Today’s Headlines for Thursday, April 26

  • Metra Has Been Running Shorter Trains, Which Means More Crowded Cars (ABC)
  • You Can Take Metra to O’Hare, But You’ll Also Need to Take a Shuttle Bus (WTTW)
  • Metra Positive Train Control Work Will Cause Delays on South Shore Line (NWI.com)
  • Speeding Driver Causes 9-Car Crash in Gage Park, Flees the Scene on Foot (NBC)
  • Nearly 300 Residents Weighed in on N. Lawndale Community Development Plan (Curbed)
  • That Time When the City Almost Built an ‘L’ Line and Expressway Along Cicero Avenue (ABC)
  • Tracking Down Chicago’s Elusive Adult Tricycle Rider Community (The Chainlink)
  • J.K. Rowling Confirms That There’s a Portal to Hogwarts by the North/Damen Stop (RedEye)

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  • Harrylee773

    I am not sure what happened with the Transit Future initiative (doesn’t seem to be very active right now), but the Lime Line that they proposed would run down Cicero Ave and potentially provide decent service to Midway for people that doesn’t require taking a train downtown to transfer to the Orange or sitting on a two Cicero Ave buses in traffic to get there. http://transitfuture.org/lime-line/ Would love to see this and the Brown Line extension to Jeff Park get some more attention from politicians.

  • Chicagoan

    The CTA’s YouTube page has a video about the failed Crosstown Expressway that I think is quite interesting: https://youtu.be/6G-nh4FC8wI

  • Anne A

    I’ve occasionally seen Rock Island trains short one car, usually at evening rush hour.

  • ardecila

    I still think it was a mistake not to build this, and I would still like to revisit the last Mayor Daley’s plan for a truck highway and transit line within the existing Belt Railway corridor. Cicero is horribly congested, and the lack of a crosstown expressway pushes huge volumes of truck traffic (and emissions) into a downtown that the city is trying to reinvent and make more livable.

  • Cameron Puetz

    When you add in the shuttle bus, is the Metra trip to O’Hare actually faster?

  • ardecila

    We already have one of the highest sales taxes in the nation, any proposal to raise the sales tax further is a non-starter. Also, Chicagoans don’t seem to have the appetite for large-scale transit expansion the way our counterparts in LA, Seattle, and Denver do, to the point where we would vote to tax ourselves. Or at least, that’s what our elected leaders seem to believe.

    Also, for Transit Future or some similar program to be successful, it has to draw on the whole region to fund itself, but when it comes to public transit, our system is far too balkanized, there’s no desire for city and suburban officials to work together meaningfully.

  • ardecila

    You have to add in the average wait time for Metra as well. NCS has such a lightweight schedule it’s practically useless as transit. Only ten trains a day operating in each direction, and no weekend service at all. Even if Metra is technically faster, if you have to wait 90 minutes for a train, why fret over an extra 10 minutes on the Blue Line?

  • david vartanoff

    So if Rahm is giving out a billion or several to tart up O’Hare, an “Airport People Mover” from the NCS station into the terminal should be part of the plans. With that, and beefing up the train frequencies to 30 minute headways, you have your train to the plane.

  • Chicagoan

    We don’t have the appetite b/c, in American terms, our transit system is very strong.

    Also: “Also, for Transit Future or some similar program to be successful, it has to draw on the whole region to fund itself, but when it comes to public transit, our system is far too balkanized, there’s no desire for city and suburban officials to work together meaningfully.”

    Every metropolitan area is Balkanized, there’s a lot of city vs. suburbs going on right now.

  • Tooscrapps

    That would require him to work with Metra. As we’ve clearly seen from the Red Line extension, he has no plans in trying that.

  • Chicagoan

    Mayor Emanuel likes to invest in what he can control, which isn’t unreasonable.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I probably erroneously assume regulars here have all read this, for those who haven’t, it is a beautifully researched deep dive into this very issue:

    http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/content/beyond-burnham

  • Dennis McClendon

    That’s true, but young transit advocates often forget that our city-suburb split is set by state law. Metra gets tax revenue only from the suburbs. Not one cent from the city.

  • ardecila

    Actually, the three cities that have successfully passed large transit expansions (LA, Denver, Seattle) do have unusual levels of regional cooperation, and have a unified regional transit system that is more than just the token regionalism we see in the RTA.

    Our system is fairly strong, but our leaders don’t seem interested in luring any more people out of their cars, or making the system more useful for more people. If you’re not headed downtown, you just have to live with increasingly slow and inconvenient transit options, or, like most people, get in a car or Uber.