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denizen467 Dec 18, 2013 6:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6377834)
Details for the Blue Line project were posted.

That's a good amount of detail there. Also, for anybody interested, that webpage contains the following invite (and deadline strangely less than three weeks away):
Quote:

Note: There is presently a Call for Artists for works related to this project, with submissions due by January 6, 2014.

the urban politician Dec 18, 2013 1:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6377834)
Details for the Blue Line project were posted.

http://www.transitchicago.com/yournewblue/

Logan Square TOD estimated at 5 stories, fwiw

^ 5 stories is a bit of a letdown as I think Logan Square, given the size of that park, is deserving of a more substantial building. Nevertheless, I hope at least the unit count is fairly high

Steely Dan Dec 18, 2013 8:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 6377913)
Regardless if the old system "used the same technology as gameboy," it was still reliable and fast.

perhaps for you, but in my case the chicago card plus system was anything but reliable.

if my ventra card continues to work flawlessly for me without having the cards crap out every 6 months for no reason what-so-ever, then i will consider it a vastly superior system.

jc5680 Dec 21, 2013 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 6378660)
perhaps for you, but in my case the chicago card plus system was anything but reliable.

if my ventra card continues to work flawlessly for me without having the cards crap out every 6 months for no reason what-so-ever, then i will consider it a vastly superior system.

Vastly superior? Give me a break. At best we are at status quo. With the old system, I definitely experienced the decay in the card issue. At least it worked and billed me appropriately.

Ventra cards worked sporadically at launch, have gotten better, but are far from perfect. You can no longer just swipe your wallet or whatever you cary your card in because your debit card might ring up a fair as well. I have yet to have my monthly renewal actually renew. Try calling their mess of a call center. Your options are generally 1 . "sorry we can't help, can we have someone who can call you back" 2. "We are experiencing a higher than normal call volume, would you like some one to call you back withing the next 24-48 hours." 3 disconnected.

Frankly, I don't see why the there was a change in the first place or why a second rate outside company was needed to be brought in to handle it. In my experience it has been worse. Add in the complete scam the whole ventra debit card is, this is a net loss and not even by a small margin.

ardecila Dec 21, 2013 5:01 AM

Which second rate outside company are you referring to? Cubic designed both the Chicago Card and Ventra systems.

jc5680 Dec 22, 2013 6:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6381750)
Which second rate outside company are you referring to? Cubic designed both the Chicago Card and Ventra systems.

Fair enough. I, admittedly, did not know that. Still, "Vastly Superior" seems like an absurd notion to me. In my experience it has been significantly worse. I am trying be objective in knowing that my experience isn't the norm (although not uncommon), but I have a real hard time seeing any quality that is better.

ardecila Dec 22, 2013 7:12 AM

Yeah, I haven't had any Ventra problems but I also haven't seen any benefits over the old Chicago Card days. Both systems have worked well for me.

However, I still recognize the theoretical customer benefits of moving everyone onto a touch card. Faster boarding, opportunities for prepaid boarding, rear-door boarding, etc. Those haven't materialized yet because the lag time on each bus swipe is still too damn long and because riders haven't yet developed the proper habits. It's pretty clear that the problems here are in the implementation, not the concept.

I wonder if the reader cycles could be designed to overlap, so the next rider can tap while the first rider continues onto the bus. If he has insufficient balance, he can still ride that one time but his card will be locked for all subsequent attempts until he reloads.

CTA Gray Line Dec 30, 2013 6:57 PM

Ventra failures cost CTA $1.2 million in free rides
 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1183238.story

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune reporter
12:38 p.m. CST, December 30, 2013

The CTA gave out an estimated $1.2 million in free rides due to failures with Ventra fare-collection equipment over a 2 ½-month period, the transit agency said Monday....

....From Oct. 1 through Dec. 19, some 909,121 free bus rides -– amounting to $1.18 million in lost fare revenue -– were provided because of issues related to Ventra, the CTA said. The CTA estimated that 20,940 free rides were provided over the same period on the rail system as the result of failures with the Ventra system, representing $32,458 in lost revenue.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter @jhilkevitch

J_M_Tungsten Dec 30, 2013 8:01 PM

^Wow! So who pays that back? The company responsible for Ventra?

emathias Dec 30, 2013 8:45 PM

I'd be interested to know how much they lose in a typical quarter to faulty equipment. I know the number is not zero.

Also, how much loss was budgeted and/or who is responsible for the losses?

EDIT:
From Jon Hilkevitch:
Quote:

Early in the Ventra rollout, CTA provided very selective data that purported to show fare leakage from Ventra was less than uncollected fares using the legacy system. The Ventra sample was extremely small and heavily weighted to rail.

I asked today for updated comparable numbers but haven't received them yet.

As for the contract, Cubic is responsible for reimbursing CTA for all lost fares. But the actual figure will ultimately be decided through negotiations, Claypool has said. My updated story for Tuesday print editions will include a statement from Cubic that is a bit murky regarding CTA claims it will be fully compensated for Ventra-caused lost fare revenue.

k1052 Jan 2, 2014 3:06 PM

Didn't see this posted here so...

Mayor Emanuel names new transportation chief

http://www.suntimes.com/news/2469005...ion-chief.html

I don't think there is going to be any backsliding on the initiatives Klein began and transit is probably going to play an even bigger role going forward. I look forward to sampling delicious anti-Ashland BRT NIMBY tears when they find out the new head of CDOT is (at least in part) responsible for that project.

Baronvonellis Jan 2, 2014 6:09 PM

Anyone seen an updated list of the speed cameras? I thought there was going to be 50 but they must be putting in alot more. There are now 3 or 4 cameras along Peterson Ave. It's like one block is 20 mph and then the next block is 30mph. It's supposed to give you tickets when school is in session? How do you know when they are in school?

Peterson is designed as a suburban 4 lane arterial road, these are just speed traps.

ardecila Jan 8, 2014 10:11 PM

Is it just me, or is this cost absurd? All this money spent and there won't even be a direct or convenient connection to the Ashland BRT.

It would also be a good chance to try out those ideas in the Blue Line Vision Study, like wider platforms and more direct station access points, but if a "safe and dry" level of renovation costs this much, I don't want to think about the cost for those.

Quote:

CTA poised to rehab Medical District L station
BY ROSALIND ROSSI Transportation Reporter January 7, 2014 9:41AM


The CTA Blue Line station that serves the Illinois Medical District’s four hospitals will get $23 million in improvements — many focused on making the site more wheelchair-accessible — under a plan approved Tuesday by the CTA board.

The City Council now must OK the deal to tap tax increment financing funds from the Central West TIF to bankroll the project.

Ridership at the Illinois Medical District station has increased by 53 percent in the last five years, making it the third-busiest of the Blue Line’s West Side Forest Park branch, CTA officials said. Yet other than a 1998 renovation of the Damen entrance, the station has only received “minor patchwork repairs” since its opening 55 years ago, city officials said.

The project will make all three station entrances — at Ogden, Damen and Paulina — accessible to the disabled. The stationhouse on Ogden will get an elevator and new stairs. Plus, the two auxiliary entrances will see reconstruction of station-to-platform ramps.

Other planned improvements include new lighting; more security cameras; CTA Bus and Train Tracker displays; new flooring and customer assistant kiosks.

Construction would begin in mid-2015 and be completed in mid-2016, said CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase.


emathias Jan 8, 2014 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6399067)
Is it just me, or is this cost absurd? All this money spent and there won't even be a direct or convenient connection to the Ashland BRT.

It would also be a good chance to try out those ideas in the Blue Line Vision Study, like wider platforms and more direct station access points, but if a "safe and dry" level of renovation costs this much, I don't want to think about the cost for those.

I think all the CTA projects seem overly expensive, however in the context of other CTA projects the described budget seems appropriate, even somewhat lower than I might have guessed. Certainly compared to the quarter-billion dollars allocated for the 95th Street Red Line station, it's cheap.

untitledreality Jan 9, 2014 4:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6399067)
All this money spent and there won't even be a direct or convenient connection to the Ashland BRT.

I would imagine that rebuilding the Douglas ramp to allow for an at grade platform, access ramps, and an Ashland headhouse would be a much larger project requiring a much much larger amount of Federal money that just isn't there.

Maybe one day.

N830MH Jan 9, 2014 5:39 AM

What about Yellow Line extension? Hasn't they gotten approved yet? Will they consider it?

the urban politician Jan 9, 2014 5:40 PM

Does anyone know when work on the downtown BRT is supposed to start?

ardecila Jan 9, 2014 7:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by untitledreality (Post 6399513)
I would imagine that rebuilding the Douglas ramp to allow for an at grade platform, access ramps, and an Ashland headhouse would be a much larger project requiring a much much larger amount of Federal money that just isn't there.

Maybe one day.

No doubt, although I was imagining side platforms centered under Paulina with ramp entrances to Ogden and Ashland. Then the "Angels Flight" incline could proceed with only minor modifications. A later phase could include Pink Line platforms.



Anyway, if the money isn't there yet, then why do anything? A deep cleaning and patchwork repairs are welcomed, and maybe an elevator, but what CTA is proposing is much extensive than that, and it just seems pretty obvious that the planners aren't talking to each other. Why not use the opportunity to create a link between the city's second busiest rail line and its first BRT line?

ardecila Jan 9, 2014 7:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 6400085)
Does anyone know when work on the downtown BRT is supposed to start?

Construction on the Central Loop BRT should begin this spring and wrap up by the end of the year. IIRC, work on the Union Station Transportation Center will last into 2015.

CTA recently released a rendering of the shelters for this project. This is a tweaked version of a competition-winning design, although the original design was glass-enclosed while this is open. I like how the design references the bronze and copper accents on downtown buildings while remaining modern. Apologies to Busy Bee for the compass rosette.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7333/1...ff1a6421_b.jpg
credit: John Greenfield

Rizzo Jan 10, 2014 6:10 AM

I just hope other vehicles don't drive in those lanes. You can tell the lane on Adams used to be a bright red, but the last remaining flakes came off last year. The lane has been a free for all now. Though signs and marking say it's a restricted lane for buses. People are allowed to park vehicles on it. So simply said, people are parking in bus lanes and no action is taken by law enforcement.

I hope the new lanes are enforced, but I'm not expecting it to be strict. The lanes should be pavers or stamped concrete....something to at least to permanently delineate this from the rest of traffic.


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