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strictures last won the day on July 26 2014

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  1. Random Metra

    But bizarrely, the 120 V receptacles don't follow the National Electrical Code with either the ground or neutral slot [the wider slot] on top depending on the receptacle orientation. Don't Metra electricians know the NEC?
  2. Red Line Extension (RLE)

    Illinois isn't undertaxed & the state isn't broke because of taxes. Illinois taxes are far too high now, especially when you take into account the obscene local real estate taxes we have to pay & the even worse, corruption tax we pay, because Illinois is without a doubt the most corrupt state in the country! Illinois is broke because of that insane pension clause which prevents government pensions from being adjusted when the state's finances are bad, due to either downturns in the economy, people & companies leaving the state for greener pastures, but in this case, having to pay defined benefit pensions at a mandatory 3% COLA increase every year, even when Social Security has a COLA of zero! We also have too damned many government employees. If you don't believe that, go to any of the large Secretary of State offices for driver's licenses & car registrations, where there are dozens just pushing paper. Then we have 7,000 units of government, more than California & Texas combined, which have about four times the population than Illinois. The other states with pension problems don't have this clause. And it was the four Democrats on the state supreme court which has ruled every attempt to modify the pensions unconstitutional. The fact that they have an inherent conflict of interest in the case, due to the fact that they too will get state pensions, apparently doesn't bother them.
  3. A Push To Reinstate The #41 Elston bus

    Really? There used to be a sign over Granville Ave on the bridge "24 minutes to Loop". Now you're lucky to do it in 35 minutes! Other than the morning rush, a car will get to the Loop in 20 minutes from Granville. Even the 147 is faster.
  4. A Push To Reinstate The #41 Elston bus

    I often take the bus to the Clybourn Costco & Menard's for small items. I've even ridden my bike there & once carried home a huge package of toilet paper on the bike.
  5. 4 car Yellow Line train

    Nothing restricts which track is used to turnback at Howard, other than where the tower directs it to. In addition, the turnback at Dempster is also long enough for four cars & maybe five, as that's how long that Santa train is. But I've never seen Santa at Dempster, so if it were too long for the turnback, there's the crossover between Searle & Main to send it to Track 1.
  6. 4 car Yellow Line train

    I saw a 4 car train on the Swift last night around 7:30 PM. Is this common when there's snow? Or is it a rush hour operation I just never saw before? I know that's the maximum train length at the Dempster platforms. The train was almost empty when I saw it cross Main St.
  7. If CTA switched to letters for rail lines

    I can only think of five reasons: That the Burlington, Pennsylvania, Chicago & Alton & The Milwaukee Road each owned 25% of it & the UP used Northwestern Station for all its long distance trains that came to Chicago.
  8. If CTA switched to letters for rail lines

    I once took a Sea Dog trip on the River. The guide insisted that Union Station was built by the Union Pacific. It was impossible to convince him otherwise. He must of made at least a dozen other mistakes. At least it was free, the tickets were from work.
  9. Changes are coming

    While Rogers Park can't match the Ravenswood ridership, in the afternoon rush, it's amazing how many people get off here & it's slow going down the stairs at that time, they're so crowded. The majority of afternoon rush trains lose half their riders at Ravenswood & are less than 20% filled after Rogers Park.
  10. CTA ridership lost to ride share

    I completely agree with bringing back all those express routes & they need to run from morning to afternoon rush. I also agree with reducing the stops on LSD & Sheridan, provided it's just south of where West Sheridan starts at the Inner Drive. Stops should never be closer than 100 street numbers, but LSD & Sheridan south of there have stops every 50 street numbers or so. The people there can walk a half block. Also, add a card reader at the read doors of buses and let people board there. I'm sure there will be problems, but that can be ended by random checking. I remember riding the South Cicero bus when the racetracks are running & loads of people got on the back doors, especially at 47th & 55th & never bothered to pay & the CTA never did a damned thing about it! But the most important thing would be system wide bus signal priority! That causes every bus run to lose lots of time all day long. It's flat out maddening that the EB 155 must wait several minutes for the light to change at the Sheridan cutoff after making the turn from Devon. On top of that, the stop for the Loyola L station is in the wrong place. It should be just north of the L viaduct, where it would be directly across from the L station & there's a traffic light, but the current stop is a long, long walk from it, because it was moved south for the driveway to what's now called Fordham Hall, a Loyola U. dorm. I also occasionally ride the 192 & with that express bus running on Indiana & Michigan NB in the afternoon rush, it constantly gets stuck at red light after red light after red light!
  11. Metra Budd cars 04/16

    I know that originally, the Burlington required much stronger frames & anti-telescoping structures on its commuter coaches than the rest of the local RRs running bilevel commuter trains. So has that requirement changed or are current Metra coaches, other than the really old ex-C&NW painted ones the only ones that don't meet those specs?
  12. Combining Bus Routes

    The original 155 route went North on Ashland from Pratt to Howard, West on Howard to Western & South on Western to the terminal it shared with the 49B near Birchwood. Then it reversed & went back. What I want is the 96 to move to Pratt off of Lunt, which is a side street that the city has banned parking on one side to allow the buses to pass each other. It makes no sense to have the 290 on Touhy & the 96 on Lunt, just a quarter-mile apart. Plus the 96 used to run on Touhy to the Howard L station as the northern section of that route. Pratt is one of the few half-mile streets in Chicago with no buses on it, other than the half-mile the 155 uses east of Ashland.
  13. Combining Bus Routes

    Not between Ridge & Kedzie, as it was widened in 1979.. Plus, years ago, the 155 went in both directions on Pratt between Ashland & Sheridan & Pratt is the same width west to Ridge from Sheridan.
  14. Combining Bus Routes

    Sorry, but none of that is the reason, as I've seen that on an early Sunday morning, before the stores have even opened! The problem is due to the total incompetence of the CTA bus controllers who aren't moving one or two of the bunched up buses to express ahead using Pratt!
  15. Bringing Back a Route and/or Segment

    There used to be a NB 147 stop right in front of the Granada Theater, but that was eliminated some time ago. That made transfers to the WB 155 easier than at Sheridan/Arthur, because you got off a couple of minutes extra time to cross Sheridan. But the 147/136/151 SB stop at Sheridan/Broadway is going to get moved east to Winthrop soon, when the Woodruff Arcade Building is torn down soon & the new high rise is built there. That's going to make it difficult for those transferring from SB 36 or 155 to those buses a long walk from the stop on Devon, which is west of the alley next to the shipping container Starbucks.