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Old Posted Nov 29, 2021, 9:59 PM
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WrightCONCEPT WrightCONCEPT is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Beach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
There's no question the RLE is not the absolute highest and best use of scarce transit funds. and if Metra and the CTA weren't so fucking provincial and exclusively self-interested, there are certainly more cost effective solutions to bring better/more frequent rail transit service to the numerous citizens of far Southside (more than 200,000 Chicagoans live south of 95th, that's hardly "no one").
I am of the opinion that is rare on this thread that given the amount of upgrades that are needed to most of the stations along the Metra Electric to just provide that service I look at the Red Line extension as a needed investment that will benefit the bus and rail network that will help eventually provide the needed modernization upgrades to the Metra Electric branches.

It's easy to say, just run more trains and that will bump up ridership however one thing that is missing from these conversations is a real audit of the state of the Metra Electric stations. Most of these local stations (except for the McCormick Place, Hyde Park, Kensington and South Chicago line branch stations) need some desperate repair and modernization for visibility and accessibility that will cost a hell of a lot more than $2.5B on top of which the Metra Electric is isolated from the rest of the L' network which I believe needs a hard look at as an apples to apples comparison. This is probably why there's been talks about studies but then no studies actually get done.

In my most recent trip to Chicago to visit family I rode on the Jeffrey Jump and other South Shore Express bus services and what they provide better than Metra is not just increased frequency but direct access to the jobs on the West Loop and connections with the rest of the L network. The bus lanes on Washington and Madison that has helped improve speed and frequency of connections that has been a game changer on how passengers use it through the Loop.

If CTA/Metra/RTA needs to be less parochial then a vision of Metra Modernization needs to be in the forefront with a bold project such as converting the Metra Electric, Metro North Central and other services into a faster RER style vision from South Chicago/Pullman via Museum Campus, South Loop, Union Station/West Loop to NW Side and O'Hare. Or do one better rethink Circle Line as part of this Metra Electric modernization.

I have seen some ideas on this here but I really feel that this is missing from the conversation. Its thought of piecemeal rather than presenting the larger regional vision that this is why the RLE is looked as a path of least resistance because there is already an existing network that will benefit from the infrastructure.
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Last edited by WrightCONCEPT; Dec 1, 2021 at 1:10 AM.
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