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  #14101  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2018, 11:38 PM
IrishIllini IrishIllini is offline
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Definitely.

Even a cheap used car that's reasonably reliable has costs.

About 10 years ago a friend of mine bought a used Infinity sedan (I30). He paid $6,000, so taxes were about $420. IIRC registration was $101. So that's $521 lost. If he sold it himself today he could probably get around $2,000, so $4,000 in depreciation over 10 years. He doesn't drive it that much, maybe 6,000 miles per year. His insurance is about $1,000 per year.

Costs over 10 years:

Depreciation: $4,000
Registration: 10 * $101 = $1,010
Sales tax: $420
Insurance: 10 * $1,000 = $1,000
Fuel (30mpg mixed @ 6,000 miles per year): ((6,000 * 10) / 30) * $3.00/gal = $6,000
Oil changes (annual, synthetic oil): 10 * $50 = $500
Repairs: It's been a very reliable car for him, but I think he's spent about $1,200 in repairs
Tires: $300
Street parking around town: about $20 per month
Misc maintenance: $20 month

Total cost of ownership over 10 years: $19,230, or $160.25 per month averaged over 10 years. Which is actually not that bad, but is still well above the cost of a monthly CTA pass.

I think that is reasonably about the cheapest ownership costs anyone could expect for basic car ownership. Start driving more, having a newer vehicle, financing the vehicle and requiring more than the legal minimum insurance and the prices go up quickly from there. A lot of people spend up to $20,000 on a car, do trade-ins, and finance most of the cost.

Say you got a 3-year-old Camry for $17,000 and keep it five years and finance $12,000 of it for five years, use it for commuting a total of 30 miles a day (15 miles each way), and about the same amount of other driving for 1200 per month.

Depreciation (price paid - ending trade-in-value): $17,000 - $4,500 = $12,500
Registration: $101 * 5 = $505
Sales tax: $1,190
Insurance: $100/month * 12 * 5 = $6,000
Fuel (30mpg, $3/gal): about $100 per month = 12 * 5 * $3/gal = $6,000
Oil changes (every 6k miles): 6 * $50 = $300
Repairs: $1,200
Tires: $300
Parking: about $50 / month = $3,000
Misc maintenance: $20 / month = $1,200
Interest on payments, financing $12,000 over 5 years @ 4%: $1,260

That comes to almost $560/month. Not all of that is cashflow, but includes $221 in payments, $100 in insurance, $120 in gas, $50 in parking, so "normal" monthly fixed expenses if they pay insurance monthly are about $491 in cash outlays, monthly. Probably a lot of people have to budget that much, plus save for repairs and oil changes and the difference between the trade-in value and the downpayment they'll need when they get a new-to-them car at the end of the cycle. And if you want a nicer car, costs just go up from there. And if you want a *new* car, all bets are off.

New Audi A4, mid-range options, keep it for 8 years: $42,000 to buy otherwise same as above except has to garage it at home in the city @ $120/month in addition to non-home parking, takes very good care of it and has a $6,500 trade-in value at the end. Finances 80%.

Depreciation: $35,500
Interest: $3,528
Registration: $808
Sales tax: $2,940
Insurance: $12,600 ($150 per month while financed, $100 per month after)
Fuel (25mpg, $3/gal): $13,824
Oil changes (free first 3 years, every 6k miles): $600
Repairs: (for last 5 years) $4,500
Tires (replace twice @$200 per tire): $1,600
Parking: $50 + $120 monthly = $16,320
Misc maintenance ($50/month in last 5 years): $3,000

So, a total cost over 8 years of $95,220, or just under $1,000 per month, on average. And in the first five years, monthly cash outlay itself will be about $1,100 per month. Later in the ownership period, monthly cash outlay will drop dramatically, but maintenance will be higher. This is the kind of car I'd want if I had a car. But the numbers are why I won't do it, lol.
If your friend were driving closer to the US average (~15,000 miles per year), they'd have higher operating costs and probably require either a newer car or be prepared for more maintenance issues.
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  #14102  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 4:38 PM
i_am_hydrogen i_am_hydrogen is offline
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Belmont Flyover

Demolition of Lakeview buildings to begin this week for CTA 'flyover' project

The CTA this week will start knocking down buildings in the Lakeview neighborhood to make way for the controversial “flyover,” an elevated bypass that agency officials say will cut down delays along a congested stretch of public transit on the North Side.

The demolition begins more than a year before the city plans to break ground on the flyover, which aims to unclog the bottleneck of Red, Brown and Purple Line trains that flow in and out of the Belmont Avenue station.

“The work we’re doing is an important part of the preparation we need to accomplish to begin construction on the project next year,” said Chris Bushell, the CTA’s chief infrastructure officer, in an interview with reporters Tuesday...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...306-story.html
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  #14103  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 4:48 PM
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Moving fast on this. They’re trying to get all the demolitions done in the 3200 and 3300 blocks before the Cubs season begins, and the 3400 block will be torn down in the fall after the season ends (guess Beer on Clark wanted one more season...)
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  #14104  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 6:23 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is online now
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Kinda bummed about these demolitions though.

I'm worried they will remain vacant lots for a long time
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  #14105  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 6:51 PM
Investing In Chicago Investing In Chicago is online now
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Kinda bummed about these demolitions though.

I'm worried they will remain vacant lots for a long time
That's my worry too; and when they are finally developed they'll likely be the same schlock that goes up around the city. We are loosing a couple great buildings for this project, and the area will ultimately change for the worse when complete.
Also, were the massive concrete structures always part of the plan? Why doesn't the CTA use steel support beams, like the rest of the system? These hulking concrete structures are terrible.
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  #14106  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 7:02 PM
Jim in Chicago Jim in Chicago is offline
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Originally Posted by Vlajos View Post
Where I live in the City driving takes the same/longer than the train. And the cost of parking downtown is a complete waste of money. $105/month unlimited CTA pass is a no brainer. Relax, sip coffee and read.
For us it is situational. We do tend to take the CTA, but let me give a recent example where Uber won the day.

We were out for dinner and had taken CTA to the restaurant. Dinner dragged on longer than it needed to, we were tired after a long day of work, it was cold and raining and the CTA meant a 10 minute walk from the stations at each end with a 20 minute ride (not figuring wait time for a train). It could have been 40-50 minutes door to door.

Or, an Uber was 2 minutes away and the fare around $10.

The choices were 2 walks in the rain as part of the 40 minute trip on CTA - $5.00. Or, 10 minutes by Uber, get home dry, $10. Uber won.
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  #14107  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 7:37 PM
Vlajos Vlajos is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim in Chicago View Post
For us it is situational. We do tend to take the CTA, but let me give a recent example where Uber won the day.

We were out for dinner and had taken CTA to the restaurant. Dinner dragged on longer than it needed to, we were tired after a long day of work, it was cold and raining and the CTA meant a 10 minute walk from the stations at each end with a 20 minute ride (not figuring wait time for a train). It could have been 40-50 minutes door to door.

Or, an Uber was 2 minutes away and the fare around $10.

The choices were 2 walks in the rain as part of the 40 minute trip on CTA - $5.00. Or, 10 minutes by Uber, get home dry, $10. Uber won.
That makes sense. I should have been more clear. I was talking about a commute to/from work during rush hours. Yes, definitely after a night of eating and drinking we will generally take a cab/lyft home.
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  #14108  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 9:11 PM
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emathias emathias is offline
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...
Also, were the massive concrete structures always part of the plan? Why doesn't the CTA use steel support beams, like the rest of the system? These hulking concrete structures are terrible.
Concrete is generally quieter, I think that's the main reason: it's mass just dampens vibrations better than steel. I don't think they'll feel as "hulking" once built. Even if they used steel, I don't think it would necessarily be some light, airy thing once completed.
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  #14109  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 9:14 PM
Vlajos Vlajos is offline
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Concrete is generally quieter, I think that's the main reason: it's mass just dampens vibrations better than steel. I don't think they'll feel as "hulking" once built. Even if they used steel, I don't think it would necessarily be some light, airy thing once completed.
Plus, the price of steel will be going up 25% or so.
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  #14110  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 9:36 PM
Jim in Chicago Jim in Chicago is offline
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Plus, the price of steel will be going up 25% or so.
As will the price of rebar that goes into the concrete structures.
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  #14111  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 10:06 PM
Vlajos Vlajos is offline
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As will the price of rebar that goes into the concrete structures.
Great, ain't it?
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  #14112  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 10:08 PM
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America is getting so great again, it just gives me the goosebumps!
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  #14113  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
I don't think they'll feel as "hulking" once built. Even if they used steel, I don't think it would necessarily be some light, airy thing once completed.
Hopefully it won't feel hulking, though it does worry me a bit. I've been out in Tysons, Virginia, several times and the concrete structure for Metro's relatively new silver line extension feels very massive/hulking. At the same time, concrete certainly does help dampen the noise. You can tell just from the moment the train moves from the steel tracks to the north/south of Belmont to the concrete track that's part of the overall Belmont station. It immediately becomes much quieter at that time.
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  #14114  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2018, 11:05 PM
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As will the price of rebar that goes into the concrete structures.
Well, the rebar is a fraction of the weight of a steel support structure. Virtually all new CTA structures in the last 50 years have been steel beams on concrete bents. Then a concrete deck atop the steel beams.

The Pink Line was an exception, they skipped the concrete deck for that one and doomed Pilsen/LV to another 100 years of earsplitting noise.

I doubt the fluctuations in steel price will affect the design of this project. The increased cost can (probably) be absorbed in the existing contingency... if the increase is too high, we might see a switch to precast concrete beams.
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  #14115  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 1:11 AM
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Plus, the price of steel will be going up 25% or so.
That would depend. How much more is American steel vs Chinese steel? If that number is like 10% more, then that will be how much more it is.
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  #14116  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 4:22 PM
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That would depend. How much more is American steel vs Chinese steel? If that number is like 10% more, then that will be how much more it is.
Or Canadian steel, since apparently that's where most of our steel comes from.
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  #14117  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 6:45 PM
Vlajos Vlajos is offline
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Or Canadian steel, since apparently that's where most of our steel comes from.
China isn't even top 10 in terms of US steel imports. Canada is our biggest supplier at 16% of total. Brazil is number 2 at 13%. India is number 10 at 2%. Can't wait for increased costs, inflation and job loss as a result of Trump's silly policy.
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  #14118  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2018, 11:47 PM
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Yonah Freemark went off today on the lack of vision for the CTA/Metra.

https://twitter.com/yfreemark/status/983408296928448513

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It is beyond depressing to me that the Chicago region's draft funded regional transportation expenditure plan includes no expansion of the L rail system other than the Red Line by 2050. It includes a 1.6-mile expansion of the commuter rail network.
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Several BRT projects are included, but the project that is top-scoring—Ashland Ave—has essentially been discarded by the mayor's office due to neighborhood opposition. This is a region of 9.5 million people, and this is all Chicago gets for the next 32 years?
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Nothing about converting Metra to all-day, useful regional rail as Toronto is undertaking with GO network. No funding for anything that would improve transit significantly for the booming West Loop and river corridor. A lesson in complete abandonment of planning for the future.
I would tend to agree with his assessment. I've already commented on the need for rapid transit along the Chicago River's North Branch, where plenty of development is planned. When it comes to the future of transit, it seems the region's leaders are ignoring Daniel Burnham's sage advice:

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency."
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  #14119  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2018, 1:22 PM
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Should we propose expansion just for expansion’s sake? After all, Chicago is not growing. Average annual boardings per CTA station is only 1.6 million, less than Atlanta and only a bit better than Miami and Baltimore. New York is 5.8 million boardings per station—systemwide average.

Chicago has a lot—perhaps too much—rapid transit for the size city it has shrunk to. We don't have a problem with not enough transit infrastructure. We have 146 L stations. We have a problem with all the people who count—those who have good downtown jobs—all wanting to live near the same 20 stations.
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  #14120  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2018, 1:27 PM
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^ Gotta agree here.

The key is to increase development around our existing infrastructure. Look at all of those stations on the south side surrounded by vacant lots and little chicken joints. We need those evil developers to evilly build housing for those slimy cocktail-sippers who will then commute to their evil downtown jobs.
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