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  #13621  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2017, 5:22 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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^ If a ship has sailed, then remember that all ships have finite lifespans. It's time for some new ships -- bearing ampersands and duplication proscriptions.
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  #13622  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2017, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by denizen467 View Post
^ If a ship has sailed, then remember that all ships have finite lifespans. It's time for some new ships -- bearing ampersands and duplication proscriptions.
Well, when you go to Clark/Lake, for example, the automated train announcer guy does outright say "Clark and Lake".
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  #13623  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2017, 9:18 PM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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^ Everyone's realizing it's just a vacant virgule.
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  #13624  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2017, 9:37 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Elon Musk Eyes O'Hare to Loop Fast Rail Link

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CHICAGO - Is the man who created Tesla and SpaceX the answer to Chicago's decades-old desire to open a high-speed rail line between the Loop and O'Hare International Airport?

In a step that some will consider outlandish and others bold, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has opened talks with Elon Musk, the West Coast entrepreneur who has built electric-car-producing Tesla into a company with a larger market capitalization than Ford and SpaceX into a company that could take over satellite-launching duties from NASA.

Emanuel knows Musk from his White House days, and according to Emanuel's office, when Musk heard of the mayor's continuing desire to speed traffic between the Loop and the airport to raise the city's business profile, he pitched his latest venture: a high-tech drilling firm named—the man has a sense of humor—the Boring Company.
...
From Crain's
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  #13625  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2017, 12:36 AM
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  #13626  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2017, 12:52 AM
Kngkyle Kngkyle is offline
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If anyone can make it happen... it's Elon Musk.

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  #13627  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2017, 1:02 AM
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If anyone can make it happen... it's Elon Musk.
Just because he can "make it happen" doesn't make it the right thing to do.

If Musk can privately fund the project in a way that doesn't leave taxpayers on the hook in case of failure, then I'm all for this project. Bureaucratically, the city should do everything to slash the red tape and let this thing go. I'm all for exploring the idea and soliciting a proposal.

However, if Musk is expecting taxpayers to chip in, then I'm flat out against this project no matter how sexy it may seem. Even with Musk's supposed cost savings, this project will still cost hundreds of millions or (easily) billions. Chicago and the surrounding region has many more important transit projects to invest in than a foolhardy airport whiz train, especially when we already have a train line that goes to each airport. As MHSRA and others have pointed out, there is a way to build an airport express that could benefit everyone and not just wealthy air travelers, but that requires major taxpayer investment and a solution to Metra's endless turf battles within RTA.
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  #13628  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2017, 2:13 AM
Kngkyle Kngkyle is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Just because he can "make it happen" doesn't make it the right thing to do.

If Musk can privately fund the project in a way that doesn't leave taxpayers on the hook in case of failure, then I'm all for this project. Bureaucratically, the city should do everything to slash the red tape and let this thing go. I'm all for exploring the idea and soliciting a proposal.

However, if Musk is expecting taxpayers to chip in, then I'm flat out against this project no matter how sexy it may seem. Even with Musk's supposed cost savings, this project will still cost hundreds of millions or (easily) billions. Chicago and the surrounding region has many more important transit projects to invest in than a foolhardy airport whiz train, especially when we already have a train line that goes to each airport. As MHSRA and others have pointed out, there is a way to build an airport express that could benefit everyone and not just wealthy air travelers, but that requires major taxpayer investment and a solution to Metra's endless turf battles within RTA.
I completely agree, and have aired my preference for improved blue line service here multiple times. However.. we already know that in order to beat the blue line's door-to-door times it would require a huge sum of money to accomplish using any existing conventional rail methods. If Musk can deliver on his projected cost savings and create a fully automated system and do so at-cost, as a demonstration project, then I think there may be potential to attract private capital. The city already spent a ton on the unused Block 37 superstation that could be used for this.
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  #13629  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2017, 2:46 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Very excited to hear about potential Musk involvement. Even if the government is footing some or all of the bill. If Musk can actually deliver on 90% cost and time reductions for tunneling with 125 MPH speeds, then this type of line makes sense. Then you are no longer talking about 15-20 min, you are talking about 10 minutes or less to go the 10 miles from downtown to O'Hare. THAT would be a game changer. I would totally pay $30 bucks for that if I lived in the loop.

More excitingly, this could be a game changer for transit in Chicago in general. If you think about it Chicago is the perfect testing ground for tunneling advancement. We don't have shallow bedrock so you aren't grinding through rock. We have nicely packed hardpan clay which is easy to slice away and firm enough that the risk of collapse while tunneling is relatively low. The problem has been that the equipment and labor for such work is so damn high. If Musk can give that a major haircut, we might actually be able to talk about multiple tunnels for transit lines.

Chicago obviously has a very long history of tunneling, it's fairly easy to do here when you have cheap labor and no OSHA. The tunnel company, the cribs, etc were all dug by hand. We have a long history of transit innovation, long history of tunneling, and the right geological conditions (including lack of earthquakes which Musk's home state does not enjoy). Would be amazing to leverage such a building opportunity into becoming the proving ground for Musk's experiments and maybe, some day, the next transit hub of a continental "hyperloop" network.
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  #13630  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2017, 8:47 AM
denizen467 denizen467 is offline
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I've said it before, but I don't think speed is that important. Among other reasons, a bazillion-dollar high speed train might end up with worse frequency -- totally negating the point of a pneumatic human tunnel or whatever is proposed. Frequency of, say, 6 (inexpensive) hourly runs along Metra tracks could be better than 2 (pricey) hourly runs in a Lamborghinitube. The psychology is obvious that having to wait 29 minutes for the next train, after missing one due to traffic on the way to the station, will encourage people in many situations to ignore the train and just continue by road all the way to the airport. In addition, it's not trivial that heavy acceleration, deceleration, and curves at high speed, are all pain points to passengers, especially standing passengers, or especially if they have lots of luggage or little kids.

What's more important is timetable reliability, safety, and comfort/cleanliness. A dedicated trainset or carriages running on the Blue Line would address the latter two. The random breakdowns and stoppages that spontaneously plague the subway lines are a different matter though. Are those usually trainset issues or track/signaling issues? Some of them I know are police activity. I wonder if the O'Hare branch could be isolated from the system and maybe a couple triple-track segments could let express trains somehow bypass the odd problems. This isn't an Elon Musk problem, a mere Richard Branson -- i.e. an operations and customer service guy, not some mercurial inventor -- would do.

Last edited by denizen467; Jun 30, 2017 at 9:11 AM.
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  #13631  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2017, 2:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kngkyle View Post
If anyone can make it happen... it's Elon Musk.

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I would hate to be the train conductor
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  #13632  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2017, 5:15 PM
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Why would a train like that even have a conductor? The trips would be too short to audit tickets and the station announcements could be automated.
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  #13633  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 5:46 PM
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https://nytimes.com/2017/07/03/opini...s-transit.html

By RAHM EMANUEL
JULY 3, 2017

Quote:
CHICAGO — On Thursday, in the wake of a subway derailment and an epidemic of train delays, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the busiest mass transit system in America. That same day, the nation’s third-busiest system — the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — handed out coupons for free coffee to riders stuck in the second year of slowdowns caused by repairs to prevent chronic fires.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, a recent survey found that 85 percent of passengers are satisfied with service on our transit system, the nation’s second most used.

The L, Chicago’s system, turned 125 this year. The elevated railway began as four wooden cars powered by coal and steam. Last year, more than 238 million rides were taken on the system, which, unlike the ones in New York and Washington, has not been troubled by systemic failures, breakdowns and delays. Even during a 28-day stretch of arctic temperatures in 2014, the L was never interrupted.

How have we done it? First, we put reliability ahead of expansion. We focused relentlessly on modernizing tracks, signals, switches, stations and cars before extending lines to new destinations. Unlike New York, which has spent billions to reach Hudson Yards, or Washington, which has concentrated on trying to reach Dulles Airport (both laudable projects), Chicago has improved the existing system.
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  #13634  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 6:10 PM
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I don't know why he would try to highlight Chicagos transit system and tarnish NYC's in a New York paper. What am I missing here? It isn't hard to find holes in Chicago's system and virtues in NYC's. Why even go there.

Not to mention it is a flat out lie when he says that Chicago is not concerned with expanding our system. I wish that was largely true. I must have missed the memo where he said he is not intent on the south side Red Line expansion.
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  #13635  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
I don't know why he would try to highlight Chicagos transit system and tarnish NYC's in a New York paper. What am I missing here? It isn't hard to find holes in Chicago's system and virtues in NYC's. Why even go there.

Not to mention it is a flat out lie when he says that Chicago is not concerned with expanding our system. I wish that was largely true. I must have missed the memo where he said he is not intent on the south side Red Line expansion.
It's been put on the back burner for years & years and instead money has been poured into updating the system.
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  #13636  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 6:47 PM
marothisu marothisu is offline
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As someone who now lives in NYC and before that was traveling to NYC and using the train system almost everyday for over 2 years before that, Rahm actually has a point. The MTA's on time performance is terrible compared to Chicago's.

My train to and from work is literally delayed every single day. I'm not talking about a few minutes either. I'm talking about a minimum of 10 minutes. I have waited more than a handful of times at the stop closest to my work, sometimes with a delay of 30 minutes. Meanwhile, one of the lines that shares the track with my line comes every 3-5 minutes and is seemingly on time. I've experienced this with other lines too - there are many that are really terrible like this. Some are OK though and on time pretty well. The people who complain about the CTA should really use the MTA, especially in Manhattan, and see what a handful of lines have to put up with everyday. There are some train lines here nicknamed "Ghost train" because it seemingly never comes as the delays are terrible. The funny thing is that when you read online, you find mostly just cynical or supportive people depending on the city. My co-workers in NY have talked about this a bunch of times and it's pretty much a consensus about how terrible the MTA and train system is with performance.

The MTA is way bigger than the CTA, so it's all easier said than done, but I also don't think it's an excuse. It shows how poorly planned the MTA might have been. When I was in China, I rode the Beijing and Shanghai Metro systems. Shanghai's daily ridership is nearly 2X higher than that of NYC's train system with the yearly ridership at about 2X higher. Beijing is around the same. NYC has more lines than both of these, but both still have a lot. The thing is that these transit systems are almost always on time. After NYC, these systems have the 2nd and 3rd highest number of stations of any system in the world and still much bigger than the CTA train system. They really pride themselves about being on time.

I think it all goes back to how funds are being used, planning, budget, etc. Again this is easier said than done, but I feel as if everytime I'm waiting to go home at my stop and the other line that uses the track has about 6 trains go by while my train is delayed 20 minutes - there's something terribly wrong. It's an everyday thing - not a once in a blue moon problem. People on my team are constantly late in the mornings because of how unreliable the train system here has become. The thing is that the train system in NYC is great for physical coverage in places like Manhattan, but when you are waiting for a train to take you a mile or two and it doesn't come for 30 minutes, it's easier to just walk and skip the train all together. Or just catch a cab.
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Last edited by marothisu; Jul 3, 2017 at 6:58 PM.
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  #13637  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 7:46 PM
Kngkyle Kngkyle is offline
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I'm also now living in New York from Chicago and the subways are indeed awful here. The delays, the heat, the smells. It is absolutely worse than the CTA. Outside of rush-hour times the amount of lines and stations that are closed for xyz reasons makes the whole system incredibly unreliable and useless. I default to taking an uber now because I've gotten stranded too many times. I made sure to get an apartment within walking distance of work so I didn't have to deal with it.
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  #13638  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 7:52 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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I rode the subway every day. It was often late, but it did the job.

The MTA workers couldn't care less and were often rude.

But I still loved it. The NYC subway riding experience is a unique thing in America. I often cursed at it for making me late, but damn I miss it.
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  #13639  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 7:53 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
I don't know why he would try to highlight Chicagos transit system and tarnish NYC's in a New York paper. What am I missing here? It isn't hard to find holes in Chicago's system and virtues in NYC's. Why even go there.

Not to mention it is a flat out lie when he says that Chicago is not concerned with expanding our system. I wish that was largely true. I must have missed the memo where he said he is not intent on the south side Red Line expansion.
You obviously haven't been reading the NYTimes recently. They have run article after article about how terrible riding the subway has become. Rahm treats it outright gently compared to some of the Times' own reporting on the subject.

The purpose of the article is to highlight some of the good that has come from Federal dollars being injected into Chicago's transit agency. He's pointing out that those dollars were largely successful at doing what they were sent to Chicago to do - get the system working reliably and keep the system in good repair. And, really, they have done that. He's pointing that out because he's advocating for even more Federal dollars to be spent on improving existing systems as well as expanding them. To that end, part of the reason he points out the problems in New York is to illustrate the difficulties that can come from only having access to local or state dollars.

He also did not say that Chicago isn't concerned with expanding the system, he just said that Chicago has been more concerned with getting the existing system into good repair before pursuing any significant expansion. Which is a good thing.

Other than adding a few stations, Chicago hasn't expanded the system since 1984 when the northwest branch of what is now the Blue Line was pushed out to O'Hare. There has been talk of other expansions since then, but it has consistently been tabled in favor of getting and keeping the existing system in good repair. We're probably less than a decade away of all the major maintenance projects completed. At that point the CTA can start seriously looking into expanding things. Whether that's the Red Line extension to 130th, or an Orange or Yellow extension, or a whole new subway under Clinton or to create the Circle Line, or acting on those recommendations put out last year by Ed Zotti and that civic group advocating for additional Central Area lines to tie the area together, there will be plenty of worthy candidates for consideration.

Excess discussion of possible new lines/routings:
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  #13640  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 9:05 PM
marothisu marothisu is offline
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I'm also now living in New York from Chicago and the subways are indeed awful here. The delays, the heat, the smells. It is absolutely worse than the CTA. Outside of rush-hour times the amount of lines and stations that are closed for xyz reasons makes the whole system incredibly unreliable and useless. I default to taking an uber now because I've gotten stranded too many times. I made sure to get an apartment within walking distance of work so I didn't have to deal with it.
Yeah some of my born and raised NY friends here have talked about that, and how bad it's been most of the time. Sometimes when get together on weekends, they just take an uber somewhere because of the closures, construction, and not just even running.

Also about the MTA running 24/7 - sure, it does technically but there's some lines that don't. My girlfriend lives in Queens near an R stop which actually stops running from 11pm - 5:30am everyday for all of Queens and all but one Manhattan stop. The M line is another one that basically does those same operating hours. I have a B stop somewhat near me which only runs on weekdays but stops running at 11pm. There are other lines where some stops aren't 24/7 and instead you have other trains stopping there instead. However, depending on where you want to go it might not be of any use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
I rode the subway every day. It was often late, but it did the job.

The MTA workers couldn't care less and were often rude.

But I still loved it. The NYC subway riding experience is a unique thing in America. I often cursed at it for making me late, but damn I miss it.
It's gotten a lot worse every year in the last handful of years. It used to be better.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/12/n...ming.html?_r=0

The one difference I notice between riding the NY subway and Chicago subway is that during overcrowded situations, the people on the CTA actually get off the train in a hurry so the people who need to get off at that stop can get off easier. Then everyone comes back on. In NY that doesn't happen. You have assholes blocking the doors sometimes for half of the entire thing and when it's really crowded, people rarely actually get off. They do the annoying thing that baseball fans riding to Wrigley Field do and just kind of spin around in circles as people try and get off. Nobody ever calls them out on it, so there's basically only one half of a door to get in and out. I actually feel as if the riders in Chicago are smarter about stuff like this. The first month I started riding the NY subways regularly for work, about 3 years ago, this is the one thing that shocked me and would not be at all surprised if it's one thing that's contributing to the delays.
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