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Old Posted Nov 29, 2021, 8:13 PM
TR Devlin TR Devlin is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Chicago
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
^ Why should we trust those same transit agencies with even more tax dollars, when they can't even work together to better use the resources they already have?

I have no faith that pumping a bunch of cash into the existing system will lead to better outcomes. Maybe we get a few flashy new projects that benefit small areas of the city, but the overall transit system in Chicagoland will still be status quo.
Two answers to your question as to why Chicago should spend more money on mass transit:

1. Chicago has one of the most efficient mass transit systems in the country.
Here are measures of operating expense per passenger mile for the top six bus systems and top six rail systems in the country. Systems with the lowest operating expense per passenger mile are the most efficient. Chicago is first in rail operating efficiency and third in bus. These numbers come from a report prepared by The Civic Federation dated Nov 1, 2018.

LA $0.84
Philly $1.07
Chicago $1.26
Boston $1.38
DC $1.48
NYC $1.79

Chicago $0.41
Philly $0.44
Atlanta $0.47
NYC $0.50
Boston $0.58
DC $0.68

One thing that jumps out is the fact that bus operating expenses are about three times higher than rail operating expenses; a major reason to invest more in rail.

2. Investments in mass transit support greater urban density, higher economic growth, more employment, higher wage increases and higher property values.
The attached blog explains and quantifies these benefits: "Why Does Everyone Want Public Transit To Pay For Itself?"
Furthermore, the mass transit investments that produce the greatest benefits are rail investments, particularly rail investments in large cities with existing transit networks.
Nelson Algren: "(Loving Chicago) is like loving a woman with a broken nose. You may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real."
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