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Transit Future Plan

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There doesn't seem to be much coverage about this yet (just a buried Tribune article), but I'm sure Streetsblog Chicago will have an article up soon.

The Transit Future plan is a $20 billion plan to expand and improve transit in the Chicagoland area. It was announced yesterday at the University Club by Mayor Emanuel and Cook County President Preckwinkle. The plan is modeled after LA's Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase that's funding $40 billion in transit improvements.

Transit Future itself is a campaign run by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Active Transportation Alliance. Their goal is to push Cook County to create a revenue source for the plan. They're not promoting a specific tax plan, but want the Cook County Board of Commissioners to decide on one and get it passed this year.

Here's a map of the Transit Future Vision:

transitfuture.png

Summary of the plan:

  • New Line: South Lakefront Service. Sounds just like the Gray Line proposal.
  • New Line: The Lime Line. A "west side Red Line" that runs between 87th Red Line and Jefferson Park Blue Line via Cicero.
  • New Line: Airport Connector Express. Connects MDW to ORD via the western suburbs.
  • New Line: Ashland BRT.
  • New Line: Southeast Service commuter rail connecting south suburbs to Loop.
  • Extension: Red Line to 130th.
  • Extension: Brown Line to Jefferson Park via Lawrence.
  • Extension: Forest Park branch to Oak Brook.
  • Extension: Blue Line to Schaumburg.
  • Extension: Yellow Line to Old Orchard.
  • Extension: Orange Line to Ford City.
  • Modernization: Purple Line & Red Line North.
  • Modernization: Blue Line Forest Park Branch.
  • Arterial Rapid Transit ("ART") network for the suburbs. Basically watered-down BRT without dedicated lanes.

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There doesn't seem to be much coverage about this yet (just a buried Tribune article), but I'm sure Streetsblog Chicago will have an article up soon.

The Transit Future plan is a $20 billion plan to expand and improve transit in the Chicagoland area. It was announced yesterday at the University Club by Mayor Emanuel and Cook County President Preckwinkle. The plan is modeled after LA's Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase that's funding $40 billion in transit improvements.

Transit Future itself is a campaign run by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Active Transportation Alliance. Their goal is to push Cook County to create a revenue source for the plan. They're not promoting a specific tax plan, but want the Cook County Board of Commissioners to decide on one and get it passed this year.

Here's a map of the Transit Future Vision:

transitfuture.png

Summary of the plan:

  • New Line: South Lakefront Service. Sounds just like the Gray Line proposal.
  • New Line: The Lime Line. A "west side Red Line" that runs between 87th Red Line and Jefferson Park Blue Line via Cicero.
  • New Line: Airport Connector Express. Connects MDW to ORD via the western suburbs.
  • New Line: Ashland BRT.
  • New Line: Southeast Service commuter rail connecting south suburbs to Loop.
  • Extension: Red Line to 130th.
  • Extension: Brown Line to Jefferson Park via Lawrence.
  • Extension: Forest Park branch to Oak Brook.
  • Extension: Blue Line to Schaumburg.
  • Extension: Yellow Line to Old Orchard.
  • Extension: Orange Line to Ford City.
  • Modernization: Purple Line & Red Line North.
  • Modernization: Blue Line Forest Park Branch.
  • Arterial Rapid Transit ("ART") network for the suburbs. Basically watered-down BRT without dedicated lanes.

Maybe it isn't getting much discussion because:

  • Like most transit plans over the past 50 years, it is fantasy (update: and not even an original one; this is only a laundry list of what I believe has already been proposed). The only extensions that got built were the O'Hare and Midway ones, and that's because there was Interstate highway money for the Crosstown Expressway which Jane Byrne was able to trade in for transit. A premise in the Northeast Transit Task Force report is that federal highway trust fund money is going to dry up.
  • With recent events such as Emanuel's insane "propeller head" remark, Quinn running on a tax increase platform, Emanuel saying property taxes have to be raised, and the saga of Pagano stealing to keep up polygamy, who in the world thinks that another half percent tax increase is going to fly or work, when the 2008 one didn't solve anything?
  • Since the Stroger sales tax increase eventually had to be rolled back (and I didn't believe that would really happen), what makes anyone think that the Cook County Board has the appetite to impose another one? Especially not for county purposes.
  • Does anyone think that a tax increase is going to pass if the Task Force report is really DOA?
  • Note that the description is 98% in the city. Pace ART is going to happen anyway. What about the $12 billion Metra says it needs to get into a state of good repair? What about reverse commute needs noted in the report? Most of Metra's riders are in Cook County, too. Just another scheme to get the suburbs to pay for the city.

Until the state legislature fully embraces the concepts (although not all the details) of the Task Force, tell the usual activists who keep getting publicity to forget it.

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Interesting all lines would have a good ridership except maybe the Ace line. The Grey line I would change to the Lakefront line and run it Hollywood to 67th down LSD with a possible extension to 103rd/Stony and change it to be served by light rail service. Some of those lines really would serve a purpose like the Brown line extension, but the question would be how to extend it. That would have to be by subway. The mid city circulators would have a questionability of ridership. Would riders ride something that doesn't go downtown. Now that would be cheaper if an off road BRT line would be constructed with it's own bridges and possibly turn it into an elevated highway for truck traffic and a possible tollway for limited car traffic, maybe like an express lane with no exits. The Blue line extension to Oakbrook, while it would be nice, would it have the ridership past Mannheim to sustain it? The O'Hare extension to Woodfield would be a nice addition, but it conflicts with Pace bus' vision of BRT on the NW tollway. Maybe it could be used as a stepping stone from BRT to this.

Some of this will most likely happen. You have to wonder what will CTA work on once it has new rapid transit cars and buses and an upgraded north Red and Purple line and upgraded Forest Pk branch. I couldn't help but notice the Orange and Yellow line extensions were omitted. Hopefully they will be built someday.

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...Would riders ride something that doesn't go downtown....

The criticism of the current layout is that it is too Loop-centered.

Basically, though, with much of the south and west side land having been cleared, the only real answer would be whether there would be sufficient land use planning that redevelopment and transit complement each other. However the Green Line proves that development is not an automatic consequence of transit.

My land use planning point gets down to while there isn't as much growth in the suburbs as there once was, and some businesses are coming back downtown, not enough are, which gets us to:

...The O'Hare extension to Woodfield would be a nice addition, but it conflicts with Pace bus' vision of BRT on the NW tollway. Maybe it could be used as a stepping stone from BRT to this.

...

About 10-12 years ago, the RTA, when it actually did something, had a comparative analysis between options, and essentially selected the Metra Star Line. Metra got the planning grant, but then said there was no conceivable source of funding (something most transit agencies said at the end of the transportation bill that expired in about 2011). Then the Tollway Authority said it would leave room for Pace to run BRT, which eventually could be turned over to Metra. However, the only conceivable funding source is CMAQ given to the Tollway Authority for the Pace project.

So, essentially, we have the city activists trying to revive something that was dead 10 years ago, and ignores the need for regional coordination.

And if we are talking Woodfield, at least buses can get into Woodfield and the NWTC. Trains can't. I had a similar problem with the Yellow Line proposal (terminal on Niles North HS property, requiring a bus shuttle to get to Old Orchard and the Skokie Hospital area), which gets us to....

....

Some of this will most likely happen. You have to wonder what will CTA work on once it has new rapid transit cars and buses and an upgraded north Red and Purple line and upgraded Forest Pk branch. I couldn't help but notice the Orange and Yellow line extensions were omitted. Hopefully they will be built someday.

Skokie killed the Yellow Line (de facto). The Orange Line is conspicuous due to the lack of any mention in about the last 4 years.

On the rest, I implied in my prior post that maybe 5% gets built, and that takes into account that Pace is going ahead with ART without the city activists having to give it a passing thought.

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Well something is going to get built, you can only build so many BRT lanes, but I suspect a few shorter versions of what's mentioned here. The main key is to get the funding. A tax raise could help because some of these are billion dollar projects and are basically unfundable at the current level of funding. But you can't go with to much excess cuts like what I heard the Mayor is proposing. A cost of living decrease and a tax raise? Things like that will get you unemployed real fast!! :rolleyes:

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...A cost of living decrease and a tax raise? Things like that will get you unemployed real fast!! :rolleyes:

That's getting somewhat OT, but basically the only alternative is Detroit. So, I'm not going to get on The Autocrat on that count, at least here. However, piling up on taxes and then adding this proposal, plus the "propeller head" remark certainly are within scope.

As far as "something getting built," I amended my prior comment to note that these people just provided a laundry list of what had already been proposed without setting priorities, which is the sure way to assure that what hasn't been built won't be.

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There doesn't seem to be much coverage about this yet (just a buried Tribune article), but I'm sure Streetsblog Chicago will have an article up soon.

The Transit Future plan is a $20 billion plan to expand and improve transit in the Chicagoland area. It was announced yesterday at the University Club by Mayor Emanuel and Cook County President Preckwinkle. The plan is modeled after LA's Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase that's funding $40 billion in transit improvements.

Transit Future itself is a campaign run by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Active Transportation Alliance. Their goal is to push Cook County to create a revenue source for the plan. They're not promoting a specific tax plan, but want the Cook County Board of Commissioners to decide on one and get it passed this year.

Here's a map of the Transit Future Vision:

transitfuture.png

Summary of the plan:

  • New Line: South Lakefront Service. Sounds just like the Gray Line proposal.
  • New Line: The Lime Line. A "west side Red Line" that runs between 87th Red Line and Jefferson Park Blue Line via Cicero.
  • New Line: Airport Connector Express. Connects MDW to ORD via the western suburbs.
  • New Line: Ashland BRT.
  • New Line: Southeast Service commuter rail connecting south suburbs to Loop.
  • Extension: Red Line to 130th.
  • Extension: Brown Line to Jefferson Park via Lawrence.
  • Extension: Forest Park branch to Oak Brook.
  • Extension: Blue Line to Schaumburg.
  • Extension: Yellow Line to Old Orchard.
  • Extension: Orange Line to Ford City.
  • Modernization: Purple Line & Red Line North.
  • Modernization: Blue Line Forest Park Branch.
  • Arterial Rapid Transit ("ART") network for the suburbs. Basically watered-down BRT without dedicated lanes.

Why don't they make this a state-wide thing while they're at it? Come on! Did they even consider that there are people who DON'T want this to happen?

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There doesn't seem to be much coverage about this yet (just a buried Tribune article), but I'm sure Streetsblog Chicago will have an article up soon.

The Transit Future plan is a $20 billion plan to expand and improve transit in the Chicagoland area. It was announced yesterday at the University Club by Mayor Emanuel and Cook County President Preckwinkle. The plan is modeled after LA's Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase that's funding $40 billion in transit improvements.

Transit Future itself is a campaign run by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Active Transportation Alliance. Their goal is to push Cook County to create a revenue source for the plan. They're not promoting a specific tax plan, but want the Cook County Board of Commissioners to decide on one and get it passed this year.

Here's a map of the Transit Future Vision:

transitfuture.png

Summary of the plan:

  • New Line: South Lakefront Service. Sounds just like the Gray Line proposal.
  • New Line: The Lime Line. A "west side Red Line" that runs between 87th Red Line and Jefferson Park Blue Line via Cicero.
  • New Line: Airport Connector Express. Connects MDW to ORD via the western suburbs.
  • New Line: Ashland BRT.
  • New Line: Southeast Service commuter rail connecting south suburbs to Loop.
  • Extension: Red Line to 130th.
  • Extension: Brown Line to Jefferson Park via Lawrence.
  • Extension: Forest Park branch to Oak Brook.
  • Extension: Blue Line to Schaumburg.
  • Extension: Yellow Line to Old Orchard.
  • Extension: Orange Line to Ford City.
  • Modernization: Purple Line & Red Line North.
  • Modernization: Blue Line Forest Park Branch.
  • Arterial Rapid Transit ("ART") network for the suburbs. Basically watered-down BRT without dedicated lanes.
Now if they were to have the Brown Line go underground via Lawrance then I can accept that routing. As far as Red, Yellow, and Orange Lines' extensions, I can see that as a possibility. Blue Line to Oak Brook and Schuamburg??? That's going to be a hot mess juggling with the streets and I-90 and 290. The Lime Line, I like the crosstown idea but I can only see it operating underground. The rest, I don't know but it's worth keeping an eye on when I get old! LOL :D

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Just the thought of the astronomical cost leads me to think this is impossible. This is not about jobs, its about convenience and saving time in the city, And we already have Metra to take us to the suburbs

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...The Lime Line, I like the crosstown idea but I can only see it operating underground. ...

This was originally conceived by Richard II Daley, running on railroad r.o.w. (4600 W and 7400 S), when he mumbled something about "north south transit for the Olympics."

For some reason, the Circle Line consultants took 3 years to kill it (pdf).

Again shows that the activists just compiled old plans without getting up to speed on them.

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It's a shame in our current time that CTA has to do 50 surveys before they can even build. I wish things were like the old days, if someone desired to build a stretch of track they just did it. Do we really need consultants to tell us the feasibility of these projects. That's what computer simulations are for. We spend more time talking about the project than anything else. Look at the Dan Ryan. It was rebuilt in 5 months!!

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This was originally conceived by Richard II Daley, running on railroad r.o.w. (4600 W and 7400 S), when he mumbled something about "north south transit for the Olympics."

For some reason, the Circle Line consultants took 3 years to kill it (pdf).

Again shows that the activists just compiled old plans without getting up to speed on them.

I know right?!?!?! It's like that giving people (not officials) power to justify the faith of certain projects. If people weren't that damn stupid throughout the years passed, then we probably would've seen a few projects in tact or completed. It's money being wasted in a snap of a finger. I agree with BusHunter about talking about the projects but not doing anything further.

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...It's money being wasted in a snap of a finger. I agree with BusHunter about talking about the projects but not doing anything further.

While there is a point to environmental review,* this is just the feds giving out grants as welfare to consultants (I have consistently said that since about 2006). As I mentioned above, a lot of consultant grants, but no construction, resulted from the SAFETEA-LU transportation bill, at least in this tri-state area. Wisconsin turned it its money to save the Milwaukee County bus system instead of pursuing a rail line between Milwaukee and Kenosha.

I read in the Tribune that the President proposed some federal money for the RPM and Ashland BRT, and even if it would overcome limitations in the current transportation bill (such as Ashland not meeting the definition of BRT), it didn't sound like enough money to make a dent in the proposed costs, if competitive doesn't mean that Chicago will get it, and, of course, hadn't yet been passed by Congress.

____________

*There was an environmental impact statement for the 95th St. terminal project, but essentially CTA is borrowing most of the cost to get it off the ground; grants seem something like 20%.

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Looks nice probably a lot of wishful thinking but like Milwaukee it seems like study after study needs to be done. At least people are putting plans on the table for transit. My questions afters looking at this summary are will BRT be true BRT or will it be BRT lite? What about future maintainence? Will money be available to keep track in a good state of repair or will slow zones develop and get to the point where there will be significant delays on the line and then a shut down needed to do a complete rebuild? Who will oversee and audit money collected to make sure its going to the projects it is intended for. I love how there is always a solution of raising taxes (sarcasm) and yet it never seems to be enough or I wonder why its not enough when told it would be. Remember I live in the land of beer and brats so these are questions I have from what I read.

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... My questions afters looking at this summary are will BRT be true BRT or will it be BRT lite? What about future maintainence? ....

I'm stopping it right here. This isn't a plan, it is just a bunch of activists cumulating old ideas.

There is no way anything other than BRT lite would fit in Chicago, Emanuel isn't embracing the current consultant's report on BRT, and read above about if any money has been pledged to it.

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If the Brown Line went to Jefferson Park.Where is there space for a yard

As it is, there isn't space for the yard they need now (given the Brownages).

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If the Brown Line went to Jefferson Park.Where is there space for a yard

Assuming brown connects to Jefferson Park via subway under Lawrence, looks to me like a prime chunk of land, currently low density use, is available on the south side of Lawrence, west of Cicero (and west of the abandoned C&NW tracks) east of the current Metra Milwaukee District North line. My scientific eye, via Google maps, shows roughly 1.5 times the current land size of Kimball Yard on this chunk of land.

Additional benefit, could create an additional connection to the national rail network, and/or create a dual-use Metra/CTA facility if they succeed in combining the agencies further.

See 4825-4831 W Lawrence Ave

Chicago, IL 60630

http://goo.gl/maps/2ZVrb

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Assuming brown connects to Jefferson Park via subway under Lawrence, looks to me like a prime chunk of land, currently low density use, is available on the south side of Lawrence, west of Cicero (and west of the abandoned C&NW tracks) east of the current Metra Milwaukee District North line. My scientific eye, via Google maps, shows roughly 1.5 times the current land size of Kimball Yard on this chunk of land.

Additional benefit, could create an additional connection to the national rail network, and/or create a dual-use Metra/CTA facility if they succeed in combining the agencies further.

See 4825-4831 W Lawrence Ave

Chicago, IL 60630

http://goo.gl/maps/2ZVrb

That's a lumber yard that recently went out of business. I doubt that land will be availble for very long. Plus the idea of running the Brown Line to Jeff Park has been a pipe dream for years. I seriously doubt it would ever become a reality. IMO, it would cost prohibitive.

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They could always just merge the Orange and Brown lines together and use Midway yard. If they have room for 70 spares they at least have that space.

I was thinking today this is where Chicago lacks and NYC excels. Most of the "L" connections are downtown or on extensions or branches of track. They need to link things together within the city. The Brown line to Jeff Pk would address that and a Green line to Midway via 63rd would connect that. Bring the Harvard stop back and you just connected the whole south side together without going to the loop. This way they are actually bridging two or three lines together and serving all connected communities together. Just think an O'Hare line rider to Wrigley Field could actually connect between the two or three lines and not have to ride a bus. That is smart transit.

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They could always just merge the Orange and Brown lines together and use Midway yard. If they have room for 70 spares they at least have that space.

I was thinking today this is where Chicago lacks and NYC excels. Most of the "L" connections are downtown or on extensions or branches of track. They need to link things together within the city. The Brown line to Jeff Pk would address that and a Green line to Midway via 63rd would connect that. Bring the Harvard stop back and you just connected the whole south side together without going to the loop. This way they are actually bridging two or three lines together and serving all connected communities together. Just think an O'Hare line rider to Wrigley Field could actually connect between the two or three lines and not have to ride a bus. That is smart transit.

That was somewhat the theory of the Circle Line and Crosstown Line. There was also yap about superstations essentially at Harvard, and also at Paulina/Van Buren for transfers. Also, some of the weirder transit plans had a transfer station at Jefferson Park or Montrose for connecting the Skokie and Crosstown lines with the Blue LIne. Metra advertises Mayfair as the transfer point if you want to go to O'Hare from the Milw N.

The issue with Harvard is that from going to the Green Line, you don't get much further from there (either Cottage Grove or Ashland) and north of there the Red and Green are parallel already. Paulina/Van Buren makes more sense, given that Pink Line passengers were cut off from the UIC area when the routing via the subway ended.

But, since the theory is that transfers among L lines are supposed to be in the paid area (although they obviously aren't at several points on the State St. Subway), where is the room in expressway medians to build essentially 4 story elevators from the depression in the middle of the expressway up to the level of the L?

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The big problem with the circle line is it's too close to the loop and only saves on average 20 minutes. Doing a terminal transfer saves in some cases up to an hour of travel. I think if the green line went to midway ridership would pick up and with a harvard transfer you could commute from 95th red line to midway in about an hour. They wouldn't have to build out from the ryan but from ashland a savings of 2 track miles, four if counting double tracks. O'hare to wrigley saves the same time plus that has the advantage of heavy to/from commuting possibly taking some strain off the blue line.

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... I think if the green line went to midway ridership would pick up and with a harvard transfer you could commute from 95th red line to midway in about an hour. ...

I thought something like that was proposed and killed a very long time ago. There would, of course, be the question whether there is any right of way.

In effect, the 74th leg of the Crosstown Line would have accomplished the same thing, but, as I noted above, CTA consultants killed it in the Circle Line AA report.

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The Metra that the ashland/63rd crosses has space but you couldn't use the ashland/63rd or I believe the halsted stop either.

I'm not sure at what you are getting here, but supposedly the 35th St. stop on the RI was to connect with the Red and Green Lines, as well as serve Sox Park and IIT.

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