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  #5401  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2009, 9:09 PM
arenn arenn is offline
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  #5402  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2009, 5:58 AM
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Can someone answer a question for me? I routinely ride CTA buses, but almost always in the downtown area or crosstown buses, say, the 78 or X80. I pay a $2 fare on these buses.

However, I've heard reports from several people that the buses running up the North Side, say, the 22 or 156 - cost $2.25. This goes against all posted signage.

I understand that a round-trip with transfer would be $2.25, but these are one-way fares.

Are some buses more expensive than others?
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  #5403  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2009, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Can someone answer a question for me? I routinely ride CTA buses, but almost always in the downtown area or crosstown buses, say, the 78 or X80. I pay a $2 fare on these buses.

However, I've heard reports from several people that the buses running up the North Side, say, the 22 or 156 - cost $2.25. This goes against all posted signage.

I understand that a round-trip with transfer would be $2.25, but these are one-way fares.

Are some buses more expensive than others?
depends on if you pay with cash or farecard, but cash fare for all busses is $2.25. Farecard is only $2. Ride prices went up a few months back.

http://www.transitchicago.com/fareoverview.aspx
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  #5404  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2009, 5:47 AM
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Ah, thanks for the clarification. Essentially, the additional $.25 is a "cash handling fee". That's irritating.
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  #5405  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2009, 2:14 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Ah, thanks for the clarification. Essentially, the additional $.25 is a "cash handling fee". That's irritating.
It's not a "cash handling fee" since you can put cash into the ticket machines available at CTA stations and select other places.

It's a "cash paid on the bus slows boarding, let's encourage people to use passes" fee. Also, you can't buy a transfer on a bus when paying cash.
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  #5406  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2009, 7:06 PM
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Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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What I think is wrong is that it punishes poor people, people who don't have the money to buy monthly passes, don't have credit cards to link ChicagoCardPlus to, and don't have retail outlets or rail stations in their neighborhoods where they can purchase or reload regular ChicagoCards. So the poor dollar store worker or disability recipient ends up paying $4.50 cash money for a crosstown bus ride that involves a transfer.

It's a fare policy thought up by young rapid-transit-riding North Side MBAs who said "it works fine in European cities where there's a tobacconist every 300 meters." They have no inkling of what it's like to live in neighborhoods where a supermarket is a mirage, and cannot imagine folks so poor that they buy cigarettes one at a time.
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  #5407  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2009, 8:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
What I think is wrong is that it punishes poor people, people who don't have the money to buy monthly passes, don't have credit cards to link ChicagoCardPlus to, and don't have retail outlets or rail stations in their neighborhoods where they can purchase or reload regular ChicagoCards. So the poor dollar store worker or disability recipient ends up paying $4.50 cash money for a crosstown bus ride that involves a transfer.

It's a fare policy thought up by young rapid-transit-riding North Side MBAs who said "it works fine in European cities where there's a tobacconist every 300 meters." They have no inkling of what it's like to live in neighborhoods where a supermarket is a mirage, and cannot imagine folks so poor that they buy cigarettes one at a time.
I don't think it's as obvious as you make it seem - if cash fares are lower than the magnetic/smart card fares, then the latter options, which are more cost efficient for CTA to operate, become even less attractive for any rider regardless of income, thereby requiring an increase to the cash fare sooner than otherwise because no savings were realized in cash-handling from bus fareboxes. It's a pick-your-poison dilemma; CTA seemed to generally try to ease that burden by making transit cards available at all grocery stores and currency exchanges, the latter of which are quite common in poor areas and many of which are also equipped with the scanners. From CTA's website;
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...es_outlets.pdf
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...es_outlets.pdf

I'm reasonably confident that you could geocode those addresses, plug them into GIS, and find that most Chicago residents (rich/poor alike) aren't too far away from a place to buy a transit card.

Besides, your latter comment ignores the fact that the most recent fare increase placed the greatest percentage fare increase upon Chicago Card users of the rail system (probably the wealthiest segment of CTA users), whose effective fare increased from $1.82 to $2.25 (+24%) due to no longer receiving the 10% reload bonus. Meanwhile the 7-day pass, generally the lowest income ridership group, increased only from $20 to $23 (+15%). There was clearly an intent of some 'progressiveness' in the fare changes.
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  #5408  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2009, 8:55 PM
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What I thought was most problematic was eliminating any transfer option if you pay with cash. That's a real blow to someone who starts and ends his trip far from a rail station.
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  #5409  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2009, 9:01 PM
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^ Agreed. The elimination of cash transfers altogether was ostensibly a cost saving measure, but I've never see any actual numbers that highlight the various forces involved - I'm sure there were some shifts among fare media after the change, and if anything probably gave an additional boost to usage of the 1-day and 7-day passes. I'm not sure why it wasn't considered viable to simply up the cash transfer fee to $0.50 or something, though.
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  #5410  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 12:34 AM
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This is good for me and sox fans.

Quote:
Work begins on Metra 35th St. station

June 29, 2009
BY GUY TRIDGELL Staff writer
Metra officially broke ground this morning on a new station to serve U.S. Cellular Field and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
The $11.7 million stop on the Rock Island District Line will take about a year to complete.
The project at 35th and Federal streets will be built with $6.8 million in federal economic stimulus money. U.S. Bobby Rush (D-1st) of Chicago also secured a $4.9 million grant.
"We are happy to offer our riders this new station," Metra executive director Phil Pagano said in a statement. "We think it will fill a big need for commuters, area students, workers and residents of the growing Bridgeport and Bronzeville neighborhoods."
The station was named after deceased state Rep. Louvana "Lou" Jones (D-Chicago) during a ceremony on the IIT campus.
Guy Tridgell can be reached at gtridgell@southtownstar.com or (708)633-5970.
http://www.southtownstar.com/news/16...d-0629.article
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  #5411  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 12:36 AM
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More detailed

Quote:
Finally, a Metra station for the Cell
June 30, 2009
By Guy Tridgell
One of the great injustices for fans of baseball, higher education and common sense was remedied Monday.

Metra finally broke ground on a new commuter station at 35th and Federal streets, three blocks east of U.S. Cellular Field.

The stop, already a year behind schedule, will open next fall on the Illinois Institute of Technology's campus.

Soon White Sox fans in the suburbs can make the choice of spending a few dollars to take a train to the game or applying for a home equity loan to park in the gold mine that is stadium parking. (Whether the Pace shuttle service between the park and suburbs sticks around remains to be seen.)

And IIT faculty and students who live in the south suburbs no longer have to brave the Dan Ryan Expressway every day.

But the biggest benefit to the new stop might be an end to the head scratching over why a station was never built in the area around the park in the first place.

The lack of Metra service next to the Cell made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Two sets of Metra tracks, the Rock Island District and SouthWest Service lines, flow on the west and east sides of the park.

Tens of thousands of riders roll past the stadium each day, but not one can stop and get off the train.

For the longest time, Metra didn't care.

The commuter railroad and its former chairman, Jeff Ladd, viewed the South Side and south suburbs as an outpost somewhere near Carbondale.

"Why would anyone want to live or work there," seemed to be the line of reasoning.

The Sox were completely disinterested in helping the people that keep their turnstiles spinning, making sure that "fan," "friendly" and "White Sox" should never appear together in the same sentence together. (The team's absence at the dais for Monday's station dedication did not go unnoticed.)

The folks at IIT, who were offering the land to build the station, were left to stew.

Visitors to the Cell simmered in traffic.

But all of that is history now.

About 200 people attended a morning ceremony for the future 35th Street station along the Rock Island District Line, a Joliet-to-Chicago route that serves New Lenox, Mokena, Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Blue Island and Chicago's Beverly and Morgan Park communities.

In a sign of how times have changed, Metra is starting to talk about tweaking its schedule to accommodate game times.

"This is a lovefest," IIT president John Anderson said. "It should remain that way."

Like other modern stations with heated platforms and specialized ramps to assist riders with disabilities, the 35th Street stop comes with a big price tag. Construction is estimated at $11.7 million.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st), of Chicago, secured a $4.9 million grant in 2005 to get the planning process rolling.

The rest of the money came from another South Sider. Metra landed $6.8 million through President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package to pay for the rest of the project.

The station will be named after Lovana "Lou" Jones, a deceased state representative who represented the Bronzeville community for 20 years in Springfield. Jones was a close friend of the Rush family.

While it would have been nice to give the riders that will use the station some input into the name, we'll take the station.

It's about time.
Guy Tridgell can be reached at gtridgell@southtownstar.com or (708) 633-5970
http://www.southtownstar.com/news/tr...idgell.article
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  #5412  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 4:20 AM
lawfin lawfin is offline
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South Side hopes Olympics bring a CTA 'Gold Line'
South Side group says CTA-Metra line would benefit underserved area and 2016 venues


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,7670117.story

By Richard Wronski | Tribune reporter
July 7, 2009

Transit riders already have a choice of Red, Green, Blue, Brown, Orange, Yellow, Pink and Purple Lines, but a coalition of South Side activists also would like commuters to go for the Gold.

Underserved by rapid transit, residents there would benefit from a proposed "Gold Line," an innovative hybrid of both Metra and the CTA, according to Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, or SOUL.

With the city bidding for the 2016 Games, the line also would serve key Olympic venues, say SOUL members, who represent more than 20 churches and community organizations.

"The project would help support the needs of thousands of people on the South Side," said Dhyia Thompson, co-chair of the group's Gold Line Task Force.

Related links

*
CTA shows off the first of 58 new accordion-style hybrid buses

Although the Olympics served as inspiration, the real goal is better access to jobs -- especially Downtown and in the suburbs -- as well as improved transportation options, supporters say. Parts of the South Side, particularly neighborhoods close to the lakefront and south of Jackson Park, are among the city's most densely populated and the most in need of additional rapid transit, SOUL believes.

Under the group's Gold Line plan, more frequent trains would be provided on the Metra Electric District Line. The plan also calls for allowing transfers between Metra trains and CTA buses and adding a new station at 35th Street.

The proposal faces a number of obstacles. These include securing funding, overcoming a historic lack of cooperation between Metra and the CTA, even proving that the line is needed.

SOUL estimates that implementing the Gold Line would cost $159 million. This would pay for adding 26 Electric District Highliner cars for $91 million as well as for new tracks, station upgrades and fare equipment.

But funding for big-ticket mass transit projects is already scarce to non-existent, experts say. The Regional Transportation Authority has lobbied vigorously for a $10 billion, five-year capital plan to maintain and expand transit systems, but the legislature this spring came up with only a "status quo" $2.7 billion capital package.

But the bulk of the money for the Gold Line or any major capital project would have to come from the federal government.

Metra and the CTA already have projects in the planning stages that those agencies say would help the underserved Southeast Side and south suburbs and would bolster public transportation to the Olympic venues. One project, Metra's proposed SouthEast Service Line, would extend commuter rail service through the city on existing Union Pacific/CSX railroad tracks to 20 suburbs in south Cook and Will Counties. A preliminary estimate puts the line's cost at over $524 million, but the figure is likely to be much higher.

Meanwhile, the CTA is looking at an extension of the Red Line that would connect the current terminus at 95th Street with 130th Street. Estimates for that project range from $210 million to $1.1 billion, depending on the specific route.

Gold Line supporters say a key component of their plan calls for permitting commuters to transfer between Metra and the CTA.

"If you take both Metra and the CTA to work, the problem is there's no transferability," Thompson said.

While the two agencies operate independently, the RTA has been working to implement a universal fare card which it hopes to start testing next year.

The Gold Line is similar to a Gray Line proposal, which transit advocate Mike Payne created and has promoted for several years. The concept received little traction at the CTA and Metra. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has included it on a list of long-range projects, but The Gray Line plan isn't considered a high priority, a spokesman said.
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  #5413  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 1:15 PM
Mr Roboto Mr Roboto is offline
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^This seems relatively simple and easy to implement, and i think it would get a lot of riders from south shore, hyde park etc. What is the major malfunction here?

And they really need to make transferability between the two systems much more seamless, this would be a good place to make that work.
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  #5414  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 4:20 PM
cyked3 cyked3 is offline
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Gold Line

I realize that one of the most obvious advantages to the Gold Line proposal is its incredibly low cost, but I wonder if a more ambitious proposal that would connect the Gold Line to Union Station/Olgivie Station through River North would pay dividends in terms of political support from a more diverse set of constituencies.

I think it makes sense to integrate the Gold Line with the proposed Carroll Avenue transit line.

http://www.rivernorthresidents.com/m...p%20color2.pdf

The Carroll Avenue transit line proposal links Union/Olgivie with Streeterville and it would be relatively easy to simply connect this line to the Gold Line instead of having the Gold Line terminate at Millennium Park and extending the Carroll Avenue line north. Significantly, like the Gold Line right of way, all of the Carroll Avenue right of way has already been preserved for a transit line. If the Gold Line were continued north and then west to connect with Union/Olgivie, there could be direct transfers made with the Red, Blue, Brown and Green Lines, which is far preferable to leaving the Gold Line totally unconnected to any transfer stations. And there is already a huge demand in the vicinity of Millennium Park, Streeterville and lower River North for connections to Union/Olgivie.

An extended Gold Line would serve a lot of constituencies that the proposed Gold Line would not.

For example, the large office buildings around Aon Center and lower River North use dozens of buses every day at their own expense to carry commuters from Union and Olgivie Stations to their offices. These could all be replaced by an extended Gold Line. Surburbanites coming into the City would have direct access to some of the most important tourist destinations -- Cubs and Sox fans could take a train to Union Station, hop on the an extended Gold Line to quickly connect to the Red Line and on to either ball park. McCormick place and the cultural venues at the Museum Campus would hugely benefit from improved access to Union Station and the other transit lines. McCormick currently relies on a busway to connect the convention center to downtown hotels and conference participants have to rely on cabs to go most other places in the city. Olympic Village residents could quickly and easily get from their homes to anywhere downtown or anywhere else in the City along the Red or Blue lines. Olympic tourists from across the Midwest and from hotels across Chicago could efficiently travel from Union and Olgivie Stations to the most important Olympics venues. And, of course, the benefit to South Siders in Hyde Park, Kenwood, South Shore, etc. would be far greater with connections to other transit lines and the West Loop than it would be with a line only connecting to the Millennium Park area.

I realize that this type of connection would probably require standard CTA vehicles and thus the cost would balloon to a billion dollars but, hey, that's what the Olympics and the Feds are for, right?
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  #5415  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 5:32 PM
Marcu Marcu is offline
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Looking at an RTA map, I really don't see how the areas dense enough to support transit are underserved.. There appears to be good access via Metra Electric, Green Line, and LSD buses. Then again I am not familiar with the area so I don't really know how effectively these three options are. Perhaps a cheaper solution would be to make service more frequent on exisiting infrastructure. Even with federal funds, the CTA would have to pick up operational costs and I'm generally hesitant of supporting any EL expansion until the existing system is shown to be adequately funded over the long-term and functions well.

Last edited by Marcu; Jul 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM.
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  #5416  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 6:03 PM
emathias emathias is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyked3 View Post
I realize that one of the most obvious advantages to the Gold Line proposal is its incredibly low cost, but I wonder if a more ambitious proposal that would connect the Gold Line to Union Station/Olgivie Station through River North would pay dividends in terms of political support from a more diverse set of constituencies.

I think it makes sense to integrate the Gold Line with the proposed Carroll Avenue transit line.
...
I think youre sense of geography is a little off, since if the Gold Line went through River North, it would then have to go south to get to Ogilvie and Union.

As long as we're talking pie-in-the-sky, I think a more useful approach would be to keep the present kind of over-head catenary wire rail, but tunnel it north under Streeterville, then north under Clark to Fullerton, then west, eventually connecting to the Bloomingdale ROW and on west to Harlem or so. Cost? Like I said, pie-in-the-sky, probably in the realm of $10 billion. If it were well-connected to the "L" system, it would likely be well-used from the get-go, and if coupled with good zoning and growth near stations, could probably become the heaviest-used line in the city within a decade after completion (assuming the zoning changes were implemented at project start and not project completion).
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  #5417  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:19 PM
schwerve schwerve is offline
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Here's the question in my mind re: "gold/grey line" is it cheaper to run more frequent service as with the existing train sets on that line or would it better to just turn that entire section of line into a BRT. You would maintain the rest of the metra electric but turned a part of the trunk and the branch into BRT you could get the types of frequencies desired, connect to the proposed monroe transitway, and carrol avenue/streeterville Navy Pier without the massive capital costs required to connect the train line to the rest of the system.
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  #5418  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:29 PM
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The CTA just received the first of the new articulated buses paid for by the stimulus package:

Quote:
All 58 Buses Scheduled to Arrive by Fall 2009

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced the arrival of the first articulated hybrid bus purchased with federal stimulus funds. All 58 of the buses in the order are scheduled to arrive by fall.

"The arrival of these buses is another example of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at work for CTA riders," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "Without these funds CTA would not have been able to purchase these much-needed buses. With our budget constraints and nearly $7 billion in unfunded capital projects, it is a challenge to upgrade the system while still being fiscally prudent."

With this new bus, the CTA now has 151 articulated hybrid buses in its fleet. Once all 208 articulated hybrid buses are in service, the CTA estimates that the hybrid technology will help to save the agency over $7 million annually in parts, labor and fuel.......
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  #5419  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 7:38 PM
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Or run it on the SCAL to Union Station or thereabouts. Gosh the SCAL is such a useful right-of-way. It could be used for any one, or perhaps a combination of the following transit-related purposes:

-South/eastward extension of the Clinton Subway
-South/eastward extension of the Carrol/Clinton "River Line"
-Potential route for HSR to reach Union Station from the IC lines
-Route for "Gold / Gray" line trains, or even Metra Electric, to reach Union Station and connect with other transit lines

....And the city wants to turn it into a pedestrian/bike path! Seriously. If you're on foot or on a bike, is it really such a terrible inconvenience to use 16th street instead?
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  #5420  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2009, 9:39 PM
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Just because an ROW is there doesn't necessarily mean it makes a good rapid transit candidate. The IC/ME has some issues that make it less than ideal:
- South of the flyunder at Marquette, it is only competitive with the #6, #14, #26, and #X28 for a limited number of origin-destination pairs - generally these buses can more quickly and more directly connect South Shore residents with their downtown destination than the ME can (certainly the 14 and 26 are as quick given their express run up Lakshore from 67th.
- Between 18th and 47th streets, there is minimal population or employment along the route, which makes a rapid transit (either bus or rail) justification very weak.

The case would be stronger if ME trains were already packed to the gills due to high passenger volume in the corridor, but it's just not the case even when ME trains are running very frequently in rush hour.

Sure, you could reduce service on the parallel bus routes in an effort to shift riders to rail but I'm not sure what that would accomplish other than annoying those riders. Start with some sort of fare integration, which may well help ridership on the ME (probably mostly riders currently taking the #6 during rush hour), but not nearly enough to justify an upgrade to rapid transit service unless the population density along the south lakefront literally triples to be in the same realm as the north lakefront. Even if ME trains ran every 20-30 minutes in the off-peak people would still just take the #6 and #14, and those that did switch to the ME due to the increased frequency wouldn't come anywhere near a large enough increase in revenue to justify the added service cost.
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