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)

the urban politician Aug 25, 2006 8:02 PM

^ $25,000 per year? They pay janitors better than that.

So we have some chick from Dupage running the show now? Hopefully she's not as much of an ass as her predecessor, who once said "We're not a charity service" as a response to why Metra hadn't orignally planned for the proposed STAR line to serve the south suburbs.

VivaLFuego Aug 25, 2006 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ $25,000 per year? They pay janitors better than that.

So we have some chick from Dupage running the show now? Hopefully she's not as much of an ass as her predecessor, who once said "We're not a charity service" as a response to why Metra hadn't orignally planned for the proposed STAR line to serve the south suburbs.

$25,000 + full benefits isn't bad for a board position, she has a day job too. board members at CTA get the same deal, and except for chairman they only need to show up about 12 times a year for that 25K. not bad.

nomarandlee Aug 30, 2006 3:29 PM

Our long commute just gets longer
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Our long commute just gets longer

Chicago-area residents spend more time getting to and from work, and many of them even go to the `extreme': 90 minutes and up each way

By John McCormick, Jeff Long and Darnell Little, Tribune staff reporters
Published August 30, 2006


The alarm rings at Mary Ellen Patterson's McHenry County home, and she's off--skirting the traffic jams at the high school, motoring down Lake-Cook Road, catching the 7:11 a.m. train at Barrington and finishing with a brisk walk to her Loop office, about an hour and a half after she started.

She is what the U.S. Census Bureau calls an "extreme commuter," somebody who spends more than 90 minutes each way getting to and from work--among the fastest-growing segments of workaday travelers.


The number of extreme commuters in McHenry County grew from about 8,600 in 2002 to 10,700 in 2005, according to census data released Tuesday. In Will County, the number of extreme commuters doubled to about 15,000.

The report also shows average commuting times rising in all five collar counties. Holding down the far corners of the metropolitan area, McHenry County and Will County had average commutes long enough to rank them among the top 25 in the nation.

In spite of gas prices exceeding $3 per gallon, the data suggest the region's sprawl in search of bigger and more affordable housing marched on unabated last year.

Despite the 5 a.m. wake-ups, despite all the time she has to think about her commute during her 40-mile treks, Patterson said she has no regrets.

"I like the quiet out here," said Patterson, a relative newcomer to the world of extreme commuting, after she filled her mini-van's tank. "Besides, the price of housing in Chicago is unbelievable. I couldn't afford to live down there."

The national average for a one-way commute is 25.1 minutes, significantly lower than the 34.4 minutes reported in McHenry County and the 34.3 minutes in Will. Both counties saw their times grow by more than two minutes between 2000 and 2005.Demographers say the longer commuting times--self-reported by survey participants--are a reflection of suburban employment growth failing to keep up with population growth.

"The economic base is not sufficient enough in those counties to sustain all of the workers there, so they are going someplace else to work," said Marc Thomas, information services manager for the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission. "That's showing up in the commute times, as more people move out there to live but still have to work in another area."

Nearly half of McHenry County workers, for example, work in another county, the new census data show, compared with 12.5 percent of those who live in Cook County. Residents of Will County were least likely to stay within their home county, with 57.3 percent saying they work elsewhere.

With limited mass transit available, most suburbanites drive their cars to work. Just 3.9 percent of McHenry County workers report taking mass transportation, compared with 16.7 percent in Cook County and 25.3 percent in Chicago, where trains and buses are more accessible.

In each of the Chicago area's six counties, the most common time to leave for work was between 7 and 7:30 a.m. In some suburban counties, many people leave for work between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

The new data are part of the annual American Community Survey, a program slated to replace the so-called long form that has historically asked the most detailed census questions every 10 years.

The results from the survey previously were only available for cities and counties with at least 250,000 people, but in several releases this summer and fall they are being published for areas with 65,000 people or more.

The new census data come just ahead of a study to be released Thursday by the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation that shows the Chicago area has the second-most congested roads in the nation, behind the Los Angeles area.

The report, citing data from the Texas Transportation Institute and other state and federal research efforts, says driving times here during peak traffic are 57 percent longer than they are during off-peak times. If trends continue, the report suggests rush-hour drives here could take 88 percent longer than non-peak by 2030.
The report also states that road capacity is not keeping up with population growth and that by 2030 Illinois will need roughly 4,450 new lane-miles of road at a cost of $55 billion in today's dollars.

Chicago remains the Second City when it comes to commuting times for residents of the nation's largest cities, behind only New York. Chicago clocked in with an average of 34.3 minutes, compared with 39.1 minutes for New York. Los Angeles, without its surrounding metropolitan area, came in fifth, after Philadelphia and Newark, N.J.

City or suburbs, there are few signs of relief on the horizon.

Officials say transportation planning in rapidly growing McHenry County is hampered in part by geography. The Fox River cuts a swath down the county's eastern edge and commuters headed toward Chicago have just two main routes in the southeast corner of the county to cross the river.

Meanwhile, the north-south routes that take commuters to the Northwest Tollway grow more congested every year, including Illinois Highway 31, Illinois Highway 47, and Randall Road, a county highway.

"It appears that people are willing to stomach that because of the quality of life in McHenry County," said County Board Chairman Kenneth Koehler

The congestion comes at a time when state funding for road projects is dwindling, according to Jason Osborn, the county's transportation planning and program coordinator.

"The rest of the suburbs grew at a time when the highway system was heavily funded, so they could expand" Osborn said.

Meanwhile, with about 300,000 residents now in McHenry County, projections for 2030 say that as many as 450,000 people will call the county home. Osborn predicts congestion will get much worse, even with the lane expansions now under way.

Although riding the train can make the commute more productive for some people, others battle it out in their cars.Jeff Shoemaker, 52, pulled into the Algonquin Citgo on Illinois Highway 62 on Monday evening with a Rolling Stones CD blaring in his black Pontiac Solstice and his usual frustration over the commute home to Lake in the Hills from Oak Brook.

It's about 37 miles to his office, and the drive one way can take from an hour to more than 90 minutes, if weather and construction conspire to slow traffic.

"I think about it every day," he said of the commute. "I hate it."

VivaLFuego Aug 30, 2006 5:05 PM

[QUOTE=nomarandlee
"I think about it every day," he said of the commute. "I hate it."[/QUOTE]

Well gee, you live in Lake in the Hills and work in Oakbrook...

Also I think people underestimate their commute time. Is that door-to-door? I hardly know anyone with door to door times of under 25 minutes, and thats a sampling of throughout the metro area.....and that's supposedly the average time?

Skurry Aug 30, 2006 5:53 PM

Commuting is going to be bad no matter what, in SimCity I can never solve that problem without sacrificing hundreds of homes and strong business!

Back to the real world.
It used to take me over two hours to get from Edgewater to Schaumberg! almost five hours a day wasted! I took the red line to the blue line (or walked sometimes) to Union Station and then the Metra out the Schaumberg. I think the Circle line would have trimmed that commute down quite a bit.

Now however I have a 15 min commute door to door, and I LOVE it! :banana:

Chicago Shawn Aug 30, 2006 8:08 PM

Quote:

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


The new census data come just ahead of a study to be released Thursday by the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation that shows the Chicago area has the second-most congested roads in the nation, behind the Los Angeles area.

The report, citing data from the Texas Transportation Institute and other state and federal research efforts, says driving times here during peak traffic are 57 percent longer than they are during off-peak times. If trends continue, the report suggests rush-hour drives here could take 88 percent longer than non-peak by 2030.
The report also states that road capacity is not keeping up with population growth and that by 2030 Illinois will need roughly 4,450 new lane-miles of road at a cost of $55 billion in today's dollars.

Chicago remains the Second City when it comes to commuting times for residents of the nation's largest cities, behind only New York. Chicago clocked in with an average of 34.3 minutes, compared with 39.1 minutes for New York. Los Angeles, without its surrounding metropolitan area, came in fifth, after Philadelphia and Newark, N.J.


All the more reason to begin investing more cash into public transit NOW, and advocating for more compact mixed use development around transit stations. Half of that $55 billion figure could build us about 20 brand new rapid transit lines, reducing commute times, congestion, and pollution for the whole region, and would modify growth patterns to become more sustainable, with increased density of infill and mixed use developement. Of course, in this country that is a pipe dream, and in reality nearly all that money will go to miniscule road upgrades in suburbia so places like Naperville and scumburg can "upgrade" already excessivley wide roads and only further continue the never ending paradox of road expansions brought upon ourselfs. When will the majority here begin to see the light? The cost of gas sure isn't doing it yet.

nomarandlee Sep 5, 2006 9:38 PM

[QUOTE=Lukecuj]IMO they should have a dedicated train that runs express between the O'hare stop and Union Station all day and night.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[B]




I agree, and I think it was considered before they went with the the Blue Line Airport Exress right? I am guessing that Daley doesn't want any competition to the precious airport express even though a frequant Metra train on the North Central Line makes a good deal of sense. Is the freight very heavy on that line that it makes it problamatic to run more trains?

An express train on that line from the north of O'Hare as well. It could help alleviate a lot of the 294 traffic from the north in Cook/Lake county.

Chicago Shawn Sep 5, 2006 10:29 PM

[QUOTE=nomarandlee]
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukecuj
IMO they should have a dedicated train that runs express between the O'hare stop and Union Station all day and night.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[B]




I agree, and I think it was considered before they went with the the Blue Line Airport Exress right? I am guessing that Daley doesn't want any competition to the precious airport express even though a frequant Metra train on the North Central Line makes a good deal of sense. Is the freight very heavy on that line that it makes it problamatic to run more trains?

An express train on that line from the north of O'Hare as well. It could help alleviate a lot of the 294 traffic from the north in Cook/Lake county.


Yes, frieght traffic on the Wisconsin Central (Canadian National) line is very heavy. In fact, part of the reason the line was double tracked was for increased frieght trains in addition to more Metra service. The double tracking should have been completed a few years earlier, but it ws held up because the brilliant people on the Lake County planning board thought if no transportation was expanded, sprawl would slow down.

VivaLFuego Sep 6, 2006 12:38 AM

[QUOTE=Chicago Shawn]
Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee


Yes, frieght traffic on the Wisconsin Central (Canadian National) line is very heavy. In fact, part of the reason the line was double tracked was for increased frieght trains in addition to more Metra service. The double tracking should have been completed a few years earlier, but it ws held up because the brilliant people on the Lake County planning board thought if no transportation was expanded, sprawl would slow down.

A worthwhile hope, I mean nobody is talkng about expanding the Edens anytime soon.

The Ohare Transfer stop on the NCS would be much more useful if the Airport People Mover were extended the 1/2-1 mile or so from its current terminus.

The issue as I understand it is that the mayor REALLY wants something where you check your bags and check in for your flight downtown, then ride a train directly to the terminal. It would -clearly- be most cost effective to beef up the commuter lines or even reactivate some freight ROW (like the Bloomingdale) to get out to O'hare, but the issue is 1) O'hare Transfer is nowhere near the terminal and 2) Union Station is very poorly connected with the rest of the central area in terms of rapid transit.

Persnally I think it would make more sense (in terms of total benefit vs. total cost) to beef up the NCS for airport express and connect it to the people mover, then actually build the circulator streetcar system downtown, with the carrol ave. "riverfront line" to connect to River North and Mag Mile, and the Monroe St line to cut straight from the commuter rail through the loop to the park.

The current Airport Express plan is projected to cost around $1 billion, which includes the downtown superstation, airport terminals, and some component of road construction (since retaining walls on the Kennedy would be moved outwards as part of a total roadway reconstruction, allowing room for express tracks). Think of what that billion could do in terms of upgrading the commuter lines out towards O'hare and improving rapid transit connections to the commuter rail stations downtown? (The city should take some initiative to provide friendly and well-signed walking transfers between all 4 commuter stations and rapid transit.)

But, I'm not Da Mayor, nor do I work in CDOT.

the urban politician Sep 6, 2006 2:54 AM

^ That's all great, but here's what I don't understand for the life of me. First of all, I'm surprised that such a massive project (are you also including the express trains to Midway in that cost estimate?) would only cost 1 billion dollars.

More importantly, where are they going to get the money for this project? I recall reading that the city is not trying to get federal funding--yet they have been incredibly mum about this. How are they planning to make this work from a financial standpoint?

VivaLFuego Sep 6, 2006 2:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
^ That's all great, but here's what I don't understand for the life of me. First of all, I'm surprised that such a massive project (are you also including the express trains to Midway in that cost estimate?) would only cost 1 billion dollars.

More importantly, where are they going to get the money for this project? I recall reading that the city is not trying to get federal funding--yet they have been incredibly mum about this. How are they planning to make this work from a financial standpoint?

I would assume it will be mostly bonds (repaid with property tax), and TIF money (again, property tax). $1billion seems about right if you assume that the I-90 reconstruction was happening anyway and don't include that cost. $1bn would be just for the trackage, rolling stock (84 railcars) and the new stations.

Busy Bee Sep 6, 2006 9:41 PM

Quote:

...or even reactivate some freight ROW (like the Bloomingdale)
Yes. I have always felt that Bloomingdale held the greatest potential for a Heathrow Express style of operation. Of course I still want the superstation under B37, I just want CTA tunnel compatible trains and a branch from that tunnel to get to the Bloomingdale ROW.

I just have poor feelings about ramming express service on infrastructure that wasn't built for it. Ideally I'd like to see the CTA O'Hare line and the Airport Express be seperate things entirely.

Busy Bee Sep 11, 2006 9:33 PM

Quote:

During the morning rush, all the seats usually are taken by the time southbound Red Line trains have traveled from the Howard Street terminal to the Loyola stop in Rogers Park. Everybody boarding south of that point must stuff themselves onto packed trains for the long ride downtown.
Too bad Wilson Yard isn't around any longer. Empty trains could be brought in heading south to alleviate overcrowding.

Wright Concept Sep 11, 2006 9:53 PM

^Not only that they could add an all-day express service on the Purple Line and utilizing existing switches can allow Purple Line trains to operate express ala NYC only stopping at Loyola and Sheridan and then share the Red Line tracks into State Street to Roosevelt or stay on the loop to help the Brown Line.

A second option could suspend Purple Line service, which would free-up some operation room to allow the Red Line trains to operate in this fashion, again utilizing the existing system pieces so it's quicker to implement:

Howard-Loyola local then "Express" to Belmont.
Loyola to Lawrence or Wilson Local then "Express" to Belmont
Lawrence or Wilson to Belmont local.

With both options between Belmont and Fullerton suspend the Diversey and Wellington stops and provide a bus shuttle on Sheffield to run between Belmont and Fullerton. Thus freeing more track to allow trains to speed through.

I'm surpised that the CTA hasn't beefed up it's 140 numbered express bus services from the Northside to Downtown for the additional riders who can use that service to avoid the crowding.

VivaLFuego Sep 12, 2006 2:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PracticalVisionary
^Not only that they could add an all-day express service on the Purple Line and utilizing existing switches can allow Purple Line trains to operate express ala NYC only stopping at Loyola and Sheridan and then share the Red Line tracks into State Street to Roosevelt or stay on the loop to help the Brown Line.

A second option could suspend Purple Line service, which would free-up some operation room to allow the Red Line trains to operate in this fashion, again utilizing the existing system pieces so it's quicker to implement:

Howard-Loyola local then "Express" to Belmont.
Loyola to Lawrence or Wilson Local then "Express" to Belmont
Lawrence or Wilson to Belmont local.

I'm surprised none of these have been considered for rush hour services.....I've actually asked some CTA planning staff about it and never got a satisfactory answer. Unfortunately, the speed of trips is not a current CTA priority :-\

Wright Concept Sep 12, 2006 3:42 PM

Well what do you expect it's the CTA. But one of the things that is very important during this phase that you mitigate as many potential delays as possible and running 3 lines in one track direction requires some good coordination as well as reducing some stops to keep up with the bunching.

Also the all day Express idea in the First suggestion needs serious consideration because those express tracks just sit there begging for a train to speed through it.

Kevin J Sep 12, 2006 3:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee
Too bad Wilson Yard isn't around any longer. Empty trains could be brought in heading south to alleviate overcrowding.

That statement about all seats being filled during the morning rush after the Loyola stop isn't true at all. I've entered the train at Berwyn, which is several stops south of Loyola, at various times between 7 and 8:30 am for the last 7 years. In all that time, I have had to stand maybe two or three times a year, and that was usually because there was some big delay backing up the trains. The seats usually aren't filled until Lawrence or Wilson.

I suppose your idea about adding trains at Wilson Yards would have still helped people south of Wilson get seats, but my point is that the article vastly overstated the extent of the crowding.

the urban politician Sep 12, 2006 4:59 PM

Can somebody explain to me how the purple line express (PLE) works? Does it actually run on its own tracks?

The reason I ask is this. Instead of a complicated A or B red line mechanism, why not just have the PLE act as the de facto express line of the north side? Have it skip Wellington, Diversey, Armitage, Sedgewick (having the red and brown already serve those), while also having the PLE stop at Bryn Mawr and perhaps one other place (Sheridan? you get the picture).

It seems so easy. That's how it is in Manhattan. For example, in a given route, intead of having a 1 Express & 1 local, a whole train line acts as the express line of a given route, in this case the 2 train.

Can't the same be easily applied to Chicago's north side? Have the PLE make one or two stops north of Belmont, and eliminate some of its stops south of Fullerton, while having the red and brown lines stop at EVERY stop in between, with plenty of transfer points.

This is assuming that the purple line has its own tracks

VivaLFuego Sep 12, 2006 7:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
Can somebody explain to me how the purple line express (PLE) works? Does it actually run on its own tracks?

The reason I ask is this. Instead of a complicated A or B red line mechanism, why not just have the PLE act as the de facto express line of the north side? Have it skip Wellington, Diversey, Armitage, Sedgewick (having the red and brown already serve those), while also having the PLE stop at Bryn Mawr and perhaps one other place (Sheridan? you get the picture).

It seems so easy. That's how it is in Manhattan. For example, in a given route, intead of having a 1 Express & 1 local, a whole train line acts as the express line of a given route, in this case the 2 train.

Can't the same be easily applied to Chicago's north side? Have the PLE make one or two stops north of Belmont, and eliminate some of its stops south of Fullerton, while having the red and brown lines stop at EVERY stop in between, with plenty of transfer points.

This is assuming that the purple line has its own tracks

The purple has its own tracks north of Belmont. It shares the outside tracks with the Brown south of Belmont. Up until the late 90s, it actually did run express, not stopping at Diversey, Wellington, etc....but in the 90s they had to continuously increase the frequency of the brown line, it's now every 3-4 minutes in rush hour, so there's no point in having purples skip stops because it won't save any time being stuck behind a local brown.

The old north side mainline (which, south of armitage, followed the brown line to downtown, but the outer tracks have been removed and its only 2 tracks) was very new york-like, 4 tracks, inner express and outer local, but over the years the routing has become very convoluted. it would make more sense to run the purple in the center tracks south of belmont (sharing with red) then run into the subway downtown, if you ask me...

mikeelm Sep 13, 2006 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PracticalVisionary
Well what do you expect it's the CTA. But one of the things that is very important during this phase that you mitigate as many potential delays as possible and running 3 lines in one track direction requires some good coordination as well as reducing some stops to keep up with the bunching.

Also the all day Express idea in the First suggestion needs serious consideration because those express tracks just sit there begging for a train to speed through it.

WEll he probably expects the CTA to do a good job in operating trains without delay and when these things keep happening day in and day out than there's obviously something wrong.

Chicago3rd Sep 13, 2006 3:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician
Can somebody explain to me how the purple line express (PLE) works? Does it actually run on its own tracks?

The reason I ask is this. Instead of a complicated A or B red line mechanism, why not just have the PLE act as the de facto express line of the north side? Have it skip Wellington, Diversey, Armitage, Sedgewick (having the red and brown already serve those), while also having the PLE stop at Bryn Mawr and perhaps one other place (Sheridan? you get the picture).

It seems so easy. That's how it is in Manhattan. For example, in a given route, intead of having a 1 Express & 1 local, a whole train line acts as the express line of a given route, in this case the 2 train.

Can't the same be easily applied to Chicago's north side? Have the PLE make one or two stops north of Belmont, and eliminate some of its stops south of Fullerton, while having the red and brown lines stop at EVERY stop in between, with plenty of transfer points.

This is assuming that the purple line has its own tracks

That looks good on paper, but...at rush it isn't.
In the morning all three lines are pretty packed heading south into the city. By the time the Purple and Brown get to Armitage they are both pretty maxed out as is the Red Line at Fullerton. So having the Purple line skip Belmont through Armitage would cause a huge huge lack of capacity issue.

Also...there is a major transfer that occurs at the Merchandise Mart. It is at this station that people transfer to either the brown or purple line depending on what side of the loop they want to hit first. This can shave as much as 15 minutes off....depending on the side you need to get to first.

CTA just needs to tell me that when this project is over in 2009 that the redline from the Clark Junction south will be up to full speed. If not then they need to be fired.

Chicago3rd Sep 13, 2006 3:59 AM

CTA

Is there an actual real action/pac group out there that is working to stop all the abuses of CTA? Who are the aldermen that are concerned about CTA's ways?
When the state auditor comes out exposing CTA for all its miss management who will make sure that report doesn't disappear in a week? Who is going to make the Mayor take control and El and clean house? Who monitors Customer Service complaints and resolutions? No one.....

Isn't it about time a group be formed like SPUR in San Francisco?

Taft Sep 13, 2006 3:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
CTA

Is there an actual real action/pac group out there that is working to stop all the abuses of CTA? Who are the aldermen that are concerned about CTA's ways?
When the state auditor comes out exposing CTA for all its miss management who will make sure that report doesn't disappear in a week? Who is going to make the Mayor take control and El and clean house? Who monitors Customer Service complaints and resolutions? No one.....

Isn't it about time a group be formed like SPUR in San Francisco?

http://www.bettertransit.com/

The organization doesn't really have legs, though. Also, I don't really agree with a lot of their initiatives. It seems like they primarily target "equal transit rights" kind of issues, not looking at how the system as a whole would function.

For instance, they strongly opposed the Pink/Circle line plans on the grounds that people living on the south branch of the blue line would be adversely affected. They took the side of a relatively small group of people who would have had longer commute against a large portion of the city that will actually see benefits from the plans.

Another issue they are big on is improving green line service. Which sounds good on its face, but far worse when you actually look at ridership statistics on the line. The green line has, by far, the lowest ridership in the entire el system--it is a "money loser," if you will. I think its impressive how frequent the trains on the green line currently run given this, but the CBT sees it as the poor getting shafted.

Taft

VivaLFuego Sep 13, 2006 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft
http://www.bettertransit.com/

The organization doesn't really have legs, though. Also, I don't really agree with a lot of their initiatives. It seems like they primarily target "equal transit rights" kind of issues, not looking at how the system as a whole would function.

For instance, they strongly opposed the Pink/Circle line plans on the grounds that people living on the south branch of the blue line would be adversely affected. They took the side of a relatively small group of people who would have had longer commute against a large portion of the city that will actually see benefits from the plans.

Another issue they are big on is improving green line service. Which sounds good on its face, but far worse when you actually look at ridership statistics on the line. The green line has, by far, the lowest ridership in the entire el system--it is a "money loser," if you will. I think its impressive how frequent the trains on the green line currently run given this, but the CBT sees it as the poor getting shafted.

Taft

Pink, Purple, and Yellow are all lower, actually. The West branch of the green gets decent ridership, but the south branch is pathetic and easily duplicated by the red line which is just a few blocks away.

Chicago3rd Sep 13, 2006 7:58 PM

Sorry...it is the whole system that needs to be fixed. No one is responsible and no one is open about what is really happening there. Chicago's public....those who pay for it are getting screwed all around and we need to fix it.

This cities government knowns to keep people fractured...that is why we have what we have now....Aldermen in wards that resemble post war Berlin and a non-responsive public transit system.

VivaLFuego Sep 13, 2006 9:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
Sorry...it is the whole system that needs to be fixed. No one is responsible and no one is open about what is really happening there. Chicago's public....those who pay for it are getting screwed all around and we need to fix it.

This cities government knowns to keep people fractured...that is why we have what we have now....Aldermen in wards that resemble post war Berlin and a non-responsive public transit system.

Public transit in this country (except in NY) is very political, so transit decisions and operations rarely make rational sense from a planner's perspective. chicago is no exception, why was billions spent renovating lines no one rides, millions continuously spent operating lines (bus and rail) that no one rides, while the north side red line, the highest ridership by far, crumbles to pieces? Why? Politics, of course.

pip Sep 13, 2006 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd
Sorry...it is the whole system that needs to be fixed. No one is responsible and no one is open about what is really happening there. Chicago's public....those who pay for it are getting screwed all around and we need to fix it.

This cities government knowns to keep people fractured...that is why we have what we have now....Aldermen in wards that resemble post war Berlin and a non-responsive public transit system.

The CTA is a mess. The trains are one big giant delay. Every day between every stop. While Daley seems to have fixed up much of Chicago he certainly let the CTA slide into junk.

Carole Brown, the CTA Chairman, has a blog which you post too.
http://ctachair.blogspot.com/

spyguy Sep 14, 2006 12:20 AM

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=120653

Alternatives Analysis Studies for Proposed Rail Extension Projects Approved by Chicago Transit Board

09/13/06

Today the Chicago Transit Board approved a $3.5 million contract to perform Alternatives Analysis studies for the proposed rail line extensions on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red, Orange and Yellow lines. CTA is considering extending the Red Line to 130th Street, the Orange Line to the Ford City Mall and the Yellow Line to Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard shopping center.

An Alternatives Analysis study is a required planning step in the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) process for pursuing New Starts grant program funding for major transit system expansions. The studies will examine all of the transit options available and a locally preferred alternative will be determined for each area.

“Conducting Alternatives Analysis studies is a critical step in taking transit projects from concept to reality,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “Investing in this planning process puts CTA in position to compete for significant new federal funding.”

“Expanding service on the Red, Orange and Yellow lines would serve as a catalyst for ridership growth and provide valuable connections to facilitate regional travel and promote transit-oriented development that would benefit both the City of Chicago and suburbs alike,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

Extending the Red Line from its existing south terminal at 95th Street to a new terminal at 130th Street would streamline bus-to-rail connections for 12 CTA bus routes and four Pace routes and could also connect the line with the South Shore commuter rail line and Metra’s proposed SouthEast service commuter rail.

Extending the Orange Line to Ford City would complete the original Orange Line plan to provide improved access to downtown from the far southwest side and from the central city to the strong employment corridor along South Cicero Avenue.

The proposed Yellow Line extension would provide service to major destinations such as Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard, Cook County Courthouse and adjacent office, and retail and residential developments currently just beyond the reach of the existing CTA terminal on Dempster Street. Expanding service would also strengthen the reverse-commute flow along both the Yellow and Red lines, and make better use of CTA’s existing service capacity.

The Alternatives Analysis studies will be conducted concurrently over the next few years.

The FTA New Starts program requires conceptual transit project proposals to proceed through a formal process of planning, design and construction. The FTA process consists of five formal steps: Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction.

FTA Formula Funds provided the funding for the $3.5 million contract, which was awarded to Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc., one of the world’s largest planning, engineering, and program and construction management organizations with more than 150 offices worldwide.

spyguy Sep 14, 2006 12:22 AM

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/c...ticleid=127352

CTA Names Contractor to Connect Red and Blue Line Tunnels

09/13/06

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $94.1 million construction contract to build connecting tunnels and tracks that will link the Red and Blue Line subways and connect them to the planned rapid transit station at 108 N. State Street, also referred to as Block 37. The contract also will cover modifications to the State Street and Dearborn Street subway platforms for installation of connecting track and the replacement of rail ties on adjacent Blue and Red Line track.

Development of the site at 108 N. State Street is being conducted by The Mills Corporation for the City of Chicago. The Mills development includes the new CTA subway station.

“The partnership with the City of Chicago and The Mills has made it possible to leverage our resources for an extraordinarily important infrastructure improvement that will provide a critical link for our entire system,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “This will be the CTA’s first major tunneling project since the Dearborn Subway project was completed in 1951.”

“Because the development site is between the Blue and Red Line subways, we have a unique opportunity to connect these busy lines and enhance options for subway operations,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “It will enable the CTA to grow transit and continue to grow ridership.”

As part of the project, the contractor will build two short connecting tunnels and tracks that will link the existing Red and Blue Line subway tunnels with the new transit subway station. The contractor will accomplish the task by digging a trench using a technique called cut and cover, which was also used when two smaller CTA subways – the Logan Square Subway and O’Hare Subway – were constructed by the City of Chicago in 1970 and 1984, respectively.

CTA also plans to modify the fare control areas in the Red Line subway at Randolph/Washington, Washington/Madison, Madison/Monroe and Monroe/Adams; modify the continuous platforms north of Washington inside the Red and Blue Line subways to connect them to the new transit station; and replace approximately 4,000 rail ties in both subway tunnels as part of the contract.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and conclude in fall 2008. When the contractor’s construction schedule is finalized, CTA will inform customers of how the work could potentially affect bus and rail service in the Loop.

Funding for the platform modifications, rail tie replacement, and tunnel and track construction will come from CTA capital funds generated from the issuance of capital grant receipt revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects throughout the CTA.

The overall cost of the transit center is estimated at $213.3 million of which The Mills will pay $40.9 million. The remaining $172.4 million will be funded by the CTA and the City of Chicago. The CTA has allocated $130 million in capital funds generated from the issuance of revenue bonds to fund capital improvement projects. The City of Chicago has allocated
$42.4 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue under an intergovernmental agreement specifically covering infrastructure expenses related to the track and tunnel connections.

brian_b Sep 14, 2006 12:38 AM

Man, I wonder if I'm riding the same CTA as everyone else.

Anyway, I just got back from a whirlwind 2 month trip around Europe and we used a lot of public transport. I've come to the conclusion it's not all that fantastic in most places...

I really enjoyed the newest U-Bahn trains (completely articulated - one unbroken passageway from car 1 to car 8!)in Berlin and other German cities and the newer S-Tog trains in Copenhagen have pretty cool display boards showing their progress along their routes (I took a photo and am going to try to upload it).

the urban politician Sep 14, 2006 12:39 AM

^ Wow a lot of good news in the 4 hours since I last checked in.

I like this statement:

“Expanding service on the Red, Orange and Yellow lines would serve as a catalyst for ridership growth and provide valuable connections to facilitate regional travel and promote transit-oriented development that would benefit both the City of Chicago and suburbs alike,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

the urban politician Sep 15, 2006 7:26 PM

9/15/06
The Chicago Transit Authority will hold a second round of public meetings this month to receive input on the proposed Circle Line project. The first round of meetings was held in May. The meetings are part of the Alternatives Analysis study—the first step in pursuing federal funding for major transit projects. The Alternatives Analysis study is designed to examine all the transit options available and determine a locally preferred alternative.

Meeting dates and venues are:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Bucktown/Wicker Park
Chicago Public Library
Second Floor Community Room
Chicago, IL 60647


Wednesday, September 27, 2006
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The National Teachers Academy –
Professional Development
Lunch/Auditorium Room
55 W. Cermak
Chicago, IL 60616


Thursday, September 28, 2006
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The First Baptist Congregational Church
Community Room
1613 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60612


All locations are accessible to people with disabilities.

The proposed Circle Line would link all of CTA’s rail lines and all of Metra’s lines in a study area bounded by 39th Street on the south, Fullerton Parkway on the north, Western Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the east, creating improved transit connections throughout the six-county region and helping to further ease traffic congestion and improve travel times.

DMJM+Harris, A Joint Venture, which specializes in transit/rail, highway and bridge, marine, aviation and energy infrastructures is conducting the Alternatives Analysis study. The Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program requires transit project proposals to proceed through a process of planning, design and construction. The FTA process consists of five formal steps: Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Impact Statement, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design and Construction.

spyguy Sep 16, 2006 11:42 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/...s-metra16.html

Metra rolling out new message boards
September 16, 2006
BY MONIFA THOMAS

After announcing record ridership numbers, Metra said Friday it will introduce new display boards at its downtown stations that will provide riders with more detailed information about their trains' status.

The new gate boards, part of a $6.8 million contract announced Friday, will not only tell riders when a train is running late, but for the first time will provide the cause of the delay.

The boards could post simple messages such as "vehicle on tracks" or "chemical spill," for example, two scenarios that have put Metra trains hours behind schedule in recent months.

Another possibility raised at Friday's board meeting was adding estimated delay times on the new monitors.

Currently, display boards at station platforms can only flash a few lines of scrolling text, limiting the information available to riders.

And while announcements about delayed or canceled trains are broadcast at stations, it's often hard to make out what is being said.

As part of the contract, Metra plans to upgrade the voice announcement system and replace 60 to 70 TV screen-like monitors at stations with easier-to-read versions.

The first of the new visual display boards will be installed at Union Station beginning next March
, Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said. Then it's on to Ogilvie Transportation Center and the stations at La Salle, Randolph and Van Buren streets.

The last of the boards should be installed by August 2008.

the urban politician Sep 18, 2006 8:42 PM

^ Great find.

If history repeats itself, then Chicago's civic & business leaders will back this up and it will get the funding it needs in the future.

Can't lose our hub status out to Kansas City, can we?

Busy Bee Sep 19, 2006 12:15 AM

I want to see this happen more than anything, but I think that the railroads should pony up alot more of the cash.

VivaLFuego Sep 19, 2006 9:29 PM

Reconstruction of the 12th st Metra station is finally out for bid...good to see some progress on this, that old station is a disgrace.

It's interesting though, because of how drastically that area has changed....those platforms are the last vestiges of the old Central Station. Obviously not worth saving...anything that was worth saving has been long demolished.

denizen467 Sep 22, 2006 4:21 AM

So now the Green Line could play a huge role in the urban planning of the 2016 Olympics. When it was rebuilt a couple of years ago, were any parts on the South Side rebuilt? How old are the parts from Roosevelt to Garfield?

VivaLFuego Sep 22, 2006 4:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467
So now the Green Line could play a huge role in the urban planning of the 2016 Olympics. When it was rebuilt a couple of years ago, were any parts on the South Side rebuilt? How old are the parts from Roosevelt to Garfield?

The stations along the south branch were mostly rebuilt in the 80s and 90s so they are all handicap accessible and reasonably modern. The Garfield station is just a couple years old, very nice. The structure and track was all renewed so it's in fine shape as well. For me, the green line isn't the concern as much as the areas around the green line...

denizen467 Sep 23, 2006 5:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
The stations along the south branch were mostly rebuilt in the 80s and 90s so they are all handicap accessible and reasonably modern. The Garfield station is just a couple years old, very nice. The structure and track was all renewed so it's in fine shape as well. For me, the green line isn't the concern as much as the areas around the green line...

Yeah, on the one hand we bring economic development to the people who need it most ... but on the other hand, hosting an Olympics is maybe a once-in-a-century opportunity; inviting the entire world and then showing them a dilapidated (and dangerous?) part of town could severely backfire P.R.-wise. But overall I'm optimistic that with 7 years between selection and hosting, there would be time to work those things out.

LA21st Sep 23, 2006 5:50 PM

Does any think a possible expanison of the Green Line is in the works in time for the Olympics?Instead of Cottage Grove being the last stop, how about adding future stations at 63rd/Woodlawn and 63rd/Stony Island? Or even going south to service the South Shore neighborhood?

VivaLFuego Sep 23, 2006 6:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
Instead of Cottage Grove being the last stop, how about adding future stations at 63rd/Woodlawn and 63rd/Stony Island?

Ha ha, you mean like it did before Bishop Arthur Brazier got it torn down?
http://www.chicago-l.org/maps/route/...5swift-map.jpg

Not likely....I think actually enacting something like the "Gray Line" proposal (i.e. making the Metra Electric South Chicago branch something closer to rapid transit) is far more plausible. Further, the new Washington Park stadium would already be pretty well served by the 51st and Garfield stations on the Green Line, provided the areas around those stations and the main thoroughfares were cleaned up significantly. Alot can happen in 10 years of course, but the city would have get pretty serious about it.

i_am_hydrogen Sep 25, 2006 5:11 PM

Circle Line News
 
CTA to detail a Circle Line
Series of hearings planned for this week

By Virginia Groark
Tribune staff reporter
Published September 25, 2006

The CTA will provide new details this week on its proposed Circle Line, which would connect all elevated train and Metra lines in the city.

The details will be offered at a series of hearings that are designed to help the agency pick a final route and mode of transport for the $1 billion proposal.

The hearings--which will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday--are part of a mandated process the CTA must undergo to recommend a preferred path, which will be announced early next year.

In May, the CTA said it had narrowed the options for the project to three corridors and three modes of travel: light rail, bus rapid transit or a train system like it currently runs. It also was evaluating whether the system should be at street level, a subway or an elevated system.

At the hearings this week, officials will present more details on those options.

The Circle Line is one of five projects Congress authorized in a transportation bill passed last year. But those projects must still secure federal funding.

The CTA is promoting the Circle Line as a way to improve connections between all "L" and Metra lines in the city limits so people would not have to travel into the Loop to transfer between them. The path, which is expected to create an outer ring, would be bordered by Pershing Road on the south, Fullerton Avenue on the north, Rockwell Street on the west.

But the project has raised concerns in some neighborhoods, where people are worried about the demolition of homes and businesses or the impact of constructing new elevated tracks.

In one North Side ward, an alderman will ask residents on the Nov. 7 ballot to say whether they would want the transit line to be a subway system in their neighborhood. "A lot of people are concerned in my ward about an elevated rail line," said Ald. Ted Matlak (32nd), who noted the CTA could reduce the impact by building a subway.

In May, the CTA unveiled three proposed corridors for the route, all of which would start on Archer Avenue along the existing Orange Line.

In the so-called Ashland corridor, the route would then cut north in the vicinity of Ashland Avenue and travel east between Fullerton and North Avenues to connect with the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line. In the Ashland/Ogden corridor, the route would travel north on Ashland, head northeast on Ogden Avenue and turn north near Halsted Street to the North/Clybourn station. The Western corridor proposal would take the route north on Western Avenue before heading east between Fullerton and North Avenues.

The meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Bucktown/Wicker Park Chicago Public Library, 1701 N. Milwaukee Ave; Wednesday in the National Teachers Academy, 55 W. Cermak Rd.; and Thursday in the First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington Blvd.

----------

vgroark@tribune.com

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

the urban politician Sep 25, 2006 11:22 PM

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=22210
Sept. 25, 2006

Amtrack to add trains from Chicago to St. Louis, Quincy
Service to begin Oct. 30
(AP) — Amtrak trains will be chugging across Illinois more often, thanks to a bigger state subsidy, and local officials said Monday they hope increased service translates into economic growth.

State support for Amtrak is doubling to $24 million this year. The money will support seven round-trip trains from Chicago to St. Louis, Carbondale and Quincy, up from three trains now. For the cities along those routes, more trains mean more connection to Chicago - something that can help local businesses and even attract new ones.

"We would definitely use that as a marketing tool to demonstrate a little more accessibility and convenience, both for the businesses and their customers," said Charles Bell, manager of the entrepreneurship center at Quincy's Great River Economic Development Foundation.

The current Amtrak schedule is terribly inconvenient for Quincy travelers, he said. The most practical arrangement is to go up one day, attend meetings the next and come home on a third day. But the new service should make shorter trips more feasible, Bell said.

Advertisement


Related Article Topics | Related Industry News
Jeff Doherty, the city manager in Carbondale, said travelers there no longer will have to choose between leaving for Chicago at 3 a.m. or at 4 p.m. Now there will be a much more useful 7:30 a.m. option.

Businesses will take advantage of the new train, he said, but it's most important for college students.

Southern Illinois University attracts many students from the Chicago area. Easier travel to and from Chicago will keep them coming to Carbondale and keep the university healthy, Doherty said.

In fact, the added Carbondale train will be named the Saluki in honor of the SIU mascot. Names for the new trains to St. Louis and Quincy have not been announced yet.

The new service is to begin Oct. 30.

St. Louis will have three state-supported trains to and from Chicago, up from one now. Carbondale and Quincy each will have two, instead of one. In addition, Amtrak has other trains passing through those cities that don't get any state support.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich noted that demand for the rail service is increasing.

Nearly 1 million passengers used Amtrak lines subsidized by the state last year, setting a new record. The total was up 12.5% from a year earlier and 40.8 percent from 2003.

"Amtrak is an affordable travel option, and in many communities it's the only form of public transportation," Blagojevich said in a statement.

Mr Roboto Sep 26, 2006 1:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen

In May, the CTA unveiled three proposed corridors for the route, all of which would start on Archer Avenue along the existing Orange Line.

In the so-called Ashland corridor, the route would then cut north in the vicinity of Ashland Avenue and travel east between Fullerton and North Avenues to connect with the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line. In the Ashland/Ogden corridor, the route would travel north on Ashland, head northeast on Ogden Avenue and turn north near Halsted Street to the North/Clybourn station. The Western corridor proposal would take the route north on Western Avenue before heading east between Fullerton and North Avenues.

I didn't realize they had narrowed it to three, I think their website still shows 4 or 5. Anyway, Im in favor of the western corridor proposal. Even though it would probably be more expensive, I simply think the further west they can stretch it, the more purpose it would serve in cutting down commute times. Still, I wonder if more downtown development would be generated if the lines are closer to the loop...

aaron38 Sep 26, 2006 5:36 PM

Is there progress being made in adding a new El stop at the United Center on the Pink Line?
This is part of the Circle Line plans, but I'd think they'd get that station online soon to increase traffic and revenue.

VivaLFuego Sep 26, 2006 5:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38
Is there progress being made in adding a new El stop at the United Center on the Pink Line?
This is part of the Circle Line plans, but I'd think they'd get that station online soon to increase traffic and revenue.

Short answer, "no". I -think- the hope is that this would be a phase in the Circle Line project, i.e. eligible for significant federal funding.

nomarandlee Sep 27, 2006 11:24 AM

CTA Circle Line down to 2 options
 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/7...rcle27.article

CTA Circle Line down to 2 options
Both alternatives might involve new underground rail


September 27, 2006
BY MONIFA THOMAS Transportation Reporter
For the first time, the CTA also floated potential locations for new Circle Line stations, including stops at United Center and Cermak/Blue Island and connections to four Metra lines on Ashland Avenue.

At a public meeting Tuesday, CTA officials said the Circle Line will likely run along one of two routes. The proposed Ashland corridor follows the existing Orange Line along Archer to Ashland, where it heads north and then east on North Avenue before connecting with the Red Line at North and Clybourn.



The second option, known as the Ashland/Ogden corridor, follows almost the same path but cuts from Ashland to Division via Ogden Avenue.

Both proposed routes would potentially involve building new underground rail from the United Center north to the area of North and Clybourn.

The final route won't be chosen until next year.

Light rail streetcars ruled out
In addition, the CTA decided against using light rail streetcars for the Circle Line, opting instead for either bus rapid transit or heavy rail like the trains currently in use.
Bus rapid transit would involve using buses in dedicated lanes.

Before it can apply for federal funds to build the Circle Line, the CTA must complete a thorough analysis of potential routes and modes of transit -- a lengthy process of which Tuesday's meeting was a continuation.

A final proposal, complete with ridership projections and a detailed cost analysis, isn't expected until next year.

Until these details are ironed out, it's too soon to tell how fares and schedules might be affected or how much time the new routing could shave off commuters' trips.

Two more Circle Line meetings are scheduled for this week. See transitchicago.com for information


http://media1.suntimes.com/nixoncds/...5.imageContent

VivaLFuego Sep 27, 2006 2:18 PM

Cost projections are key here. I think the Ashland corridor is far more desireable than the Ashland/Ogden, as Ashland is pretty vibrant all the way from Grand, through Chicago, Division, up to North Avenue. Lots of retails, mid-density residential, and hits some key intersections like Ashland/Division/Milwaukee in Wicker Park. But it would cost more. I think that's what it will come down to.

Wright Concept Sep 27, 2006 4:07 PM

I think they'll have to go with Ashland since it could potentially continue along the right-of-way next to the Metra tracks and could potentially tie into the Brown Line. Creating an Ashland corridor from close to Lawrence down to Archer.

But then again the Ogden portion has more potential in terms of a developmental standpoint.

the urban politician Sep 27, 2006 4:20 PM

They never explained why they narrowed it down to heavy rail and BRT? Why not light rail?

It seems odd to me, since logically light rail and heavy rail have more in common than heavy rail and BRT..

Anyway, I just don't think BRT will get the same ridership that a train would, even if it were on a designated ROW; plus it's so un-Chicago-like. Just my opinion, though..


All times are GMT. The time now is 5:02 PM.

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