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Adam Kerman

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  1. Some time in February, I anticipate having a Zoom meeting for Railroad & Shortlines Club of Chicago on this issue. I am disappointed that we didn't get interchangeable fares, which would have allowed Pace to restart south suburban feeders and shuttles, or possibly even charge them to the county subsidy. This project will be less likely to prove its value without bus transfers. This is disappointing.
  2. Omnibus Society of America Zoom meeting 7 pm CST, Thursday, January 14, 2021 Modern congestion management techniques for Pace bus routes by David Tomzik and Taqhi Mohammed, Pace Suburban Bus Service Pace Suburban Bus Service has been an industry leader in congestion management on busy suburban arterials with bus service. Taqhi is the engineer in charge of deploying technology that allows buses to approach intersections to request an extension to the green interval under specific circumstances. Dave is in charge of the technology group and will explain the communications technology Pace uses on board buses. To receive an invitation to the Zoom meeting by email, please send a message to events@hgchicago.org with your name and email address. This is required; you may not participate anonymously.
  3. Omnibus Society of America Zoom meeting 7 pm CST, Thursday, January 7, 2021 Living the Dream: Nine years as a CTA transit planner by David Wilson David Wilson will reminisce about the time he spent at Chicago Transit Authority as a transit planner for bus routes based at garages on the southwest side of Chicago. To receive an invitation to the Zoom meeting by email, please send a message to events@hgchicago.org with your name and email address. This is required; you may not participate anonymously.
  4. Melvin Bernero has died, either the 12th or 13th. I believe he was a member of this forum. He was a director of Omnibus Society of America for decades and did quite a bit of work behind the scenes. He also gave several programs each year. OSA's December 4 2020 meeting at 7 pm will be a tribute to Mel, so if anyone has slides or digital images of Mel on old fan trips or just want to show a few slide Mel might have liked, you'd be most welcome. We meet as San Lucas United Church of Christ, basement (entrance on the side of the building), 2914 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647.
  5. I'm not sure what you mean. Like Pace, Metra made massive service cuts throughout 2020. Like Pace, Metra isn't making further service cuts. The only difference is that Metra didn't give public notice like Pace as they don't follow sunshine in government requirements as closely as Pace. Either way, the massive service cutbacks were made without public notice and public hearing and any comments a passenger might make during budget hearings is seven months after the fact.
  6. If any of you are regular bus or rail passengers living in the Chicago metropolitan area are interested in being an advocate for public transportation passengers, would you please contact me off line? ahk at transit dot chicago dot il dot us by email. Let me know what topics you are interested in and what great ideas you have that are both cost effective and likely to attract passengers. Please make sure you give me your name and contact information. There is no pay and no influence and you will not have the respect of your peers. I should also warn you that my sense of humor is not P.C. and you may not think I'm very funny. I recently had a board member resign because I wrote a satirical piece (shared only with a handful of people) as my way of expressing horror and outrage over David Kolata and Citizens Utility Board's conflict of interest. CUB’s 'Conflict': How A Utility Watchdog Got Millions From The Utilities It Watches I said I, too, would accept monies from ComEd if they were proposing to bring back streetcars and interurbans as major consumers of electricity and promoting suburban sprawl with travel by traction. 'Tain't funny, McGee. There is no obligation to laugh at my jokes.
  7. Gawd I am feeling even more pessimistic than Andris.
  8. All of the bus routes listed as "proposed service discontinuance" were "temporarily suspended" in April or May 2020.They've all been suspended for so long that there must be public notice of discontinuation. It's permanent. it wasn't just some feeders, shuttles, and circulators. It's every single feeder, shuttle, and circulator. Every single one. Not that Pace was operating many Metra feeders due to lack of fare integration, but with nearly no office workers in the central business district and very few rush hour trains to meet and no park-n-ride demand, there was no market. The employee shuttles were discontinued because the employment locations were closed or permanently out of business and the ones that re-opened weren't having workers report to work 5 days a week. The circulators were discontinued because there was no in-person shopping, even if the retail stores were open. So many employers have discovered that virtual meetings can replace in-person meetings and so few workers need to work from the office, I predict that the demand leased office space will be reduced permanently. The fixed-route feeder/shuttle model may be dead. I'd like to see a paratransit solution for last mile from Pace express bus routes and rail stations. I think a model based on Uber and Lyft-style dispatching with drivers taking transit vehicles home and surge payments for drivers so they make themselves available to drive is the future. The Pace model may be vans and lift-equipped vans, depending on the passenger's needs. Exactly one circulator was restarted: 811 Rosemont Entertainment Circulator on July 20, 2020. The routes listed as "proposed service reduction" were similarly cut back last April or May. As far as I know, not a single run has been restored. This, too, is permanent. Pace finally released the budget at Wednesday's board meeting, Typically it's released in September, and has been even in years that RTA is very late with the budget marks as they were this year. https://www.pacebus.com/sites/default/files/2020-10/2021 Proposed Budget.pdf I'm one of just a handful of members of the public who attends Pace budget hearings, but if anyone cares, they're all virtual. Pace will be streaming them on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwqCeR3VG2M That's not interactive. To participate in the Zoom meeting because you want to give oral testimony, you must pre-register for the hearing to receive the Zoom meeting code or call-in number. Pick a hearing. https://www.pacebus.com/news/virtual-public-hearings-proposed-2021-budget This is just an awful year and 2021 will not be better.
  9. Omnibus Society of America program meeting 7 pm; do not arrive before 6:45 pm November 6, 2020 United States streetcar systems by Melvin Bernero Melvin will show streetcars in various cities around the U.S. from the 1970s till the present. Program location San Lucas United Church of Christ Basement 2914 W North Ave Chicago IL 60647 Enter the basement from the walkway on the side of the building. There are steps into the basement. The church is on the north side of North Avenue between Francisco and Richmond, across the street from Humboldt Park. Get off the 72 North Ave bus at Francisco, or get off the 94 California Ave bus at North Ave and walk west.
  10. What's a suggestion to be made on revising 326 instead of discontinuing it? It's been a bus route with few passengers on it since CTA operated a version of it.
  11. T.J. Ross, Pace executive director, gave me a call Wednesday morning to tell me that he had retired, effective end of November. It was going to be announced publicly at that afternoon's board meeting. Rocky Donahue will be interim executive director starting in December.
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