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Old Posted Nov 29, 2021, 7:58 PM
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left of center left of center is offline
1st Ward
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The Big Onion
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
Not sure why you always have to get so worked up all of the time, but yes of course I am serious. Facts matter.

Ridership is WAY down, nobody in leadership is willing to confront the realities of accepting COVID as endemic (if they did, maybe more people would wake up and be willing to ride the trains more), and WFH is essentially a semi-permanent state of affairs, if not permanent altogether.

Improvements in the internet is an infrastructure investment, a HUGE one, that is making rail transit somewhat obsolete. Technology tends to do that. People will still ride trains, but far fewer people will be doing it than pre-COVID. I don't think daily CTA rail ridership will ever again reach where it was prior to 2020.

The flu is also endemic. The thing is, no one freaks out about it because it has been around all our lives. Covid (which is also a flu) is new and people are afraid of the unknown. In 5 years, they will be much less afraid. In 10 years it will be a total afterthought unless you are immunocompromised or elderly and need to take safety precautions (as such people do now for the regular flu variants). In 30 years you will have adults that have never known a world without Covid, and will not be deterred in taking trains, buses or planes because of it. Transit will come back, and my guess is it may even reach 2019 levels before 2025.

WFH will remain, but people will still want/need to move about the city. Lets not forget that the vast majority of jobs cannot be done at home. Transit will always be needed, because if everyone in Chicago started driving cars it would turn every thoroughfare into a jammed parking lot. There literally isn't enough room to park all the cars if every adult in the city decided to own one.

Defunding transit would be incredibly short sited, especially since we need to build now for higher commuter volumes in the future. New capacity does not come online right away. It would be as silly as stopping the O'Hare Modernization Project in 2009 because airline customer volume collapsed in the wake of the Great Recession.
"Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world." -Frank Lloyd Wright
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