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Vlajos May 16, 2014 1:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 6580205)
New Metra station approved at plan commission 05/15/14

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a4...D720/ry%3D480/

When do they start work on this? I think this will really help that pocket of the city.

emathias May 16, 2014 1:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UPChicago (Post 6580234)
YES! A Green Line extension would be 1000% a better option!

I wasn't advocating a Green Line extension, although I wouldn't be opposed to re-extending the east branch to Jackson Park with maybe a dogleg up into Hyde Park along Lake Park to either 55th or 51st (that said, I still think the Gray Line is a better solution for that part of Hyde Park). And I'll point out that under Daley the First, there was talk of extending the west branch to Midway - it would be relatively (relatively) easy to extend it as an alley 'L' to Hoyne and then up to join the Orange Line just east of the Western/Orange station. Both 59th and Garfield (55th) have possibilities within a few blocks for good TOD, and a Garfield station would give reasonable access to the park in Gage Park.

Doing both of those would allow for Hyde Park to Midway Line, although that really seems like there wouldn't be ridership for it, but it would open up access to jobs in Hyde Park from the areas west, and access to jobs near Midway to those in Hyde Park and along the route. If the Orange Line were then also extended to Ford City as was originally intended, you'd have the opportunity to create significant TOD there. The advantage to that plan is that, unlike a Red Line extension, Ford City would have the potential to be a jobs center, which would allow more efficient use of the trains in both directions for both the Orange Line and a Ford City-Hyde Park line, meaning that people could choose to live along those two routes and have access to three jobs centers (Hyde Park, Ford City and the Loop) with less than a 30 minute train ride.

That, to me, sounds like a lot more bang for the buck than simply extending the Red Line into a residential area without the open land available to construct significant employment (or residential) capacity.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 6580294)
...
Who's forcing the CTA to increase their operating budget? The extension is kind of their plans and idea.

Was it theirs? Or was it a political idea that they made "kind of work"? And if it was their idea, I'd have questions about their planning competency.

k1052 May 16, 2014 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 6580466)
Was it theirs? Or was it a political idea that they made "kind of work"? And if it was their idea, I'd have questions about their planning competency.

I think it probably made sense 10 or 15 years ago when it was first discussed. Larger economic and social forces have depopulated the area it was meant to serve in the intervening years however. Based on the numbers it is no longer a viable project nor a wise investment for the city. A lot of political promises were made however so implementing high quality BRT would seem like reasonable compromise.

BVictor1 May 16, 2014 3:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlajos (Post 6580464)
When do they start work on this? I think this will really help that pocket of the city.

I'm not sure.

LaSalle.St.Station May 17, 2014 1:00 AM

Redline south extension

This is an Impractical endeavor based on present and future population trends, however it does expand the rapid transit footprint physically to a long standing transit void in the city.

I would build the initial line out with only a new terminus station designed more for park and ride and bus terminus passengers in order to cut the cost and avoid diverting to much transit capital away from denser portions of the system.

Then in time as new development and population growth are fostered near the line, the cta can build new stations to accommodate the ridership.

Mr Downtown May 17, 2014 5:59 PM

I learned this morning that Central BRT is only now in final design, will go to bid in June. So there probably won't be time to do anything more than utility relocation this year.

oshkeoto May 18, 2014 12:28 AM

^ Oy, that's terrible. I hope they can speed it up. Will the final design be released to the public in June?

wierdaaron May 18, 2014 12:56 AM

Who's designing the stations?

The whole idea of the stations is that you pay to get into them rather than onto the bus, right? These CAF competition winners don't seem to have taken that into account. They just look like futuristic bus stands. http://www.architecture.org/nextstopcompetition

Mr Downtown May 18, 2014 2:11 AM

I was surprised to hear that prepayment is not yet decided on for certain. There are financial implications, it was noted. I presume that means the cost of vending machines at each stop.

oshkeoto May 18, 2014 7:25 AM

It seems extremely shortsighted not to do prepayment. Both the actual service, in the sense of time saved, and the experience of BRT, in the sense of making it feel like something apart from, superior to, regular buses, really *heavily* depend on prepayment. If they're going to advertise BRT as a train without a track, then it needs to be a train without a track.

the urban politician May 18, 2014 1:53 PM

^. Yep. I think the city's BRT program seems pretty shitty so far.

Everything about it is half assed. Save us taxpayers the money and just run more frequent buses if you can't afford to do it right. Sheesh...

ardecila May 18, 2014 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6582424)
Who's designing the stations?

The whole idea of the stations is that you pay to get into them rather than onto the bus, right? These CAF competition winners don't seem to have taken that into account. They just look like futuristic bus stands. http://www.architecture.org/nextstopcompetition

That's not true at all. The winner was a bronze canopy with a glass curtain around the outside. The glass curtain would allow CTA to maintain fare control.

CTA agreed to work off of that design (which really surprised me, honestly) but deleted most of the glass curtain and just kept a portion as a windbreak.

Theoretically this design could have fare machines (shown in rendering) or even turnstiles added at the ramp. Note that the presence of fare machines alone doesn't mean prepayment. Now that most riders use Ventra, loading money onto your card is not the same as tapping in to validate a fare. I'd prefer some validation posts like they have in LA, so that riders don't need to waste time tapping their Ventra cards after boarding.

http://bomaelevatorspeech.files.word...w-platform.jpg
src

wierdaaron May 18, 2014 6:19 PM

I don't see how you could add turnstiles and controlled access areas to that design. The boarding area would have to be completely separated from the sidewalk/street so the drivers can know that anybody on the platform has been through a payment flow. Unless they want to use the honor system, that is.

I know there's other benefits to BRT besides the faster boarding via prepayment, but it seems like an important one. Imagine if paying to get on a train worked the same as getting on a bus. Without controlled access prepayment it seems like you'd just have a regular bus system with fewer stops.

I wonder how they'll keep people from using the bus lanes on the central line for dropoffs/standing like they do on Maddison/Washington currently. They have dedicated bus lanes in the loop but the buses are always having to pull out around standing vehicles.

k1052 May 18, 2014 7:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6582826)
I wonder how they'll keep people from using the bus lanes on the central line for dropoffs/standing like they do on Maddison/Washington currently. They have dedicated bus lanes in the loop but the buses are always having to pull out around standing vehicles.

Cameras on the busses probably plus lots of signs. Commercial vehicles and taxi/livery will figure it out pretty quick. Get caught and a big fat ticket from the city gets mailed to you.

k1052 May 18, 2014 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6582732)
I'd prefer some validation posts like they have in LA, so that riders don't need to waste time tapping their Ventra cards after boarding.

What I wouldn't give to see tap in tap out implemented in Chicago.

Mr Downtown May 18, 2014 8:09 PM

^Because?

ardecila May 19, 2014 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wierdaaron (Post 6582826)
Unless they want to use the honor system, that is.

Yep, that's pretty much how it works in LA. At least at the surface light rail stations. IIRC the underground (heavy rail) stations had turnstiles.

Honor system might not be the way to go everywhere in Chicago, but the target demographic of Central Loop BRT (downtown commuters from Metra stops) is probably fairly prosperous, so any fare evasion would be done out of people being cheap and not people being too poor. That means with some level of enforcement you could severely discourage fare evasion.

The whole point of BRT is to get people onto the bus quickly... it really impedes the speed of the transit if everyone has to tap their Ventra cards on the way in. Admittedly, Ventra itself has sped up the farebox process considerably.

schwerve May 19, 2014 2:14 AM

These stations will be used for ~6 different bus lines, some pseudo-BRT, some not.

Mr Downtown May 19, 2014 3:43 AM

Portland's experiment with self-service fare collection on buses in the 1990s didn't go well. I seriously doubt that anyplace in North America will try again soon. And LA has gone back and retrofitted its subway stations with turnstiles after trying self-service collection on the Red Line for two decades.

ardecila May 19, 2014 5:15 AM

^^ How else would you do fare pre-payment, then?

It seems like it is cost-prohibitive for CTA to build fully enclosed shelters with platform doors, so I don't see how you can possibly do fare pre-payment and rear-door boarding (and the speed increase they allow) without some kind of honor system.

You would need some form of inspection to act as a deterrent for fare evasion, but ultimately I think the speed/efficiency increases of pre-payment and rear boarding are worth the increased fare evasion. A better bus should attract more riders and hopefully increase revenue at any rate.


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