brisbane and Sydney have a private company who runs such an express at a profit doing it.

.....Granted I can understand how not running service until the ATS tracks are extended because there is obviously a big missing link there. However afterwards its just hard to imagine how there wouldn't be market to charge people 10-20 for comfortable airport service from downtown to airport in say 20 minutes.

ardecila Dec 10, 2013 12:55 AM

A little tidbit from last week:

Quote:

Ashland, Division and Milwaukee to Be Designated 'Polish Triangle'
By Ted Cox on December 5, 2013 11:01am


A City Council committee formally moved to declare the intersection of Ashland, Division and Milwaukee in Wicker Park the "Polish Triangle" Thursday.

Moreno suggested the Chicago Transit Authority rename its Blue Line stop at Division the "Polish Triangle," and Suarez said those efforts were already underway.

The CTA, however, gave a lukewarm response to actually renaming the station. "CTA has discussed this issue with Ald. Ray Suarez and is happy to assist him in pursing his constituents' goal of highlighting that area's importance in American and Polish history," said CTA spokesman Stephen Mayberry. "CTA has suggested a landmark sign at Division station, prominently designating it as the station for the 'Polonia Triangle.' The landmark sign would be highly visible to our customers and would be in keeping with standard CTA signage policy for such a designation."

nomarandlee Dec 10, 2013 1:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6368584)
Amtrak or Metra can't be faster end-to-end unless the station is directly under the terminal. Even if you posit 20-minute headways, you've lost six minutes vs. Blue Line (8 minute headways) before you leave the platform.

Not really comparable. Express trains from Union would run on a schedule. Perhaps something like :00, :20,:40 ever hour. Therefor people would go and wait for 8 minutes or 19 minutes for an express train because like most scheduled service they would get there with just enough time they need to make the train.
Quote:

If you have to transfer to ATS to reach the terminal, you've lost another 10 minutes at O'Hare.
Most people fly from either T1,T3,orT5 and have to walk for 5-8 minutes to get to check in or even traverse their way to the ATS to get to other terminals anyway when they arrive by subway.

If the express trains were to be timed with waiting ATS trains then the time atmost it would take to arrive at the check-in at the terminals would be the 10-12 minutes it takes the ATS to make its complete run.
Quote:

The new train service would have to reach 90 mph through the grade crossings of Mont Clare and Elmwood Park.
Presumably still a much cheaper effort then triple tracking the Blue Line and trying to do passes however.

Quote:

So back up a minute and ask why no one offers airport bus service* from CUS to ORD if there's so much demand.
Well for one there the Metra station it would stop at now is pitiful. Number two is the ATS station that would at the very least make it necessary to pull off hasn't been extended yet.

Quote:

Traffic congestion only makes the expressway slower than the Blue Line for an hour or so each afternoon.
I'm not sure if that is supposed to a strike against the Blue Line or a mark against driving on the Kennedy. Either way I think you are somehow underplaying just what a cluster the Kennedy is for much of the day. Sure, during the mid-day (10am-2pm) and late night (11pm-6am) it isn't bad but the rest of the time you are just as likely to get caught into some seriously aggravating delays.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0...e=1_The_Circle

Quote:

It works in London and Paris because it's a lot faster than the local rapid transit service, not because it's a train.
I think its obviously a factor of things. Price. Travel times. Comfort. All of which would obviously be niche that an O'Hare express could beat either/or taxis/CTA. The areas where an Express would be trumped would only be time. That only for over half of the day though compared to taxi's (traffic on the Kennedy is highly unpredictable however so that advantage is mitigated). Price of the CTA can't be beat but the comfort and speed surely can.

Rizzo Dec 10, 2013 6:44 AM

I can't imagine with my current situation of working in the loop and living north of the river, taking a train from union station being convenient. Most people are a closer walk to the blue line and its many stations. Hauling over to union station is always a chore, though I realize folks do it every day. But it seems like a useful concept to a handful of business travelers and a completely useless concept for the majority of Chicagoans that are nowhere close to the station.

Mr Downtown Dec 10, 2013 3:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 6368968)
like most scheduled service they would get there with just enough time they need to make the train.

I think the idea was that people would be transferring from incoming Amtrak trains to an O'Hare service. Those arrive at random times.

And of course if Amtrak runs it, they'll make everyone queue up inside the station 20 minutes ahead of time for a pointless ticket and ID check, then close the gates 5 minutes before departure. :hell:

nomarandlee Dec 10, 2013 7:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 6369383)
I think the idea was that people would be transferring from incoming Amtrak trains to an O'Hare service. Those arrive at random times.:

I hardly think that the idea was to primarley service Amtrak/Metra transfers. Having the service from Union would likely just increase the potential clientele given the relatively seamless transfer for Metra/Amtrak riders to such a service.

Blue Line trains arrive at random times. Metra does not. Metra/Amtrak could readjust very slightly some of their schedules if demand warrants in order to best align with express service train runs. Still, if there are 15 or 20 minutes headways I hardly think that waiting 5-15 minutes in most cases for the next express will be something that most will feel is a prohibitive wait.
Quote:

And of course if Amtrak runs it, they'll make everyone queue up inside the station 20 minutes ahead of time for a pointless ticket and ID check, then close the gates 5 minutes before departure.
Well its would be best not to have Amtrak run it. Why it can't run more like a Metra train in that regard where you can get on 1 minute before departure I'm not sure. If they wanted to do airport check-in service or flight baggage check service at Union that would of course take longer but of course that could be optional and that will take approximately the same amount of time for the customer be done at the train station or at the airport. That will just come down to personal preference.

ardecila Dec 10, 2013 11:39 PM

Well, I question the wisdom of using Union Station to handle even more regional traffic than it does currently. It just isn't set uo for the massive commuter flows it handles, let alone Amtrak transfers. That's why the station and its immediate surroundings are so crucial to upgrade - they enable all kinds of future developments.

IDOT is blowing most of a billion dollars on the Circle Interchange while the equally bustling Union Station goes neglected by planners and politicians.

Rizzo Dec 11, 2013 5:55 AM

Union station is a portal out of town. Not a portal across town to another big portal to the world. Psychologically the blue line will always seem more convenient because the complexity of transfers steps up as you arrive to your plane.

Getting to union station is kind of a pain since it's the sw edge of the loop and remote from the majority of hotels. You still need to a hop a bus or taxi to get there. But for most Chicagoans and business travelers that opt to take the blue line, it's within convenient walking distance in the loop or a convenient transfer from the red line.

Walking thru union is hell as an out of towner, and you are always cutting across the daily commuters that have much lighter baggage. I'd just piggy-back existing L service with a vehicle-type that most of the world is familiar with coming to and from airports, and that's anything but improved Amtrak rolling stock. Plus, concentrating passengers in one location after they've left the airport seems ridiculous when theoretically they should be dispersed around downtown closer to their final destination, not add another level burden on traffic for that final mile.

Chi-Sky21 Dec 11, 2013 1:48 PM

Whatever happened to the "Epic" blue line station for express to the airport that was supposed to be built? Didn't they spend 100s of millions of dollars on it and it still isn't even open? Does anyone have pics of what they actually did or what state it is in?

Mr Downtown Dec 11, 2013 3:09 PM

^Remains unfinished. No further work scheduled at this time. Photos.

Chi-Sky21 Dec 11, 2013 3:39 PM

Thanks for the link! Interesting to see the space. Looks like they got a lot of it done. If they are spending so much on rehab of the blue line, they should just tack on a few 10s of million more and get this done! Wishful thinking.

Rizzo Dec 12, 2013 1:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 (Post 6370557)
Whatever happened to the "Epic" blue line station for express to the airport that was supposed to be built? Didn't they spend 100s of millions of dollars on it and it still isn't even open? Does anyone have pics of what they actually did or what state it is in?

And I've always been more fond of that proposal because at least travelers are more centrally positioned and have near direct access to every cta line and tons of buses, cabs and are in the heart of Chicago's hotel, shopping, and cultural attractions.

LaSalle.St.Station Dec 12, 2013 6:37 AM

Now that Metra's rail lines expansion are hitting up against the geographical funding boundaries of the RTA, I think the State should create a secondary Statewide rail taxing district to allow the existing Metra system to continue to build out operational passenger rail deeper into Illinois outside of Chicago metro.

Chi-Sky21 Dec 12, 2013 1:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station (Post 6371791)
Now that Metra's rail lines expansion are hitting up against the geographical funding boundaries of the RTA, I think the State should create a secondary Statewide rail taxing district to allow the existing Metra system to continue to build out operational passenger rail deeper into Illinois outside of Chicago metro.

....and 1 more governing board to make it all run smoothly!


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