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CMAQ Grants


Tcmetro
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CMAQ (Congestion Management and Air Quality) grants are part of the federal transportation program, and in Chicago they are administered by CMAP (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning). The CMAQ committee has made recommendations for the funding of specific projects in the 2016-2020 timeframe, and the plan will be submitted to the Transportation Committee in July and released for public comment.

http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/10180/437344/CMAQ_16-20_Staff_Rec_Program_061815.pdf/e4266265-d3fb-4c44-b292-4517f1f08ee2

Project summary documents are also available: http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/mobility/strategic-investment/cmaq/program-development

Transit recommendations of interest:

$125 million to Red/Purple Phase 1

$10 million to Edens Expwy bus shoulder

$8.9 million to Ashland TSP from Irving Park to Cermak

$19.7 million to Pace I-90 Transit Access

$8.6 million to Aurora Transportation Center improvements

$4.2 million to RTA Access to Transit projects

$1.6 million to Mundelein Metra pedestrian bridge

$527,000 to Rosemont CTA pedestrian crossing

 

Also interesting are the projects that were not deemed worthy of funding:

Blue Line Washington St. reconstruction

Red Line Monroe St. reconstruction

State/Lake reconstruction

CTA Bus Slow Zone Elimination

Pace Pulse Dempster St. line

Edited by Tcmetro
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CMAQ (Congestion Management and Air Quality) grants are part of the federal transportation program, and in Chicago they are administered by CMAP (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning). The CMAQ committee has made recommendations for the funding of specific projects in the 2016-2020 timeframe, and the plan will be submitted to the Transportation Committee in July and released for public comment.

http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/10180/437344/CMAQ_16-20_Staff_Rec_Program_061815.pdf/e4266265-d3fb-4c44-b292-4517f1f08ee2

Project summary documents are also available: http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/mobility/strategic-investment/cmaq/program-development

Transit recommendations of interest:

$125 million to Red/Purple Phase 1

$10 million to Edens Expwy bus shoulder

$8.9 million to Ashland TSP from Irving Park to Cermak

 

 

Also interesting are the projects that were not deemed worthy of funding:

Blue Line Washington St. reconstruction

Red Line Monroe St. reconstruction

State/Lake reconstruction

CTA Bus Slow Zone Elimination

 

So they're going to waste $8.9 million on that Ashland bus idiocy, but nothing to fix up the State/Lake L station or eliminate bus bunching.

CMAP at its worst!

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So they're going to waste $8.9 million on that Ashland bus idiocy, but nothing to fix up the State/Lake L station or eliminate bus bunching.

CMAP at its worst!

They just said they were submitting a recommendation for funding to some review committee. This didn't say anything was funded. Also it didn't say that CTA had put up the matching funds.

Also, this is NOT the Ashland BRT, but a signal priority project.

While this has to do with deleting projects, what is more surprising is that they have already thrown out State/Lake and Dempster Pulse.

 

Maybe more interesting is what got recommended $0, which I assume is not recommended:

Purchase of Up To 25 Electric Buses and Charging Stations (maybe they figured out, as I did, that CTA was bsing about retaining that many Novas). Another update: The review memorandum indicated that the cost effectiveness of this project was 0.69, and gave it a 0 health benefit.
Divvy 2016 Expansion
Bus Slow Zone Elimination Program (mentioned by TCMetro above, but so much for Dorval Carter's priority).
 

 

Edited by Busjack
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Looking at the Project Selection Committee Memorandum, there are a few interesting staff comments in the spreadsheet:

  • State/Lake elevated: If RPM is the priority, concentrate funds there.
  • Monroe/State subway station: same.
  • Bus Slow Zone elimination program: Insufficient engineering and coordination with CDOT; come back in a year, with one or two bus routes as a test.
  • Dempster Pulse: Get the Milwaukee one done first and get some experience from it.
  • Update: Electric bus: Besides timing issues, "Staff has concerns that this alternative fuel project may lose traction as did a previous CMAQ-funded CTA pilot using hydrogen fuel cells."

On the other hand, the Ashland TSP is recommended because "This project has benefits for riders of the highest ridership route in Chicago and supports TSP undertaken by the RTA. Modernizing the signals and interconnecting them is is anticipated to benefit auto drivers as well." In short if approved, Emanuel gets the new traffic signals he said were necessary.

Similarly, the Edens BOS project is recommended because it builds on the success of the I-55 project.

Edited by Busjack
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They just said they were submitting a recommendation for funding to some review committee. This didn't say anything was funded. Also it didn't say that CTA had put up the matching funds.

Also, this is NOT the Ashland BRT, but a signal priority project.

While this has to do with deleting projects, what is more surprising is that they have already thrown out State/Lake and Dempster Pulse.

 

 

 

But the signal priority is part of the BRT & not independent of it. You know what the proponents of the BRT will say after Ashland has signal priority: Well, now that we have this, won't BRT be terrific! Definitely not, but nothing seems to deter insanity. Plus there are numerous other streets & routes that need signal priority.

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But the signal priority is part of the BRT & not independent of it. You know what the proponents of the BRT will say after Ashland has signal priority: Well, now that we have this, won't BRT be terrific! Definitely not, but nothing seems to deter insanity. Plus there are numerous other streets & routes that need signal priority.

That is obviously not the case. I don't know if you read the post I posted 1 hour ago, but in fact the BRT would be the opposite of the stated objective "Modernizing the signals and interconnecting them is is anticipated to benefit auto drivers as well." Not if it is an integral part of a BRT plan to choke off Ashland to one lane for vehicular traffic each way and banning left turns for 15 miles.

Now, maybe Emanuel is much sneakier than for what I give him credit, but a proposed $9 million grant to fix traffic signals isn't going to get him much of the way to the $160 million supposedly needed to do the BRT. This also isn't justified in the same way as is the drop in the bucket on RPM as being necessary to do the engineering to get a Core Capacity grant.

Rebekah Scheinfeld (head of CDOT) said in Feb. 2014, and Dorval Carter recently said similar things about having to go back to the community about the Ashland BRT. Emanuel's tools don't say that if Emanuel thought he could ram this through. Note that Carter was more positive on the Clark Jct. flyover, and that I said it would take something like the retired engineer's comment at the environmental review stage of the Ashland BRT project to derail the Clark Jct. project. Emanuel realizes that the feds are not going to fund an Ashland BRT based on a faulty alternatives analysis and environmental impact assessment, as exposed by the retired engineer, Tom Kaeser.

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Well Jajuan, they wanted to get some more electric buses, they just didn't have the funding. And this is CTA we're talking about. They strike me with past events doing just that and leaving FG with the amber #6400's. It's not far fetched. #2600's are on the Blue exclusively and there is not even a thought on giving them #3200's so my thoughts were not off base. To date the Blue line and Fg still has no LED lighted buses or trains when that is at least 80-85 percent fleet wide now. No colored LED signs on the trains for 5 years yet, when by next year 75 percent of those will be fleet wide. They wouldn't have drawn up the electric bus document if they weren't trying for it. Best part is it might have actually worked if they would have had a service cut of 100 buses that only leaves 50 buses and they could have probably just rolled with those until the next years cut.

Again, we might be reading too much into it. It depends what one gets out the the CMAP memorandum with regard to the proposal for 25: "This project expands a pilot that is meant to help CTA determine if it should begin larger scale conversion of its fleet to electric. Because of fund availability, it does not appear that the timing of the pilot wouldcorrespond well to when CTA would like to make a larger bus purchase on the basis of the results." Also, the original proposal was to acquire them in 2019, which would be within a 2016-2020 CMAQ program, but nothing says the proposal won't return next year. If you don't ask, you don't get.

What I had questioned earlier was the statement in the proposal that the 25 electric buses would replace Nova buses that would have been 17 years old, and that was the basis of the comparison for emission reduction purposes. CMAP staff didn't question that, but still rated it low on the cost-effectiveness score.

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I just don't know why CTA doesn't try a electric bus rebuild pilot. They sold off the golden goose, the #900's which would have been perfect for this, but no one said they couldn't buy them back from the rebuilder once they did their work. I don't understand, there's no clean air grant money for this? .The feds should be lining up or there should be a bill passed that puts aside money for strictly this purpose. They are reducing emissions which is a win win and decreasing dependencies on foreign oil. Doesn't a regular consumer get a credit for buying these types of cars, what about public transportation? The electric buses requires alot of money upfront but pays for itself during it's life. They just need someone to let them get their foot in the door and they could be saving tons in gas and maintenance on the buses like 80 percent off the costs. That would reduce budgets and where money may be tight in the next six months maybe they would actually have extra money for something else like expansion or more electric buses. It's like a cascade once they start saving then they grow faster and better with the savings. really a win win. 

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I just don't know why CTA doesn't try a electric bus rebuild pilot. They sold off the golden goose, the #900's which would have been perfect for this, but no one said they couldn't buy them back from the rebuilder once they did their work. I don't understand, there's no clean air grant money for this? .The feds should be lining up or there should be a bill passed that puts aside money for strictly this purpose. They are reducing emissions which is a win win and decreasing dependencies on foreign oil. Doesn't a regular consumer get a credit for buying these types of cars, what about public transportation? The electric buses requires alot of money upfront but pays for itself during it's life. They just need someone to let them get their foot in the door and they could be saving tons in gas and maintenance on the buses like 80 percent off the costs. That would reduce budgets and where money may be tight in the next six months maybe they would actually have extra money for something else like expansion or more electric buses. It's like a cascade once they start saving then they grow faster and better with the savings. really a win win. 

IndyGo got a grant for that under TIGER, but I guess it depends on the status of the TIGER program. Maybe CTA didn't put 2+2 together, or just is willing to go along with this so long as there is some grant source, as opposed to on the merits. So much was implied with the reference in the Memorandum to not following through after the fuel cell bus test.

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The fuel cell test (or disaster, depending on how you look at it) was something CTA should never have gotten involved with to begin with, except for Belcaster. The buses and fueling station were bought, but the technical help was from Ballard for a fixed time period, after that you are on your own. As far as I know, the FC's never were used on a regular run, not even one day. They would come out as "extras" now and then, and once Ballard's techies went home, that was that.

Coast Mountain Bus Co (Vancouver BC) was the other "sucker", but they at least had the common sense to lease, not buy, the buses. After the test period ended, back they went to Ballard. Now Ballard wasn't going to let them just rot, so two were rebuilt as standard D40LF's by somebody (New Flyer??) and sold to CMBC, while the third was peddled to NASA for use as a tour bus at Cape Kennedy Space Center in FL. I guess if the folks who first developed the fuel cell can't keep it going, nobody could.

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The fuel cell test (or disaster, depending on how you look at it) was something CTA should never have gotten involved with to begin with, except for Belcaster. The buses and fueling station were bought, but the technical help was from Ballard for a fixed time period, after that you are on your own. As far as I know, the FC's never were used on a regular run, not even one day. They would come out as "extras" now and then, and once Ballard's techies went home, that was that.

...

That might have been part of it, but also BusHunter had posted a report describing what was involved in shipping the compressed hydrogen, fueling the buses, etc.

But you raise an issue inherent to the fuel cell buses and the 900s--apparently with regard to a test, CTA will try anything, but not maintain it. Again, I see a similar concern with respect to CMAP staff's comments about the grant proposal for the 25 battery buses.

Update: On your Coast point, I remember CTA having posted a contract opportunity to repower the 3 buses as diesel, but obviously nothing came of that.

Edited by Busjack
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  • 1 month later...

So they're going to waste $8.9 million on that Ashland bus idiocy, but nothing to fix up the State/Lake L station or eliminate bus bunching.

CMAP at its worst!

 

They just said they were submitting a recommendation for funding to some review committee. This didn't say anything was funded. Also it didn't say that CTA had put up the matching funds.

Also, this is NOT the Ashland BRT, but a signal priority project.

While this has to do with deleting projects, what is more surprising is that they have already thrown out State/Lake and Dempster Pulse.

 

Maybe more interesting is what got recommended $0, which I assume is not recommended:

Purchase of Up To 25 Electric Buses and Charging Stations (maybe they figured out, as I did, that CTA was bsing about retaining that many Novas). Another update: The review memorandum indicated that the cost effectiveness of this project was 0.69, and gave it a 0 health benefit.
Divvy 2016 Expansion
Bus Slow Zone Elimination Program (mentioned by TCMetro above, but so much for Dorval Carter's priority).
 

 

Not recommending Dempster Pulse was what caught my eye. Busjack's later mention that there were concerns that Pace was coming too soon for that one and that CMAP felt they should continue to get Milwaukee Pulse going first and by extension gain relevant experience with this type of service sounds like valid reasoning. But you can understand Pace wanting to get further ART funding in place as early as possible since they obviously think ART can be really successful for them. It's still something that Pace has been more successful than CTA in coming up with an ART/BRT service design in the Chicago metro region that fits the tighter federal definition while being remaining largely unintrusive to the remaining traffic buses will share the road with. Yes CTA has come up with Loop Link but Pulse is on a larger scale in terms of length of effected routes and route portions. Plus with Loop Link, buses will largely be stopping at the same stops as they already had been before the project began. Mainly what's changing is tightening up dedicated bus lane placements and construction of fancy bus stop islands that facilitate multiple buses at a time to supposedly move buses along faster after the project is complete.

Edited by jajuan
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  • 2 years later...

The current evaluation list (2018-2022) indicates preliminary approvals for the following items:

Direct Emissions Reduction DR16184291 CTA Purchase of Up to 10 Electric Buses and two En-route Charging Stations
$10,000,000  (project total)
$8,000,000 (federal request)
$8,000,000 (proposed to be approved)

This seems the full cost for 10 electric buses, so I don't know what the status is of the approx. the same amount for the marginal cost of an electric bus over a diesel one.

Transit Facility Improvement TI17184310 Pace Pulse Dempster Line
$23,898,336  (project total)
$10,040,512 (federal request)
$10,040,512 (proposed to be approved)

Last time wasn't approved, pending results of Milwaukee Pulse.

Transit Facility Improvement TI01184292 CDOT State/Lake (Loop Elevated) Station
$119,360,000 (project total)
$113,860,000 (federal request)
$56,930,000 (proposed to be approved)

Last time not approved, because RPM was the priority.

 

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