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Pace831

How COVID-19 affects transit

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17 hours ago, Pace831 said:

TL;DR: aside from 1 inbound UPN train from Highland Park and 1 inbound UPNW train from Harvard, both in the morning, every train has had 50 or less riders. Those two inbound trains had between 50-100 riders.
 

All this leads me to believe that Metra should’ve changed the parameters to better reflect the actual passenger count, because they could’ve otherwise just said “all trains in the system are running with 50 or fewer passengers at almost all times”

I would’ve also liked to see actual ridership numbers to see how certain lines are doing compared to the usual (in particular the ME, RI & BNSF)

EDIT: This also somewhat feels like a less than transparent attempt to say “hey, all our services are adhering to social distancing, etc)

EDIT 2: 50 or fewer riders per car

Edited by NewFlyerMCI
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20 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

All this leads me to believe that Metra should’ve changed the parameters to better reflect the actual passenger count, because they could’ve otherwise just said “all trains in the system are running with 50 or fewer passengers at almost all times”

It is better to keep the parameters the same for consistency as ridership increases. Not only is that easier for passengers to understand, but it prevents them from being accused of data manipulation. It will be interesting to see how they alter the schedules if any trains start to get too crowded.

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12 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

TL;DR: aside from 1 inbound UPN train from Highland Park and 1 inbound UPNW train from Harvard, both in the morning, every train has had 50 or less riders. Those two inbound trains had between 50-100 riders.

Just a small correction:  I think the statistics in those charts are riders per car, not riders per train.

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21 minutes ago, Smolensk said:

Just a small correction:  I think the statistics in those charts are riders per car, not riders per train.

I think not.  Not all cars are available on every train, but they have to have more cars open to encourage social distancing.  I believe the counts reflect the number of people on the train 

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40 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

I think not.  Not all cars are available on every train, but they have to have more cars open to encourage social distancing.  I believe the counts reflect the number of people on the train 

From the web page:

"Metra is monitoring the level of crowding on each train by calculating the average number of riders per train car over a five-day period."

Then further down on the page the green bar says: "Low ridership < 50 riders per car."

The yellow bar says "Some ridership 50 - 70 riders per car."

The orange bar says "Moderate ridership 70 - 100 riders per car."

The red bar says "High ridership 100+ riders per car."

 

And if you click on the individual charts (like this chart for the BNSF line), there is a color-coded key at the bottom of each page that also says "per car."

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2 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I think not.  Not all cars are available on every train, but they have to have more cars open to encourage social distancing.  I believe the counts reflect the number of people on the train 

This was not the case on some of the ME trains I’ve taken or the MDW train I took the other day. In defense of the MDW train, it was an AM outbound, but the full train was not available, only the first two cars

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13 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

This was not the case on some of the ME trains I’ve taken or the MDW train I took the other day. In defense of the MDW train, it was an AM outbound, but the full train was not available, only the first two cars

ME is a different operation than the diesel Lines.  I don't know the load factor for outbound MDW trains pre and post pandemic.  It sounds like two open cars is normal, but would the passenger load have been considered normal prepandemic or crowded now?

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7 hours ago, artthouwill said:

ME is a different operation than the diesel Lines.  I don't know the load factor for outbound MDW trains pre and post pandemic.  It sounds like two open cars is normal, but would the passenger load have been considered normal prepandemic or crowded now?

That’s why I added the status of the trip. To be fair, I’m not sure if there would’ve been more people pre-pandemic. I saw maybe ~20 people total tops, everyone bar 1 person boarded at CUS (that 1 got on at Elmwood Park?) and only about 3-5 (myself included) got off at Elgin. MDW doesn’t really travel thru areas conducive to a reverse commute, especially at the time I left (10:30a), so I’m entirely willing to believe that the pandemic didn’t have a noticeable change on what the passenger count would’ve been normally 

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On 9/15/2020 at 6:27 PM, Pace831 said:

Metra begins new advertising campaign to attract riders. Current ridership is still only about 10% of what it was last year.

Took a ride on the brown line in the rush 5pm. Was surprised at how dead the ridership is. on an 8 car train they were averaging about 3-4 riders per car my car was packed with like 7-8 LOL!! and this was at State/Lake. I was like man if rush hour is like this then what about at night? Talk about some easy money. I don't see how they can continue to have service like this, but the feds are pumping out the cash so it works.

Did you guys hear about the suggestion to make old buses outdoor dining vehicles? What a laugh. First the bus is just like the indoors, then you can't run heat unless you run the bus, which emits fumes. These guys just need to deliver there products. It's a world of fast food anyway.

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1 hour ago, BusHunter said:

Took a ride on the brown line in the rush 5pm. Was surprised at how dead the ridership is. on an 8 car train they were averaging about 3-4 riders per car my car was packed with like 7-8 LOL!! and this was at State/Lake. I was like man if rush hour is like this then what about at night? Talk about some easy money. I don't see how they can continue to have service like this, but the feds are pumping out the cash so it works.

Did you guys hear about the suggestion to make old buses outdoor dining vehicles? What a laugh. First the bus is just like the indoors, then you can't run heat unless you run the bus, which emits fumes. These guys just need to deliver there products. It's a world of fast food anyway.

I think you could heat a nonrunning bus with a generator.  Besides,  I actually see that actually being a summertime activity.

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29 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

I think you could heat a nonrunning bus with a generator.  Besides,  I actually see that actually being a summertime activity.

Theres also the issue of where do you park the bus. Many streets are small like broadway. Parking a bus might mean closing the street or getting rid of parking. In some areas that may not be possible. Heard they want to put a protective bike lane on milwaukee in wicker park/bucktown that will eliminate parking now. 

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5 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Theres also the issue of where do you park the bus. Many streets are small like broadway. Parking a bus might mean closing the street or getting rid of parking. In some areas that may not be possible. Heard they want to put a protective bike lane on milwaukee in wicker park/bucktown that will eliminate parking now. 

You would most likely need a lot adjacent to the restaurant put the bus on.  There was a restaurant on  Congress (Isa B Wells) near Wells that had a railroad passenger car as a dining area  

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35 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

You would most likely need a lot adjacent to the restaurant put the bus on.  There was a restaurant on  Congress (Isa B Wells) near Wells that had a railroad passenger car as a dining area  

That makes me think about the silver palm. But it went out of business in 2018. I think the railcar is still there though. At Ogden/Milwaukee. 

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Crain's had an article recently that mentions possible overnight rail service cuts and peak hour service reductions. 

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg-hinz-politics/overnight-el-trains-weekend-metra-service-danger

Well I think this is more just showing what might happen, if no new federal dollars come in I wouldn't be surprised if we end up seeing a "doomsday" scenario developed given the falls in ridership and revenue. 

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1 hour ago, Tcmetro said:

Crain's had an article recently that mentions possible overnight rail service cuts and peak hour service reductions. 

https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg-hinz-politics/overnight-el-trains-weekend-metra-service-danger

Well I think this is more just showing what might happen, if no new federal dollars come in I wouldn't be surprised if we end up seeing a "doomsday" scenario developed given the falls in ridership and revenue. 

Metra rejected reports that they have an immediate plan to end weekend service. They will have to consider that possibility, among others, if federal funding doesn't come through. CEO Derwinski will be interviewed about this topic on WBBM radio tomorrow at 9:30 PM.

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6 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Metra rejected reports that they have an immediate plan to end weekend service. They will have to consider that possibility, among others, if federal funding doesn't come through. CEO Derwinski will be interviewed about this topic on WBBM radio tomorrow at 9:30 PM.

CTA gets a bigger piece of the federal pie, so if anyone's dry on funding it will be Pace or Metra. Sad part about Metra is it just goes downtown and downtown is a ghost town. It's a shame. Seems like no restaurant wants to be down there. Out of all the Garrett's popcorn places only found one open on Madison and state. The Randolph (theatre district) was closed as well as michigan Avenue (millineum park). Even there it was a ghost town. I swear it's like dreamland. Some stores are still boarded up. Banks are closed the atm and the lobby. What's the sense in being there then. When I do uber I stay away from downtown. All around downtown is swinging but not downtown. 

Pace is in the suburbs and that hurts it. Unless it's the south suburbs which still does pretty good especially on halsted. Even uber hurts in the burbs. People are having trouble getting rides there. 

Didnt someone say a agency was going to partner with rideshare or even send out some paratransits or 15 passenger van's. You'll still have service but it wont be big buses. Some places that have high employment that rides the bus has even started chartering there own shuttles with 3rd parties. Theres a place that's runs 2 shuttles a day called Pactiv that does round trips for its rotating shifts of workers. Picks up at Ford city. I've driven those. It seems like it does good business and it does its job. 

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Metra added weekend ridership data to the ridership dashboard. The UPN and UPNW are the most crowded on weekends, as they are on weekdays. This is attributed to people who would have rode CTA using Metra instead because UP is not collecting fares.

While the UP lines have more riders per car, Jim Derwinski commented in the WBBM interview that the train with the most total riders is on Rock Island. I observed that all the RI trains have at least 8 cars, including the less crowded ones. However, UPNW was running busier trains with only 5 cars. Is this because Metra doesn't want to give UP more equipment due to their ongoing dispute?

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On 9/28/2020 at 1:13 AM, Pace831 said:

Metra added weekend ridership data to the ridership dashboard. The UPN and UPNW are the most crowded on weekends, as they are on weekdays. This is attributed to people who would have rode CTA using Metra instead because UP is not collecting fares.

While the UP lines have more riders per car, Jim Derwinski commented in the WBBM interview that the train with the most total riders is on Rock Island. I observed that all the RI trains have at least 8 cars, including the less crowded ones. However, UPNW was running busier trains with only 5 cars. Is this because Metra doesn't want to give UP more equipment due to their ongoing dispute?

I went out to Gurnee Mills twice and actually took the 4:10p train back to Chicago both occasions and it got crowded from just Waukegan alone. There's also how the UP lines have effectively become CTA alternatives for chance riders.

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In a strange twist made possible by the pandemic, Southwest Airlines will be adding service to and from  O'Hare next year.  Yes. O'Hare!  It will also add service to and from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.   Both airports are United Airlines hubs.  Southwest will not shrink its Midway operations to accommodate the O'Hare expansion. 

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The CTA Is Rolling Out PPE Vending Machines At Six Train Stations

Disposable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and wipes will be available for purchase later this year, with the items ranging in price from $3.75-$10.

 

https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/10/21/forgot-your-mask-and-hand-sanitizer-the-cta-is-rolling-out-ppe-vending-machines-at-six-train-stations/

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