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  #4561  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2009, 3:24 PM
the urban politician the urban politician is offline
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So the question is this:

Daley so far has not demonstrated a very high transit IQ. Is this the product of many years of a poor Federal transit-funding environment, or does he really just not have a clue?

The next few years will be revealing: in quite possibly the most pro-transit Federal environment since WWII, what will this guy do as Chicago's "emperor for life" to improve & modernize the transit system?
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  #4562  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2009, 3:24 PM
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I think it is remarkable how many national-level articles on transit issues are coming up lately. It is nice to see ideas like these getting a little air time.

Quote:
Mileage Tax Considered By Obama Transportation Secretary LaHood

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn _ an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it has been proposed.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving, LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said.

...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/0..._n_168506.html
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  #4563  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 3:49 AM
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Amtrak line from Chicago to St. Louis would be target for stimulus
By Jason Nevel
jason.nevel@lee.net
Advertisement

SPRINGFIELD -- The Amtrak line from Chicago to St. Louis would be a central target for some of the $8 billion allocated for high-speed rail in the federal economic stimulus package, Illinois Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday.

“Most of that money is going to be for federally designated high-speed rail corridors, which there are three in Illinois with Chicago to St. Louis being the big one,” said George Weber, who heads the railroad division at IDOT.

The other Illinois-based rail lines designated for high-speed trains are from Chicago to Detroit and Chicago to Milwaukee.


With Normal being one of the stops on the Amtrak route from Chicago to St. Louis, state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said the extra money could result in more riders, who would see reduced travel times on the route.

“It’s … going to be able to enhance not only their time schedule but ridership,” Brady said. “It will be something positive for the Normal transportation center where the train station is in my district.”

The town is seeking $10 million for the center that would accommodate train, bus and taxi service on land along Beaufort Street just west of the Children’s Discovery Museum. Normal already has received $10 million in federal funding for the $24.6 million project.

Those rail routes are not the only projects IDOT sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will decide in 60 days how much money Illinois will receive for high-speed rail.

Weber said a new route from Chicago to Rock Island and additional Chicago-to-Carbondale service would be contenders for federal funds.

Rick Harnish, president of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association said the number of Illinoisans in Washington, D.C., could factor in to how much money Illinois gets. Not only is the president from Chicago, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield is the No. 2 man in the Senate. President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel is from Chicago and the secretary of transportation, Ray LaHood, is from Peoria.

“It will probably have an impact,” Harnish said.
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  #4564  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 4:06 AM
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while I'm glad that this Midwest high speed rail is getting funding for me I would rather see the money go to the CTA, you know the cumbling transit agency that in a few hours probably gives more rides than all three of those routes currently combined in a year.
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  #4565  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 4:14 AM
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^ Most of the Chi-St.L time reduction improvements are between Joliet & Chicago. The flyovers, track connections and double track alignments will benefit Metra, Amtrak and HSR. Also I wouldn't rule out some capital expenditures for CTA.
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  #4566  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 4:14 AM
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^ The stimulus bill does put money into transit systems.

But yes, I see your point.

Does anybody else here get the feeling that funding for massive projects such as HSR is being packed into as short of a time as possible out of fear of Democrats inevitably losing their advantage in Washington at some point? After all, in the past 3 decades Democrats have more often been out of power than in power.

The way I see it, we have a chance to get things done so lets just BUILD the infrastructure now, even if it may not make total sense at this moment in time. Does that feeling ring true with anyone else?
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  #4567  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 4:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ The stimulus bill does put money into transit systems.

But yes, I see your point.

Does anybody else here get the feeling that funding for massive projects such as HSR is being packed into as short of a time as possible out of fear of Democrats inevitably losing their advantage in Washington at some point? After all, in the past 3 decades Democrats have more often been out of power than in power.

The way I see it, we have a chance to get things done so lets just BUILD the infrastructure now, even if it may not make total sense at this moment in time. Does that feeling ring true with anyone else?

I hope so. I would hate to think I could get from Milwaukee to Chicago faster then Grand to Belmont.
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  #4568  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 4:34 AM
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I hope they don't "overstop" these HSR proposal out of political cowardice. To be effective the HSR for example between Chi and Stl really should have maybe 1 stop or at absolute most 2. I can see a lot of politician vying for a stop in their town, because if bypassed it could mean longterm trouble.

On the Stl-Chi route, just off the top of my head I would think Springfield as the stop, not Normal

I just hope that they keep the stops to a minimum otherwise its pointless

On the other routes:

Chi-GrandRapids-Detroit

Chi-Milw thats it, maybe eventually with one out to Madison then Minny
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  #4569  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 4:42 AM
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^I think you overestimate the time needed for a stop. Five stops between Chicago and St. Louis would only add about 15 minutes to a running time that, in our dreams, is still four hours. But those five stops would probably add about 40% to the ridership numbers.
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  #4570  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 5:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^I think you overestimate the time needed for a stop. Five stops between Chicago and St. Louis would only add about 15 minutes to a running time that, in our dreams, is still four hours. But those five stops would probably add about 40% to the ridership numbers.
That alone if true is a major reason for stops.

I hope someday we can increase the speed of the train itself to justify the increase in the percentage of additional travelers picked up in the stopping process.

IMO the only way a real HSR can do all of the above is to go above the 110 mph somehow sharing the same tracks with freight. To me this can be achieved with doubling of the rails for letting freight side off to give right away to passenger rail.

I am sure there are other ideas how to do this...

Vs. a money killer like a true real HSR maglev type thing that would cost 100X the amount to construct in the same distance.
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  #4571  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 7:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
^I think you overestimate the time needed for a stop. Five stops between Chicago and St. Louis would only add about 15 minutes to a running time that, in our dreams, is still four hours. But those five stops would probably add about 40% to the ridership numbers.
Probably do, and that is a good point about ridership.However you may be underestimating the timing effect of the necessary acceleration and negative acceleration necessary after and before stops. That would probably add another 20 minutes or so to the delay I am thinking. However I am not aware of the technical specs these trains have for accleration and braking, but they certainly cannot start or stop instantaneously to or from 150 mph or whatever it will be.

In Europe I think highspeed is generally between 125-150 mph of I am not mistake. An express to St Lou could do that in about 2.5 hours.

I wonder if express trains will be an option
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  #4572  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 2:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawfin View Post
I hope they don't "overstop" these HSR proposal out of political cowardice. To be effective the HSR for example between Chi and Stl really should have maybe 1 stop or at absolute most 2. I can see a lot of politician vying for a stop in their town, because if bypassed it could mean longterm trouble.

On the Stl-Chi route, just off the top of my head I would think Springfield as the stop, not Normal

I just hope that they keep the stops to a minimum otherwise its pointless

On the other routes:

Chi-GrandRapids-Detroit

Chi-Milw thats it, maybe eventually with one out to Madison then Minny

Your going to have 8 stops for sure. Chic Union Station, Cicero ave (New Midway Station), Joliet (lots of connections with Metra), Normal (ILL State Univ), Springfiled, Alton (Last stop in Ill-StL Suburbs), St.L Dwntwn.
Also one of either: Dwight or Chenoa whichever is chosen for the Peoria spur.
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  #4573  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 2:49 PM
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Acceleration and deceleration for electric trainsets are pretty comparable to a passenger car; diesel-electric hauled trains accelerate a little more slowly, about like an 18-wheeler. Now when you're driving up US41 to Milwaukee and make five stops for the traffic signals in Lake County, you don't lose 35 minutes. HSR to St. Louis won't have all-new right-of-way through towns where it stops, so will probably be doing 60mph max.
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  #4574  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2009, 8:15 PM
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This is very exciting stuff. Although I'm worried there is too much a focus on regional rail transit rather than rail transit improvements within a metropolitan area.

I like METRA, but I'll like to suggest a minor technical and cost free improvement which would greatly benefit METRA and its ridership. Nevertheless it would require some political balls at the state level.

It would also be nice if METRA was given land-use planning authority over lands within 1/4 mile radius of stations. This would allow for some amazing transit-oriented developments, improved stations, and underground parking (hell have it free underground parking to encourage transit usage) without the usual influential NIMBYs calling their local town councilor. If the city is really raising a stink about METRA having land-use authority over a small portion of their town, METRA could have the option of mothballing the station and skipping the town altogether.
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  #4575  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2009, 7:47 AM
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I know I have seen it around here before, could someone post a link of a list of the route ridership of CTA bus routes.

Thanks in advance.
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  #4576  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2009, 6:42 PM
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Quote:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel...,5970949.story

Las Vegas bets on $8 billion rail pot, but Midwest team is well connectedBy JIM ABRAMS | Associated Press Writer
10:08 AM CST, February 22, 2009

........In fact, competition for the $8 billion in mass transit construction is just beginning. Backers of numerous other planned high-speed rail corridors around the country are making their case for the money.

They notably include a Midwest initiative long supported by someone with even more clout than Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who strongly supports the Anaheim-Las Vegas line. That would be former Illinois Sen. Obama.


...........Also in the running are proposed high-speed corridors in the Northeast, the Northwest, Florida and the South.

Howard Learner, president of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, a group promoting a Midwest high-speed rail network, said his area is in excellent position to capture a good chunk of that money. The Federal Railroad Administration, he said, has recognized the Midwest initiative connecting Chicago and 11 metropolitan areas within 400 miles as the system most ready to go.

He and others brushed aside claims that the $8 billion was set aside for Reid's favorite. Obama, who expressed strong interest in high-speed rail investment during the campaign, and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, are both from Chicago. Obama's transportation secretary, Ray Lahood, also is from Illinois. So is the Senate's..............
..
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  #4577  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2009, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berwyn View Post
This is very exciting stuff. Although I'm worried there is too much a focus on regional rail transit rather than rail transit improvements within a metropolitan area.

I like METRA, but I'll like to suggest a minor technical and cost free improvement which would greatly benefit METRA and its ridership. Nevertheless it would require some political balls at the state level.

It would also be nice if METRA was given land-use planning authority over lands within 1/4 mile radius of stations. This would allow for some amazing transit-oriented developments, improved stations, and underground parking (hell have it free underground parking to encourage transit usage) without the usual influential NIMBYs calling their local town councilor. If the city is really raising a stink about METRA having land-use authority over a small portion of their town, METRA could have the option of mothballing the station and skipping the town altogether.
Nah, I dont agree. Metra should do what it was designed to do: provide rail transit. Leave real estate development out of that. I doubt your proposal could even work from a legal standpoint.
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  #4578  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2009, 12:24 AM
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Not sure how anyone else was affected this morning by the bus shortage, but my commute sucked! I take the 77 Belmont Bus currently, until Paulina Brown line stop opens back up. The bus tracker was showing buses running every 15 minutes at 7:30. That’s about twice as long as they usually take. I ended up walking nearly a mile to Belmont CTA stop. Not the end of the world, but it makes you realize that dropping 6% of these buses presents a huge problem…
We must be in the same 'hood. I've actually been walking Belmont from Paulina to the Sheffield stop. It's not to bad unless the cold is particularly awful - and I'm getting in some good exercise.
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  #4579  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2009, 9:40 PM
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Nah, I dont agree. Metra should do what it was designed to do: provide rail transit. Leave real estate development out of that. I doubt your proposal could even work from a legal standpoint.
I think what they are trying to say is that several cities, for example HK, have beautiful subways with developments on top that help pay for the expansion of the subways. It's infuriating that the public-private partnership in this country hasn't come anywhere close to the same kind of beautiful,fast rail systems seen overseas.

Is there any decent proposal to upgrade our subways/el with some kind of partnership between developers, transit and the city? I realize the market isn't favorable right now, but we have to find a way to improve our transport systems and stop the endless stopgap.... I find roosevelt station the symbol of our current system... falling down, no vision and frankly...embarassing
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  #4580  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2009, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by firstcranialnerve View Post
Is there any decent proposal to upgrade our subways/el with some kind of partnership between developers, transit and the city?
^ The block 37 superstation.

That's the problem. Look how much it has been criticized. Embarrassing boondiggles like this may very well discourage future developers from working with the city on similar public-private projects.
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