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nergie Jan 25, 2007 5:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2586465)
No one wants to fund the CTA until it becomes more transparent and develops a more competent and less corrupt image. But the CTA argues the system can't become better without more funding. The only solution I can think of is a compromise where Springfield increases funds for the CTA while getting more oversight and involvement in its operations. Money in exchange for power.

Also, the HK and Singapore systems, like most Asian systems, are public-private partnerships which generally tend to work much better. Most "developing" countries also have these systems (e.g. Sao Paulo), which explains why third world countries have better mass transit than most American cities. The main argument against a public-private system is it's unprofitable to run underutilized lines to poorer areas. However, Sao Paulo simply setup a subsidy mechanism where the trains run frequently to all parts of town while remaining private.

Thanks for your insite, I have spent better part of 2 years in Asia for work. I could not image what I would do without the transit system. My home base is Chicago and I try to use the CTA as much as possible but it leaves a lot to be desired.

I really think the politicians in DC, especially Durbin and Hastert had a chance when the transportation bill passed. Instead of support some god-dam prairie pkwy why not allocate money to overhaul and improve the region's mass transit.

Chicago is a world class city and deserves a transportation system befitting of that status. I also believe that more lines need to be built out to the burbs. I think this would encourge Density related development as has occurred in many suburbs on the Metra lines. A top notch system that is clean, efficient and safe will encourage people to use it. I believe the large upfront capital necessary for this type of system will pay itself off in a relatively short time as ridership will increase. I am ready to pay for a system like this and I am sure there are other people feeling the same way.

Just a bit negative after the State of The Union last night, I am sick of politicians and the crap that comes out of their mouths. Most of the time this stuff is worse that what comes out their ass.

Marcu Jan 25, 2007 8:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2587223)
Ok I edited it, using LAMTA 2007 budget numbers, that 2 billion number I had previously for operating expenditures included some capital costs so I removed that, the actual operating total is about 1428 million. for the operating subsidy, I'm assuming the sales tax revenue is used for operations, while state and federal grants are used for capital; this is how it is in Chicago. It may differ in LA. If someone can tell me what % of that sales tax revenue is directed for capital funds, I'll update the figures again.

The numbers show a lot and you certainly convinced me that the CTA does indeed need more funding to, at the very least, keep up with other "world class" cities. Hopefully, a more oversight in exchange for more money compromise can be reached some time this year.

Marcu Jan 25, 2007 8:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2587738)
Thanks for your insite, I have spent better part of 2 years in Asia for work. I could not image what I would do without the transit system. My home base is Chicago and I try to use the CTA as much as possible but it leaves a lot to be desired.

I really think the politicians in DC, especially Durbin and Hastert had a chance when the transportation bill passed. Instead of support some god-dam prairie pkwy why not allocate money to overhaul and improve the region's mass transit.

Chicago is a world class city and deserves a transportation system befitting of that status. I also believe that more lines need to be built out to the burbs. I think this would encourge Density related development as has occurred in many suburbs on the Metra lines. A top notch system that is clean, efficient and safe will encourage people to use it. I believe the large upfront capital necessary for this type of system will pay itself off in a relatively short time as ridership will increase. I am ready to pay for a system like this and I am sure there are other people feeling the same way.

Just a bit negative after the State of The Union last night, I am sick of politicians and the crap that comes out of their mouths. Most of the time this stuff is worse that what comes out their ass.

I totally agree. The politicians in DC have definetly failed us with mass transit funding. Any lessons from your 2 years in Asian that you want to pass along?

nergie Jan 25, 2007 4:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 2588027)
I totally agree. The politicians in DC have definetly failed us with mass transit funding. Any lessons from your 2 years in Asian that you want to pass along?

The main thing is if the system is clean, convenient and efficient people will use it, regardless of income bracket. Singapore's MRT is a classic example of how government and private industry can work well together. The Govermnet funds the infrastructure and SMRT is in charge of operations.

The MRT has lead to high density residential/commercial development. Without the MRT Singapore would be choked with traffic.

The system has to be very comprehensive extending into suburbs and outer areas. Actually it would be ideal if there were intersuburban lines that like expressways can be used to go from suburb to suburb or feed the city center.


The other thing I really like is the Electronic Road Pricing or ERP. It is what London's congestion charge is based on. Essentially if you wish to drive into the city center during peak hours you will pay upto 3 dollars each time you pass under a ERP gantry. Chicago and NY could use a system like this which charges people as you enter the Kennedy, Edens, Ike, LSD and other main highways and thoroughfares that are choked with traffic. Meanwhile traffic passing through such as trucks and cars most likely would stay on the Kingery down south. Make the Kingery a 16-20 lane highway with no tolls and truck/car/bus dedicated lanes and this combined with the hope that more people will take the trains should help reduce congestion on the major arteries of Chicago.

Taft Jan 25, 2007 5:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2586749)
Spent 15 minutes looking at the PDF budgets from each of the following agencies. not quite apples to apples (i.e. MBTA and NYMTA include commuter rail, all of them include bus+rail though, which is why I didn't include BART), but it gives a good idea of relative funding levels and efficiency in providing transit trips. Sorted by subsidy per ride. Figures in millions. Not sure how to do tables in this forum system, if someone explains it I'll do it


These numbers really speak for themselves in terms of how pathetically underfunded CTA is, and to how efficient its operations are given what it has to work with.

Unbelievable work! This corrects some misconceptions I had about CTA funding. It is really good to see the high level of funding from the fare boxes.

Someone should really send this to the local papers as this really needs to be reported. If people knew how pathetic our funding was in comparison to other mass transit agencies, some real pressure might actually be put on our legislatures and local governments.

Again, thanks a million!

Taft

the urban politician Jan 26, 2007 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2588441)
The other thing I really like is the Electronic Road Pricing or ERP. It is what London's congestion charge is based on. Essentially if you wish to drive into the city center during peak hours you will pay upto 3 dollars each time you pass under a ERP gantry. Chicago and NY could use a system like this which charges people as you enter the Kennedy, Edens, Ike, LSD and other main highways and thoroughfares that are choked with traffic.

^ Ha! I started a thread suggesting something similar to this at SSC (in the Chicago forums) about a year ago to a pretty lukewarm response. If SSC forumers aren't even ready for it, then I'm pretty sure the idea would be doomed in the city itself.

Oh, and NY does have such a toll. With very few exceptions, one cannot enter Manhattan by car without paying a $6 toll.

nergie Jan 26, 2007 3:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2590220)
^ Ha! I started a thread suggesting something similar to this at SSC (in the Chicago forums) about a year ago to a pretty lukewarm response. If the Chicago forumers aren't ready for it, then I'm pretty sure the idea would be doomed in the city itself.

Oh, and NY does have such a toll. With very few exceptions, one cannot enter Manhattan by car without paying a $6 toll.

The Manhattan charge is for the tunnels and bridges and is all day long. ERP would vary at the peak hours maybe $8 dollars. It is not perfect, but if the cost is high enough and if the trains provide an attractive alternative why pay a high $$$ amount. But I agree with you we are a society that will never be comfortable with giving up our little personnel space on 4-wheels.

Here is an idea, let's make cars expensive like Singapore. They have a COE that is priced per the engine size. Cars are also like $20-30K more expensive that the States. For example a Honda Accord it will cost $80K Singapore Dollars to buy it and another $24K Singapore Dollars for the 10-year COE. That is roughly $67K USD, and after 10 years if you have to buy a new COE. Most people in Singapore buy a new car after the 10 years and take the scrap value the gov't pays for the car.

Ah an urbanist's dream.

the urban politician Jan 26, 2007 4:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2590236)
Here is an idea, let's make cars expensive like Singapore. They have a COE that is priced per the engine size. Cars are also like $20-30K more expensive that the States. For example a Honda Accord it will cost $80K Singapore Dollars to buy it and another $24K Singapore Dollars for the 10-year COE. That is roughly $67K USD, and after 10 years if you have to buy a new COE. Most people in Singapore buy a new car after the 10 years and take the scrap value the gov't pays for the car.

^ Won't work. Americans will stupidly still pay for the more expensive autos just to prove that they can afford one. In America, the more expensive you make things the more everyone wants it.

nergie Jan 26, 2007 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2590352)
^ Won't work. Americans will stupidly still pay for the more expensive autos just to prove that they can afford one. In America, the more expensive you make things the more everyone wants it.

Like I said just a dream.

VivaLFuego Jan 26, 2007 6:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj (Post 2591260)
One way would be to establish a separate taxing body for the NE Illinois region by county, with a dedicated property tax for transit. Start with small assesments, so as to not freak people out where it couldn't be passed. Once in place though you would have a dedicated stream that these districts could issue bonds ( just like the school districts do ) for capital investment.

Every resident would get a transit card ( just like a library card ) so if you choose to use the system your paying for fine, if you don't use it that's fine too.

Eventually the suburbs are going to have to come to terms with suburb to suburb commutes via hard or light rail, and have appropiate dense developments to justify transit lines between dense work centers and dense population centers. The Chicago region needs to flex its muscle in State Government to get a law that allows a property tax assesment for transit, otherwise you'll never get suburbanites total buy in, and we'll just keep going down this half ass suburban car dominated planning scheme forever.

Actually, there already is an Urban Mass Transit taxing district that currently gets a 0% assessment. Look at a property tax bill, it's there as a line item. I've wondered why no politician type has suggested using it to pay for capital investments...

Unfortunately, telling voters that "PROPERTY TAXES ARE TEH SUXXOR AND R TOO HIGH !!" is a good way to buy votes. People and demagogic politicians just say that taxes are bad, rather than looking at potential returns of what that tax money could be spent on. To a large extent, it's not a question of if taxes are "too high", but rather if the citizenry are getting their money's worth out of the taxes they pay.

Bless Wikipedia, it has some very good information on the above taxing district I mentioned:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago...ation_District

Also interesting to see just how far along the they had gotten in the planning and design stages of a downtown distributor and subway system...

Chicago Shawn Jan 26, 2007 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2591370)
Actually, there already is an Urban Mass Transit taxing district that currently gets a 0% assessment. Look at a property tax bill, it's there as a line item. I've wondered why no politician type has suggested using it to pay for capital investments...

Unfortunately, telling voters that "PROPERTY TAXES ARE TEH SUXXOR AND R TOO HIGH !!" is a good way to buy votes.

Say what? How long has that been there? Good god, the region could start implimenting property taxes for transit tommorow. Just a small assessment would generate millions in revenue in the first couple years alone.

Jaroslaw Jan 27, 2007 3:58 AM

-When we mention Asian mass transit, we should keep in mind also that it's closely tied to property development... in most Asian cities, you invest in the line, you get areas around the stations for residential and retail, 5,000 units per station or something like that, and the profits from that pay for the subway construction, while providing future users. The Hong Kong MTR has a deal like this now in Shenzhen, and there are many others.

The only area where I could potentially see this work in Chicago would be the south lakefront, with a lot of eminent domain issues, or deciding to develop the land between LSD and the Metra tracks. The olympic parcel could be a part of that.

Neuman Jan 27, 2007 1:07 PM

So from those number posted earlier, CTA revenue collected covers a larger portion of operating expenses than those that New York's RTA collects for it Subways? I think not.....

I saw figures a year or two ago that had New York covering roughly 60-65% of operating expenses through fares. That was the highest in the U.S. Chicago was 2nd at around 50%, if that high....

spyguy Jan 27, 2007 9:03 PM

http://chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/m...searchType=all

Transit funding fix? Not from the RTA

The Regional Transportation Authority is taking a pass on recommending any specific ways to boost funding for public transit here. The RTA is slated to release its strategic plan next week, and while some had hoped the agency would throw its weight behind specific new fees or taxes, sources say the RTA will present only a menu of options, leaving tough decisions to Gov. Blagojevich and lawmakers. Without more subsidies, the local transit operators have warned of sharp cuts in service. [Greg Hinz]

Chicago Shawn Jan 27, 2007 9:08 PM

^Ugh, here we go again. Another round of political chicken.

VivaLFuego Jan 27, 2007 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neuman (Post 2593073)
So from those number posted earlier, CTA revenue collected covers a larger portion of operating expenses than those that New York's RTA collects for it Subways? I think not.....

I saw figures a year or two ago that had New York covering roughly 60-65% of operating expenses through fares. That was the highest in the U.S. Chicago was 2nd at around 50%, if that high....

that 60% is probably just for the subway division (NYCTA), I was pulling budget figures from its parent organization (NYMTA) which includes the buses and LIRR.

the urban politician Jan 28, 2007 2:33 AM

You gotta love how Crains keeps riding Daley's ass on this issue. Sort of makes up for the eerie silence coming from Chicago's other two newspapers:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...ticle_id=27177
January 27, 2007:
Mayor Daley, fix our rapid transit system
Chicago's rapid transit system is rolling toward a disastrous tipping point.
So far, riders have stuck with the elevated train system as service has gotten worse and worse. As Greg Hinz reported last week, delays, slow zones and derailments are crippling this crucial cog in the city's infrastructure. Derailments, delays and equipment malfunctions make every morning's commute a crapshoot. Meetings are missed, work goes undone and precious hours are wasted as workers sit on stalled trains.

At some point, ridership will plummet as commuters abandon the trains for more reliable transportation and businesses depart downtown for more accessible locations. The effect on the city's economy will be devastating.

Only Mayor Richard M. Daley can save the train system. So far, he's mostly ignored the deterioration of service as trains swell with downtown office workers commuting from the gentrifying neighborhoods of the North and Northwest sides — a predictable side effect of the middle-class renaissance he worked so hard to foster.

Now he must make the el his top priority. He must personally take the lead in pressing Springfield and Washington for the billions needed to fix the system. And he must make clear to CTA management that maintenance and repair should take precedence over glitzy projects like the Circle Line and the downtown super-station.

If the mayor needs personal incentive to get involved, he should consider two things: Without a functioning rapid transit system to move spectators around the city, Chicago can forget about landing the 2016 Olympics; and anger over lousy train service on the South Side contributed to Mayor Jane Byrne's defeat by Harold Washington in 1983.
He'll need to be both creative and flexible. For example, he should be willing to cede oversight of CTA capital spending to a broader transit agency like the Regional Transportation Authority. And he should look for new ways to finance repairs and upgrades, perhaps by privatizing operations such as the CTA's garages.

It won't be easy or glamorous. But securing reliable, efficient rapid transit for future generations of Chicagoans would make a fine mayoral legacy.

Chicago2020 Jan 28, 2007 10:30 PM

Does anyone think Daley has a chance to get re elected this year? I mean whats the overall consensus on the Daley administration in Chicago? Before I moved to Phoenix in 2001 :yuck: , Daley was very popular. Now nearly all the labor unions do not want to endorse him in this years election.


On another note, did anyone come up with a figure as to how much it would cost to get the CTA back on track???

spyguy Jan 28, 2007 11:22 PM

^As it is right now, I have no doubt that he will win easily.

VivaLFuego Jan 29, 2007 12:16 AM

^ re: the Crain's op-ed

1) it's great that the business community is starting to get vocal about the city's transit woes, hopefully legislators will start listening and act to effect change/progress

2) Not sure why so many people are down on the Circle Line. Aside from the obvious of improving interconnectivity in the Chicago central area and speeding up cross-town trips, it provides the potentially huuuuge benefit of the linkup to all the Metra lines. By this I mean, it could go a long way towards solving Chicago's age-old problem of a lack of rapid transit hookup to commuter rail. The Circle Line would serve the Mag Mile, River North, North/Clybourn, Wicker Park, United Center, Medical Center, Chinatown, Soldier Field, and the Loop, all of which are potential destinations for visiting suburbanites who could get off Metra, hop on the Circle straight to their destination. The Circle Line plan includes potential transfers to every Metra Line where it intersects with the Circle. If these facilities are built right and there's a successful marketing effort through the Chicago area about the new transit possibilities, the line could be an incredible success, boosting transit ridership not just in the heart of Chicago, but throughout the metro area.

Marcu Jan 29, 2007 2:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2595702)
^ re: the Crain's op-ed

The Circle Line plan includes potential transfers to every Metra Line where it intersects with the Circle. If these facilities are built right and there's a successful marketing effort through the Chicago area about the new transit possibilities, the line could be an incredible success, boosting transit ridership not just in the heart of Chicago, but throughout the metro area.

At this point the majority of Metra commuters use it only out of necessity...that is to get to and from work without having to park/be stuck in traffic. The circle line can drastically change that and make the entire area much more transit friendly. Along with the recent phenomenon of higher density downtown-type areas along suburban metra stops, the circle line has great potential. Let's just hope it's rail and not bus.

mikeelm Jan 29, 2007 2:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2594168)
You gotta love how Crains keeps riding Daley's ass on this issue. Sort of makes up for the eerie silence coming from Chicago's other two newspapers:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...ticle_id=27177
January 27, 2007:
Mayor Daley, fix our rapid transit system
Chicago's rapid transit system is rolling toward a disastrous tipping point.
So far, riders have stuck with the elevated train system as service has gotten worse and worse. As Greg Hinz reported last week, delays, slow zones and derailments are crippling this crucial cog in the city's infrastructure. Derailments, delays and equipment malfunctions make every morning's commute a crapshoot. Meetings are missed, work goes undone and precious hours are wasted as workers sit on stalled trains.

At some point, ridership will plummet as commuters abandon the trains for more reliable transportation and businesses depart downtown for more accessible locations. The effect on the city's economy will be devastating.

Only Mayor Richard M. Daley can save the train system. So far, he's mostly ignored the deterioration of service as trains swell with downtown office workers commuting from the gentrifying neighborhoods of the North and Northwest sides — a predictable side effect of the middle-class renaissance he worked so hard to foster.

Now he must make the el his top priority. He must personally take the lead in pressing Springfield and Washington for the billions needed to fix the system. And he must make clear to CTA management that maintenance and repair should take precedence over glitzy projects like the Circle Line and the downtown super-station.

If the mayor needs personal incentive to get involved, he should consider two things: Without a functioning rapid transit system to move spectators around the city, Chicago can forget about landing the 2016 Olympics; and anger over lousy train service on the South Side contributed to Mayor Jane Byrne's defeat by Harold Washington in 1983.
He'll need to be both creative and flexible. For example, he should be willing to cede oversight of CTA capital spending to a broader transit agency like the Regional Transportation Authority. And he should look for new ways to finance repairs and upgrades, perhaps by privatizing operations such as the CTA's garages.

It won't be easy or glamorous. But securing reliable, efficient rapid transit for future generations of Chicagoans would make a fine mayoral legacy.

Wonder how his Dad handled the CTA? I know at one time he wanted to eliminate the L and put it all underground but other than that did he do a better job with the CTA and if so why isn't his son doing the same?

ardecila Jan 29, 2007 3:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago2020 (Post 2595505)
On another note, did anyone come up with a figure as to how much it would cost to get the CTA back on track???

CTA estimates it at $5.8 billion for replacing signals, overhauling railcars, replacing rails and ties, upgrading slow zones, repainting, and other things. All this collectively will bring the system into what CTA calls a "state of good repair".

Guys, a big part of why our L tracks have such a short life is because 90% of the system is above ground, on century-old viaducts, in Chicago's harsh winter climate. In other cities, like New York, DC, Paris, London, etc. where a greater amount of the system is underground, the track life is much longer because it isn't exposed to weather.

VivaLFuego Jan 29, 2007 3:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2596061)

Guys, a big part of why our L tracks have such a short life is because 90% of the system is above ground, on century-old viaducts, in Chicago's harsh winter climate. In other cities, like New York, DC, Paris, London, etc. where a greater amount of the system is underground, the track life is much longer because it isn't exposed to weather.

Correct. For example, our short subways just had rail replacement done in the 90s, and the tie replacement will be done this year, with assorted signalling upgrades during the 90s and 00s (currently ongoing on the blue line). So that's an asset life of 50+ years for underground lines, whereas tracks on the surface need major work every 25-30 years.

nomarandlee Jan 29, 2007 10:21 AM

New track, platform debut today at Fullerton L stop
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...rail29.article

New track, platform debut today at Fullerton L stop

January 29, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter
Northbound Brown and Purple Line Express trains will begin using a new track and station platform at Fullerton today.
The new track was built in preparation for this spring, when the CTA takes one of its four tracks at Fullerton and Belmont out of service for the next two years as part of the agency's Brown Line expansion project.

At worst, travel times on the Red, Brown and Purple Lines could double once three-tracking begins, the CTA has said.

Elsewhere on the Brown Line, there will be a temporary entrance for the Sedgwick stop at Hudson Avenue, about one block west from the existing one.

Belmont, Fullerton and Sedgwick are among 18 Brown Line stations being rebuilt, so they can accommodate riders with disabilities and longer trains.

mjmjthomas@suntimes.com

Rail Claimore Jan 30, 2007 4:44 AM

I don't know that putting a lot of the elevated sections of track underground would be politically smart considering the el is something many in the city have an attachment to, but then again, a lot of people don't like the noisiness of it either. Many of the outer elevated sections of track don't get the train traffic to warrant putting them underground anyway.

A new underground loop (Clinton Street Subway) is an absolute must for the CTA... I think it's even more important than the circle line considering this mile-long subway segment alone would greatly increase capacity and operation flexibility on the current blue line routes and do what the circle line also intends to do: connect easily to Metra lines.

orulz Jan 30, 2007 4:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2595702)
2) Not sure why so many people are down on the Circle Line. Aside from the obvious of improving interconnectivity in the Chicago central area and speeding up cross-town trips, it provides the potentially huuuuge benefit of the linkup to all the Metra lines.
...
The Circle Line would serve ... North/Clybourn.

Speaking of the Circle Line and Metra in the North/Clybourn area, why is it desirable to curve east at Ashland & North, requiring an additional Metra station, rather than curving east at Cortland or Armitage, near the existing Metra station? Is it just a matter of money? Pushing the line north would increase the Circle Line's coverage quite a bit. There could be three stations at the north end of the circle, at Ashland & North, Ashland & Cortland (transfer to Metra) and Clybourn & Cortland, rather than just one, at North & Ashland (new transfer to Metra.)

This would add about 3/4 mile of additional tunnel, so it would certainly cost more, so maybe that's why, but then again this would open up a couple more neighborhoods to TOD as well and help Metra run more efficiently.

Anyway. Just talkin'.

Chicago3rd Jan 30, 2007 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 2596567)
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...rail29.article

New track, platform debut today at Fullerton L stop

January 29, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter
Northbound Brown and Purple Line Express trains will begin using a new track and station platform at Fullerton today.
The new track was built in preparation for this spring, when the CTA takes one of its four tracks at Fullerton and Belmont out of service for the next two years as part of the agency's Brown Line expansion project.

At worst, travel times on the Red, Brown and Purple Lines could double once three-tracking begins, the CTA has said.

Elsewhere on the Brown Line, there will be a temporary entrance for the Sedgwick stop at Hudson Avenue, about one block west from the existing one.

Belmont, Fullerton and Sedgwick are among 18 Brown Line stations being rebuilt, so they can accommodate riders with disabilities and longer trains.

mjmjthomas@suntimes.com

Fullerton Station looking south from East Side old Platform - New platform to the left
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481414-M.jpg
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481422-M.jpg
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481401-M.jpg
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481397-M.jpg
Looking North crossing over to new platform
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481388-M.jpg
Platform
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481366-M.jpg
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481359-M.jpg
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/126481354-L.jpg

MayorOfChicago Jan 30, 2007 6:24 PM

^ I saw that last night on the way home. Kinda caught me (and everyone else) off guard a little. It's funny when a Brown and Red get into that station at the same time because everyone runs for those little walkways and pretty much has a head on collision with the other group.

I also noticed how SMOOTH the new track was. It's only about a block long, but it was much quieter and smoother than the rest of the elevated. It really made me wish replacing the track was part of this new revamp as well. At least on the main line section.

I assume they'll extend the new platform out towards where the old northbound brown line tracks are. The stairs come up RIGHT at the edge of the new platform, clearly a northbound red line couldn't open it's doors right there when the platform is in full use.

Does anyone know how that's going to work?

Move the brown line to the east and start service on the new platform (already done)

Extend the new platform to the west over the old northbound brown line tracks.

Finish new tracks for northbound red line service

Tear down the old platform

Do the whole thing over again for the southbound platform/s\

?

Chicago3rd Jan 30, 2007 6:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 2599590)
^ I saw that last night on the way home. Kinda caught me (and everyone else) off guard a little. It's funny when a Brown and Red get into that station at the same time because everyone runs for those little walkways and pretty much has a head on collision with the other group.

I also noticed how SMOOTH the new track was. It's only about a block long, but it was much quieter and smoother than the rest of the elevated. It really made me wish replacing the track was part of this new revamp as well. At least on the main line section.

I assume they'll extend the new platform out towards where the old northbound brown line tracks are. The stairs come up RIGHT at the edge of the new platform, clearly a northbound red line couldn't open it's doors right there when the platform is in full use.

Does anyone know how that's going to work?

Move the brown line to the east and start service on the new platform (already done)

Extend the new platform to the west over the old northbound brown line tracks.

Finish new tracks for northbound red line service

Tear down the old platform

Do the whole thing over again for the southbound platform/s\

?


We are seeing 2/3 of the Plat form. The Remaining 3rd will be created over the track between the two platforms. So the new red line will be approx where the old platform now is.

I wish CTA could have had a little forth thought and created a 5th rail at both Belmont and Fullerton so Express trains could be run or when there were emergencies at those two major stations trains could bi-pass them. But I think CTA holding up 10,000's a people in those cases is smarter.

VivaLFuego Jan 31, 2007 10:53 PM

^ Cool! It's interesting how the auto-oriented suburbia (Schaumburg and Arlington Heights here, much of the LA area, etc.), after 50 years, are now trying to move towards more compact and transit-oriented development.

Busy Bee Feb 1, 2007 12:07 AM

I'd like to be more hopeful of Schaumburg's plans, but I'm envisioning Streets of Woodfield II with a train station. http://images.skyscraperpage.com/ima...ilies/yuck.gif
I hope I'm wrong. They should hire Optima to build a cluster of sleek condo and apartment towers in the plan.

spyguy Feb 1, 2007 12:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 2602582)
They should hire Optima to build a cluster of sleek condo and apartment towers in the plan.

Hell, I'd like to see something like Old Orchard Woods in Chicago.

Busy Bee Feb 1, 2007 12:55 AM

^Agreed. Times 10. Or More.

ardecila Feb 1, 2007 1:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 2602582)
I'd like to be more hopeful of Schaumburg's plans, but I'm envisioning Streets of Woodfield II with a train station. http://images.skyscraperpage.com/ima...ilies/yuck.gif
I hope I'm wrong.

Why? Streets of Woodfield with a train station would be a huge improvement compared to 99% of Schaumburg.

For anyone interested, some preliminary land-use planning:
http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/6...aumstarfa1.jpg

I go around this area pretty frequently. The development to the SW of the station could actually happen. There's a 3-building office park there right now, but a small street grid could easily be overlaid onto the parking lot and the new blocks filled with buildings.

The larger development area to the NE is filled with a ton of low-rent, 2-story 70s apartments. I'm not sure how easy it will be to get those guys to leave.

Chicago Shawn Feb 1, 2007 7:52 AM

^They plan on tearing down the Walden Apts? That seams pretty stupid considering how many units exist there. It would much more sustainable to alter the layout a bit and fill in some of the open green space. It would be nice if they could get the new hotel to rid itself of that massive parking lot, and convert it to garage parking inside a few new high-rises.

kalmia Feb 1, 2007 9:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2590236)
The Manhattan charge is for the tunnels and bridges and is all day long. ERP would vary at the peak hours maybe $8 dollars. It is not perfect, but if the cost is high enough and if the trains provide an attractive alternative why pay a high $$$ amount. But I agree with you we are a society that will never be comfortable with giving up our little personnel space on 4-wheels.

...

If those tunnels and bridges were opperated privately for profit with no imposed price controls, they would likely charge more for peek usage. This, of course, would be call 'price gouging' and 'taking advantage of those who have to travel at certain times'. Gas stations change their prices at different times of day and on different days. I've heard of stations raising prices during high traffic times and lowering prices the rest of the day.



Quote:

Originally Posted by nergie (Post 2590236)
...

Here is an idea, let's make cars expensive like Singapore. They have a COE that is priced per the engine size. Cars are also like $20-30K more expensive that the States. For example a Honda Accord it will cost $80K Singapore Dollars to buy it and another $24K Singapore Dollars for the 10-year COE. That is roughly $67K USD, and after 10 years if you have to buy a new COE. Most people in Singapore buy a new car after the 10 years and take the scrap value the gov't pays for the car.

Ah an urbanist's dream.

Or just stop subsidizing highway construction. Railroads have to pay to maintain their own tracks, but car and truck drivers don't pay except on a few toll roads.

Compare long haul trucking to freight trains. One pays for its right of way, and the other has the government pay for it. This makes the more innefficient trucking industry over used.

End all subsidies, and the most efficient will win out. This will mean an end to the Department of Transportation. States will no longer be able to maintain and build the limited access highways, so they will have to sell them off. This could be used to pay off a lot of government debt. Many more rail lines would likely be built to run for profit all over the city and surounding areas. The existing rail lines would likely run much better and without tax money.

Who would buy this stuff? Foreigners who have lots of $US from all the stuff they have been exporting to the US. What else can they do with all those dollars? Some already have been buying (or trying to buy) major assets in the US. The city of Chicago already received $1.83 billion for a 99 year lease on the Skyway (part of I-90). Maybe some of the other major expressways could be sold off some day.

Marcu Feb 1, 2007 6:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kalmia (Post 2603727)

Or just stop subsidizing highway construction. Railroads have to pay to maintain their own tracks, but car and truck drivers don't pay except on a few toll roads.

Most road construction and maintenance is paid through the gasoline tax (which is about 30% of gas costs) so it really ends up being fairly close to pay as you go (with gas guzzlers being disproportionaly taxed). This is especially true for local roads. Federal earmark highway provisions usually go to new hwy construction and massive expansion projects (Boston's Big Dig is a great example), not maintenance. In any case, these types of bills should certainly be done away with and we should switch to a pay as you go system (with tolls and exclusively through the gas tax).

The situation for roads is not unique however. The Dept of Trans. subsidizes virtually every form of transportation, whether through federally funded airport construction, amtrak subsidies, light rail, or port oversight. Mobility in generally seen as a public good and subsidies tend to benefit the working class who would otherwise not be able to afford to travel.

nergie Feb 1, 2007 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kalmia (Post 2603727)
If those tunnels and bridges were opperated privately for profit with no imposed price controls, they would likely charge more for peek usage. This, of course, would be call 'price gouging' and 'taking advantage of those who have to travel at certain times'. Gas stations change their prices at different times of day and on different days. I've heard of stations raising prices during high traffic times and lowering prices the rest of the day.





Or just stop subsidizing highway construction. Railroads have to pay to maintain their own tracks, but car and truck drivers don't pay except on a few toll roads.

Compare long haul trucking to freight trains. One pays for its right of way, and the other has the government pay for it. This makes the more innefficient trucking industry over used.

End all subsidies, and the most efficient will win out. This will mean an end to the Department of Transportation. States will no longer be able to maintain and build the limited access highways, so they will have to sell them off. This could be used to pay off a lot of government debt. Many more rail lines would likely be built to run for profit all over the city and surounding areas. The existing rail lines would likely run much better and without tax money.

Who would buy this stuff? Foreigners who have lots of $US from all the stuff they have been exporting to the US. What else can they do with all those dollars? Some already have been buying (or trying to buy) major assets in the US. The city of Chicago already received $1.83 billion for a 99 year lease on the Skyway (part of I-90). Maybe some of the other major expressways could be sold off some day.

I am in agreement with you, however the trucking industry will always be necessary as trains cannot go everywhere. Interstate commerce would definetely benefit from rail, as it is more cost efficient for 1-mile long train versus hunderds of trucks. The problem is the rail infrastructure needs to be really beefed up to handle the uptick in usuage.

The government both Federal and States should work with the railroads to improve this infrastructure. One of the big ticket items in the recent transportation bill was trying to debottleneck the Chicago rail network.

Chicago3rd Feb 1, 2007 10:42 PM

Could someone please post the CRAINS Jan 24th Editorial on CTA! It is so great to have a business coming to the aid of over throwing Krusie and waking Daley up!

Busy Bee Feb 2, 2007 1:34 AM

Fullerton & Belmont Stations Design Question
 
(According to the "official" design featured on the CTA's website) The renderings of the underside entrances of both the Fullerton and Belmont stations show tapered columns, presumably of buffed concrete yet the Ross Barney site shows them being a rather banal utilitarian round column. Has anyone seen more accurate renderings? Does anyone have any inside info? Were the more stylistic columns nixed when the original bids came in so high?

I've been curious about this for awhile.

the urban politician Feb 2, 2007 5:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 2604942)
Could someone please post the CRAINS Jan 24th Editorial on CTA! It is so great to have a business coming to the aid of over throwing Krusie and waking Daley up!

^ Crains Jan 24th article was posted on page 30 of this thread, and its Jan 27th one on page 31.

Don't worry, those bases have been covered

Chicago3rd Feb 2, 2007 2:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 2605849)
^ Crains Jan 24th article was posted on page 30 of this thread, and its Jan 27th one on page 31.

Don't worry, those bases have been covered

You really need to know what you are talking about.

The Craines January 29, 2007 addition has the CRAINES EDITORIAL verses the story from the week before. Crains is doing a follow thru....and it is impressive.
http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/127055575-L.jpg

http://wilsnodgrass.smugmug.com/photos/127055578-L.jpg

MayorOfChicago Feb 2, 2007 8:26 PM

^

The hell....that picture looks like a metra train ran into a van and now there's fire raging around the bottom of the locomotive

VivaLFuego Feb 2, 2007 9:41 PM

^ Yeah, that's no "minor" conflagration

Chicago Shawn Feb 2, 2007 11:51 PM

Another fucking derailment? This is becoming pathetic.

Glad to see Create moving along, despite the slap in the face from our former Republican led congress.

pyropius Feb 3, 2007 7:44 AM

Once we got to Howard on the red line at 4pm, we were told that no purple or yellow trains were running and we would have to take the shuttle busses. Some of us (but not all) had been warned before we got on the red line. However, the bus drivers lined up outside the station didn't know what routes they were running and displayed false route numbers on their marquees. It took maybe three CTA attendents fifteen minutes to coordinate the drivers - in which time a bus packed full of people who had been told they were Evanston-bound had to trade busses with a bus that was full of people going to Skokie - and they were extremely rude, shouting angrily at the customers who didn't know where to go.

The way the CTA handled this simple coordination of two shuttle routes makes me shudder to think what would happen on a citywide scale during a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

brian_b Feb 3, 2007 2:47 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politic...aley03.article

Games are impetus for transit line: Daley

February 3, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley said Friday he views the 2016 Summer Olympic Games as the "impetus" to build the north-south mass transit line Chicago has desperately needed since his father's dream of a Crosstown Expressway died.
Chicago is stuck with a downtown-centric transit system where the Loop is the hub, the spokes go out to the suburbs and there's nothing west and southwest of Ashland Avenue, the mayor said.


CTA Circle Line
If Chicago wins the Olympic sweepstakes, federal funding will be pouring in to cover the cost of security and transportation. And that provides a unique opportunity to correct a historic mistake, he said.
"A lot of people were against the Crosstown, but [killing it] was the worst thing that ever happened to this city," Daley told the Sun-Times editorial board.

"You talk about the Olympics because that's the way you can do things.... The Olympics will give us an impetus [to build] public transportation we don't have. Get on the Dan Ryan and look at how many people are driving north. ... We need a north and south line. ... We're going to propose that anyway, but we think it helps us if we get the Olympics."

Daley made it clear that the mass transit system he's talking about is "completely different" from the proposed CTA Circle Line, which would create an outer ring that connects all elevated train and Metra lines in the city.

The precise route has not been determined. But the mayor appeared to be describing the so-called Mid City Line his administration has been studying for the past five years as a possible Crosstown replacement.

hoju Feb 3, 2007 7:29 PM

^^ Has anyone heard anything about a mid-city line? How far west would it go? Is it supposed to be part of the CTA? A rail line running up and down western has long been a wish of mine, but if the circle line is going to run on ashland anyways, perhaps they should push the mid-city line further out. What would be another good north south arterial street to put this on?
Kedzie seems like it is dense enough to benefit greatly from this.

pottebaum Feb 3, 2007 7:31 PM

You'll find a map on the far right column of this page
http://www.chicago-l.org/plans/2010plan.html


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