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  #5941  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 5:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Are you seeking something that eliminates this, so you can see the entire network and all stations in one view?
Yes. . . basically something that let's me see an overview from the entire Chicagoland area. . . haven't had any luck finding one. . .

. . .
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  #5942  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 6:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Thanks!

I asked because I've always wondered if double-decker buses could be used for any useful routes. Looks like none of the Lake Street viaducts have sufficient clearance for it, and there are no west-bound streets on Wabash with sufficient clearance. So, you could do routes that used them, but they might require some non-intuitive routing once they got to the Loop. Still, it could be done.

I based these on the Enviro500 (14 feet high), which seems to be one of the most widely used double-decker buses in the world, optionally comes in a hybrid model, claims to increase ridership (presumably because of the novelty and good views factor), and depending on the exact configuration can carry almost 100 people (Seattle runs them with 73 seats and room for 20 standing passengers on the lower level) and with the hybrid model gets somewhere between 7 and 8.4 mpg.

According to ChicagoBus.com, the DE60LF (the new hybrid articulated buses), have 54 seats and the NABI 60-LFW articulated (the not-so-old ones that were pulled due to structural defects) had 61 seats.
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  #5943  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2009, 7:50 PM
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The Loop L and the parts on structure are not much of a limitation, but a lot of the Metra Electric and the UP-North viaducts are pretty low, as is the North Side L north of Wilson. However, I think CTA will not show much interest in vehicles they have to route so carefully, that can't be interlined or even pull in to the garage except on very specific routes. Chicago has more than a thousand overpasses with clearance of less than 14 feet.

Chicago Motor Coach, of course, ran double-deckers along Lake Shore Drive and west on Addison.


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Last edited by Mr Downtown; Oct 21, 2009 at 4:09 PM.
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  #5944  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 3:01 AM
Bootstrap Bill Bootstrap Bill is offline
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Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy View Post
LOL so it looks like Bootstrap Bill was actually right, only he was two days ahead of himself. Yowzers.

I keep hearing from some people on this forum that gas prices will go so high that it will push more and more people towards transit, but in reality quite the opposite appears to be happening. Those prices would officially put transit as "expensive" in my book and I would think twice about taking it.
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  #5945  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 5:43 AM
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Apparently I wasn't dreaming when I thought that Apple had agreed to help refurbish CTA's North/Clybourn Station... the latest City Council meeting contained details of an agreement between Apple and the city. Basically, Apple's leasing the bus turnaround from the city and turning it into an extension of their plaza. In exchange, Apple will spend roughly $4 million on a station renovation. Apple is using their own architects (Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, IIRC) for much of the renovations. If everything goes according to plan, construction will begin this December and wrap up by the end of March.

Note - I couldn't find a picture, so I had to write a thousand words instead....

The stationhouse will get a major rehabilitation. I couldn't find any drawings, but it sounds like the entire exterior will be replaced, including all brick, concrete, coping, doors, and windows. The new exterior will be similar to the old, but more in line with Apple's aesthetic (stainless steel used for windows, doors, etc). All exterior lighting and signage will be removed in favor of Apple-designed replacements. The roof will be replaced. Sidewalks and curbs will be replaced and landscaped, with plentiful bike parking and trees in grates.

On the inside, selected walls will be demolished, opening up the floorplan and connecting with the corner retail space. The remaining portions of Art Moderne tile will be retained and rehabbed. All floors, lighting, turnstiles, and other fittings will be replaced. The ceiling will be replaced with aluminum. At platform level, new benches and light boxes will be added, and a thorough scraping/scrubbing/cleaning will be conducted, as well as a signage replacement.

As part of the deal, Apple gets rights of first refusal for both station naming and interior advertising, as well as the right to conduct promotions on station property. Hopefully Bacci Pizza will get kicked out of that corner space, too, but even if they're not, the station will be beautiful.

As an aside, I think it would AMAZING if Apple can accomplish all this for only $4 million.
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Last edited by ardecila; Oct 21, 2009 at 6:08 AM.
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  #5946  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 6:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Apparently I wasn't dreaming when I thought that Apple had agreed to help refurbish CTA's North/Clybourn Station. Basically, Apple's leasing the bus turnaround from the city and turning it into an extension of their plaza. In exchange, Apple will spend roughly $4 million on a station renovation.

The stationhouse will get a major rehabilitation. I couldn't find any drawings, but it sounds like problematic portions of the brick and concrete exterior will be replaced, as well as a total window replacement. Sidewalks and curbs will be replaced and landscaped, with plentiful bike parking.

On the inside, selected walls will be demolished, opening up the floorplan and connecting with the corner retail space. The remaining portions of Art Moderne tile will be retained and rehabbed. At platform level, new benches and light boxes will be added.

As part of the deal, Apple gets rights of first refusal for both station naming and interior advertising, as well as the right to conduct promotions on station property.
They should do the same with some of the subway stations. I was in San Francisco about 20 years ago and one of the BART stations was connected to the basement of a Woolworths. It was neat to be able to get off a train and go right into a store without exiting to the street level first. Too bad there aren't more stations like that.
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  #5947  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 6:16 AM
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^^ We already have that arrangement. The State Street Subway was built through what was perhaps the world's greatest concentration of department stores. Marshall Field's and Carson's both had direct subway access.

I don't think there will be an underground connection between the station and the Apple Store - there's really no need when you can just build a beautiful landscaped plaza on the surface.
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  #5948  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 6:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
^^ We already have that arrangement. The State Street Subway was built through what was perhaps the world's greatest concentration of department stores. Marshall Field's and Carson's both had direct subway access.

I don't think there will be an underground connection between the station and the Apple Store - there's really no need when you can just build a beautiful landscaped plaza on the surface.
That landscaped plaza might be nice in the Spring, Summer and Fall, but what about the dead of winter when the wind chill factor is 70 below zero (or worse)? I'll bet their customers would appreciate a direct link to the subway.

Too bad Chicago's Pedway isn't more like the PATH in Toronto. You can go just about anywhere you want downtown without having to go outside.
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  #5949  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post

As an aside, I think it would AMAZING if Apple can accomplish all this for only $4 million.
It also has the potential to highlight the CTA's own inadequacies and getting people to ponder why the CTA can't do as well renovating while spending bundles more.
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  #5950  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 3:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
As an aside, I think it would AMAZING if Apple can accomplish all this for only $4 million.
Yeah, get Apple to rehab the whole system at that price!

My guess is Apple is contributing $4 million, which would in turn match/leverage some public funds via some program like CMAQ, or a nearby TIF district. CMAQ has typically provided funds for CDOT's subway station renovations.
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  #5951  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2009, 8:04 PM
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,473893.column

Time to help CTA get on the cash flow track

Share your moneymaking ideas for helping the Chicago Transit Authority


Melissa Harris
October 21, 2009

The CTA is perennially broke and again warning of a hefty fare increase.

So I asked CTA President Richard Rodriguez what he's doing about it, and he pointed to Eva-Dina Delgado's promotion to chief development officer.

So far, Delgado has focused on more traditional methods to raise cash such as renegotiating beverage vending and park-and-ride lot contracts. The CTA also is exploring allowing riders to use credit or debit cards as fare cards, thus eliminating the cost of printing throw-away ones.

Rodriguez suggested the transit system could raise money by turning fare cards into coupons, or selling naming rights to stops (the Macy's stop) or entire lines (the Target line). Said Delgado, "It could involve that, or more creative things I haven't thought of."

The naming rights idea has been kicking around at least since consultants suggested it in 2005. So why don't we have a Dunkin' Donuts stop to mitigate a possible fare increase? Answer: bureaucracy. People in charge of revenue, real estate and marketing at CTA used to have their own fiefdoms. Now, they report to Delgado, 32.

Delgado, in her post for five months, said she wants to move forward "aggressively" and is looking for answers in places like Dubai, which has pioneered naming rights on public transit......................

..
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  #5952  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2009, 10:29 PM
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In the TIF budgets that the Chicago Reader released this week as part of the latest in its articles on TIF districts, there are some interesting transit-related tidbits:

The Calumet/Cermak TIF is proposed to make two transfers totalling $38 million to the Michigan/Cermak TIF, which in turn is proposed to commit $35 million in 2010 for a "New Green Line Station". This could only plausibly refer to a stop at Cermak.

Additionally, the Near South TIF is proposed to commit $30 million for a "CTA Green Line Station @ 18th" in 2011.

Of course, this is just money proposed in budgets, not any sort of actual construction commitment yet. I haven't heard anything on any progress towards awarding any design/engineering contracts for stations or anything of that sort, but it certainly does suggest City Hall is serious about one or even possibly two Green Line infill stations in the South Loop.
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  #5953  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2009, 11:10 PM
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For once, that's actually not an abusive use of TIFs. Michigan/Cermak and Calumet/Cermak are immediately adjacent, and a Green Line station in one would definitely benefit the other. It's also ridiculous just how little the balance is in the Michigan/Cermak district... I'm guessing that's because of past expenditures at Hilliard and the Teachers' Academy.

Of course, the city will probably defer the use of TIF if they can get another monster CMAQ grant (Doesn't Chicago get, like, 75% of the available funds of that program?) IMO, it would be better to use TIF money whenever possible, and CMAQ money for improvements in less lucrative districts where TIF funding isn't feasible.

As for a second station at 18th - the possibility of having 4 stations in a dense South Loop cluster (18th, Cermak, Cermak-Chinatown, 18th/Clark) is appealing, but seems INCREDIBLY wasteful without zoning changes. With this capacity, the area could support a full-fledged second CBD with traffic spread over 3 different lines. Hopefully the Chinese developers will realize this before South Loop NIMBYism spreads to that area. Eastern Tower is cool, but it should be in this zone, not in the no-mans-land where Wong wants to build it.
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  #5954  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2009, 3:29 PM
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I'd rather see the station at 16th instead of 18th. It would be more useful because:
(1) Would allow for a stop on both the Green and Orange lines
(2) Better spacing, exactly halfway between Roosevelt and Cermak
(3) Enables future transfer to St Charles Air Line, unless that just becomes a bikeway, in which case that's a moot point

I think there is enough space for this, without demolishing any buildings, and without any massive changes to the existing elevated structures. The idea is to remove the two center tracks between the Green/Orange junction, and the Loop/Subway split. Leaving the outside tracks exactly where they are would create enough room for a 20+ foot wide island platform between them, which should be wide enough to satisfy any ADA requirements. The south end of the platform would extend just over 16th street.

The question would be, whether or not the tracks stay level for long enough. I think they would have to be level for roughly 700 feet, to allow for the switches on either end plus the roughly 420 foot platform that would be needed to accommodate 8-car Orange Line trains.

This does introduce a bottleneck in that green line trains would no longer be able to enter the subway without fouling orange line trains' route to the loop. As far as I know, there is no routing proposal currently on the table that would put the Green Line through the subway and the Orange line on the loop, so unless such a routing is proposed, this is a non-issue.

Click image to link to Google Maps:

Last edited by orulz; Oct 24, 2009 at 8:18 PM.
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  #5955  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2009, 4:13 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
Time to help CTA get on the cash flow track

1. Lease out retail space in subway stations - maybe something like a Star Bucks or McDonalds - grab breakfast before boarding that train to work.

2. First class cars - may cost double or triple (or more) to ride in, but would have nice leather seats, wood paneling, brass, stained glass, wifi access, tables for laptops, power outlets, maybe even reserved seating. The super rich could have their own custom designed private cars.

3. First class stations - for the busy exec who has everything. Maybe half a dozen in key locations - only accessible by private trains.

4. Locker rentals at stations, some big enough for bikes or scooters. Would have power outlets for recharging various devices.

5. Party trains, with bars, jacuzi's, small dance floor, karaoke.... A unique way to celebrate that special day.

6. Corporate sponsorship of stations - not only name rights, but the ability to totally makeover stations - ads galore, retail space, video walls - lots of possibilities here.

7. Ad wrappers for buses and trains, subway tunnels.

8. First class buses - similar to item 2.
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  #5956  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2009, 7:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bootstrap Bill View Post
1. Lease out retail space in subway stations - maybe something like a Star Bucks or McDonalds - grab breakfast before boarding that train to work.
Love it, this always seems successful when I see it done in places like Bangkok or London.

Quote:
2. First class cars - may cost double or triple (or more) to ride in, but would have nice leather seats, wood paneling, brass, stained glass, wifi access, tables for laptops, power outlets, maybe even reserved seating. The super rich could have their own custom designed private cars.
This seems to work in Mexico and Dubai, but I'm not sure if it would work in the US. But, if you're really going to cater to the "super rich" make it more like ten times the cost of a normal ticket and make the car good enough to get Trump out of his limo. I don't see any reason to cater to those who are just rich enough that they're going to drive anyway, cater to those who are rich enough that you not only get them out of their cars but they'll be willing to pay enough to make the car outright profitable.

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3. First class stations - for the busy exec who has everything. Maybe half a dozen in key locations - only accessible by private trains.
This is the only one that really seems completely infeasible. To justify the cost of building a private subway station you would probably end up having to charge more per ride than it would cost the client to simply buy a helicopter/pad/pilot. The only way to do this in any workable sense would be to officially open the existing lines to usage by private trains and interchange with private lines at the private entity's expense. I don't think anyone will take you up on it, but if Trump wants to build his own connection and own station then he can pay to run his train on the public tracks.

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4. Locker rentals at stations, some big enough for bikes or scooters. Would have power outlets for recharging various devices.
I take it back, this is the only suggestion that really is 100% undoable. The government's trying to figure out how to make our transit systems more secure, not ways to build places where the terrorist can leave his bomb and walk around the corner without raising any suspicion. There are cities in the world where it's near impossible to even find a public trash can because people are so paranoid about terrorists, I really don't think anyone is going to ever agree to put private lockers at such a high value terrorism target.

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5. Party trains, with bars, jacuzi's, small dance floor, karaoke.... A unique way to celebrate that special day.
Hell yeah, sign me up.

Quote:
6. Corporate sponsorship of stations - not only name rights, but the ability to totally makeover stations - ads galore, retail space, video walls - lots of possibilities here.

7. Ad wrappers for buses and trains, subway tunnels.
I agree, but only if you force the sponsors to do all or nothing. Turning a bus/train/station into a giant classified ad always ends up just looking tacky IMO, but it can look cool as hell when you wrap the entire bus or train car in one ad or if you just turn the whole station into Macintosh land or Boeing land. Perhaps instead of directly charging sponsors for the right to place their ads, you could sort of sell them the entire car or station. They put whatever they want in there, wherever they want, and they're responsible for all the cleaning and maintenance of that station or whatever buses or cars they've bought (as long as they conform to security/ticketing standards and don't get to many complaints for neglect). If it's a popular enough program that you run out of stations (not something I think will happen in the near future), you can start charging them for the maintenance on the tracks for X feet on either side of their station too.
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  #5957  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2009, 7:23 PM
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I think the lockers are doable. If terrorists want to blow a station up, they can already do so. When was the last time you walked through an x-ray to get on the L?

CTA already does bus and train wrapping - quite a bit of it. We have TV screens in some stations that show train arrival times and lots of ads, which bring in a bunch of money. CTA has also leased its first station (North/Clybourn) to Apple. It's just a branding thing, and it doesn't change the name of the station, but Apple has rights of first refusal on the naming rights.
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  #5958  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2009, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Apparently I wasn't dreaming when I thought that Apple had agreed to help refurbish CTA's North/Clybourn Station... the latest City Council meeting contained details of an agreement between Apple and the city.
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...rticleId=32544

Doors will open on the right at the Apple stop
By: Thomas A. Corfman


The North and Clybourn station on the CTA's Red Line may become the iStop.

...The renovation won't change the look of the 1940s-era brick station, although an unused bus lane between the station and the new store would be replaced with a landscaped open space.

...Spending more than $4 million to spruce up somebody else's property is an unusual tack for a retailer, but Apple is known for spending lavishly on its signature locations.

"Apple thinks their products are designed and work the best, and they want the stores to reflect that attitude," says Michael Damore, executive managing director of Chicago-based architectural firm Epstein, which co-designed the Apple store at 679 N. Michigan Ave. but isn't involved in the North and Clybourn store. "They don't care what they spend to achieve that goal."
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  #5959  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2009, 7:58 PM
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Haha, it seems I'm making lots of posts about this across several threads today.

If Apple is replacing the windows and doors with stainless steel and replacing the brick with a similar (new) brick, then it will alter the look of the station. Fortunately, they're not doing anything too radical... but I hope the renovated station doesn't seem too sterile.
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  #5960  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2009, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Haha, it seems I'm making lots of posts about this across several threads today.

If Apple is replacing the windows and doors with stainless steel and replacing the brick with a similar (new) brick, then it will alter the look of the station. Fortunately, they're not doing anything too radical... but I hope the renovated station doesn't seem too sterile.
If there's one place in Chicago that could stand to be more sterile, it would be a CTA station. Sterilize the shit out of it.

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