SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

Busy Bee Jul 28, 2006 5:23 PM

Think of it this way:

Like Sears, a business that neglects or questions the importance of style, whether true or not, is often regarded as second rate.

whyhuhwhy Jul 28, 2006 5:24 PM

At least we know these designs age well though. I think the design of the station is more important than the train when all is said and done. There needs to be more signs like in London that tell you when the next train is coming. How many stations in Chicago have that?

whyhuhwhy Jul 28, 2006 5:27 PM

I think more than anything a new design would spur ridership interest just because it could be used as a marketing tacting. "The New CTA" if you will.

Unfortunately no sense in talking about it. What's done is done. That is what the el's going to look like until we die probably.

the urban politician Jul 28, 2006 6:08 PM

^ I agree that newer, more modern looking trains would be the way to go. The current cars look so damn utilitarian. Some colors would be nice.

I love how they painted some cars pink for the Pink Line. Something along those lines would really add to the cityscape. Perhaps a neon green "glow in the dark train" would be in order

As long as they never get rid of that totally cool "ding dong" bell sound just before the doors open and close, I'll be happy.

nomarandlee Jul 28, 2006 6:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy
At least we know these designs age well though. I think the design of the station is more important than the train when all is said and done. There needs to be more signs like in London that tell you when the next train is coming. How many stations in Chicago have that?


I agree. I go back and forth on if I prefer the stainless steal look or if I would like the CTA to go down the route of a Madrid or even a D.C. look. Both have their aethestic pros and cons. The one major con I have against the current look is that it reminds me too much of NYC. It seems to say if it is good enough for NYC then its good enough for us. But it does age well, doesn't get especially dirty, and can look sleak at times. Also I think the inside of the new cars are more important. Look insde Londons lines (only seen in photos) and they look very nice and sophisticated.

But as said before I think the stations are most important. And I hate to say it but many if not most of Chi's stations are just in abysmal shape. If you want to change perceptions that rapid tranist is not just for the poor then you need to change the atmosphere and conditions that it looks like it does.

alex1 Jul 28, 2006 6:52 PM

nothing special about the current cars. the flat fronts serve no purpose other then to cause drag and require more power to operate.

Personally, my favorite trains are the London Underground fleet. However, something like that is only viable if there's a train every 23 seconds. That's not gonna happen in chicago anytime in the next 20 years.

spyguy Jul 28, 2006 7:43 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...ssouthwest-hed

South suburbs see promise, peril in Metra line proposal

By Carmen Greco Jr

Special to the Tribune
Published July 28, 2006

A new Metra commuter line that would give thousands of south suburban residents greater access to downtown Chicago could be a blessing and a curse, residents said during a planning meeting in Glenwood.

While the proposed Southeast Service Line could spur transit-oriented development and increase employment opportunities, residents said Wednesday night they worry about added traffic congestion and air and noise pollution.

"We have a small town, and the congestion is already terrible," said Mark Nordin of Thornton. "You add more Metra trains every 20 minutes, and people aren't even going to be able to get to work."

But Metra officials and south suburban leaders say the line could help municipalities revitalize their downtowns and take cars off local roads and expressways.

The line, which would cost about $500 million in its most expensive form, would begin south of Crete near Balmoral Park and make stops in Crete, Steger, South Chicago Heights, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Thornton, South Holland and Dolton.

The line would run on existing Union Pacific/CSX freight tracks before switching to tracks on Metra's Rock Island line near Blue Island.

Metra is marshaling the local support needed to persuade the federal government to fund the project. After an initial planning phase, officials said, they would schedule meetings in October for public comment. If approved, the project would take 8 to 10 years to complete.

"There's a lot more growth expected in this area, and the transportation system is already stressed," said Mike Lambert, a consultant hired by Metra.

Metra also will study alternatives to rail transportation for the region, including express buses that would follow a corridor along Interstate Highways 394 and 94.

Glenwood Mayor Jeanne Maggio, like other local leaders, is pushing for a rail line. A stop in Glenwood, she said, would mean a new train station that could spur downtown redevelopment. A new condominium and retail development is already taking off, she said.

"If the train were here today, it would already be filled up," Maggio said of the space.

She and other local leaders say they fear unwanted side-effects, such as increased traffic congestion, but believe careful planning could address those concerns. Leaders and residents from the communities slated for stops, for instance, could opt out of building train stations if they believe they would not benefit their towns.

South Holland Mayor Don DeGraff said the prospect of rail service already is sparking developers' interest in his town.

"We've used this as a catalyst to help jumpstart our downtown area," he said.

-----
http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/232/sesmapck9.jpg

VivaLFuego Jul 28, 2006 8:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy
At least we know these designs age well though. I think the design of the station is more important than the train when all is said and done. There needs to be more signs like in London that tell you when the next train is coming. How many stations in Chicago have that?

like 4 stations have these signs, though many (all of the orange, green, pink line) have announcements for when a train is 1 minute away.

This is an interesting issue, because everyone says they want it, but studies have shown only a very minor impact on overall customer satisfaction and almost zero impact on ridership, so its not currently a priority investment for CTA.

VivaLFuego Jul 28, 2006 9:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...ssouthwest-hed

South suburbs see promise, peril in Metra line proposal

By Carmen Greco Jr

Special to the Tribune
Published July 28, 2006

A new Metra commuter line that would give thousands of south suburban residents greater access to downtown Chicago could be a blessing and a curse, residents said during a planning meeting in Glenwood.

While the proposed Southeast Service Line could spur transit-oriented development and increase employment opportunities, residents said Wednesday night they worry about added traffic congestion and air and noise pollution.

"We have a small town, and the congestion is already terrible," said Mark Nordin of Thornton. "You add more Metra trains every 20 minutes, and people aren't even going to be able to get to work."

But Metra officials and south suburban leaders say the line could help municipalities revitalize their downtowns and take cars off local roads and expressways.

The line, which would cost about $500 million in its most expensive form, would begin south of Crete near Balmoral Park and make stops in Crete, Steger, South Chicago Heights, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Thornton, South Holland and Dolton.

The line would run on existing Union Pacific/CSX freight tracks before switching to tracks on Metra's Rock Island line near Blue Island.

Metra is marshaling the local support needed to persuade the federal government to fund the project. After an initial planning phase, officials said, they would schedule meetings in October for public comment. If approved, the project would take 8 to 10 years to complete.

"There's a lot more growth expected in this area, and the transportation system is already stressed," said Mike Lambert, a consultant hired by Metra.

Metra also will study alternatives to rail transportation for the region, including express buses that would follow a corridor along Interstate Highways 394 and 94.

Glenwood Mayor Jeanne Maggio, like other local leaders, is pushing for a rail line. A stop in Glenwood, she said, would mean a new train station that could spur downtown redevelopment. A new condominium and retail development is already taking off, she said.

"If the train were here today, it would already be filled up," Maggio said of the space.

She and other local leaders say they fear unwanted side-effects, such as increased traffic congestion, but believe careful planning could address those concerns. Leaders and residents from the communities slated for stops, for instance, could opt out of building train stations if they believe they would not benefit their towns.

South Holland Mayor Don DeGraff said the prospect of rail service already is sparking developers' interest in his town.

"We've used this as a catalyst to help jumpstart our downtown area," he said.

-----
http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/232/sesmapck9.jpg

Given that suburbs are a fact of life, commuter rail will certainly help strengthen corridors and fill in the space along the corridors and in the suburban downtowns, while of course adding to the transportation capacity headed to chicago's main employment center. all this means it allows chicagoland to keep adding residents without claiming more farmland (though it inevitably will). Good luck to Metra on making it happen (though I wish Metra would also consider some actual cooperation with CTA on fare integration and better rapid transit connections to the downtown commuter terminals.

the urban politician Jul 28, 2006 9:30 PM

^ This is a great idea and I'm always in favor of more commuter rail access to downtown Chicago.

The south suburbs need the same access to downtown as the people in the north burbs, and it's better than having more cars on the expressways.

Taft Jul 28, 2006 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
like 4 stations have these signs, though many (all of the orange, green, pink line) have announcements for when a train is 1 minute away.

This is an interesting issue, because everyone says they want it, but studies have shown only a very minor impact on overall customer satisfaction and almost zero impact on ridership, so its not currently a priority investment for CTA.

I can buy that the average customer probably wouldn't benefit much from this. But there are areas where it would be REALY helpful for riders. For instance, brown/purple line riders heading north from the loop from stations without the ability to go from one side of the platform to the other. Not knowing which train is coming next is really a pain.

It probably wouldn't increase ridership, but it might just increase customer satisfaction, which, in the long term, could net more riders.

Taft

Wright Concept Jul 28, 2006 10:16 PM

The next train monitors usually works with rail corridors with multiple lines sharing the tracks so that folks won't get on the wrong train. Like that would work for the Loop or the shared track stretches of the Orange-Green south of the loop to Roosevelt or Brown/Purple between Belmont and Merch Mart. But come to think of it that already exists at some of those linking stations

oshkeoto Jul 29, 2006 2:38 AM

"Some here have said that the no frills, utilitarian CTA L car is perfect for Chicago. I disagree completly. I'm not saying that we should have gotten some crazy bubbly shaped thing more suited for Thailand or anything, just some INNOVATION and CREATIVITY, or just a little bit of aesthetic consideration. Let's face it, it would not have taken much to snazzy up this design."

Innovation or snazz rumbling along on rusting, 110-year-old utilitarian elevated tracks would look ridiculous.

I would be for some sort of colors, though.

whyhuhwhy Jul 29, 2006 4:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
Innovation or snazz rumbling along on rusting, 110-year-old utilitarian elevated tracks would look ridiculous.

LOL, that's totally true. Never thought about it like that. I can't imagine how ridiculous an innovative train might look creeking along at 30 mph.

VivaLFuego Jul 29, 2006 5:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
"Some here have said that the no frills, utilitarian CTA L car is perfect for Chicago. I disagree completly. I'm not saying that we should have gotten some crazy bubbly shaped thing more suited for Thailand or anything, just some INNOVATION and CREATIVITY, or just a little bit of aesthetic consideration. Let's face it, it would not have taken much to snazzy up this design."

Innovation or snazz rumbling along on rusting, 110-year-old utilitarian elevated tracks would look ridiculous.

I would be for some sort of colors, though.

Something worth noting is that a big part of the desire for the ribbed stainless steel of the 2200s, 3200s, and the new cars is that they are much less prone to graffiti

Steely Dan Jul 29, 2006 5:08 PM

^ and it's not just that they're less prone to graffiti, but graffiti is also approximately 1 billion times easier to remove from a stainless steel surface than from a painted surface. the stainless steel isn't there just for looks (although it does look extremely hot), it's also there because it's one of the most durable and anti-graffiti products known to man. stainless steel is one of the world's wonder products. if i was master of the universe, i would replace all of the matter in the cosmos with stainless steel.............. it would be a pretty kick-ass universe.

oshkeoto Jul 29, 2006 5:16 PM

I think I would only be for a newfangled design if it was just completely bizarre--like, if every car had an animal theme, so you'd get a train with elephant ears and a trunk, or a turtle shell, or something like that. We wouldn't have to replace all of our goold old cars, but I wouldn't mind hearing a ruckus and looking up and seeing a (stainless steel) elephant trunk.

All those other "forward-looking" designs in other cities just end up looking silly.

VivaLFuego Jul 29, 2006 6:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
I think I would only be for a newfangled design if it was just completely bizarre--like, if every car had an animal theme, so you'd get a train with elephant ears and a trunk, or a turtle shell, or something like that. We wouldn't have to replace all of our goold old cars, but I wouldn't mind hearing a ruckus and looking up and seeing a (stainless steel) elephant trunk.

All those other "forward-looking" designs in other cities just end up looking silly.

Right....ribbed stainless steel = functional, timeless elegance.

For the interior, the rendering does seem to show that a little fake wood paneling survived up by the operator's booth.....argh!

Busy Bee Jul 29, 2006 7:07 PM

http://www.berliner-verkehr.de/ubbilder/utw1001_4.jpg

http://www.berliner-verkehr.de/ubbilder/utw1001_1.jpg

http://www.berliner-verkehr.de/ubbilder/utw1003.jpg

http://www.berliner-verkehr.de/ubbilder/skizze_hk.jpg

http://funini.com/train/sweden/imgs/c20.jpg

http://www.galen-frysinger.ws/sweden/elderhostel20.jpg

Yeah you're right, forward looking design is weird. We don't need any of that silly cutting edge stuff.http://images.skyscraperpage.com/ima...ilies/koko.gif

Even if the outside didn't change, I can't think of a reason on earth that the interiors were not updated(besides the seating config.)

New York sure has made strides though:

http://tr.eltiempo.com/blogs/imagene...ycsubway80.jpg

http://mishappa.image.pbase.com/u47/...47552.IRT3.jpg

MTA contacted a NY based industrial design firm named Antenna Design to do work for the exteriors/interiors of the R142/143 cars. The cars are still stainless but look great because the designers added flourishes that look like someone cared. The interiors are black, white, silver and a lavinder/perriwinkle color. Leaps better than what it looks like the CTA is going to get.

Busy Bee Jul 29, 2006 7:27 PM

Here is another NY in case the other doesn't load:

http://www.subwaywebnews.com/Photo%2...20Interior.jpg

oshkeoto Jul 29, 2006 10:12 PM

"Yeah you're right, forward looking design is weird. We don't need any of that silly cutting edge stuff."

I don't think any of those cars are impressive. They look like brightly colored, flimsier versions of what we have.

The new NYC cars look sterile.

Busy Bee Jul 30, 2006 2:39 AM

I kind of like the idea of a sterile interior. I'd rather look at pure white walls, a speckled black floor and silver than grungy yellow/tan that looks like an old computer monitor. It's kind of like comparing a PC to a Mac in terms of aesthetics. Where as a PC has a long history of being a dud in the design department, the design of the Apple computer and brand is one of its' strongest selling points.

Steely Dan Jul 30, 2006 4:13 PM

busy bee, you're not going to win me over by posting pics of those garish european trains. those ridiculous things look like they belong at disneyland. what we're getting in chicago is a thousand times better and more appropriate for a real city.

stainless steel forever!

Busy Bee Jul 30, 2006 5:55 PM

GRRRR! Can't win em all I guess.

brian_b Jul 30, 2006 9:14 PM

Who cares what they look like, they just need quieter cars. And automatic air fresheners under each seat.

spyguy Jul 30, 2006 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
Innovation or snazz rumbling along on rusting, 110-year-old utilitarian elevated tracks would look ridiculous.

I thought Chicago was a city of contrasts? I guess not...

What is kind of funny is how we don't lament the loss of countless historic buildings each year and institutions like Field's, but we are ready to defend the look of cars.

Which is sad. Modernizing the cars and stations would greatly enhance the CTA's image and provide new amenities, which in turn will drive ridership growth.

As we see with everything else, you either get with the times or become obsolete. I guess in 2040 we'll see if visitors and businesses enjoy our system which many already laugh at in 2006.

Busy Bee Jul 31, 2006 12:57 AM

Ditto. Thank you spyguy.

Busy Bee Jul 31, 2006 1:00 AM

I guess the root problem of all of this is not enough funding to make it a world class system. When the stations look as despicable as ours, I guess for many its hard to imagine its important to have rolling stock that is reflective of the times.

VivaLFuego Jul 31, 2006 2:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee
I guess the root problem of all of this is not enough funding to make it a world class system. When the stations look as despicable as ours, I guess for many its hard to imagine its important to have rolling stock that is reflective of the times.

Not enough funding, and I think the operations could be made much more efficient, though that would be very politically unpopular (it would involve cutting the plethora of service that CTA provides that no one rides, lke 30+ bus routes and reducing frequency of off-peak services). If operations recovered more at the farebox, then more public money could to capital improvements like station renovations. (of course, at 53% recovery ratio, we're still better than many major systems, Boston is 35%).

Another thing worth mentioning is that most of the system actually is in decent shape: The Orange Line, Green Line, Pink Line are all excellent. The south end of the red line and the brown line will soon be excellent. parts of the blue line are in decent shape. It just so happens that the most heavily used portions, i.e. the north branch of the red line and the downtown subways, are in the worst shape.

Busy Bee Jul 31, 2006 3:36 AM

Quote:

Another thing worth mentioning is that most of the system actually is in decent shape: The Orange Line, Green Line, Pink Line are all excellent. The south end of the red line and the brown line will soon be excellent. parts of the blue line are in decent shape. It just so happens that the most heavily used portions, i.e. the north branch of the red line and the downtown subways, are in the worst shape.
That is a good point. I guess I was thinking more about the North Side Main, Brown(will soon be better), and the Loop because they get so much exposure and heavy ridership.

HK Chicago Jul 31, 2006 4:11 AM

I was surprised to see the CTA cars don't have unobstructed floors, and the NYC car photo is a perfect example of what I was thinking... easier to clean.

alex1 Aug 2, 2006 7:19 PM

nYc train cars are damn nice.

the urban politician Aug 2, 2006 8:44 PM

SSP IS SO DAMN SLOW LATELY!!!

Anyhow, for those of you interested in the Circle Line, I found a pretty nice, detailed pdf of the CTA's answers to a lot of public questions regarding this development. It is dated only 2 weeks ago, so it's pretty new

Here's the link:

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/w...ticleid=117176

Go to the bottom, and click 'Responses to public comment'

VivaLFuego Aug 4, 2006 2:35 PM

CTA Bus Tracker pilot is launching:
http://www.ctabustracker.com

The pilot program is just on the #20 Madison. Pretty sweet, eh?

spyguy Aug 4, 2006 3:22 PM

^That's pretty cool.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...l=chi-news-hed

U.S. Cellular move aids rivals
Emergency calls possible in subway

By Jon Van

Tribune staff reporter
Published August 4, 2006

U.S. Cellular paid a lot of money to enable its mobile phone subscribers to make calls from Chicago Transit Authority trains traveling in subway tunnels. But it turns out that customers of some other cell phone companies will get one of those benefits: making emergency calls.

The U.S. Cellular service, launching commercially Friday, will not only keep its customers connected in tunnels, it will also enable people with Verizon Wireless and Sprint phones to make emergency 911 calls because their operating systems are compatible with U.S. Cellular's.

Promoting the safety aspects of cell phone use was a major reason that U.S. Cellular paid $2.9 million to activate its service in Chicago's CTA subway tunnels, John Rooney, chief of the Chicago-based wireless phone carrier, said.

VivaLFuego Aug 4, 2006 5:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy
^That's pretty cool.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...l=chi-news-hed

U.S. Cellular move aids rivals
Emergency calls possible in subway

By Jon Van

Tribune staff reporter
Published August 4, 2006

U.S. Cellular paid a lot of money to enable its mobile phone subscribers to make calls from Chicago Transit Authority trains traveling in subway tunnels. But it turns out that customers of some other cell phone companies will get one of those benefits: making emergency calls.

The U.S. Cellular service, launching commercially Friday, will not only keep its customers connected in tunnels, it will also enable people with Verizon Wireless and Sprint phones to make emergency 911 calls because their operating systems are compatible with U.S. Cellular's.

Promoting the safety aspects of cell phone use was a major reason that U.S. Cellular paid $2.9 million to activate its service in Chicago's CTA subway tunnels, John Rooney, chief of the Chicago-based wireless phone carrier, said.

Makes sense, since all of those companies use CDMA (in contrast to Cingular and T-Mobile who use GSM). I wonder why Verizon and Sprint couldnt also make roaming calls from the subway.

Chicago Shawn Aug 5, 2006 2:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
SSP IS SO DAMN SLOW LATELY!!!

Anyhow, for those of you interested in the Circle Line, I found a pretty nice, detailed pdf of the CTA's answers to a lot of public questions regarding this development. It is dated only 2 weeks ago, so it's pretty new

Here's the link:

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/w...ticleid=117176

Go to the bottom, and click 'Responses to public comment'

Cool, my comments were published. #136 on page 17, and #170 on page 20. :)

Chicago Shawn Aug 5, 2006 2:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oshkeoto
I think I would only be for a newfangled design if it was just completely bizarre--like, if every car had an animal theme, so you'd get a train with elephant ears and a trunk, or a turtle shell, or something like that. We wouldn't have to replace all of our goold old cars, but I wouldn't mind hearing a ruckus and looking up and seeing a (stainless steel) elephant trunk.

All those other "forward-looking" designs in other cities just end up looking silly.

I had the idea that the CTA could offer a design comptition sponsered by designer stores to show off a funky yet functional train interoir. Such as having IKEA design the seating and interoir of a specific car, as a means of advertising for thier store, and getting a remodeled railcar on the system for free of charge. It would certinally spruce up the image of public transit for those who are addicted to the leather seats in thier SUVs.

Busy Bee Aug 5, 2006 2:38 AM

Not to beat a dead horse, but the discussion (and concern) about domestic railcar design/innovation isn't just happening on this board. I copied and pasted some comments from Wired NY about the new cars for PATH:

Quote:

Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. is designing the cars under a $499 million contract to build a new fleet...The entire fleet will be replaced by 2011.
Poster: Would it be too much to ask for a little glamour in the style?

Poster: Very sad to see that they spend $499 million to get exact same look as their current cars. I guess they can cut cost by not having to design the new one. Plus they can reuse parts (if not the whole trains themselves) for the new fleet. You see, the chains hanging in front of the front door are exactly the same.

Quote:

Very sad to see that they spend $499 million to get exact same look as their current cars.
Poster: So why did they even bother with an artist's rendering? They could have just taken a photo of an existing car.


It seems the CTA isn't the only agency subscribing to blah.

I agree about a competition for the interiors, it won't happen though. As they say "it's either too early to tell, or too late too change."

nomarandlee Aug 6, 2006 10:45 AM

Want to know exactly when next CTA bus is coming?
 
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-bus06.html
[I]
News
Want to know exactly when next CTA bus is coming?

August 6, 2006

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter


Waiting for the bus might get easier for some Chicago Transit Authority riders.

The CTA Saturday launched a $1.3 million pilot program that allows passengers with Internet access to track the real-time locations and estimated arrival times for the 39 buses that travel the No. 20 Madison route.

Riders logged onto the CTA's new Web site, www.ctabustracker.com, can also activate an alarm that will alert them when a bus on the 10-mile route is minutes away from a particular stop, helping them better plan their travel from their offices and minimize their wait, CTA President Frank Kruesi said.

Mayor Daley said the bus tracker system, which uses global positioning satellite technology, will "revolutionize" customer satisfaction.

"The innovative use of this technology will improve the CTA's reliability, make traveling around Chicago much more pleasant and of course, convenient for all of the residents," Daley said at a news conference at the CTA Control Center, 120 N. Racine.

Those without a computer or Blackberry-type device can see the estimated arrival times for the next two buses on an orange LED display installed at the westbound bus shelter at Madison and Jefferson.

But if the pilot program is successful, all on-site shelters in the system's 153 bus routes would eventually get the electronic signage within a few years, Kruesi said, adding that it would cost $25 million to $30 million to implement bus tracking systemwide.

"The idea here is to try to get as much information out as many different ways as we can to accommodate the many different kinds of customers we have," he said.

The GPS software also has text messaging capabilities so Control Center operators can communicate with field supervisors on the No. 20 Madison route to monitor daily bus activity and emergencies, Kruesi said.

The testing phase of the bus tracker program will continue through December.[/I]

spyguy Aug 7, 2006 3:35 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...l=chi-news-hed

Crime drops as CTA ridership grows
Published August 7, 2006, 4:07 AM CDT

The Chicago Transit Authority says fewer crimes have been reported on its buses and trains during the first half of the year despite an increase in riders.

The agency says pick-pocketing and strong-arm robbery continue to be the most common offenses committed on trains, at stations and on buses.

In the first six months of 2006, there were 544 reported robberies, a decline of nearly 7 percent from the same period last year.

The number of thefts dropped even more during the period, from 96 last year to 63—a 34 percent difference.

There were 21 assaults, the same as last year, and 37 reports of aggravated battery, one fewer than last year.

The CTA says it had 202.6 million riders in the first half of the year, up 1.4 percent from last year.

VivaLFuego Aug 7, 2006 4:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...l=chi-news-hed

Crime drops as CTA ridership grows
Published August 7, 2006, 4:07 AM CDT

The Chicago Transit Authority says fewer crimes have been reported on its buses and trains during the first half of the year despite an increase in riders.

The agency says pick-pocketing and strong-arm robbery continue to be the most common offenses committed on trains, at stations and on buses.

In the first six months of 2006, there were 544 reported robberies, a decline of nearly 7 percent from the same period last year.

The number of thefts dropped even more during the period, from 96 last year to 63—a 34 percent difference.

There were 21 assaults, the same as last year, and 37 reports of aggravated battery, one fewer than last year.

The CTA says it had 202.6 million riders in the first half of the year, up 1.4 percent from last year.

Good news on safety, since in this country the perception of danger on public transit is one of the biggest reason people avoid it. Each little step helps, by keeping vehicles cleaner and free of graffiiti and installing conspicuous security cameras on busses, trains, and at stations.

The ridership stats break down interestingly, rail ridership is up significantly (I think like 6% from last year while bus ridership is down).

spyguy Aug 10, 2006 12:16 AM

CTA needs $8-10 billion for the next 5 years
 
http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=122271

CTA Forecasts $8 Billion in Capital Needs
8/9/06


At today’s Chicago Transit Board meeting, the CTA’s vice-president of capital programs announced that after an extensive examination of the CTA’s assets and infrastructure, including rail stations, tracks and support facilities, the CTA and its capital program management team have determined that an $8 billion capital investment is needed in the next five years in order to allow the CTA to continue to provide safe and reliable service and meet growing transit needs. Including all planned rail line extensions would increase the figure to more than $10 billion.

Of the projected $8 billion need, CTA staff has identified about $2.2 billion that could be available through federal funding or CTA-issued bonds, leaving a potential unfunded need at $5.8 billion. A decision on an anticipated state capital program could help narrow the gap.

Projects include replacing and rehabbing aging buses and trains to improve reliability and customer comfort; retrofitting rail cars with cameras to enhance customer safety and system security; rebuilding train stations to increase circulation and accessibility; expanding the new Bus Tracker program to provide arrival information for all bus lines; upgrading the public address system to offer timely and clear information during service disruptions; upgrading signal and communications system to improve system reliability; and extending the Red, Orange and Yellow Lines.

The CTA’s last capital assessment identified $5.1 billion of needed projects. The updated figure resulted from a rigorous 18 month assessment that the CTA started to prepare for a successor capital program to Illinois FIRST, also contributing was a directive from the Illinois State Auditor General that the CTA review its operations and management, including its capital program. The result is the CTA’s most comprehensive needs assessment in nearly 10 years.

“The right capital investments can decrease operating costs, increase reliability and improve overall service quality,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “With record gas prices making public transit an increasingly attractive option, it is important to understand the big picture so that CTA, its customers and all those who take an interest in CTA activities can see what level of service is possible with a solid investment and, alternatively, what is likely without one.”

The CTA’s long-standing capital goal is to reach what is known in the transit industry as a “State of Good Repair.” It requires that equipment and facilities are upgraded and replaced in a timely manner and that service management systems should be modern and reliable.

“Although we constantly invest in improvements to our fleet and facilities, the fact remains that some of our infrastructure and facilities are more than 100 years old, and all of it is aging year after year. To achieve and maintain a state of good repair requires continued investment,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “We run a 24/7 operation with a heavy and growing daily demand. Timely maintenance and replacement of aging assets is necessary to keep trains and buses running, to keep our facilities safe and efficient, to incorporate technologies that will improve service for our customers, and to control future costs.”

Paul Fish, Vice President of Capital Investment, reported that in recent years the CTA has made significant progress in its capital program thanks to federal funding and the state’s last capital program, Illinois FIRST, which provided the CTA with more than $800 million in investment between 2000 and 2004 and enabled it to leverage federal funding. As a result, the CTA increased the investment in its capital program from 19 percent of the funding needed to get to a state of good repair in 1999 to nearly 60 percent by 2004.

Recent investments include the renovation of the 54th/Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line and the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line; the purchase of more than 1,100 new buses that are air conditioned and accessible to people with disabilities; the refurbishment of nearly 1,000 rail cars; the replacement of 15 miles of double track, 40 miles of cable and 27 miles of rail; renovation of 30 rail stations, installation of new elevators and escalators and structural projects such as Harrison Curve and the Paulina Connector that have enabled service improvements.

VivaLFuego Aug 10, 2006 12:40 AM

$8 billion in 5 years......dream on.
I hope theres a solid plan in place to best use the $2-3 billion or so the CTA will probably get over that period

Chicago3rd Aug 10, 2006 5:06 AM

CTA Fullerton Station Upgrade

http://wilthe3rd.smugmug.com/photos/87187989-L.jpg

http://wilthe3rd.smugmug.com/photos/87187991-L.jpg

http://wilthe3rd.smugmug.com/photos/87187982-M.jpg

http://wilthe3rd.smugmug.com/photos/87187983-L.jpg

http://wilthe3rd.smugmug.com/photos/87187985-L.jpg

http://wilthe3rd.smugmug.com/photos/87187986-L.jpg

nomarandlee Aug 10, 2006 11:54 AM

Brown Line work running months late
 
http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-cta10.html

Brown Line work running months late

August 10, 2006

BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter


Shedding light on just how far behind schedule parts of the CTA's Brown Line renovation project might be, contractors working for the CTA have requested nearly six additional months to complete rehab work at three stations, CTA officials said Wednesday.

The contractor responsible for station and platform enhancements at the Armitage stop is asking the Chicago Transit Authority for 172 extra days to finish the job, pushing the expected completion date for that station to August 2007 instead of February.

The same contractor, FHP Tectonics, also anticipates being 173 days behind schedule on the Chicago and Sedgwick stations, according to Susan Plassmeyer, the CTA's executive vice president of construction.

The CTA has said that work on these three stations would be delayed because the CTA's construction department failed to get the proper permits. But Wednesday was the first time the CTA specified how much extra time the permitting problems have potentially added.

Contractor estimates for completion of the Western station work have also been revised to account for nearly four months of anticipated delays, Plassmeyer said. The new expected completion date for the station is November 2007.

CTA staff disclosed the new estimates at the request of board members, who expressed strong doubts last month over whether the $530million project could be completed on-time and within budget.

CTA Board Chairwoman Carole Brown didn't sound any more reassured after Wednesday's board meeting. "I still don't think I have a full picture of exactly when and if there are going to be significant delays," she said. "I'm still waiting to see where progress on the project really is."

CTA President Frank Kruesi, meanwhile, insists that the delays outlined Wednesday will not keep the CTA from completing the entire project by 2009.

In related news, the Kimball and Rockwell stations, which have been closed temporarily while under construction, are scheduled to reopen Aug. 18.
mjthomas@suntimes.com

SevenSevenThree Aug 16, 2006 6:43 AM

nevermind.

spyguy Aug 17, 2006 2:44 AM

Some pictures of the newly opened Rockwell station

Here and here

And Kedzie

spyguy Aug 18, 2006 2:56 PM

How sad
 
Those who missed the `L' at Belmont are not alone

By Jon Hilkevitch and Gerry Doyle

Tribune staff reporters
Published August 18, 2006

Commuters, have you lost your bearings? If so, don't look to some of the new CTA signs for help.

And if you've been searching all around Chicago for a street named "Bemont," stop looking.

The transit agency could have benefited from the services of a good proofreader before printing about 3,000 new, over-the-door rail system maps that are posted on all 1,100 CTA train cars.

A series of mistakes resulted in the firing of one CTA employee Thursday, and it will cost the agency $75,000 to replace the signs.

The maps, revised this summer to include the new Pink Line, list the wrong phone number for the Regional Transportation Authority's travel information hot line, which connects commuters calling from most metropolitan Chicago area codes with advisers who help them plan transit itineraries.

Instead of 836-7000, which was correctly listed on the old rail system maps, the number on the new maps flips two digits.

Callers to the wrong number in the 847 area code are connected to a young man's voice mail.

"Hey, this is Nick's cell phone. Call me back again some other time because I never listen to my messages. ... Maybe I'll talk to you later."

In the 312 area code, callers are greeted by a corporation's voice-mail access line.

"Meridian Mail mailbox," says the automated voice, which prompts callers to "Please enter your mailbox number followed by the number sign."

More mistakes here

VivaLFuego Aug 18, 2006 4:11 PM

I would have expected at least one person to proofread it before going to press...


All times are GMT. The time now is 1:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.