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  #5641  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 6:22 PM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
While watching TV the other night, a CTA ad came on. It showed a gas pump ticking higher with a man crying in the background and then suggested people spend $86 for a 30-day pass instead.

It was possibly the stupidest commercial I've ever seen. Who on earth things it's a good idea to advertise your product with a crying man? That's just grade A stupid.
Woah... the CTA runs ads?
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  #5642  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 6:52 PM
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http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/...7_FORTUNE5.htm

Union Pacific: New Chicago-Area Terminal To Be Complete In June '10

September 03, 2009: 12:36 PM ET


Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) announced Thursday that the initial phase of its new Chicago-area intermodal terminal, designed to handle up to 500,000 containers annually, will be finished next June.

The $370 million terminal, located in Joliet, Ill., will decrease congestion in the busy Chicago transportation hub and boost Union Pacific's intermodal capacity, the company said.

Once the facility is operational, for instance, Union Pacific said it will be able to run twice as many trains between Chicago and San Antonio, because Chicago-area congestion currently restrains traffic.

"Ultimately, the impact means good-paying jobs for the community, growth in the markets we serve and an expansion of the role of rail - one of the 'greenest' and safest modes of freight transportation," Union Pacific Chief Executive Jim Young said in a prepared statement.

Construction on the 785-acre terminal began last month. Union Pacific said the terminal can be expanded beyond the initial phased based on customer demand.
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  #5643  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 2:50 AM
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Is this the one down by Lorenzo Road right by I-55?
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  #5644  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 8:14 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Apparently they're only running this in Ireland. You'd think it would do fantastically well on Chicago TV, since it features CTA and the cityscape so prominently. It's really made quite well.

Video Link
Holy genius!! And they use the original Beatles lyrics basically word for word. Parts of the video are also direct homages to the video for the Beatles song. And you'd have to watch & pause this video a dozen times before you get all the little buried cute references and tricks -- I dig the final hidden letter "W".
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  #5645  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 9:24 PM
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Is this the one down by Lorenzo Road right by I-55?
Not exactly. The thing is massive - it sits about halfway between I-55 and Chicago Motor Speedway.

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  #5646  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 9:25 PM
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Hallelujah! Metra's redesigning their website. It's about time...

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  #5647  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 9:29 PM
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When is it supposed to be done? I had to go to the site about twenty minutes ago and it was still the same 1997 design as always.

Hope they do a complete overhaul including forigen language options.
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  #5648  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 9:35 PM
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Oops... fixed the image link. It'll be up by Friday.
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  #5649  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 9:50 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...0,944146.story


Illinois looks for pair of benefits on high-speed rail travel
State wants to acquire trains for intercity passenger travel, hopes to benefit from manufacturing surge


Jon Hilkevitch

September 6, 2009

Officials in Illinois, which was once a leader in the train-building industry, are working to ensure the state benefits on both sides of the supply-and-demand equation: as a major player in train manufacturing and as a customer buying new locomotives and passenger cars.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation in late August allowing the state to enter into public-private partnerships to acquire new trains for intercity passenger travel. State transportation officials estimate that the first high-speed corridors could be operating in three to five years between Chicago and other Midwestern cities.

The state's new capital-improvement program contains $400 million for high-speed rail. Officials haven't yet decided what portion will go toward buying new trains, versus spending on improvements to tracks, signals and other infrastructure.

"Depending on what we get from the stimulus package, we will determine how much we have to use. We are estimating that we will need around 12 train sets," said George Weber, chief of the railroad bureau at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Each train set would consist of 250 to 300 seats, he said, and could be as small as four or five coach cars.

Once an order is placed, the first trains would be delivered in three years, Weber estimated, adding that the schedule dovetails with plans to inaugurate high-speed service.

State officials hope Illinois will be awarded about $2 billion of the $8 billion available for high-speed rail from the federal government.

So far, Wisconsin is the only state to use federal stimulus funds to order new trains. In July, it contracted with the Spanish train manufacturer Talgo for $47 million to build two sets of 14-car trains in Wisconsin.

The trains will operate on Amtrak's Hiawatha service between Milwaukee and Chicago. The train cars could be used in the future for high-speed service between Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, officials said.

The Talgo trains are capable of cruising at 125 m.p.h., officials said.
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  #5650  
Old Posted Sep 5, 2009, 9:55 PM
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http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...-cta05.article

Blue Line track work shifts south

Shuttle buses will run weekends from Clark/Lake to UIC-Halsted

September 5, 2009

BY MARY WISNIEWSKI Transportation reporter mwisniewski@suntimes.com

Track replacement on the northern part of the Blue Line subway is done, so weekend subway service suspensions soon will begin on the southern part.

The Chicago Transit Authority has been using $88 million in federal stimulus money to replace about seven miles of track from Division on the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line to Clinton on the Forest Park branch. The repairs primarily were to prevent the development of "slow zones," in which trains have to run slower than normal for safety.

Because of the repairs, passengers going between Western/Milwaukee and Clark/ Lake on weekends had to ride shuttle buses nearly every weekend this summer. Exceptions were made for busy weekends, such as during the Taste of Chicago.

With repairs to the northern part of the subway completed last weekend, along with 2007 and 2008 Blue Line work, most slow zones have been eliminated on the O'Hare branch.

"We're back to the 45-minute trip from downtown to O'Hare, which is what it's supposed to be," said CTA spokeswoman Sheila Gregory.

Starting next weekend, subway service will be shut between the Clark/Lake and UIC-Halsted stations most weekends. Shuttle buses will operate as a substitute.

"CTA is putting stimulus funds to good use on projects that will have a direct impact on customers' travels," said CTA President Richard Rodriguez.

The Blue Line project is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.

CTA received a total of $241 million in stimulus funds. The rest of the money is being used to buy new buses and overhaul old buses and rail cars.


..
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  #5651  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2009, 10:16 PM
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http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/2...t_competition/

Transportation September 8, 2009

O'Hare to get competition?

A site just 40 miles from O'Hare International might not sound like the best place to build a cargo airport. But that's not stopping officials in Will County, Ill.


By Mitch Mac Donald and Mark B. Solomon


"Build it and they will come" has long been the mantra of developers and politicians looking to transform unused (or underused) space into showplaces of trade and commerce—not to mention hotbeds for jobs. But the optimistic burghers of Will County, Ill., 40 miles southwest of Chicago, don't seem to think they'll have much of a wait. To hear them tell it, the people and the commerce don't have to come. They're already there.

The state and county plan to develop a cargo airport as part of an ambitious multimodal transport complex that will include up to four intermodal rail yards, access to three interstate highways, and up to 135 million square feet of industrial warehousing and distribution space, 20 percent of which currently sits vacant due to the economic downturn.

There is one major obstacle, however: One of the world's most established cargo airports, O'Hare International, sits only 40 miles away.

State and county officials seem unfazed. As they see it, the "South Suburban Airport" will offer a compelling alternative to O'Hare, with its lower airline landing fees, less-congested airside and landside operations, and convenient connections to Interstates 55, 57, and 65 as well as to intermodal rail services. "Our point of distribution is more friendly than O'Hare's," says John Grueling, president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development.

The new airport's backers believe the two airports can thrive despite their close proximity to each other. "We are not going after the folks at O'Hare," says Dr. Susan Shea, director of the Illinois Department of Transportation's aeronautics division.

Olympic dreams

Not everyone shares their optimism. Dan Muscatello, managing director, cargo and logistics for Cincinnati-based airport planner and developer Landrum & Brown, says a new airport so close to O'Hare would have a tough time attracting new business or diverting traffic from the older facility. O'Hare has a well-established base of airlines, truckers, and freight forwarders that would be loath to pull up stakes and move down the road, Muscatello says. Nor would international airlines with all-cargo operations, like Korean Air, be inclined to split their passenger and cargo flights between two airports, he says. And any advantage South Suburban may have in terms of landing costs and ease of access would be more than offset by the significant volume-based discounts that shippers and forwarders get by tendering large quantities of freight at a "gateway" airport like O'Hare, he adds.

What's more, O'Hare is about to shed its reputation for being short on cargo space. It is currently adding 750,000 square feet of airside cargo space, including 18 additional parking spaces for freighter aircraft. When the project is completed, O'Hare will have 45 freighter parking spaces, the same as at Los Angeles International Airport, according to Muscatello.

Gary Schultheis, senior vice president airfreight, North America for Deutsche Post DHL, the world's largest air forwarder, was succinct in his opinion on the necessity of a second cargo airport in the region. Asked if one is needed, Schultheis replied in an e-mail: "Not really."

State and county officials are banking on continuing growth in commerce and population—Will County is Illinois' fastest-growing county—as well as the multimodal nature of the project to carry the day. They also point to the success of Rockford, Ill., about 70 miles from Chicago, where UPS operates a thriving regional air-cargo facility. Rockford demonstrates that the greater Chicago market is big enough for more than one cargo airport, officials say.

The South Suburban project is still in the early stages. According to Shea of IDOT, the state has purchased roughly half the land needed to construct the first runway and terminal. It has also begun condemnation proceedings to acquire raw land for further expansion. The state has started filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Aviation Administration and has solicited the support of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman.

Shea declined to specify a target date for completion but said the state would like to have the airport up and running no later than the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago is bidding for the 2016 Games.
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  #5652  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2009, 11:19 PM
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^Where exactly is this proposed? i can't seem to place the exact location as the article stays pretty vague.
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  #5653  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2009, 11:46 PM
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^^^ The firm I work for was involved in the sale of a several hundred acre farm to IDOT Southeast of Peotone for this airport. The Airport will be located there.
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  #5654  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 12:09 AM
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I can see Peotone as a good site for a cargo airport, actually. It makes little sense as a major passenger airport, but getting cargo carriers to move to Will County would free capacity at O'Hare for additional passenger growth. Plus, it would allow for some redevelopment of the massive industrial parks of Elk Grove Village, Franklin Park, and Northlake, which are about to get sliced'n'diced by the Elgin-O'Hare anyway.

I dunno, I guess I have a lot fewer issues with exurban industrial development than exurban residential development, since industrial development has a monolithic scale that seems appropriate to the vast open spaces and 1-mile grid of the Midwestern countryside. It also removes pollution generators like truck traffic and factories from population centers closer in. I've also historically noticed that industrial employers are far more likely to work with Pace to provide transit services than office employers. Finally, many of the jobs created in a Will County industrial park would be stable low-income jobs that would benefit the people living in South Cook County and actually shortening their commute in practical terms, since many of them must currently travel congested roads to reach the the O'Hare area or the I-88/I-90 corridors.

Oh, and the I-80 corridor is quite possibly one of the busiest roads in the country in terms of truck volume. A Peotone airport would pull those trucks off of the Tri-State going to O'Hare and put them instead onto 55 and 57, which seems to be a better use of existing capacity.
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  #5655  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 7:16 AM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,4160064.story

Ford City hopes to get railroaded
CTA Orange Line extension could shore up Southwest Side mall


By Carmen Greco Jr.

September 9, 2009

John Keating has lived in the shadow of the Ford City Mall since it opened in 1965 and watched as nearby suburban malls whittled its customer base and stole higher-end retailers. But now he's hopeful about CTA plans for a new Orange Line stop there.

"We've been waiting for a major transportation project for some period of time," said Keating, 74, of the Scottsdale neighborhood. "The Orange Line is going to be a great asset to the Far Southwest Side of the city."

Keating said he was peeved in the early 1990s when CTA officials, citing a lack of funds, decided to end the new Orange Line at Midway Airport rather than Ford City. An extension would add 2.3 miles from the airport to the mall's doorstep at 76th Street and Cicero Avenue.

"It seems like this corner of the city has been put on the back burner," he said. "Out here in the boonies, we have to fight for everything."

The new stop, with an estimated price tag of $490 million, most of which would be federal funds, would not be operational until at least 2016.

CTA spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said it was premature to comment beyond that the project is in a preliminary study phase and that the agency's federal grant request is pending.

The extension is intended to improve bus-to-train connections for numerous CTA and Pace bus routes along Cicero Avenue and other nearby areas where there has been significant growth.

Ford City Mall owners already are salivating at the increased visibility a rail station could bring, not to mention the increased foot traffic it would generate. The CTA estimates the extension would serve up to 7,200 riders from the city and nearby southwest suburbs...................
..

Last edited by nomarandlee; Sep 9, 2009 at 7:33 AM.
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  #5656  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 7:44 AM
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new Metra page is up (in English and Spanish)

http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html
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  #5657  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 2:31 PM
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While its obviously an improvemnet because it DOES look like it belongs in this century, my first impression is meh. Metra still does not a have a strong brand identity and i think it may have something to do with the average age of those administrators (check out those little pics)
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  #5658  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 3:42 PM
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While its obviously an improvemnet because it DOES look like it belongs in this century, my first impression is meh. Metra still does not a have a strong brand identity and i think it may have something to do with the average age of those administrators (check out those little pics)
Nitpick, but the Board of Directors aren't administrators. The board, composed of political appointees, meets once a month to oversee the administration being performed day-to-day by professional staff, and vote on broader strategic level issues and high-value contract awards.

A big part of the lack of brand identity probably results from modern-day Metra being composed of a hodgepodge of private operations, some of which (the Union Pacific lines, formerly Chicago&Northwestern) are still contracted out. If anything, I'd actually say that between the rail fleet and graphics standards Metra has done remarkably well at establishing a uniform identity for a system that is composed of parts from 6(?) different private rail operations that were only brought together in the past few decades.
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  #5659  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 4:05 PM
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Thats what I meant to say.
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  #5660  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 6:53 PM
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new Metra page is up (in English and Spanish)

http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html
It would have been nice if they made the schedules viewable using mobile devices. The site is basically unusable using my Palm.
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