MRChiCity

Changes are coming

62 posts in this topic

38 minutes ago, Busjack said:

Considering that those "paying the freight" are south of Kensington, I'm sure that's the case.

With those 3 stations, the direct competition is 6, which runs along Stony Island, a block east. 26 bypasses the 3 stations by being on LSD until 67th.  The frame of reference is that 6 runs every 10 to 12 minutes weekday middays, while the ME would run every 20. It also does Sunday, even though the ME will run only (at 57th NB) at :20 and :50 on even hours. On Saturday, ME would offer service every half hour, while 6 runs every 9-10 minutes. Hence, while Metra may be a bit more competitive on weekdays, it certainly won't be on the weekend.

On the South Chicago point, it reinforces my point that the "Gray Line" would not be successful unless all express buses were cut off at 67th, which was not going to happen.

On the Oak Park point, certainly, although I wonder if Hyde Park is as wedded to the ME as it was to the IC 40 or so years ago, when it didn't even recognize the CTA. On the other hand, 53rd St. now has commercial development that it didn't have then either (you mean you don't buy groceries at the Co-op, and take the train to Hillman's? Now they can overpay at Whole Foods, instead.)

Oak Park is  buiding 2 apartment  buildings in downtown  Oak Park,  one  which will be on North  Blvd directly  across  from the Oak Park Metra/Harlem CTA Green Line  station.   The other  is at the northeast  corner of  Lake  and Forest.  Metra  and CTA  both have very healthy  ridership and both  Oak Park  and Hyde Park  offer  transportation to  downtown  Chicago  in about  15 minutes of  travel  time.

Noteworthy  is that 47th St Kenwood  falls  out of the equation. 

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The competition will really be during peak hours, when LSD expresses get bogged down with traffic. The midday  improvements are a side effect of canceling night shuttles and can better promote the line as a "turn-up-and-go" service.

My only reservation is that the schedule could have more (or all) trains stop at all three Hyde Park stations. This would make PM commutes a lot easier, where one could simply take the first train leaving.

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16 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Noteworthy  is that 47th St Kenwood  falls  out of the equation. 

That at least was a one car platform, and an annoyance to Hyde Parkers forced to ride the local trains.

11 minutes ago, Tcmetro said:

The competition will really be during peak hours, when LSD expresses get bogged down with traffic. The midday  improvements are a side effect of canceling night shuttles and can better promote the line as a "turn-up-and-go" service.

My only reservation is that the schedule could have more (or all) trains stop at all three Hyde Park stations. This would make PM commutes a lot easier, where one could simply take the first train leaving.

Rush hour is essentially unchanged. Also, as my prior comment implies, I wonder how many commute to downtown rather than stay in the community, and whether it is worth it for them to pay the $4.00 zone B fare compared to the $2.25 cash bus fare, or even buy the $107 monthly compared to a $100 CTA monthly that can be used anywhere on the system.

As I understand the rush hour schedule, it is to accommodate those commuting between Hyde Park and the south.

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22 minutes ago, Busjack said:

That at least was a one car platform, and an annoyance to Hyde Parkers forced to ride the local trains.

Rush hour is essentially unchanged. Also, as my prior comment implies, I wonder how many commute to downtown rather than stay in the community, and whether it is worth it for them to pay the $4.00 zone B fare compared to the $2.25 cash bus fare, or even buy the $107 monthly compared to a $100 CTA monthly that can be used anywhere on the system.

As I understand the rush hour schedule, it is to accommodate those commuting between Hyde Park and the south.

Based on my personal  observations  there's a  healthy  amount of passengers  from the south  that alight at 57th which  would  support  your statement.   Metra noted  the increase in  usage of  its Hyde Park  stations  though it  didn't  note when or where  those passengers  were going.   It's easy to  assume that  Metra is trying to  increase  peak direction  downtown  riders since  they  cite increased  residential  development  in Hyde Park. Cost won't  necessarily  hamper  Metra as i noted the healthy ridership  at UP-W's Oak Park  station.   And I didn't  even  mention the decent  amount of  ridership Metra enjoys  at Oak Park going  opposite of  peak direction. 

For the ME, it seems  the bulk of the  blame for  decreasing  ridership  falls on the branches,  but I  can't  help but think  some mainline  losses  are there  also. 

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8 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

For the ME, it seems  the bulk of the  blame for  decreasing  ridership  falls on the branches,  but I  can't  help but think  some mainline  losses  are there  also. 

As noted, I couldn't figure out the rationale for increasing flag stop service between 63rd and 107th, other than possibly the lack of a turnback.

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17 minutes ago, Busjack said:

As noted, I couldn't figure out the rationale for increasing flag stop service between 63rd and 107th, other than possibly the lack of a turnback.

You could  turn back trains  around 67th and  use the 63rd St Metra station  as a breathing place.  But  depending on the  South Chicago  branch train schedule  coupled with the  South  Shore trains that might be a  schedule  conflict  problem.   TRainman could  answer  this, but I thought  around  71st outbound  trains could switch  from express to local track and vice versa.  If the same is true inbound then trains could be flipped at 75th

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Looking at the proposed weekend  schedule rhe mainline maintains an hourly  schedule,  but loses the expresses every other hour, with a Kensington  local running every 2 hours or the hours which have the mainline expresses.  

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1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

Looking at the proposed weekend  schedule rhe mainline maintains an hourly  schedule,  but loses the expresses every other hour, with a Kensington  local running every 2 hours or the hours which have the mainline expresses.  

The main change on moving Saturday from the weekday panel to the weekend one is that Blue Island now has some Saturday service, but won't in the future. There are some 860x series trains to provide local service to Kensington and allow the 80x trains to run express through that zone (and 47th through 18th).

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OK, here is my take on this silly, and I mean silly revised schedule.

The hidden agenda is that there are serious service cuts to the Blue Island and South Chicago branches and that this

Hyde Park crap is nothing but a cover. Supposedly the politicians are in on this, so when the discrimination chants start,

they are supposed to cover it and take care of it. Apparently these "flyers" are adequate enough to eliminate what I thought

were mandatory public hearings for things like this. The claim is that "Hyde Park is an up and coming place and the need for

this type of service will be necessary in the short term". 

 

Now, my take on this is that these goof balls have not been out of their glass cages recently.

Most South Chicago trains, which used to be 4 old cars full (140 seats + standees) in rush hour

are now barely 3 cars single seat leaving downtown. Blue Island trains are pretty much the same with 2 cars. The night loop trains

are basically empty equipment trains after 8pm. The Hyde Park platforms are active, but certainly not 20 minute interval active.

The most action are those transferring from the mainline express to get to mainline local. Ridership is so great there that

Metra won't even open more than 2 cars on a morning rush hour train on a platform that holds 8 cars (yes, that is supposedly for

fare collection purposes, but I think/hope you get my point).

 

There will be no Blue Island branch service on weekends and after 8pm during the week.

The South Chicago loop night service will cease to exist with the final train going downtown around 10:30pm. The midday Kensington

locals are a waste and could easily be serviced by mainline service with flag stops. There is very little if any ridership in that area

and flag stops would only add 5-7 minutes to a trip max. The constant fare increases have not helped and lets face it $4+ to Hyde Park

in a time when people are generally cash strapped is excessive...especially if I can take an express bus for half. The conditions of

the equipment and the service reliability as well as some of the low lifes that ride the trains are not that much better than riding the

Red or Green Line.  Again, if the powers that be would get out once in awhile, they might realize this. They want to make this the CTA,

and that is a sad statement.

 

The powers that be are going to do this, and do it their way no matter what. If it is a budget thing, they are wasting money

they think they are saving. If it is really a ridership thing, they are correct on the branch decline, but way off on the Hyde Park prospects.

Make your cuts, and if the bodies are really there in Hyde Park, THEN and ONLY THEN increase your intervals.

 

IMO, the cuts are long overdue on the branches...but this 20 minute thing is a joke. Only time will tell for sure :(

 

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4 hours ago, trainman8119 said:

Apparently these "flyers" are adequate enough to eliminate what I thought

were mandatory public hearings for things like this.

They are not avoiding the hearings. The Press Release says:

Quote

Metra will host a series of community meetings to present the schedule changes, answer questions about alternative transportation options and gather feedback about the proposed new schedule. The meetings, which will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., will be held at:

  • June 19 – South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive
  • June 20 – Flossmoor Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Rd.
  • June 21 – Blue Island City Hall, 2434 Vermont St.
  • June 22 – Polsky Exchange, University of Chicago, 1452 E. 53rd St., 2nd Floor

Comments may also be sent to medschedulerevisions@metrarr.com. Metra will consider all comments before finalizing the schedule,

I see that the Flossmoor meeting is necessary because they are combining a Flossmoor and Harvey rush hour train each way.

Most of the rest of your comments basically get down to whether Metra should be offering in-city service if people aren't riding it for whatever reason. Only place I can see them generating ridership is Hyde Park. Again, the standard of comparison is that the only place in the city where Metra generates significant ridership parallel to CTA is Ravenswood. There are other quirks, such as someone having mentioned Oak Park, but basically anyone along the Blue Island branch away from the RI can take the 119 bus to the Red Line, which is essentially what the flyer says.

BTW, since you mention the mainline between 63rd and Kensington, can you answer @artthouwill's question whether they can turn back a Hyde Park train somewhere around 71st?

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Thank you for clarifying the public hearing issue. Of course, they would never tell us about that.

As for turn arounds, yes, you could turn trains at the interlockings between 63rd and 70th streets with little interference.

This is where the South Chicago branch leaves the mainline.

 

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Is there any information regarding the public hearings held for the Metra Electric proposed schedule revision for the main line and the So. Chicago and Blue Island branches???

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