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MRChiCity

CTA ridership lost to ride share

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40 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

Banning Uber and Lyft?

Not going to happen, because Rahm* is making money off it, between originally allowing rideshare to enter O'Hare if they paid the gate fee, to the new tax supposedly going to CTA signal and track repairs.

Note also that Crain's only cited weekend.

_______

*Regardless of Ari making money off it.

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After reading the same article, I starting brain storming on ways the CTA can make bus service (which has taken a hardest hit) more attractive to fight these ride sharing services.
Since the city keeps dragging its feet when it comes to building more bus lanes and implementing more TSP, here are a couple of my ideas on what the CTA should do in the mean time.
Tell me what you guys think...

  • Reintroduce X3, X4, X54, X55 and X80 during rush hours, and take resources off the locals put them on express similar to what was done in 2006.
  • Convert current 28 downtown trips into X28, limited stops on Stony Island.
  • Review bus stop spacing and stop locations system wide, especially on Sheridan and Inner Lake Shore Drive.
  • Consolidate bus stops and improve spacing in Downtown. (Example: Why is there a bus stop at Jackson/Chicago River? The only buses that should stop there are #7 and #37).

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1 hour ago, jesi2282 said:

After reading the same article, I starting brain storming on ways the CTA can make bus service (which has taken a hardest hit) more attractive to fight these ride sharing services.
Since the city keeps dragging its feet when it comes to building more bus lanes and implementing more TSP, here are a couple of my ideas on what the CTA should do in the mean time.
Tell me what you guys think...

  • Reintroduce X3, X4, X54, X55 and X80 during rush hours, and take resources off the locals put them on express similar to what was done in 2006.
  • Convert current 28 downtown trips into X28, limited stops on Stony Island.
  • Review bus stop spacing and stop locations system wide, especially on Sheridan and Inner Lake Shore Drive.
  • Consolidate bus stops and improve spacing in Downtown. (Example: Why is there a bus stop at Jackson/Chicago River? The only buses that should stop there are #7 and #37).

While your suggestions have some merit, they only consist of getting the buses to run faster with the trade off of having to walk farther to the bus stop.

I don't think ride share passengers are looking for that. They want an app that provides a door to door ride, and apparently prefer that over a taxi. Unless CTA can find a way to make bus demand-responsive, and Pace has had difficulty doing so, I don't see it cutting into the ride share market.

The other thing we can infer from the article referring to weekend riders is that it is the recreational passenger, not the office commuters still packing the L, cutting into CTA's patronage (although there are complaints that ride share cars are adding to Loop congestion). If we buy the recent Uber "date night" ads, CTA bus doesn't do much for those who want a ride home after getting "buzzed" (as the NHTSA ads put it) on date night.

My view is that this is another situation where one has to know the market in order to come up with a solution.

 

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7 hours ago, jesi2282 said:

 

  • Reintroduce X3, X4, X54, X55 and X80 during rush hours, and take resources off the locals put them on express similar to what was done in 2006.
  • Convert current 28 downtown trips into X28, limited stops on Stony Island.
  • Review bus stop spacing and stop locations system wide, especially on Sheridan and Inner Lake Shore Drive.
  • Consolidate bus stops and improve spacing in Downtown. (Example: Why is there a bus stop at Jackson/Chicago River? The only buses that should stop there are #7 and #37).

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!

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13 hours ago, strictures said:

I completely agree with bringing back all those express routes & they need to run from morning to afternoon rush.

Again, maybe fine, but doesn't address the issue implied here and stated by Metra that there isn't additional capacity for rush hour passengers, and the question is how to get the discretionary riders out of Uber and on the L off peak, which was the topic of the Crain's piece and this thread.

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If you want to get closer to the marketing question, there is this article that someone is starting an executive shuttle from a Pace Park & Rude in Naperville, bypassing Pace and Metra (and I suppose CTA from Union Station to the office), although the article noted that it was too expensive to compete with CTA on a trip within the city.

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On 1/24/2018 at 12:59 PM, Busjack said:

Again, maybe fine, but doesn't address the issue implied here and stated by Metra that there isn't additional capacity for rush hour passengers, and the question is how to get the discretionary riders out of Uber and on the L off peak, which was the topic of the Crain's piece and this thread.

Well morning to afternoon rush means there would be service in the off peak midday with the X routes. Lets take our the often referred to passenger who has to get to O'Hare from the north side. With the X80 you can travel across to the blue line without having to go downtown. The reintroducing and expanding X routes would solve part of that issue because Im betting with CTA becoming basically commuter focused,  most of the uber riders are people who want to get somewhere that isnt downtown. Also another restructuring is due for the LSD routes. Does the 6 really need to go south of 63rd when the 26 can easily replace it the way 14 did on jeffery?  Reintroducing the 1981 routing of the #1 could handle the people who wanted to travel between south shore and hyde park. #6 suffers the same stop spacing issues as the northern LSD routes do in some places and that also fouls up the schedule. Any route that uses artics should not have stop spacing of 1/8 mile including the local portions of our express buses as andre pointed out. Part of the issue is CTA doesnt think far enough ahead nor does it assert itself enough  in getting some of what it would take to become more efficient in the city. 

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19 minutes ago, Sam92 said:

Well morning to afternoon rush means there would be service in the off peak midday with the X routes.

Again, I don't think this is the issue, especially with respect to Crain's saying weekend L ridership is off.

Even assuming the midday O'Hare trip, how many Uber riders from Lakeview are going to take an X80 and have to transfer to the L? Has to be a small fraction.

19 minutes ago, Sam92 said:

Part of the issue is CTA doesnt think far enough ahead

Frankly, the problem with most responses in this thread is that the writers are thinking back to 2006, and not attacking the problem.

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On 2/1/2018 at 2:07 PM, MRChiCity said:

So how should the CTA get ridership back from ride-share. 

If you look at my prior post, I said:

Unless CTA can find a way to make bus demand-responsive, and Pace has had difficulty doing so, I don't see it cutting into the ride share market.

It is strictly a market analysis problem. The best CTA can do is cannibalize itself the riders who aren't riding the L on weekends, but unless it wants to get into the custom limo business itself, I don't see it happening. Mass transit is for the masses who are only willing to pay $2.50 for an initial boarding fare. 

The only thing to which the other commenters are possibly responsive  is if McDonalds, Google, Amazon, Apple and what ever else corporate pipe dream headquarters moves into the central city, and, if so, the bus system would have to be restructured to serve employees presumably going from Lincoln Park, Lakeview, or Wicker Park to the Fulton Market district. Those companies are not moving to State Street.

For some examples of the marketing problem:

  • CSL/CTA complained it lost ridership in the late 40s-early 50s due to employers no longer having 6 day weeks and people no longer going to the movies downtown. I remember when downtown theater marquees said "Save Free Television," implying that HBO was cutting into its business.One cannot now argue that CTA should plan on the basis that the State-Lake Theater is coming back, nor that people want to take the bus or L to the night showings produced by Broadway in Chicago. Boarding statistics indicate that CTA bus has about 1/4 of the ridership the surface system had back then.
  • The cannibalism point is based on such marketing moves as that Gap founded Old Navy, which cut into Gap's business, but otherwise younger customers would go to competitors.

 

Edited by Busjack
corrected a couple instances of stating the converse of what was intended

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Ride share is just a technologically advanced jitney. Transit systems fought this back in the 1920's, and here history is repeating itself. Also, don't think for one minute the medallioned taxi outfits aren't being scalped as well. We would do well to remember how this was dealt with then, by regulation, that resulted in the medallioned taxi business to begin with.

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13 hours ago, andrethebusman said:

Also, don't think for one minute the medallioned taxi outfits aren't being scalped as well.

Those were the people who were complaining first. I don't see how medallions were allowed to become monetized commodities, but there are reports that taxi ridership is spiraling downwards and a large number of medallions are being foreclosed. My opinion is that since taxis have, for about the past 40 years, been leased to drivers and most taxis are now in the hands of the Northbrook mob, it couldn't happen to a nicer type of people.

The main distinction is that Big Bill Thompson couldn't figure out how to extract fees from the jitney drivers on South Park Blvd. His successor 90 years later did.

 

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On 1/23/2018 at 3:36 PM, jesi2282 said:

After reading the same article, I starting brain storming on ways the CTA can make bus service (which has taken a hardest hit) more attractive to fight these ride sharing services.

CTA will have to convince the Mayor and CDOT to embark on a serious initiative to install TSP & queue jumps, bus lanes with camera enforcement, bus bulbs, and pre-pay boarding - essentially create a network of quality BRT routes in the city.

Simply reintroducing the X routes won't cut it if they're stuck in traffic. It really sucks that Ashland BRT couldn't garner more support years ago when proposed because today we could've had a system in place that would give people what they really want: SPEEDY, reliable transportation. 

The NLSD rebuild is another seemingly missed opportunity where CTA Should be in the forefront demanding HOV or bus lanes to improve transit operations.

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52 minutes ago, orionbuslover said:

CTA will have to convince the Mayor and CDOT to embark on a serious initiative to install TSP & queue jumps, bus lanes with camera enforcement, bus bulbs, and pre-pay boarding - essentially create a network of quality BRT routes in the city.

Is that going to induce weekend riders to do away with door to door service on call? Or just run up a new, big unmet capital need for budgetary purposes?

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16 hours ago, Busjack said:

Is that going to induce weekend riders to do away with door to door service on call? Or just run up a new, big unmet capital need for budgetary purposes?

Yes, I think it would help CTA's ridership losses that are occurring during all periods of the week, even weekday peak periods.

The service that CTA offers is lacking, so they need to try something other than throwing their hands up and saying we dont have dedicated funding so the status quo must stay. I really hope our transit leaders don't have a defeatist attitude because we could easily see our transit system go the way of the dinosaur if innovative solutions to retain and grow ridership aren't taken.

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28 minutes ago, orionbuslover said:

Yes, I think it would help CTA's ridership losses that are occurring during all periods of the week, even weekday peak periods.

The service that CTA offers is lacking, so they need to try something other than throwing their hands up and saying we dont have dedicated funding so the status quo must stay. I really hope our transit leaders don't have a defeatist attitude because we could easily see our transit system go the way of the dinosaur if innovative solutions to retain and grow ridership aren't taken.

However, nothing you suggested was innovative (especially since TSP has been suggested for 10 years, the city says it would have to rewire its traffic lights, and it needed a grant to do Western and Ashland).

And, again, since you did not suggest something innovative to compete with demand responsive services (in fact, something that requires more walking), it may go the way of the dinosaurs, just as the 3000 streetcars Chicago once had did.I don't know if you want to ride the L home at 11:45 pm.Saturday night, but I sure don't.

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18 minutes ago, Busjack said:

However, nothing you suggested was innovative (especially since TSP has been suggested for 10 years, the city says it would have to rewire its traffic lights, and it needed a grant to do Western and Ashland).

And, again, since you did not suggest something innovative to compete with demand responsive services (in fact, something that requires more walking), it may go the way of the dinosaurs, just as the 3000 streetcars Chicago once had did.I don't know if you want to ride the L home at 11:45 pm.Saturday night, but I sure don't.

Well the post I replied to didn't have the qualifier of innovative solution. But yes, BRT and what makes a good BRT system has been known for decades. TSP may present a problem with having to rewire all traffic lights but red paint for bus lanes, bulb outs for bus stops, and pre-pay, level boarding go a long way in improving speed and reliability. The up front expenditure may be high, but CTA would save money if the time savings are sustainable.

The fact most American transit agencies have sat on their hands for decades and done nothing with BRT technology and coasted on with the status quo is why Uber/Lyft exists in the first place. 

And the fact you wouldn't ride the L at 11:45 on a Saturday night doesn't mean the CTA shouldn't plan and operate a good service for those that currently ride at that time or potential new customers.

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A big problem is bus speed, which has fallen significantly over the past decade. Reliability has also been affected, which has been exasperated by service cuts. It's not uncommon for gaps of 20-30 minutes to happen on busy routes during the middle of the day. The only way to address this is going to be through capital investments; TSP, bus lanes, off-board payment, fewer stops, etc. A lot of the main lines have the space available, it's simply a matter of reallocating the road space so that buses can function properly and not as the travel method of last resort.

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You have to increase Bus Speed and taxing rideshare trips in and out of Downtown to pay for infrastructure and CTA related items. 

No amount of route additions will eliminate the market for RideShare/TNC's. You're only as fast as the idiot driver in front of you; and until you have some level of TSP or ART/BRT level service to make even the slowest crosstown trips remotely faster...

...it may be recommended that Transit work with TNC's as opposed to eliminating them. This was a problem (during my days at Pace) five years ago that would work as a first/last mile thing; again, you're only as good as the market would allow.

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11 hours ago, MetroShadow said:

You have to increase Bus Speed and taxing rideshare trips in and out of Downtown to pay for infrastructure and CTA related items. 

No amount of route additions will eliminate the market for RideShare/TNC's. You're only as fast as the idiot driver in front of you; and until you have some level of TSP or ART/BRT level service to make even the slowest crosstown trips remotely faster...

...it may be recommended that Transit work with TNC's as opposed to eliminating them. This was a problem (during my days at Pace) five years ago that would work as a first/last mile thing; again, you're only as good as the market would allow.

That basically sums it up, despite what those who want duplicative spending for BRT (North LSD parallels the Red Line) for an ineffective solution, and may I add for the umpteenth time, does not solve the problem posed by Crains.

On the taxing ride share trips, Rahm is already doing this (second item in article in today's Tribune) although I find it hard to believe that the promised repetitive repairs are going to speed up the entire L system.

On the last mile point, there is the talk about Uber and Lyft providing it to the L, which I can see but not buy, and Pace saying it for about the past 10 years in project 2020, but the only examples so far are the preexisting Niles Free Bus (which once was part of the Milwaukee Pulse project but was decoupled from it), possibly the Schaumburg Trolley, and some Call and Rides, which don't seem that successful. But, again, that seems the only thing responsive to Crain's. Making one walk 2 extra blocks to a bus stop isn't.

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29 minutes ago, orionbuslover said:

What would solve the problem posed by Crain's?

Since you won't read what I posted above.........

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Door to door will always beat routes. No two ways about that. Whether it is by your own car, or somebody picking you up at your door and dropping you off at your destination. Public transit has basically two functions: Cheaper, for those that are willing to take less convenience in return for lower cost, and more efficient, where the authorities have decided everyone coming one per car would lead to too much congestion.

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