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LA21st Nov 6, 2006 2:26 AM

Agreed. We should be building/adding more stations, not getting rid of them. We are talking the East Loop, which is becoming a real neighborhood and a tourist hot spot. Why take away any transit at all? Stupid move.

LA21st Nov 6, 2006 2:29 AM

On the other hand, I dont remember seeing this new Washington Street station in our construction spreadsheet. So maybe this thing is 3-4 years away, at least.

I have seen Dearbon/Jack
Lake/Clark
Grand/Chicago
12th Street Metra

No Washington Street yet.

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 3:19 AM

^Wash/Wabash is still in the design phase so its not happening anytime too soon (I'd guess ~5 years out). With any luck perhaps some of the details of the stationhouses at Randolph and Madison can be preserved and transferred over.

La21, with your CDOT hookups maybe you could shed light on why CDOT likes transit stations to empty into buildings rather than to street level?

^Left of center,
Most transit station projects in the central area (renovating the subway and L stops) are planned and paid for by the city, not the CTA, so it doesn't really affect their budget for track maintenance, etc.

LA21st Nov 6, 2006 4:19 AM

I will. I know the CDOT Transit group well, they are on my floor, good group of people.

Keep your eye on the new Grand/State station. From what I hear, this will be a pretty big project. I cant wait until that damn 12th Street metra station is gone. Hideous.

If you guys didnt know, my company is working on a study for the Carroll Right of Way right now for CDOT. We will see how it goes.

left of center Nov 6, 2006 7:58 AM

^ awesome! keep us up to date on anything you hear!

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
I will. I know the CDOT Transit group well, they are on my floor, good group of people.

Keep your eye on the new Grand/State station. From what I hear, this will be a pretty big project. I cant wait until that damn 12th Street metra station is gone. Hideous.

If you guys didnt know, my company is working on a study for the Carroll Right of Way right now for CDOT. We will see how it goes.

Cool. I know the Grand/State construction contract is out to bid right now, I'd be curious to see the drawings. It was bid out about a year ago then they went back to the drawing board. My -hope- is that they are designing in some sort of future integration to the eventual Carroll Ave. transitway

jpIllInoIs Nov 6, 2006 5:56 PM

I would like to see a new Central Station built over the IC tracks at Roosevelt Rd. A grand structure with an office tower and street level entrance and public spaces. It would provide a point of entry for the Museum Campus and the South Loop. It would provide a pedestrian connection between the Museums and Michigan Ave and be the first structure to span the RR tracks in that area. I will be taking proposals. :tup:

Steely Dan Nov 6, 2006 6:43 PM

from today's tribune:



RTA to make case for added funding
Transit officials are launching a campaign to show they have a long-term vision that justifies spending billions on projects

Published November 6, 2006

After Tuesday's election, the Regional Transportation Authority will advance its own campaign to secure increased mass-transit funding and a multiyear state capital-improvement program.

Gearing up for the push, the RTA has spent about $1.3 million since February on more than a dozen strategic planning, communications and public relations consulting firms, according to agency records.

The goal is to demonstrate to the public and state officials that the Chicago area's three transit agencies are serious about replacing hackneyed ideas about serving commuters--with a vision for the future that it is worth making billions of dollars in new investments.

"The challenge is enormous to build a political consensus for a tax or fee increase that generates several billion dollars in new revenue in the face of overt hostility from the incumbent governor, the lack of a pro-transit advocacy organization and wide but tepid support for mass transit generally among the electorate," said a "confidential" internal report that was prepared for the RTA's "Moving Beyond Congestion" campaign for increased funding.

Despite worsening traffic congestion in northeastern Illinois, the funding argument has failed in recent years, and the road isn't getting any easier. There is no end in sight to the state's budget crisis. In addition, the upcoming release of financial reviews of the RTA system by state Auditor General William Holland is expected to reveal shortcomings in RTA oversight and in management practices at the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.

The RTA must "present the region a choice between an economically disastrous downward spiral of less transit and more job-killing road congestion or a modern, expanded transit network that saves the region billions more than the billions of investment in the improved network," according to the internal RTA report, obtained by the Tribune. It cautioned that "some of this wording could be embarrassing if it leaks out."

The RTA is scheduled to issue a status report Thursday on its strategic plan and solicit public comment. In December, the agency will for the first time identify possible financial scenarios to fund existing transit operations and maintenance, as well as expansion of the system.

"We have a financial problem that is threatening the underpinning of the entire system," said RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman. "Meanwhile, there is a cry for new transit in the suburbs and the need for transit in new markets where people only drive today."

`Not worth doing wrong'

About 300 organizations, from municipalities to civic and business groups, have signed on as partners in the Moving Beyond Congestion campaign. But they've made it clear that support for increased funding is contingent on the introduction of a strategy, unprecedented in this region, to provide faster transit travel times, shorter waiting times, more hours of operation, and to add service to areas that are not served currently or are underserved.

"Simply put, this is not worth doing wrong," said MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, which advocates planning and development policies for northeastern Illinois. The council is a partner in the RTA campaign.

It's premature to talk about new transportation funding, Barrett said, until questions about growth in the region, land use and other issues that affect the delivery of transit services are addressed comprehensively.

"We can't accept the same old weak regional decision-making and lack of coordination," Barrett said. "I am encouraged by the new leadership at the RTA. But with 20 or so major transit expansion projects proposed, we must make tough decisions and zero down to a top priority list about where we are going to invest."

There will be winners, and losers.

The process requires evaluating proposed projects in a new way, experts said. The transit agencies as well as the communities seeking construction of costly new infrastructure must demonstrate a willingness to change.

It doesn't mean persuading people to never drive their cars again. But it does call for developing strong transit-oriented corridors in communities that provide housing for higher-density populations and shopping amenities in close proximity for the way people want to live today.

"It's unfortunate that the most valuable land for development around railroad stations in the suburbs is used for vast parking lots instead of a pleasant place to walk, dine or shop," said Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, which is also a partner in the RTA campaign. "We need to find ways to get people to their train stations without a car. And commuter rail, instead of only taking people from suburban parking lots to the downtown, should evolve to become more like a transit service," Harnish said.

Instead of rushing forward with huge rail projects like the CTA's Circle Line or Metra's STAR Line, the agencies should begin with less-expensive bus services, the experts said.

"It gives communities economic incentives to build wisely along the transit corridors. Then when it's time to operate the new rail service, you already have the ridership," Barrett said.

The area in the northwest suburbs surrounding the east-west portion of the proposed STAR Line, which would operate along the median of the Northwest Tollway (Interstate Highway 90), currently is not pedestrian-friendly.

However, residential and commercial development that is accessible to walkers already exists near some Metra stations, from as far south as the Electric Line to as far north as the Union Pacific North Line to Kenosha. Such scenarios, if only there were more train service all day long, represent an opportunity for commuters to change their lifestyles.

The transit debate, meanwhile, has broader implications. The outcome will probably determine whether new funding is generated for highways and how free-flowing or congested Chicago-area roads will be for people who continue to drive. Also, it will dictate how quickly Illinois moves ahead with modernizing freight rail infrastructure here in the nation's Midwest transportation hub.

"Many of the highway interests view us as spearheading efforts for a new funding initiative next year," said Schlickman, of the RTA. "In the past it has been the other way around."

Illinois FIRST match

Illinois FIRST, the statewide capital improvement program supported by tax increases and bonding, expired almost three years ago. Time is running out as the state has failed to identify the required local match for about $1.2 billion a year in federal funds for highway construction through 2009 and a total of $2.5 billion for rail and mass transit.

RTA Chairman Jim Reilly said a tax increase of some kind will be necessary. The RTA system is short about $600 million a year just to maintain the existing infrastructure. CTA, Metra and Pace are also relying on an approximately $200 million state bailout in 2007 to support daily transit operations.

"There is a sense of urgency," said one adviser to Reilly. "It would be a real scandal if we left federal money on the table."

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 10:09 PM

$20 billion....wahoo ,they can pave over the whole state!

It is nice to see some progress, though. Other cities fund transit through business taxes and property taxes, i.e. taxing interests who clearly benefit from transit service. Our 1% county sales tax is just a bizzare way to fund transit. Here's hoping for some progress, and hoping that $20 billion actually went towards more than just 12 lane expressways.

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 10:30 PM

$20 billion....wahoo ,they can pave over the whole state!

It is nice to see some progress, though. Other cities fund transit through business taxes and property taxes, i.e. taxing interests who clearly benefit from transit service. Our 1% county sales tax is just a bizzare way to fund transit. Here's hoping for some progress, and hoping that $20 billion actually went towards more than just 12 lane expressways.

the urban politician Nov 7, 2006 1:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
Agreed. We should be building/adding more stations, not getting rid of them. We are talking the East Loop, which is becoming a real neighborhood and a tourist hot spot. Why take away any transit at all? Stupid move.

^ I don't know about that. Other than protesting on aesthetic grounds, is it really that important to have 2 L stations 2 blocks apart? I mean, practically speaking, they are literally a 3-4 minute walk from eachother. If replacing them with a single station in between hardly makes a difference and saves the CTA some operating money, then perhaps it's not so bad. After all, eliminating redundancy is one way in which transit in Chicago could be improved

denizen467 Nov 7, 2006 4:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
Keep your eye on the new Grand/State station. From what I hear, this will be a pretty big project.

That's great! That's an embarrassingly shabby station. Is there any other info available on this anywhere?

Chicago2020 Nov 7, 2006 4:58 AM

Found this cool picture of Midway :cheers:

http://p.vtourist.com/1495711-Final_...rt-Chicago.jpg

Marcu Nov 7, 2006 5:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj
^ more of the same.... Daily Herald Version...

Watch for flights from Midway Airport to central Illinois
By Joseph Ryan
In transit
Posted Monday, November 06, 2006

The state announced today new commercial flights between Midway International Airport and Decatur, Marion and Quincy in central Illinois.

Air Midwest, which mostly operates a fleet of twin-engine, 19 seat planes, has agreed to provide the service with the help of a $1.2 million state subsidy.

Service could start as early as December. It remained unclear this weekend what planes the airline planned to deploy. Sources say they will make several trips each week to and from the three small airports.

....

Not a bad way to win over last minute votes before election. I wonder how many people will actually fly to Decatur (2.5 hours from Chicago by car/train) when the airport wait alone is 2 hours.

VivaLFuego Nov 7, 2006 4:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
Not a bad way to win over last minute votes before election. I wonder how many people will actually fly to Decatur (2.5 hours from Chicago by car/train) when the airport wait alone is 2 hours.

These are precisely the type of trips that would optimally be made by frequent/quick/reliable regional rail.

Even if all our regional trains went 90-110mph, imagine how much more competitive they'd be with autos...I'm not greedy, I dont need 150mph in the midwest....yet.

VivaLFuego Nov 7, 2006 4:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj
^ i think these flights are about giving downstate more access to midway's discount airlines national route network.

So why isn't Southwest Airlines also chipping in to subsidize the service?

Marcu Nov 13, 2006 7:57 AM

Any increase in Chicago's insanely high 9% sales tax will face stiff opposition. I'm not even sure that it'll bring in any new revenue since most Chicagoans with half a brain already make purchases over $300 online (or at the very least in the burbs)

the urban politician Nov 13, 2006 4:01 PM

^ Well, this looks more like a regional funding plan, and thus the 2/3 of Chicago metro residents who live in the suburbs will be funding much of this.

That article didn't mention any improvements to transit in the city itelf. I wonder what kinds of projects are being considered.

One thing Illinois has on its side is the fact that it is increasingly becoming a more Democratic state. Yet ironically, Democrats are often their own greatest enemy in getting these kinds of things done. None of Illinois' most powerful Democrats is a transit advocate. Maybe it's a Baby Boomer thing?

It's time for our generation to take over.

VivaLFuego Nov 13, 2006 4:14 PM

The solution needs to include some sort of regional levy on either property taxes, tollroadss/vehicles, or a business tax (the latter of which is commonly done in Europe), i.e. actually targeting the people benefiting from a good transit network.

Marcu Nov 13, 2006 4:31 PM

Property tax hike would be most most appropriate since proximity to mass transit access is usually reflected in real estate prices. That way, people directly benefiting would be taxed the highest.

LA21st Nov 14, 2006 1:21 AM

The new 12th Street Metra station might be delayed. Possibly for a long time.

VivaLFuego Nov 14, 2006 3:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
The new 12th Street Metra station might be delayed. Possibly for a long time.

Oh dear, why?

the urban politician Nov 14, 2006 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
The new 12th Street Metra station might be delayed. Possibly for a long time.

^ Eh? WTF?

LA21st Nov 14, 2006 6:30 AM

Budget issues. Guy at CDOT didnt sound to happy about it.

Marcu Nov 14, 2006 9:25 PM

Typical Illinois transit BS. Anounce a project before securing funds in the hopes of shifting the burden to the General Assembly to demonstrate why it's not paying for the project, instead of to the transit authority to show where the money will come from.

The money was never there. Maybe we should demand that from now on the transit authority must tell us where they are getting the money every time a project is anounced.

VivaLFuego Nov 14, 2006 9:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
Typical Illinois transit BS. Anounce a project before securing funds in the hopes of shifting the burden to the General Assembly to demonstrate why it's not paying for the project, instead of to the transit authority to show where the money will come from.

The money was never there. Maybe we should demand that from now on the transit authority must tell us where they are getting the money every time a project is anounced.

Actually, its the state (IDOT) that have repeatedly dropped the ball on this one. Metra and CDOT had their own funds lined up and were ready to go waiting on IDOT money.

What other projects are you talking about where it was the agency's fault funding didn't come through? I get the sense that most agencies are pretty tight-lipped about planned projects until they have funding commitments.

Chicago Shawn Nov 15, 2006 9:21 PM

More bullshit, sometimes I wish Chicago was in a country which places transit infrastructure on a high priority. The world's richist nation can spend nearly $400 billion blowing up and rebuilding another nation, but we continue to let infrastructure in our own backyard rot. Unable to budget 500 million over 4 years, come the fuck on, I really hope a solution is in the works....



Warning: More slow trains ahead, CTA officials say
$500 million needed to fix infrastructure


By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published November 15, 2006


The Chicago Transit Authority on Tuesday presented a bleak scenario of longer travel times on the system's eight rail lines due to a growing number of slow zones caused by a half-billion dollars in deferred maintenance.

Slow zones have more than doubled since July 2005, and the situation is expected to get worse unless new funding is provided to repair the aging system, according to CTA officials.

Almost half of the Howard leg of the Red Line has slow zones of 35 m.p.h. or less. It has led to a more than 40 percent increase in late trains, officials said.

Trains have also been slowed on the Blue Line as a result of stepped-up track inspections after a July derailment near downtown that sent more than 150 people to hospitals.

In addition, trains are moving slower due to work at Clark Junction on the North Side, where the Red, Brown and Purple Lines come together.

In the agency's 2007 budget that the CTA board unanimously approved Tuesday, $35.7 million will be spent next year to upgrade railroad tracks, elevated structures and viaducts on which trains have had to operate at reduced speeds because of deteriorated conditions.

But no additional money to further reduce slow zones is budgeted in 2008 through 2011, the remaining years of the CTA's five-year capital program.

The CTA is $500 million short of the state and federal funding it needs to erase slow zones on the entire 225-mile rail system, said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

"Absent a new capital program from the legislature, it's grim," Kruesi said.

Not counting any additional help to address the slow-zone problem, the CTA is already hoping for an additional $110 million subsidy from the General Assembly to make ends meet on its $1.13 billion operating budget for next year.

The CTA produces a monthly lineup of rail routes where riders should allow extra travel time due to slow zones related to construction. The current list, which runs through Sunday, advises leaving up to an extra 20 minutes for commutes during non-rush hours on all eight rail lines, due mainly to signal work and track maintenance.

More than 20 minutes of extra travel time is recommended during weekends on the Brown Line, where a $530 million overhaul is under way.

"Route travel times are conservative estimates," the report said.

The one bright spot concerning slow zones is on the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line, where a $282 million track and station renovation project is moving toward completion this year. Slow zones on that leg of the Red Line will go down from about 24,000 feet of track to about 4,000 feet by the end of the year, officials said.

----------

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

DaleAvella Nov 16, 2006 5:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn
Unable to budget 500 million over 4 years, come the fuck on

Couldn't agree more. If there's one thing that will hold up Chicago's development, it is not the housing bubble but the depressing CTA.

Marcu Nov 16, 2006 6:54 PM

500 million over 4 years is about 10 dollars per Illinois resident per year.

Marcu Nov 16, 2006 6:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego

What other projects are you talking about where it was the agency's fault funding didn't come through? I get the sense that most agencies are pretty tight-lipped about planned projects until they have funding commitments.

It seems like the CTA and RTA prefer to address budget shortfalls after the fact. The agencies look like they can't manage their own finances when every single year they run a deficit and go to the Assembly to beg for a bailout. They would have a lot more credibility if they just said this is the money we have for this year so we're going to cut service. If you want more service, call your rep.

VivaLFuego Nov 16, 2006 7:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
It seems like the CTA and RTA prefer to address budget shortfalls after the fact. The agencies look like they can't manage their own finances when every single year they run a deficit and go to the Assembly to beg for a bailout. They would have a lot more credibility if they just said this is the money we have for this year so we're going to cut service. If you want more service, call your rep.

The CTA and RTA have only been trying to bring public attention to the funding problems for years while managing to maintain service levels (with one bailout involved), what more do you want? They tried threatening large service cuts to balance the budget and everyone got pissed off and the state came up with the bailout. Now they are trying a more 'optimistic' note that the funding will be found rather than outlining a doomsday....and they get crap for that. There's no pleasing some people. And for the record, yes, I agree CTA should just go through with the service cuts and balance the budget and if people want more service from there, they'll understand it will cost more money. But I also see how CTA has no easy choices in their quest to solve the problem.

A new program like Illinois FIRST would go along way towards addressing these needs, in theory, that is if CTA doesn't just dump the money into the Airport Express rather than viaduct repair (which is what's killing them on the north side).

pip Nov 17, 2006 3:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn
More bullshit, sometimes I wish Chicago was in a country which places transit infrastructure on a high priority. The world's richist nation can spend nearly $400 billion blowing up and rebuilding another nation, but we continue to let infrastructure in our own backyard rot. Unable to budget 500 million over 4 years, come the fuck on, I really hope a solution is in the works....

A few months ago the CTA assured us that the slow zones would be gone by the end of the year. A few weeks ago the CTA said it needed 100 million to get rid of the slow zones. Now the CTA says it needs 500 million.

This is one time I will agree with the financially conservative suburbs. You can throw all that money at the CTA and viola I can guarantee you 500 million will not get rid of the slow zones. How much is the Brown line over budget and behind schedule? They just started. The CTA is an extremely incompetant organization from the lazy workers who don't care to the patronage management who is equelly as bad. Maybe the CTA needs to be starved or just start over with all new people and all new contracts.

No amount of money will solve the problems of the CTA. It is a money pit. The more money it gets the more it will waste.

It is too bad, I always advocate more money for transit but I do have to agree in this one rare instance giving more money to the CTA as it is currently formed is a waste and will do nothing to help the future of transit in Chicago.

Busy Bee Nov 17, 2006 4:20 AM

Has anyone seen the movie Gung Ho?

This may not apply as much at present, since we've adopted more efficient principles in many aspects of our economy, but it makes you wonder if we need to bring in the Japanese or something.

Pick the best operated system in the world and more than likely you'll end up with Tokyo or maybe Paris or Copenhagen. These systems are efficient, on time, clean, financially stable and desirable to people of all income levels.

Maybe this has to do with receiving more funding, but maybe there is more to it. Maybe the CTA does in fact seriously suffer from lazy, inept, bad attitude plagued employees that should never come into contact w/ the public. And worse, incompetents at the switch that just do not have the capabilty, wisdom and imagination to create and run a world class transit system.


In other words, someone needs to kick the CTA's ass into shape or just have a hostile takeover or something.

VivaLFuego Nov 17, 2006 4:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pip
How much is the Brown line over budget and behind schedule?

Not very. The whole project will still be done on time. Some stuff has had to be rephased because the city has taken so long in granting permits. And to my knowledge, they havent had to reprogram any additional capital money; in fact, they've cut down on the complexity of station design to ensure they stay within budget.

Quote:

The CTA is an extremely incompetant organization from the lazy workers who don't care to the patronage management who is equelly as bad. Maybe the CTA needs to be starved or just start over with all new people and all new contracts.
If the political situation allowed management to play tough with the unions, believe me the operation would quickly become much more efficient. Are there some incompetent people in the organization who got there because of patronage? Yeah. But a very large chunk of CTA staff and operations are people very devoted to transit who would love to be able to run a good system if they had the financial means and lack of poltiical constraints.

CTA is NOT run like a business, it is a run like a political entity/public service....because, well, its a political entity/public service. If you want a business-like CTA, say goodbye to most off-peak service throughout the city. People kid themselves if they think this isn't an auto city in 95+% of cases other than rush hour commuting to downtown. It's the frequent off-peak service that hemmorages money.

the urban politician Nov 18, 2006 5:53 AM

The full report for the recommended airport premium service is posted now. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed it before:

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/m...ress200610.pdf

It's pretty interesting--it seems to make a case that such a service would be profitable and successful. Of course, they could be completely wrong. One disappointment is that they are NOT recommending baggage check-in at 108 N State St. That's just another reason NOT to use this service, if you ask me, but whatever.

VivaLFuego Nov 18, 2006 3:31 PM

Having a "premium" service sharing the same tracks as peon service is not gonna go over well in the papers or with the CTA riding public.

Marcu Nov 19, 2006 2:41 AM

It just amazes me how the CTA (and some of its supporters) manage to rationalize or deflect to the state every criticism directed towards it.

Chicago3rd Nov 19, 2006 4:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
A new program like Illinois FIRST would go along way towards addressing these needs, in theory, that is if CTA doesn't just dump the money into the Airport Express rather than viaduct repair (which is what's killing them on the north side).

What kills me are stupid people in the public. First they under fund CTA for decades. Then CTA pulls a miracle and turns service around and starts upgrading these last 10 years...and they are getting a smaller part of the funding from the state. I get really pissed at CTA sometimes...but folks...we are getting what we pay for. I cannot find much fault with the audit that came out a few weeks ago:

http://www.state.il.us/auditor/Chi%2...5%20digest.htm

robhut Nov 19, 2006 2:58 PM

I don't think we can generalize because of an experience in a flight or whatever.
I've flown many different companies and all are about the same.
It depends on many conditions and situations. I personally work in a hotel, and some days everyone is complaining and some days everyone is saying how wonderfull the service was, that is providing the same product.
When i work in the hotel i don't have the same mood, that is goona affect the impression of the guest. Also their situation at that moment, if they had a bad day or good day. Many, many things...
Personally i have flown BA and AF and it wasn't that wonderfull experience it was just a regular flight like if i did it with IB or AA or any other.

the urban politician Nov 19, 2006 5:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robhut
I don't think we can generalize because of an experience in a flight or whatever.
I've flown many different companies and all are about the same.
It depends on many conditions and situations. I personally work in a hotel, and some days everyone is complaining and some days everyone is saying how wonderfull the service was, that is providing the same product.
When i work in the hotel i don't have the same mood, that is goona affect the impression of the guest. Also their situation at that moment, if they had a bad day or good day. Many, many things...
Personally i have flown BA and AF and it wasn't that wonderfull experience it was just a regular flight like if i did it with IB or AA or any other.

^ What the f#@k are you talking about?

alex1 Nov 19, 2006 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
It just amazes me how the CTA (and some of its supporters) manage to rationalize or deflect to the state every criticism directed towards it.

public transit is a responsibility of who exactly? should it not be in good working order?

the benefits of good transportation has an overall effect that saves money. Smoother streets mean less stress and damage to someone's car. Better mass transit means less congestion for those who drive leading to more efficiency, less gas wasted waiting in traffic and cleaner air (resulting in less pulminary problems in some people).

There's a reason why less wealthy nations have much better mass transit systems then the U.S. has. It's just cheaper.

Marcu Nov 20, 2006 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
It just amazes me how the CTA (and some of its supporters) manage to rationalize or deflect to the state every criticism directed towards it.
public transit is a responsibility of who exactly? should it not be in good working order?

the benefits of good transportation has an overall effect that saves money. Smoother streets mean less stress and damage to someone's car. Better mass transit means less congestion for those who drive leading to more efficiency, less gas wasted waiting in traffic and cleaner air (resulting in less pulminary problems in some people).

There's a reason why less wealthy nations have much better mass transit systems then the U.S. has. It's just cheaper.

You got a good point. I'm just not sure how it addresses my point. I totally agree that a good mass transit system is needed for a number of reasons. The CTA is ruining mass transit, not helping mass transit. They need to start taking some responsibility. The biggest impedement to more funding is the percieved corruption and incompetence of the CTA.

Taft Nov 20, 2006 7:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
You got a good point. I'm just not sure how it addresses my point. I totally agree that a good mass transit system is needed for a number of reasons. The CTA is ruining mass transit, not helping mass transit. They need to start taking some responsibility. The biggest impedement to more funding is the percieved corruption and incompetence of the CTA.

I agree that this a problem. However, I don't think it is the principle problem. Rather, the public attitude of "I don't ride it so it isn't my problem" is the largest hurdle to proper funding.

Americans have much more of a conservative/libertarian streak in them than Europeans. Fend for yourself and leave me alone. They aren't looking at a common good. They aren't looking at building the most efficient and cheapest system available. They *are* thinking: I like my car and I don't really care about how that decision effects everyone's life.

So I see the two largest problems with funding as: 1) attitude and 2) education. The former is a difficult problem to overcome and I frankly have no idea how to fix it. The latter is a bit better. Why do people support billion dollar overhauls of major highways? Because they can see the direct impact it will have on their quality of life: they can get in the car and go from point A to point B faster. By educating people as to how transit improvements will make their lives better, we increase the chance they will get behind transit initiatives which increases the likelihood of funding.

Taft

VivaLFuego Nov 21, 2006 12:02 AM

Nevermind that we have probably the best big city bus system in the country. . . .

CTA just needs to start being honest about what it costs to run a rail system well . Including the real costs of maintenance and operations, rather than allowing nickel-and-diming the system. We are seeing the results of this cheapness now.

the urban politician Nov 21, 2006 5:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft
I agree that this a problem. However, I don't think it is the principle problem. Rather, the public attitude of "I don't ride it so it isn't my problem" is the largest hurdle to proper funding.

Americans have much more of a conservative/libertarian streak in them than Europeans. Fend for yourself and leave me alone. They aren't looking at a common good. They aren't looking at building the most efficient and cheapest system available. They *are* thinking: I like my car and I don't really care about how that decision effects everyone's life.

So I see the two largest problems with funding as: 1) attitude and 2) education. The former is a difficult problem to overcome and I frankly have no idea how to fix it. The latter is a bit better. Why do people support billion dollar overhauls of major highways? Because they can see the direct impact it will have on their quality of life: they can get in the car and go from point A to point B faster. By educating people as to how transit improvements will make their lives better, we increase the chance they will get behind transit initiatives which increases the likelihood of funding.

Taft

^ Americans weren't like that before the 1950's. I wonder what the hell happened to this place? I think everyone is just a bit too damn spoiled--suburbia is almost like our Govt-sponsored adult theme park

alex1 Nov 21, 2006 5:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ Americans weren't like that before the 1950's. I wonder what the hell happened to this place? I think everyone is just a bit too damn spoiled--suburbia is almost like our Govt-sponsored adult theme park

car advertisements. the ad world's goal is to change habits through psychology. it changed the place. also, the car manufacturer's had enough money to skew politician's priorties away from public funding for transit to public funding for highways and bigger roads.

sad really. our nation hasn't benefited from being so isolated either. Any dimwit traveling to Europe sees the benefits of great public transportation that places such as Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona or Paris have.

alex1 Nov 21, 2006 5:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu
You got a good point. I'm just not sure how it addresses my point. I totally agree that a good mass transit system is needed for a number of reasons. The CTA is ruining mass transit, not helping mass transit. They need to start taking some responsibility. The biggest impedement to more funding is the percieved corruption and incompetence of the CTA.

I don't necessarily think that the CTA got into its current situation through corruption or incompetance. There have been a few things that have really destroyed its finances which people don't really take into account: the federal government cutting all funding for paratransit and accounting for future pensions.

Ideally, you would replace Kreusi with a better communicator and you would start building a campaign that touts the benefits of better regional mass transit. Tough to do but not impossible. but yeah, any perception of incompetence needs to be overturned.

VivaLFuego Nov 21, 2006 4:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1
Ideally, you would replace Kreusi with a better communicator and you would start building a campaign that touts the benefits of better regional mass transit. Tough to do but not impossible. but yeah, any perception of incompetence needs to be overturned.

I like what the new leadership at RTA is doing with the whole "Moving Beyond Congestion" campaign, i.e. actually proposing solutions and visions. We'll see how it plays out.

DaleAvella Nov 21, 2006 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1
I don't necessarily think that the CTA got into its current situation through corruption or incompetance. There have been a few things that have really destroyed its finances which people don't really take into account: the federal government cutting all funding for paratransit and accounting for future pensions.

I don't disagree with you, but how is the Metra so great, in my opinion, compared to the CTA? Is it because of funding or competence?

brian_b Nov 21, 2006 4:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaleAvella
I don't disagree with you, but how is the Metra so great, in my opinion, compared to the CTA? Is it because of funding or competence?

Metra doesn't have any busses to maintain.


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