Today’s Headlines for Thursday, May 12

  • Emanuel Names Zopp Deputy Mayor, Expands South Side Bus Routes (Tribune)
  • Relaunched Lincoln Bus Will Have Limited Hours — Can It Meet Ridership Goal? (Sun-Times)
  • 31st Street Bus Will Relaunch on June 20 as Well (Tribune)
  • Park District Approves $3.5 Million to Begin Big Marsh Bike Park Construction (DNA)
  • 36th Ward Residents Vote for Sidewalks, Crosswalk in PB Election (DNA)
  • Sorry Mountain Bikers, That Green Space by the River at Harrison Is Being Developed (Crain’s)
  • Plans for the Ike Could Include Wider Blue Line Platforms, New Ped Bridges (Tribune)
  • DNA Looks at the Milwaukee Avenue Bike Counter Project
  • Two Cafés to Open at Damen Pink and Wellington Brown Line Stations (CTA)
  • Join Al Scorch as He Does a 6-Venue Music Tour by Bike This Saturday (Reader)
  • Bike 2 Sox With Active Trans on Saturday 5/22

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  • Pat

    Would love to see a 3rd express track on the Ike reconstruction, but I don’t think it’d save much time.

  • hopeyglass

    In an otherwise grim week, praise be for more Jumping Bean! Yessssss perfect cream/sugar iced coffees.

  • Re: Lincoln Bus.

    Here we go again folks. Is Lincoln a ridership route or a coverage route. If it is a coverage route then there is no minimum number of riders needed to keep it going. If it is a ridership route then yes it needs to pay its way (however one may define that.)

    If the complaint is older riders can’t get to the el then it is a coverage route and maybe that is why there is no AM rush service. So then there is no need to hit any number of riders. It is only necessary to see if there is a more needy coverage route on which the budgeted coverage dollars could be better spent.

    The Sun-Times doesn’t get the distinction and the CTA is guilty for not framing it that way. Indeed the CTA seems to be purposely duplicitous by setting up a coverage route which is too infrequent to attract enough riders to meet a ridership goal and then demanding the ridership goal be met in order to continue it.

    It appears that the alderman does not understand the distinctions either.

  • Yeah with so many stations already eliminated I suspect just fixing the slow zones would be almost as fast as an express train.

  • Pat

    Not sure the number of people that drive vs take the train in Oak Park, but I would think a train that makes stops at Austin, Pulaski, Ashland/UIC, and Clinton would be very attractive.

    Oak Park seems to be the densest around that branch of the Blue Line. Would love to see some other stations get activated but while people like living near the L, living near the highway probably negates that.

  • As it is the Blue Line has to turn some trains around at UIC-Halsted. Perhaps with a third set of tracks could effect the same result? Probably not but maybe. I seem to remember times when a significant number of times trains ran express anyway.

  • planetshwoop

    Why build an express line for an area that already has another el (Green) and metra? Any monies available would be better spent on reconfiguring the truly horrid station entrances, which I believe this site has written about before.

  • You’re assuming there was any logic cutting the line to begin with. The facts would seem to be that the CTA needed to find lines to cut, so they came up with the concept that the #11 was redundant after the Brown Line expansion project. The CTA did not demonstrate that the added capacity for the Brown Line – which was done specifically to serve rush hour demand – was in any way reducing usage of the #11 during the day.

    You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but sort of by definition seniors are not going to be primarily using a bus to go downtown to work a 9 – 5 job. Having extra cars on the Brown Line is irrelevant for someone for whom walking even an extra block or two is a hardship.

  • rohmen

    When I’m not bike commuting, I’m on the blue line from OP to the loop. Eliminating the slow zones would definitely make it express enough for most riders IMHO—especially in the mornings. They do run trains express at times from the loop to OP, but it’s pretty rare now, and seems more geared to get the trains turned around and back into the system heading towards O’Hare. Blue Line ridership is a lot lower than the Green Line for OP riders, and the slow zones are definitely a big part of the reason.

  • Carmin

    By only having the number 11 only available during the evening rush hour isn’t setting it up to fail? Because if I decide to ride it home and I get off at Irving Park, my ride won’t be counted. On the other hand, if it is was running in the morning, it would be counting the riders who might catch it downtown. Or are they going to be counting in some other method than Ventra swipes?

    And I hope the bus drivers are well trained in bike safety/etiquette. That’s a popular bike route, especially during the Damen/Elston construction and I’m not looking forward having another thing to dodge on the route.

  • I’m using Jarrett Walker’s ( framing of how to evaluate goals for transit lines. He goes further and suggests that transit organizations poll their stake holders to arrive at a percentage split of support for coverage vs ridership. Then apply that split to budget priorities.

    The CTA would be wise to form and frame their decisions that way.

  • First there has to be a change in the widespread opinion among lawmakers that the point of transit systems is to “break even” money-wise, from farebox input.

    The “profit” transit systems should reap is efficient motion of riders around a city, to drive economic activities and minimize congestion and pollution. Trying to make it “run like a business” profoundly misses the point, and handicaps its real mission.

  • Jeremy

    Well said. Your comments about government profit motives should also apply to parks, schools, postal service, and prisons.

  • Yeah, exactly. If we could run government like business we wouldn’t need government. Governments pay for a lot of the externalities that would cause many businesses to go out of business if they had to cover them themselves.