Today’s Headlines for Friday, September 14

  • Tribune Editorial: No Metra Fare Hike Is Good, But Spending Cuts Are Needed
  • Police Searching for Suspect in LaSalle Blue Line Robbery (Fox)
  • Officer Wouldn’t Cite Driver Who Struck Me — What Should I Have Done Differently? (The Chainlink)
  • Little Village Warehouse Plan Moves Forward Despite Concerns About Truck Traffic (Curbed)
  • Luxury Apartments Along the Bloomingdale Approved by Plan Commission (Block Club)
  • Should Cyclists Boycott Wells Automotive? (The Chainlink)
  • Bike Lane Uprising Party 9/20, 6-9 PM at Keating Law, 825 N. Milwaukee

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  • planetshwoop

    I understand the Trib doesn’t want fares to go up again, but their call to “trim the fat” is always strange to me because it’s never specific. It’s a populist thing to say and not helpful when no detail is added. Realistically, “trim the fat” in the Metra budget means “don’t raise pay for employees”. Their overage (I looked at the board presentation) is mostly from increased staffing costs. The Trib won’t call for “let’s cut pay for conductors” which is what they’re calling for.

    Metra needs more revenue. It seems pretty clear the state isn’t going to supply it (they actively took money from Metra with a 2% fee for administering funds). They keep stating that Internet sales are hurting their revenues. Is that true? Amazon has to be close to 30-50% of “internet” sales, but wouldn’t they now be subject to the same taxes? Unless somehow internet prices are much lower than retail that is permanently lowering the tax base?

  • Bike Lane Uprising

    Correction: The party for Bike Lane Uprising is next Thursday on 9/20 not the 29th. Hope everyone can make it.

    Please RSVP here:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bike-lane-uprising-1-year-anniversary-party-tickets-49717550532?aff=ehomesaved

  • rwy

    Amazon has been collecting sales tax for a while.

  • planetshwoop

    I agree — that’s why I don’t understand why Metra is claiming their retail revenue is down.

  • Justin

    I don’t think it’s rocket science.

    Switch fare collection to a random inspection system with fines rather than checking every single ticket, then fire 50%+ of their conductors.

    Empower Metra to extort Value Capture payments out of each suburban stop: you want our trains to continue stopping in your suburb so that it is an attractive place for downtown workers to buy a home, fine, you just pay us a small percent of the value that our train generates for the nearby properties each year, and we will continue stopping in your town. Otherwise we can skip your town and everyone will have to drive over to the next suburb to get on the train, and that next suburb will reap all the parking revenue and sales tax benefits of having all those people coming through.

    Offer more discount ticket options to make the train more attractive at off-peak times. They have the $10 weekend pass, which is the right idea, although maybe they should offer a slightly cheaper option for a single day. They should also offer weekday discount passes for trains after 10:30am or so (to prevent loop office workers from benefitting) and should offer weekend night passes (for example, a pass that would be valid from 6pm friday to 12p on saturday). These discount passes should all have associated offers to add additional people on for additional discounts to better compete against the car for small trips. For example, buy a $10 weekend pass, add up to 5 additional people for only $3 each.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Interesting bike improvements noted for Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland:

    http://ward32.org/news/lincoln-ashland-belmont-intersection-interim-safety-improvements/

  • skelter weeks

    And don’t forget to cut all those ‘security’ guys who ride the trains but don’t do anything useful.