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  #15801  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2022, 10:23 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
As for O'Hare Blue Line, no thanks. The airport is a natural terminal and any effort to get to the west side of the airport and out to Schaumburg or whatever would cost a zillion dollars and be much better served by modernized regional rail.
Yes, thanks. The track layout and crossover locations in the station throat cripples service. Just push it to the west side of the airfield where there will (eventually) be a new landslide access.
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  #15802  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2022, 10:58 PM
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Metra's proposed STAR line with its 15-min headways would have provided the same service as a Blue Line extension, except with better transfers to other lines


https://www.frrandp.com/2021/01/metr...star-line.html
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  #15803  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2022, 1:18 AM
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Bruh yes. An Eisenhower Blue Line extension makes total sense, as was briefly discussed several months ago. Bellwood and Maywood are just as dense as any city proper bungalow belt 'hood and this extension would be used. Should have been done decades ago. I actually think extension even further to the 88/290/294 interchange @ Hillside would be justifiable. An enormous park and ride with direct highway access could be built there which would encourage even more ridership. Tangentually related is that that same triangle would make an interesting site for a major sports/entertainment facility.
There's not much demand for suburban CTA park and rides. The garage at Cumberland is pretty empty most of the time. If you're that far out trying to commute downtown, Metra is gonna offer much faster service while CTA will stop every half-mile on a long, slow, bumpy ride. The L isn't BART or the DC Metro which were built for long distances and high average speeds. Cost isn't even a consideration anymore - if Metra keeps offering a $6 Day Pass, it's only $1.50 more than a CTA round trip.

Any new CTA extensions should focus on catalyzing development and TOD, or at least on a feeder network of CTA and Pace buses. Unfortunately even the Red Line extension will include significant park-and-ride lots and garages at all 4 Roseland stations, going in the exact spot where the city should be building affordable housing.

I don't really support extending the Forest Park Branch for this reason (chasing park-n-ride users is idiotic) but if they're gonna do it, it makes sense to piggyback on the expressway reconstruction. The expressway project was going to create the median space for future rail regardless, but it's always more expensive to come back a few years or decades later to build rail rather than just building everything at once.
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Last edited by ardecila; Mar 29, 2022 at 1:29 AM.
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  #15804  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2022, 1:48 AM
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There's not much demand for suburban CTA park and rides. The garage at Cumberland is pretty empty most of the time. If you're that far out trying to commute downtown, Metra is gonna offer much faster service while CTA will stop every half-mile on a long, slow, bumpy ride. The L isn't BART or the DC Metro which were built for long distances and high average speeds. Cost isn't even a consideration anymore - if Metra keeps offering a $6 Day Pass, it's only $1.50 more than a CTA round trip.

Any new CTA extensions should focus on catalyzing development and TOD, or at least on a feeder network of CTA and Pace buses. Unfortunately even the Red Line extension will include significant park-and-ride lots and garages at all 4 Roseland stations, going in the exact spot where the city should be building affordable housing.

I don't really support extending the Forest Park Branch for this reason (chasing park-n-ride users is idiotic) but if they're gonna do it, it makes sense to piggyback on the expressway reconstruction. The expressway project was going to create the median space for future rail regardless, but it's always more expensive to come back a few years or decades later to build rail rather than just building everything at once.
This. Agree 100%. Please lets focus on creating connections and upzoning. Everything within a mile of an L station should be filled with mixed use projects. No strip malls, parking lots, or drive thrus. The Pulaski Orange line stop is depressing, literally just strip malls and parking lots. Upzone that whole area and stop chasing after nonexistant suburban ridership who rather ride the metra or drive.

Imagine restoring L access back to the south lakefront? I think the reason there's no nightlife in Hyde Park when the neighborhood is ripe for a Wicker Park-esque scene is because there's no L access! Metra doesn't count it stops running early.
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  #15805  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2022, 8:44 PM
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I'm surprised there hasn't been a formal plan yet to up-zone key intersections and enhance CTA accessibility between the neighborhoods. Proposals for things like circle lines, Ashland subway, & Western BRT all seem to be online dream scenarios.

Given new business centers in LY, the 78, Michael Reese, and growing development in Uptown, Hyde Park, the IMD, and West Loop-adjacent neighborhoods, it seems there will be even more demand for improved transit to navigate a more multi-nodal city.

Since these take years to plan and fund, wouldn't the city at least come out with some visionary roadmap or something to have ready for whenever the stars align? Or are they just not made public?
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  #15806  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2022, 9:03 PM
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I think a very common assumption amongst the armchair urban planners/transit planners like the ones on this forum, and the one typing this right now, is that there are expert professionals and authorities that have these same aspirations and they have sketches and back-of-napkin plans lying all over offices in city halls and agency headquarters. The older I get the less convinced I become of this notion.
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  #15807  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2022, 11:53 PM
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There are plenty of people in transit agencies, city DOTs, and MPOs who know basic urban planning principles very well. On the rare occasions that these people are empowered, great things can happen.

The problem is that elected officials call all the shots and they're more likely to listen to, well, pretty much everyone except nerdy planner types. Instead, special interest folks like Roger Romanelli get in the ear of electeds, and it's their priorities that drive the investment decisions.

I bring up Romanelli because he just started this wacko astroturf "Westside Coalition" to try and get $2B in Federal infra money to rebuild the Lake St L, all for the benefit of a few industrial businesses that want easier semi-truck deliveries. To disguise their intentions, they came up with a list of low-value or mid-value transit projects that clearly won't get built. Extending the Blue Line to Mannheim isn't on their list, but it's kinda sus that it shows up in a news article right now after fading away for years. Note: Romanelli lives in Hillside near the proposed Mannheim CTA terminus.
http://www.fixthewestside.com/
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Last edited by ardecila; Mar 30, 2022 at 12:03 AM.
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  #15808  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2022, 12:16 AM
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Hmmmm....
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  #15809  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2022, 1:36 AM
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The only ones that I think are worth it in that article are the renovation of Union Station and a Metra depot at Fulton Market
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  #15810  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2022, 4:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Unfortunately even the Red Line extension will include significant park-and-ride lots and garages at all 4 Roseland stations, going in the exact spot where the city should be building affordable housing.
The lack of decent park-n-ride options on the far south side (especially the Dan Ryan branch) is a problem. Going back decades, the original plans were some combination of large park-n-ride lots over the expressway at 87th and/or the large terminal at 103rd/Stony Island - neither ever built.

If you're coming home after about 6 or 7pm, the Metra express schedules become non-existent and even the (slow) locals are infrequent. There's no attractive, safe, time-efficient way to park-n-ride and use the south red line right now other than the lots at Chinatown, which may not be cost-efficient compared to just driving the rest of the way to your destination.

That isn't to say that RLE exactly as proposed is the best solution to this particular problem, but I can attest that the lack of secure park-n- ride coming from the south is a major impediment to more widespread Red Line use. The Green Line lots at Garfield and 63rd are not time efficient after you've already ground through traffic on the Dan Ryan or local arterials, and there aren't reliable options near the stations further south.

Most of the park n rides had decent utilization before the pandemic - not sure about currently, though.
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  #15811  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2022, 5:15 PM
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Park and rides get a bad rep for all the obvious reasons: aesthetics, discouraging connecting transit usage, discouraging true urban TOD... but they have there place.
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  #15812  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2022, 5:21 PM
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Originally Posted by VivaLFuego View Post
The lack of decent park-n-ride options on the far south side (especially the Dan Ryan branch) is a problem. Going back decades, the original plans were some combination of large park-n-ride lots over the expressway at 87th and/or the large terminal at 103rd/Stony Island - neither ever built.

If you're coming home after about 6 or 7pm, the Metra express schedules become non-existent and even the (slow) locals are infrequent. There's no attractive, safe, time-efficient way to park-n-ride and use the south red line right now other than the lots at Chinatown, which may not be cost-efficient compared to just driving the rest of the way to your destination.

That isn't to say that RLE exactly as proposed is the best solution to this particular problem, but I can attest that the lack of secure park-n- ride coming from the south is a major impediment to more widespread Red Line use. The Green Line lots at Garfield and 63rd are not time efficient after you've already ground through traffic on the Dan Ryan or local arterials, and there aren't reliable options near the stations further south.

Most of the park n rides had decent utilization before the pandemic - not sure about currently, though.
I'm not categorically opposed to park-and-rides but why provide them at every station? That just creates a moat that discourages walk-up ridership. If they have to do park-and-rides, I'd rather see them focus on a single large garage at 130th, where the land is all held by governmental entities anyway (MWRD, CHA, CPS/Carver) and TOD is unlikely.

The Orange Line is a good preview of what these Red Line park-and-rides will look like. It's especially disappointing because the Orange Line actually did lead to a lot of infill development, but some of the best sites are taken up by parking lots that are half-full at best.
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  #15813  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2022, 5:27 PM
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I don't think anyone is saying park and ride lots should be at every station.
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  #15814  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2022, 8:11 PM
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Well, no one except CTA, which is planning park-and-rides at all 4 new Red Line stops. And Metra, which is building a park-and-ride at the new 79th/Avalon Park stop.
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  #15815  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2022, 10:35 PM
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^ 79th/Auburn Park. In other news, Lightfoot announced 50k residents will get $150 gas cards and 100k residents are getting $50 transit passes. Lightfoot's transit efforts have been so weak that state representatives have better transit proposals.

Mayor plans 150,000 gas and transit vouchers, cool on including CTA in South Cook Metra pilot
Quote:
In a March 29 opinion piece for Crain's, state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-26th) said that the gas tax holiday is a short-term fix, calling them and gas giveaways "smart politically, but not very effective from a long-term public policy standpoint."

He pointed to the quarter of Chicago households that do not have a car and said public transit ought to be more safe, affordable and convenient, which he noted would make the air cleaner and reduce congestion, noting the disproportionate rates of asthma that affect Black and Latino children.

In a yet-unreleased Illinois House resolution, he said he and other representatives will call on the CTA to reduce fares on key corridors, suggesting that the operator install pop-up bus priority lanes and re-time stop lights for the buses to increase their speed.

Buckner said the resolution would also call for the CTA to participate in the Fair Transit South Cook pilot program, which the county government began last year and has brought fares on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines within Chicago down to about the same rate as 'L' fares.

By not participating, commuters cannot pay a 25-cent transfer to get onto a CTA bus or the 'L' from Millennium Station in the Loop, as they can between two different CTA services. A trip split between CTA and Metra becomes more expensive, and the pilot program's utility to South Siders is limited only to going to and/or from downtown or the south suburbs, because one cannot transfer to the CTA (or, for that matter, the non-discounted Metra lines) and go to the North or West sides.

Several CTA buses link Hyde Park and other South Side neighborhoods to downtown, but Buckner also chided the CTA for not syncing bus schedules with the commuter rail operator.
https://www.hpherald.com/news/politi...897eb19c0.html

Last edited by Randomguy34; Mar 31, 2022 at 10:50 PM.
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  #15816  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2022, 5:43 PM
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The scooters are coming!!!!!

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/news...his-may-040722

I decided to post this here since it's kinda transit related (moving people around). I absolutely loved these things when I was in Denver. I know so many folks hated them, but they are such a great option when you want to go places without having to deal with locking up a bike, or hauling your own scooter around.
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  #15817  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2022, 1:01 AM
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Metra is now at 31% of pre-COVID ridership, with MED at 41%: https://metra.com/sites/default/file...nds%20Memo.pdf
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  #15818  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2022, 4:09 AM
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Metra is now at 31% of pre-COVID ridership, with MED at 41%: https://metra.com/sites/default/file...nds%20Memo.pdf
Hope to see 50% as more companies go hybrid. Pritzker just announced all mask mandates have been dropped.
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  #15819  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2022, 4:49 AM
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Metra is now at 31% of pre-COVID ridership, with MED at 41%: https://metra.com/sites/default/file...nds%20Memo.pdf
MED seems to get busier almost every day...
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  #15820  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2022, 11:31 PM
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The GTA/GO Transit rail service doing things right while Chicagoland/Metra languishes?
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