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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

Mr Downtown May 13, 2008 4:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3548435)
I don't think this is true, at least for the Sun-Times.

Um, you will notice that the set of people who work for the Sun-Times and write for the Tribune is very, very small. The question was why the Tribune is clueless about Chicago transit. The Sun-Times understands that transit is central to their readers' lives and covers the subject accordingly.

aaron38 May 13, 2008 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3546210)
Our commuter rail service Metra, jam packed as ever (most lines are up 10-15% over last years figures) just canceled its plans for more off-peak and weekend service because fuel prices are killer. Rolling out new transit service anywhere will require some combination of fare increases and subsidy increases, neither of which are a given in most regions.

Where's the break-even? How many riders would an off-peak train need to balance out the higher fuel costs?
Because if ridership keeps increasing, the extra service should pay for itself.

ardecila May 13, 2008 8:17 PM

No, because the cost of all transit services comes partially from ticket sales and partially from sales tax subsidy. The subsidy isn't increasing, and I'm pretty sure the extra ticket sales aren't enough to cover a whole set of additional trains.

If Metra stopped diverting operating funds into capital, perhaps extra trains could be added. But on the other hand, new locomotives, cars, and maybe even yard space are required for additional service, and these are capital expenses (which require funding from the state).

Taft May 13, 2008 8:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3549991)
No, because the cost of all transit services comes partially from ticket sales and partially from sales tax subsidy. The subsidy isn't increasing, and I'm pretty sure the extra ticket sales aren't enough to cover a whole set of additional trains.

If Metra stopped diverting operating funds into capital, perhaps extra trains could be added. But on the other hand, new locomotives, cars, and maybe even yard space are required for additional service, and these are capital expenses (which require funding from the state).

It think these are the most fundamentally misunderstood parts of the transit system by the general public. (Not meaning to pick on you or anything, aaron38)

If the public would educate themselves about transit funding and how the existing structure is hobbling the system, you'd hear a lot less griping, methinks.

Taft

Eventually...Chicago May 13, 2008 9:12 PM

I just hate how the tribune (and everyone else) refers to transit funding as a "bail-out".

that's like saying buying a pack of gum is a wrigley "bail-out"

sometimes things cost money, from now on, anytime i pay for something i am going to say i am "bailing-out" whoever is selling

pardon me... i have to go "bail-out" the bar down the street

Chicago3rd May 13, 2008 9:21 PM

How do we make sure that what ever restrictions through price increase we do are fair? I think we should base downtown parking on the make and model of a car. So people who own more expensive cars pay more for parking. If we don't do that then the roads we all built will only be used by those driving Mercades to get to work...the rest will economically be forced into public transportation. I have no issue with across the board forcing of people into public transportation.

Haworthia May 13, 2008 9:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eventually...Chicago (Post 3550128)
I just hate how the tribune (and everyone else) refers to transit funding as a "bail-out".

that's like saying buying a pack of gum is a wrigley "bail-out"

sometimes things cost money, from now on, anytime i pay for something i am going to say i am "bailing-out" whoever is selling

pardon me... i have to go "bail-out" the bar down the street

:haha: Hilarious. I think you are absolutely right. The "bail-out" was just paying the bills. Costs have gone up while revenues have stayed flat. When you think about it, calling it a bailout is an awful way to frame the issue. The first thing people think is, "Why should we bailout..." whomever. It makes it sound like an handout when, really, it's paying for something everyone uses. I'm not sure what else to call the funding though. Maybe we could call it a "funding inflation adjustment". Somebody will have to come up with something better I suppose.

ardecila May 13, 2008 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 3550161)
How do we make sure that what ever restrictions through price increase we do are fair? I think we should base downtown parking on the make and model of a car. So people who own more expensive cars pay more for parking. If we don't do that then the roads we all built will only be used by those driving Mercades to get to work...the rest will economically be forced into public transportation. I have no issue with across the board forcing of people into public transportation.

Good idea... but what about those multimillionaires who drive Kias? :haha:

harryc May 13, 2008 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 3549817)
Where's the break-even? How many riders would an off-peak train need to balance out the higher fuel costs?
Because if ridership keeps increasing, the extra service should pay for itself.

I think the math is a bit more complex - how many people will use the train, 95% of the time during "normal" hours, because they know that _IF_ they get stuck downtown late they can still get a train. This has compelled me to drive downtown more than once as the last Green is at 1:30am. In short those late trains account for more people than are on them.

As far as bailouts - stop government funding of the trains the day after government funding is stopped for the roads.

OhioGuy May 14, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haworthia (Post 3550213)
:haha: Hilarious. I think you are absolutely right. The "bail-out" was just paying the bills. Costs have gone up while revenues have stayed flat. When you think about it, calling it a bailout is an awful way to frame the issue. The first thing people think is, "Why should we bailout..." whomever. It makes it sound like an handout when, really, it's paying for something everyone uses. I'm not sure what else to call the funding though. Maybe we could call it a "funding inflation adjustment". Somebody will have to come up with something better I suppose.

This has been pointed out before. What's sad is that it's viewed as a bail-out instead of as an investment. Until politicans and the general public begin to see it as an investment, the funding will never be what it should be.

VivaLFuego May 14, 2008 4:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3549991)
No, because the cost of all transit services comes partially from ticket sales and partially from sales tax subsidy. The subsidy isn't increasing, and I'm pretty sure the extra ticket sales aren't enough to cover a whole set of additional trains.

If Metra stopped diverting operating funds into capital, perhaps extra trains could be added. But on the other hand, new locomotives, cars, and maybe even yard space are required for additional service, and these are capital expenses (which require funding from the state).

It comes down to Metra generally being given leeway to operate as a business, in very stark contrast to the political plaything that is CTA. The substantial inequity in funding (with CTA providing 80% of regional transit rides but getting about 50% of the public subsidy).

OhioGuy May 14, 2008 4:29 AM

I've gotta say I'm getting pissed off with the train conductors who sit & idle at Belmont and especially Fullerton. The CTA has extra crew up on the southbound platforms and just about every time we pull into one of those stations, a crew member on the platform comes up to the front car & chats with the conductor. I was sitting in the front car today and observed the train conductor chatting with a platform worker for a minute before we finally continued on. That's ridiculous! I know it's only a minute, but we should have only been there for about 10 seconds. No one was still getting on the train. Everyone that was waiting to get on it had already boarded. And believe me we weren't being delayed because crews were "working on the track ahead." We freely went on our way once the chat was finished. If CTA employees want to chat, they should do it off the clock when they won't be delaying 200 - 300 riders. I was F*CKING FURIOUS. CTA already has enough delays as it is. I don't want train conductors making it worse. I think it would be great if one of the tv stations brought some undercover cameras on the trains to catch the conductors idling at platform stations while chatting with workers there.

-OhioGuy (trying to step down off his soap box)

the urban politician May 14, 2008 1:46 PM

^ Next time, bring a camcorder and record it.

Then, contact the CTA with your complaint and tell them that you have evidence on your personal video :D

aaron38 May 14, 2008 4:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryc (Post 3550442)
I think the math is a bit more complex - how many people will use the train, 95% of the time during "normal" hours, because they know that _IF_ they get stuck downtown late they can still get a train. This has compelled me to drive downtown more than once as the last Green is at 1:30am. In short those late trains account for more people than are on them.

I completely agree. There are numerous times I've had to skip taking Metra downtown on a Saturday night because 12:30am is the last train home, and who wants to rush a good time?

aaron38 May 14, 2008 4:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3549991)
No, because the cost of all transit services comes partially from ticket sales and partially from sales tax subsidy. The subsidy isn't increasing, and I'm pretty sure the extra ticket sales aren't enough to cover a whole set of additional trains.

I didn't think the off-peak and weekend service expansions required extra rolling stock, just for Metra to keep running trains that otherwise only ran at rush hour.

Therefore, the cost is just the incremental - fuel and an engineer. Ticket sales should be able to cover that...

emathias May 14, 2008 7:57 PM

Quote:

CTA says N. Side track work will be done 6 months early

By Jon Hilkevitch | Tribune reporter
1:04 PM CDT, May 14, 2008

CTA track work on a busy North Side rail corridor will be completed by the end of the year, six months ahead of schedule, transit officials said Wednesday.

Service on two southbound tracks will resume in late December at the Fullerton and Belmont stations serving the Red, Brown and Purple/Evanston Express lines.

Trains currently share one southbound track at the stations, resulting in slower service.
...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel...,7532255.story

jjk1103 May 14, 2008 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3552526)

...I think I'm completely confused by this ???!!! ..is the CTA saying that the track work on the ENTIRE (Northside) Brown and Red (to Howard) will be done by December ?? (this sound far fetched) ...or just the Brown ? ...or just the Brown from the Mart to Belmont ? ...or something else entirely ?? :shrug: :shrug: :koko: :koko:

emathias May 15, 2008 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjk1103 (Post 3553057)
...I think I'm completely confused by this ???!!! ..is the CTA saying that the track work on the ENTIRE (Northside) Brown and Red (to Howard) will be done by December ?? (this sound far fetched) ...or just the Brown ? ...or just the Brown from the Mart to Belmont ? ...or something else entirely ?? :shrug: :shrug: :koko: :koko:

that they'll be done with the 3-track work at fullerton and belmont

jjk1103 May 16, 2008 9:22 PM

....so if the Brown Line has its' track fixed by this December......and assuming the Blue Line to O'hare is fixed by the end of the year as well......where will the remaining slow zones be in 2009 ??

emathias May 17, 2008 5:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjk1103 (Post 3557433)
....so if the Brown Line has its' track fixed by this December......and assuming the Blue Line to O'hare is fixed by the end of the year as well......where will the remaining slow zones be in 2009 ??

There will likely be some remaining on North Main (Red Line north of Belmont) and certainly some on the Purple Line in Evanston. And there will always be a few here and there always popping up.


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