Today’s Headlines

  • Free Sunday Car Parking Started Yesterday (DNA)
  • Chicago to Reach 25 On-Street Bike Parking Corrals (Sun-Times)
  • Illinoisans Support Statewide Ban on Cell Use While Driving (Sun-Times)
  • Unlicensed Driver Kills Pedestrian in Romeoville (CBS)
  • Motorcyclist in Serious Condition After Dan Ryan Crash (Tribune)
  • Mailman Charged With DUI After Near West Side Crash (Tribune)
  • CTA Should Choose Rail Car Company Who’ll Create Jobs Here (Sun-Times)
  • There’s an Epidemic of Violent and Stupid Behavior on the CTA (Tattler)
  • A Guide to Chicago’s Civic Smartphone Applications (Tribune)
  • Kidical Mass Debuts in Lincoln Park This Sunday (BWLP)
  • Tips for Locking Your Bike Securely (RedEye)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Ben

    That Sun-Times article is absurd. The CTA should choose the most competitive bid regardless of where the cars are manufactured. No one would ever propose that Chicagoans should be required to purchase automobiles manufactured in the city rather than elsewhere. This kind of “Buy America” nonsense is a major factor in keeping transit uncompetitive in the US.

  • I take it you don’t shop for bikes at Heritage Bicycles, which has their cycles manufactured here in Chicago. I just visited a train car factory in Rochelle, Illinois, last weekend – look for a write-up in the near future.

  • Anonymous

    Ben, you are absolutely correct. It sounds all nice to say, “let’s only do what’s best for local jobs” until you realize that if other people outside of Chicago did the same, Chicago businesses would have no hope in winning any business outside of the area…everyone would just shut each other out in a misguided effort to boost the local economy. If a private business like Heritage Bicycles chooses to source everything in Chicago, hey that’s totally fine, but making this an explicit governmental policy is harmful.

  • Ben

    I’m sure Heritage makes a great product if you’re in the market for an expensive bicycle. But that’s your decision and your money.

    Perhaps a local supplier will submit the best bid for the new train cars. But requiring the CTA to buy from an arbitrarily chosen geographic area is bad policy and a waste of public funds. Why prop up an uncompetitive industry? Wouldn’t we prefer to have the best possible equipment in order to encourage more people to use transit? That sounds a lot more beneficial to the public than a handful of manufacturing jobs.

  • Perhaps it would make sense to factor local hiring, not just price, into the the procurement process. As the Sun-Times piece points out, creating local jobs has numerous economic benefits for the city. So if we can have the same quality of equipment built here as abroad, and the foreign company submits a lower bid but won’t provide any boost to the local economy, perhaps it would be smarter, strictly from a financial standpoint, to buy locally made train cars.

  • Fred

    I don’t get why the author is assuming the new 7000 series cars will be assembled in China by an Asian company when the current new 5000 series cars are being assembled in Plattsburg, NY by a Canadian company. It just seems like whole article is based on a questionable assumption.

  • Jakub Muszynski

    I was thinking the same thing, they might not currently be local in the Chicagoland region but they sure are not completed or wholly manufactured in China.

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