Service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, Access and Transit Task Force, Chair James Withrow, and its website hydepark.org.
"Resources" includes a link index to all our transit and access pages, as well as links to many transit and related sites.
Transit and Access Website Homepage, Latest News and Updates
HPKCC program home. Committees. About HPKCC. Accessibility Hot Topics. Quality of Life Hot Topics.
Transit and Access Committee page. ALERTS- SEE ALERTS PAGE
From HPKCC Transit Task Force. Transit Task Force updates, reports.
To Parking Improvement District proposal page.
Al Klinger says Investment in transit, infrastructure key to building a world class city.
Contact service boards: see in CTA, Metra, RTA pages or the Transit Links pages.
Link index of active transportation pages: Links/Resources.
So Lakeft Cor Transit Study in pdf. Links, contacts... SEE ABOUT THIS AND PROP. JEFFERY RAP. BUS PILOT HRG. IN CTA PAGE.
Red Line Ryan closing planned
WALK AND ROLL 55TH ST. SIDEWALK SURVEY- read in pdf.
Overnight or other snow bans on parking go into effect December 1-March. Read the signs.
****May 8 the CTA Board approved a 5-year renewal of the contract between U of C and CTA to operate the 4 local routes- 170, 171, 172, and 192.
Open at last- Harper Avenue north of 53rd St.
Red Line reconstruction started- May 19! 5 months to completion.
Woes of the #28 and #15. Besides those who shop at Treasure Island and ride the bus, another group of riders is upset and seeking help from Ald. Burns on being strasnded since 28 and X28 were merged and now cut east to South Hyde Park at 51st coming from the north and 57th from the south. This is seniors both east and west of the viaduct especially along 51st-E. Hyde Park, but mainly in the Harper Square Cooperative along Lake Park. Another complaint is that the changes cut off many who want go to increasingly retail 53rd St., including the Theater. Over 500 signed a petition presented to the alderman. Ald. Burns agrees that it was a mistake to reduce service on Lake Park. CTA says it is looking into increasing service on the 15- but that would not help those who need to take the 28 which goes on Stony Island south of 67th all the way past 100th.
November 15 the CTA board postponed budget passage during crunch negotiations with the unions, outcome of which may determine whether there will be fare increases and or service cuts. The previous day, they approved upgrading many c7 year old New Flyer buses in addition to purchasing many new under a state grant. They are also streamlining inventory control. And they settled a 2007 wrongful death in which a bicyclist was run over by a bus. The new Bombardier cars are now being rolled out on the Red Line to mixed reviews, and approval was given to major upgrades on the South Side Red Line stations. The Jeffery Jump J14 route is now in service- rbt very light; bus signal priority will start on part of the route next year.
Metra- which in November passed a 2nd steep increase on the 10-day pass in less than a year (said to underwrite ongoing capital and upkeep costs)- is starting to put in service the new Electric line cars-- they even have electrical outlets for passengers and good toilets.
The shocker in November is transit fares. Metra's is not so bad, basically that you will now pay for 10 fares worth on the 10-ride pass.
CTA, despite agreement with unions to save $60 million, has sharply raised fares on the passes, 1 day all the way to monthly by up to 74%. Also steep on all discounted fares for the elderly and seniors (a small reduction for students). Most hurt will be poor and homeless people who will now have to pay $10 rather than $5.75 for a one-day or else have to pay for each leg of their journey under the standard one-ride ($2.25). Also hurt are working poor who depend on monthly or 7-day passes. Also hit are tourists coming from O'Hare (fare more than doubled to $5) and specialized trips such as the White Sox express.
Hearings- December 10, 6 pm, 567 W. Lake. Dec. 17, 6 pm Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd.
CTA and PACE are complaining about the skyrocketing costs of paratransit, called unsustainable as seniors multiply inter alia. Some are being trained to use regular transportation.
In December 2012 word was out that the University of Chicago intends to end its partnership with CTA, eliminating routes 170, 171, 172, 192. Whether it will find other vendor(s) remains to be scen, but these are likely not to provide any service to residents or the business community.
5-month Dan Ryan Red Line closure and reconstruction 2012. For scope etc. visit http://www.transitchicago.com, click on "Red" then and search around for the south/Dan Ryan project. Info below. There is the next public hearing at Kennedy-King, 6343 S. Halsted, Thursday, July 21.
CTA and Pace wil have the country's first "open fare" system summer 2013. There will be several options for payment, interconnection, and faster boarding.
South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study final report meeting. Happened. project evaluation results and the draft recommendations of the South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study. The study has focused on improving public transportation and enhancing Transit-Oriented Development in order to enhance mobility for residents and increase access to jobs within the South Lakefront Corridor. It is the third in a series of meetings. We want to hear from you. Mtg. Presentation (long doc in pdf). SHORT version.
For more information please visit our website http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/south_lakefront_corridortransitstudy.html and follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Lakefront-Corridor-Transit-Study/199444600080441.
WHAT happened? Final selection was not announced. There were plenteous poster boards that had additional info on selected example projects prioritized by one of the advisory groups. The PowerPoint slide shows will be posted online (not up yet July 3).
Of particular interest to HPK was the additional detail / research / estimates regarding:
-possible BRT on 55th Garfield to Midway Airport (seems to be mixed use east of Cottage to Metra) connecting with a BRT on Cottage Grove. They are seeking a 25-35% time reduction on 55th.
-Metra Grayline/Gold Line (to keep the cost estimate down they shifted the mid-day/off peak frequency from 10 min to 15-20 minute headings)
Final report is due late summer 2012.
Watch for the next Walk and Roll sidewalk survey. Final report on the 55th St. inspection.
Train and bus service, bus routes overhaul planned for Dec. 16 2012-APPROVED BY CTA BOARD IN SEPTEMBER DESPITE STRONG PUBLIC OBJECTION. Purpose of the overhaul is in a revenue-neutral way to accomodate overcrowding of cars and some buses dud to increased ridership. They say the elimination of bus routes was partly from a complete needs survey by Northwestern U's' Transportation institute and meant to impact only what has other options (although the times and frequencies and local stops may not match, it would seem).
Details of changes remain sketchy. The main effect in and near HPK is 1) elimination of the UC routes unless UC gives more subsidy, 2) elimination of MSI #10 and #X28. and #1 will no longer come to Drexel Square/51st but stop at 35th)3) #28 will go downtown during rush hours replacing X28-- no word on whether it will continue to go to Union Station and/or stay on Lake Park 57th to 51st or move to S. Hyde Park Blvd. Increased service (whatever that means) is proposed for routes # 2, 3, 4, 6, 14, 26, 59.
HPKCC had several public meetings and private meetings with CTA when the routes were reorganized 2000-2004. A dilemma was what should run on Lake Park vs. S. Hyde Park Blvd. and serve who's needs; HPKCC thought we worked out a pretty good compromise-- now we may be back to the Lake Park/S. Hyde Park problem again.
The UC and #10 are the great actual losses if they come about-- the Tribune article and materials at the yourcta website hint that since these are contracted services (#10 indeed is MSI) there could end up being resolutions- but that CTA is asking the subidizer to pay "all" the cost. Not mentioned is that there at least was another such contracted CTA service to a business or hospital? that inspired UC to switch to contracting with CTA). The loss of the UC routes esp. can be argued as a loss for long-term community goals, esp. with Harper Court coming online and transportation between 53rd St. and campus-- having to run trolleys would be very expensive even if the "white" buses could be used. Another loss is for the hospital staff (and others who live on the north side) with the medical center and UC students and personnel growing.
As to the whole overhaul, apart from economics, the trade off could be called creating "right" service level systemwide, or could be called trading provision to some routes of safety and convenience at the expense of options in other areas--coverage, dropping some less economic or used service-- inevitably impacting areas and classes of persons that may need it most with no guarantee that the "parallel" services are really comparable-- els have fewer stops, different alignments, some don't run all night, getting to the stops may be inconvenient or unsafe. And it favors downtown ast teh expense of non-downtown or opposite-side-of-town riders, although you could say that is responding to demand/market. Some of the routes to be dropped may have less riders because the service is infrequent, unreliable, or poorly routed-- a vicious cycle related to past cuts and ongoing rationalizations.
THE KEY TO WHETHER THIS WORKS AND WHO IT WILL HELP OR HURT IS WHAT IS MEANT BY MORE BUSES OR INCREASED SERVICES ON BOTH THE OVERCROWDED ROUTES AND THE ROUTES THAT WILL TAKE UP THE SLACK for those cut.
This for us expecially applies to service on the 2, 4, 6, and 28-- they say service on the first two will be increased (but there are parts of those routes that may now run nearly empty for parts of their run). What I read did not say service on the 28 (often unreliable) will be increased, let alone that or how many X28s will run as 28s. It they don't run on Hyde Park, they will not even out the 6s even if there are "more" 6s in rush hour-- and how many of those as the south end of the route often has low ridership. Again, it all depends on how many runs, when. Another reason the X28 was initiated was so both Lake Park and Hyde Park Blvd the latter with dense population would be served. Now those at the east end who need 28 like students and staff to Union Station will have to walk another two blocks to catch a 28 going downtown or take a 6 and transfer downtown. On the other hand, 28 downtown will now be closer for residents in the center of the neighborhood and will serve 53rd/51st esp. Harper Court better.
Also discouraging- no improvement for #55 which would improve the options through direct service to the Green and Red lines.
CTA announced in June 2012 that its decision is to close the Red Line from Cermak to 95th for rebuilding for 5 months in May 2013 rather than on weekends over four years. It is only starting the process of planning to handle the customers during that period. The all-at-once plan has met with mixed but it seems predominantly favorable response. Ideas for moving passengers, especially with a barrage of shuttle buses, particularly between the Green and Red lines has met with skepticism, including from Jon Hilkevitch of the Tribune. No one doubts the work is needed and has long been delayed. Side and parallel bus routes would have increased service, but CTA hasn't yet taken into account (or asked of Metra) how Metra could help-- Electric and Rock Island, and appears not to asked CDOT to look at what improvements or accommodations might be necessary on arterial roads (remember the Dan Ryan project?). The U of C says it is not likely to need to make changes or add direct shuttles downtown. IIT is in more of a bind. Supporters of Gold and Gray Line Metra alternatives think this is an opportunity strengthen what the call an underutilized resource part of whose customer base was taken away by the Red Line when the south branch was opened in 1969. CTA laid out what it says is a good program and set of contractors to guarantee local and minority involvement.
At the June 18 meeting, a large number of speakers asked why communities were not consulted before the plan was chosen and presented lots of concerns and suggestions-- that CTA has to ask on a much smaller scale to know the pitfalls in how to move those affected and maintain public safety.
Submitting comments: Chicago Transit Authority, Red Line South Project, 567 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60661,
firstname.lastname@example.org, www.transitchicago.com/redline, 1-888-968-7282 (Your CTA).
Alternate rail service- Green Line tracks Roosevelt to Ashland/63rd- all stops then reverse
Green Line service Harlem to Loop and Cottage Grove/63rd- alternate trains terminate downtown and return to Harlem, those on the continuing but going to Ashland/63 transfer at Garfield.
Free Shuttles- south of 63rd to connect with the Green Line plus local trips 95th to 63rd. FOUR EXPRESS ROUTES AND ONE LOCAL. The express will operate via the Dan Ryan to Green Line at Garfield-- they ar at 95th, 87th, 70th, and 69th. The local operates between 63rd and 95th with stops at 69th, 79th, 87th. Note- shuttle riders can board Green Line free at Garfield.
Other supplemental bus and shuttle:
Roosevelt to Cermak/Chinatown, #51 extension to Green Line, #71 extension and #30 extension to Green Line,
Supplemental east-west service connecting to the Green Line.
NO plan to run shuttles or supplemental on streets or Ryan from Garfield to downtown BUT there will be expanded service on #3 King, #4 Cottage, #8A South Halsted, #9 Ashland, #29 State, #44 Wallace/Racine. (Not 8, 15, or 55)
Service will be added on #24 and #26 but not 6.
50-cent discount on most South Side routes.
Jobs- CTA is hiring bus drivers and trades for the Red Line project. You must get a Class B Commercial Driver's License or Permit- classes are at Chicago Urban League 4510 S. Michigan 773 285-5800 or 845 W. 69th St. 773 602-300 www.thechicagourbanleague.org or Olive-Harvey college, 10001 S. Woodlawn Ave, 773 291-6100, http://www.ccc.edu/colleges/olive-harvey/Pages/default.aspx.
July 18, Wednesday, 9 am-? meeting on this jobs and Mins/Women at Monumental Baptist, 939 E. Oakwood.
They also insist they are working on public safety for those who have to go out of their way
A group is seeking a stop sign at 55th and Kenwood, a poor visibility intersection. Ald. Hairston introduced an ordinance for such June 27 2012. However, CDOT and Ald. Burns oppose, at least until there is time to assess the re-laning (including for bikes) on 55th. Noted is the potential for accidents and rear ending west-bound around the University Apartments and back-ups. Noted also is that stop signs increasingly give a false sense of security. Signs advising to stop for pedestrians crossing (a relatively new law) will be installed. No action on a stop sign is likely before fall 2012. Nothing is known of a possible compromise such as stop on the eastbound side. Work on the 55th St. reconfiguration was about half done by mid July 2012.
Where to go to find out reroutes, closures etc. NotifyChicago.
To sign up http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem/providrs/edu/svcs/sign_up_for_notifychicago.html.
Create account at http://www.alertchicago.org.
http://www.transitchicago.com or Twitter@CTA.
CTA- Changes can come at any time despite announcements. CTA WILL MOVE BUS LINES. Rail is expected to operate as normal, but if carryon limits and inspections are instituted.
There will be no #15/#28 southbound bus stop on Lake Park at 53rd St. from May 30 to July 27 due to work on the former Borders building.
HPKCC convenes a quarterly meeting of community organizations. See what the Transit breakout group thinks is ahead or should be watched. Watch for a transit-interested meeting.
A few of the real time bus tracker displays are in HP- such as on the shelter ne corner Lake Park and E. HPBlvd., 47th Cottage.
AMAZING NEW WEBSITE OF ALERTS, TIPS, INSTRUCTIONS FOR WINTER AND SNOW SET UP BY CITY:
September 1. End has happened for "all" seniors ride free. It looks like the end is August 31 for those earning over $27,000 ($36,000 couple). You should have received either the new free card or a thin-plastic (very fragile) card with photo that you must put into the slot, either with the half fare or if it is loaded the fare will be deducted.
Some places to personally load the cards are at the Green or Red line 55th/Garfield stations, Via 55 bus or at Museum of Science and Industry by the elevator on the lower level. DON'T PUT MUCH MONEY ON THIS FRAGILE CARD- CRINKLES EASILY. And you have to put full fare on it-- the discounting is done by the insert machine on the bus or train.
But, you do not have to go to a CTA vending machine or selected CTA train and bus stops in order to add money to your Senior Reduced-Fare permit.
You can purchase reduced-fare cards online. They will initially mail fare cards for $15.30. You can also purchase a 30-day reduced-fare card online ($35 for one month). See and download the relevant pdf file at the CTA web site. It has instructions on cash, adding money to your permit, or buying the fare cards online.
You may insert the fare card when you get on the bus, and simultaneously you show your Reduced Fare photo permit to the bus driver.
This is the link for information about all of this including the pdf file:
http://www.transitchicago.com/seniors/ and this is the PDF file on their link which you can download:
Also, you can buy a pack of Reduced Fare cards at Walgreen's. For $15 you get a pack of two cards each worth $8.50. The I.D. card seems far too flimsy to go through a bunch of reloadings and Walgreens is so convenient. (Carry the ID in case you are asked for some ID.)
Also available at Museum of Science and Industry lower level by the west elevator, currency exchange at 1371 E. 53rd, and train stations on 55th St. or downtown or any.
Sign up for Chicago Card Plus I-Go Card and get a big discount. to Feb 29.
Sharp fare increases UP TO 25% expected on Metra for Feb. 2012- see in Metra page, including letters about. PACE says no increase.
And CTA at least not until well into 2012, says Forrest Claypool. And state still owes the agencies over $300M despite release of over $100M. Will state's pattern of late payments to RTA lead to service cutbacks at PACE, CTA, and Metra? Already making cutbacks, layoffs. CTA also laying off.
February 1, the cost of Link-Up connecting to CTA and PACE from Metra and sold by Metra goes up $6, from $39 to $45. The percentage to CTA increases from 70% to 85%. PACE will continue to get 15%. Link-Up serves 2.8 million CTA rides a year (88,310 passes in 2010) or less than 1% and 220,000 annual PACE rides. Still, it's important especially to many South Siders who work in suburbs and will tide over until 2015 rollout of universal cards (which fits into the Gold Line demands for improved Metra utilization). The increase in price and CTA share should raise $500,000 for CTA.
5800 Stony southbound bus stop eliminated during construction (to mid 2013)
Gov. Quinn signed into law mandate for universal fare card by the end of 2013.
U of C/CTA routes, schedules/routes/changes and about. See UC Routes page. UC interface is bus.uchicago.edu.Note that the CTA UC contract runs out summer 2011.
Gold Line update State passes 5-year capital program.
Call for innovative ideas, April 2010
All routes and their maps: http://www.yourcta.com/maps/bus/bus.html.
Here is the link for winter cta routes and schedules now in effect:
CHANGES TO THE SENIOR FARES.
- Bits and meetings
- South Lakefront Corridor Study
- Airport service to Hyde Park
- Regional planning 2040 approved, quite comprehensive
- Enhancements announced Nov. 15, 2010
- Resolutions and lawsuits seek more service
- Service cuts loom Feb. 7 2010 Alert (in pdf.) Link to CTA info.
- HPKCC supports South Lakeft Cor Study for Gold Line and more- will be undertaken
- HPKCC asks public meeting on question of opening 57th to two-way traffic Lk Pk to Stony
- Parking machines, pay for parking on lakefront
- UC changes routes once again, helping and hurting neighborhood connectivity
- Complete Streets is the watchword now in planning (also "station-oriented development")- see the Walkable/Complete Streets page.
- Stimulus funds to help with new buses, Blue Line, maybe more
- Call for innovative ideas
- State passes capital plan in 2009- called only a down payment
- Gold Line and South Lakefront Corridor Study- find out what that is and what's going and what not
Construction starts incl. removal of c 50 parking spaces late week of June 18 or week of June 25- 55th St. Bike Lanes.
Expected is a public meeting soon on recommendations of the RTA South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study. Transparency seems, according to this group's members to have vanished. Watch for bus-rapid-transit recs. for 55th and for Cottage Grove, but the RTA seems to be backing off Metra/Gold Line recommendations, saying they would cost a billion and result in only a 10% increase in ridership. The group SOUL will be meeting with Ald. Burns on these matters.
More information is needed on the mandated universal transfer between transit services.
The transit group wants to work with other breakout groups, Conference committees and organizations on a bike safety education program. This affects also disabilities, safety, and schools.....
Identify intersections needing traffic studies, especially of pedestrian crossing (incl. with Active Transportation Alliance)- another cross-disciplinary initiative. 53rd and Kenwood was pointed out.
Convene an interorganizational, interdisciplinary (incl. safety, disabilities, schools, business) meeting and task force for congestion and multi-modal interaction planning-- bikes, cars, trolleys, parking, ped, transit-- for an integrated neighborhood transportation system. Action- meeting planning to start
Chicago Kidical Mass banded family bike rides and training. The next is in Washington Park Aug. 26, Sunay, 10:30 am. Can registre ahead at http://www.chicagokidicalmas.org.
South Lakefront Transportation Corridor Study (Gold Line being one consideration). April 13 2011 there was an input opportunity and presentation at IIT 4:30 and 6:30- Almost all conceivable concerns were being taken into consideration or were raised. Input is still being taken and will proceed to recommendations by the end of the year-- probably quick fixes and a set of recommendations with costs. Comment at email@example.com- Brenda McGruder at CDOT, 312 744-6139.
Here is the link to the post meeting city report
See report by Gary Ossewaarde of HPKCC.
See report on 2nd meeting in CTA page.
Study's report on Sept. public meeting- http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/SouthLakefront_091211_pubmtgnotes.pdf
South Lakefront Corridor Transportation Study opportunity for public input and information. Information in a March 30 Red Eye-
http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/cta/redeye-cdot-seeks-input-on-south-side-transit-improvements-20100329.0.5389613_story. More links:
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/12456386/348792632/name/PT_South+Lakefront_FEB4+PAC_FINAL.pdf www.Grayline.20m.com. http://bit.ly/GrayLineInfo.
Hyde Park Herald report April 20, 2011. South Side transit fixes examined. By Sam Cholke
The public transit agencies want to solve the transportation problems in neighborhoods between 22nd Street and 95th Street east of the Dan Ryan expressway, but first they're tying to figure out how residents ride teh buses, el and trains and what solutions people would use.
The Chicago departments of Transportation and Housing and Economic Development have hired five consulting firms to compile studies from Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority an other agencies to get a holistic view of the Southeast Side. The first results were presented April 13 a the Illinois Institute of Technology and showed that, though transit options largely serve the area well, it is not clustered around people or jobs.
In the 12 neighborhoods being studied, most people live in South Shore -- one in five Southeast Side residents -- and more than half of the jobs are in Hyde Park, with a significantly smaller job hub in Douglas [IIT].
Many residents still have to travel out of the area for work and because fewer households own a car than the city average, more trips are by public transit, usually a bus downtown. The No. 6 Jackson Park Express bus, with 11,200 riders yearly, serves nearly as many passengers as the Green Line. The Jeffery.. Express [#14] from South Shore serves more than both. For these riders, the system works relatively well -- there are a lot of good options to get downtown. But as the Illinois Medical District and Midway Airport continue to hire from the area, the local transit options continue to be bad at connecting to the Southwest and West Sides.
The transit system was found to be worst on South Cottage Grove Avenue between 35th Street and Garfield Boulevard, especially at Pershing Road, a commercial strip where officials have aggressively pursued developing retail. [The study also cited congestion on Cottage at 58th St.] To shop, most residents don't use the public transit system, unless an errand requires going downtown, the study found.
During the open call for solutions, the audience repeatedly suggested the Gold Line project, an idea for Metra's South Chicago Electric Line first broached by Michael Payne in the 1990s. "It would be functionally the same as an el line. The only difference would be riding one of the new high-liner cars with a Metra decal on the side." Payne said, standing before the audience of about 100. Payne's idea for a CTA fare system and 10-minute wait times for the line gained attention during the run-up to Chicago's Olympic bid and continues to be advocated by many in the area. "It could probably take 20 minutes off my commute time," said Lamar Scruggs, who lives in Hyde Park and commutes downtown to DePaul University for school. After the meeting, representatives from transit agencies said that even if the current study recommends the Gold Line, each agency would need to do its own lengthy study of the project, and there are more immediate concerns.
To keep the current transit options running in the area running without any expansion, CTA will need $1.3 billion over the next 10 years. Metra will need $1.8 billion to keep the two southern branches of he Electric District running for the next 10 years. "I would like to see the study concentrate on what can be done without focusing on physical facilities, things like policies," suggested Richard Gill, a member of the South East Chicago Commission. The transit agencies are quietly hoping for the same thing as Gill. Agency reps said they were hoping the study would suggest smaller solutions they could implement immediately, like improving the underutilized bus lines connecting Hyde Park and the el lines in Washington Park. ...
Public-Private Partnerships and regulation bill passes, awaits signature.
by Peter Skosey, MPC. Chat & Mobile Text[Hide]I am Available1 Online Contact[Add]Gary Ossewaarde - Not Listed? New Chat1 Mobile Contact[Add]Randy Ossewaarde ammeraalusa.comNot Listed? New TextSettings
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ReplyReply AllMove... Flag this messagePublic-Private Partnerships Legislation passes in Springfield!Friday, June 3, 2011 10:19 AMFrom: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>Add sender to Contacts To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all of you, the Illinois General Assembly has passed the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for Transportation Act (HB 1091), an it's now on its way to Gov. Quinn for signature. Many thanks to the bill's chief's sponsors, Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Des Plaines) and Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), for their commitment and leadership.
But wait, we still need your help! Please call Governor Quinn's office at (217) 782-6830 and urge him to sign this landmark legislation.
What is the PPP Act?
The Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for Transportation Act (House Bill 1091) promotes the sound development and operation of transportation facilities in Illinois, by authorizing public-private partnerships for construction of new transportation infrastructure projects and limiting the lease of existing infrastructure assets. Authorizing public-private partnerships will allow Illinois to seek new sources of investment capital and more efficiently deliver infrastructure improvements, to improve our transportation system to better serve the needs of Illinois residents and businesses.
"Tolling, pricing, and public-private partnerships present effective strategies on their own. But when they're linked, they offer enormous opportunities to address the transportation challenges facing our country."
~Victor Mendez, FHWA Administrator, U.S. DOT
What does the PPP Act do?
· The Illinois General Assembly must approve all potential PPP projects prior to issuing RFQs or FRPs.
· All projects considered for public-private partnerships must be consistent with the corresponding region’s plan, provided the region has a Metropolitan Planning Organization.
· The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will conduct an independent review of all project proposals prior to final approval of a public-private partnership to ensure it serves the public’s interest.
· The Illinois Tollway cannot lease existing assets.
· In cases where the project pertains to an existing transportation facility, the contractor will adhere to all existing employee contracts and obligations.
· Property belonging to the State of Illinois is not subject to taxation.
Governor Quinn has signed the law change so seniors will pay half fare rather than free unless they are under the circuit breaker (c. 27,000 a year single, 36 couple, 45 3 or more). Here are details from the RTA Feb. 25, 2011.
Those with circuit breakers (ind. under $27,610, couple under 26,635, 3+ under $45,657) and have cards will seamlessly continue to ride free with their cards. There will be various notice procedures for those who may have to show qualification.
Those who do not qualify under circuit breaker but have senior transit cards will continue to use their current cards until 180 days or notification and will be notified. There will be an RTA administered procedure for them to get new cards and pay the following fares:
.85 or $1 on CTA, .85 on Pace, and 1/2 of as-published on Metra (but $1.00 for within Zone A).
Two local companies, GO Airport Express and Omega Airport Shuttle, have announced a joint venture starting October 25, that calls for Omega’s south side O’Hare and Midway services to operate under the GO Airport Express banner.
In addition to greater frequency and more convenient scheduling, Hyde Park and near South Side residents will be able to book on-line for door-to-door pick ups and returns from home or office as well one of Omega’s regularly scheduled Hyde Park stops.
Omega’s Jeff Smith will retain ownership of the company along with Illinois Commerce Commission authority for the routes. Omega will continue to operate its scheduled shuttle service between O¹Hare and Midway.
Our customers will enjoy a better, faster service, explains Smith, who has owned Omega for 13 years. “They’ll also have the ability to book return trips at the walk-up counters at O’Hare and Midway.”
Other new benefits include membership in the GO Airport Shuttle Preferred Rider Program, which offers free rides as well as AAdvantage® miles.
Among the service areas are the South Loop, Chinatown, Hyde Park, University of Chicago, IIT and other near south locations. Regular stops are made at Q Club, 1155 E. 57th Street; Rockefeller Chapel, 59th & Woodlawn; International House, 1414 E. 59th Street; Windermere Hotel, 1642 E. 56th St.; Shoreland Hotel, 5454 South Shore; DelPrado Hotel, 5300 S. Hyde Park Blvd.; Market in the Park bus shelter, 5050 S. Lake Shore Drive, and Ramada Inn, 4900 Lake Shore Drive.
GO Airport Express is part The GO Group, the nation’s largest airport transportation provider, serving some 60 airports in North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe and transporting more than 13 million passengers per year.
"Our District did well in the competition for federal Transit Enhancement Projects. The legislature has appropriated the federal funds, and the winners were announced last week. The Illinois Department of Transportation will develop a separate bicycle track along Stony Island Avenue between 69th and 77th Streets. Parking lanes will be reconfigured, so that opening the car door won't risk harm to a cyclist, and a bike lane will be installed along the curb lane. Next, a bicycle trail from Stony Island to the existing lakefront trail will be built near 59th Street. These two projects, with several other improvements, will provide a protected connection between Hyde Park and other southeast side neighborhoods to the lakefront trail---thus all the way to McCormick Place, downtown Chicago and beyond. Our third winner is the continuation of the streetscape on Lake Park Avenue, between 47th and 56th Streets. Safer bus stops and attractive embankments are on the drawing board as are new lighting, new sidewalks and improved landscaping for the 47th and 56th Street viaducts.
"Courtesy of I-GO, our nonprofit car-sharing program, I had a chance to drive the all-electric Mitsubishi i-Miev last month. I-GO plans to add 30 all-electrics to its current fleet of 250 fuel-efficient cars. I-GO, an affiliate of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, is focused on reducing the number of cars on city streets and cutting down pollution. The car was a treat to drive, but it's unbelievably quiet. I worry that, without adding a bell or a whistle, an unsuspecting pedestrian could be in trouble. The biggest problem with the electric car is the need for car-charging stations. Home chargers are impracticable. Some gasoline stations are looking into the opportunity to install them, and the City of Chicago has asked companies to bid to provide them. The bid includes 36 car-chargers for I-GO."
August 2010. Opportunity is gone to comment on CMAP's Regional transportation and development/resources plan.
Go To 2040 is up for adoption final adoption and submission the feds in October 2010. There are five goal/subjects.
The plan is avowedly conservative in the sense of mentioning only fundable and high-consensus projects (except those for Lake Co. may have fights), and favoring upgrades and upkeep over large new starts. It shifts the balance somewhat toward managed and congestion-priced corridors and toward transit. Congestion and pollution mitigation are big. There is some for alternative transportation. It calls for scrapping the 55-45 downstate-NE formula. The plan also has much stressing sustainable and transit-friendly development and resource and land management.
It appears not to have anything for the southeast quadrant of the city except Red Line extension from 95th to 130th.
See the plan at http://cmap.illinois.gov.
GO TO 2040 will guide growth in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties for the rest of this century. In addition to land use and transportation, GO TO 2040 also addresses the full range of quality-of-life issues, including the natural environment, economic development, housing, and human services such as education, health care, and other social services.
Between June 11 and August 6, 2010, partners, residents, and stakeholders have an opportunity to provide input on the draft GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan for northeastern Illinois.
To share GO TO 2040 in more detail with the region's residents, CMAP will host a series of public meetings and we hope you can join us to learn more about and provide feedback for the regional plan at the following informational event near you:
August 3, 2010 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
CMAP Office Cook County Room 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606
Each open house features a short plan overview presentation by CMAP staff, followed by a question-and-answer period. This is the final public meeting but if you are unable to join us for this informational meeting, you may also review the plan and submit comments through August 6, 2010 on the GO TO 2040 website, www.goto2040.org.
We will also hold smaller briefings for partner organizations. Please contact me at email@example.com or 312-386-8816 for information. After incorporating this final public input, we will present the GO TO 2040 plan for approval by the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee in October. And then the work of implementing its recommendations will begin, and the region will be counting on your continued support and involvement.
Be sure to have your say before the comment period closes. We look forward to your involvement. Remember we cannot plan for the future without you!
Best Regards, Erin Aleman
July 12 the 53rd TIF supported with $87,000 engineering and design study to open Harper Ave. to through traffic, and wider inpact of the same. Said to be desired in addition to necessity for Harper Court redevelopment.
Shoesmith School held a test during the remainder of the school year 2010 of limiting traffic on 5oth St. to school drop off and pick up only for each 15 minute peak periods (morning 8:45-9 am). It worked.
Zipcars has expanded to 14 cars on campus. Between Zipcars and I-Go, there is plenty of opportunity from several locations in Hyde Park to have occasional use of a car. See in ShareCar page.
Some have cited evidence that the South Side is being disproportionally hit by the CTA cuts. Overall, effects have been uneven. There is little likelihood so far that the unions will make concessions despite lay off of over 1,000. Is a worse crisis coming with non-payment by the state? And the House voted Thursday to eliminate free bus rides except to truly needy seniors, but it is unclear that the Senate or Governor will go along.
March 2010 Congress passed the HIRE bill that funds the Surface Transportation Fund through 2010 and makes it solvent through 2011. So the remaining 58% of allocations can now go forward. The general transportation reauthorization bill has not yet passed.
Depending on which way you look at it, seniors lucked out or again fail to pull their weight as a state Senate committee fails in April 2010 to pass return of seniors to half fare except those who qualify for circuit breaker tax relief. Actual seniors appear divided on the issue.
Starting Sept. 9 09, you can now buy Metra tickets on line with credit cards. CTA passes are available at many local stores
Will there be an effect from 1) the early 2010 resolution introduced in the State Senate for Metra trains stopping at all stations and creating some competition and service increase by allowing the South Shore to pick up any passengers at their Illinois stops or from 2) a lawsuit in early 2010 alleging funding and service bias against minority communities throughout the region, including by an alleged unfair share going to Metra?
Some highlights of CTA doomsday from print media: Rides cost $7 and tax take is down %30 percent. Lost to seniors and others free: $39m.
Fare hikes: Averted: Fare hikes, fares being frozen for two years under a bond issue agreement brokered by Gov. Quinn, RTA, and CTA.
Service cuts: Some are finalized some not.
110 of 150 routes and trains- less frequent service -waiting times could increase dramatically. Presumably the strongest impact will be in mid day and later evening.
Certain: Cut in hours on 41 bus routes (morning and evening, 25 mins. to 3 hours + but here mainly #6, #15, #28 will start at 4 am (vs 3:30 for 28) and end at 12:30 vs present 1:30/1:45 ).
Certain: Elimination of express service on 9 routes, here X3, X4, X55.
UC students have created website "heat maps" of changes in travel time by neighborhoods and blocks. Effects seem to be light at rush hour but not so good at night even with no cuts to "owl" night routes.
(This will be undertaken RFP went out summer 2010; whether there will be progress on Gold Line or other options is a guess. Meanwhile resolutions and lawsuits seek more access to service along lines in minority communities or to rebalance the taxing powers and subsidies. )
Sent October 20, 2009 to RTA Funding Programs Public Comment
The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference wishes to communicate its support for RTA's proposed study of the South Lakefront Corridor:
Whereas public transportation is vital to the residents, businesses and non-profit institutions located in Southeast Chicago, and
Whereas it is important to take advantage of all the existing transit resources in Southeast Chicago, and
Whereas Southeast Chicago enjoys an unusual, for Chicago, combination of Metra and CTA transit operations, AND
Whereas the Regional Transit Authority is best-placed to encourage collaboration among the transit agencies to improve the speed and reliability of public transportation in our region,
the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference hereby resolves that the RTA should be encouraged to commit to the South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study.
Jay N. Ammerman, President
HPKCC has requested a community meeting on reopening 57th St. Stony to Lake Park to 2-way traffic. Such a meeting is being planned.
Conversion of the Lakefront to pay parking progresses. But Ald. Hairston made a deal to use ald. menu money to keep 100 spots free at 63rd St. beach. Lots of people are upset with this and the parking machines and charge increases in general.
U of C has returned route 171 to its original route in East Hyde Park thus again limiting its interface for people wanting to go to 53rd St. business district but increasing daytime frequency even though all the public routes now end at 6 pm. The new route #200 southwest into Woodlawn is private, not CTA. 173 to north side and 174 to rapid transit are gone, replaced by a student shuttle to Roosevelt Rd.
The watchword now is "Complete Streets." Any changes and planning must now take into account everything from property line to property line including walks, striping, signage, proper accommodation for all modes and needs of less-abled and elderly.
Stimulus funds will help CTA with new buses, the Blue Line, maybe more. Some is surely for Metra.
Call for projects that enhance... April 2010
Dear Partner For Transit, from Moving Beyond Congestion. April 7, 2010.
We are soliciting prospective projects for our Funding Programs Call for Projects which will begin today, April 7, 2010. These programs provide financial support for planning, operating, and capital transit projects.
The Call for Projects will allow potential applicants an opportunity to pitch project ideas that are innovative and will increase transit usage, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the region's current transit system, provide for better mobility for seniors and people with disabilities, or improve job access.
Prospective projects should be located within the six-county RTA service region which consists of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. Last year, the RTA allocated more than $11 million in federal, state and local funding to support innovative projects that offered a plethora of transit options to applicants through transit-oriented development and local transit improvement plans, introduction of services and capital improvements.
Visit the RTA Funding Programs webpage at www.rtachicago.com/programs for general background information and to download an application.
ABOUT THE PROGRAMS
All projects funded through the following programs are consistent with the legislative mandates and the RTA's updated strategic plan. The programs range from planning studies and initiatives to transit operating and capital projects.
Community Planning Program
The Community Planning Program is available to municipalities to create plans for local station area/transit-oriented development (TOD), local transit improvement, TOD guidelines, local coordinated paratransit plans and detailed implementation studies. More information regarding the Community Planning Program can be found at www.rtachicago.com/cp
Subregional Planning Program
The Subregional Planning Program is available to counties, townships, councils of Mayors, the City of Chicago, and the CTA, Metra, and Pace. Eligible planning projects include Subregional and market focused plans such as transit service restructuring studies or efforts focused on developing specific market opportunities; countywide or Subregional transit improvement studies, transit-oriented development studies and paratransit studies. More information regarding the Subregional Planning Program can be found at www.rtachicago.com/srp
Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) / New Freedom (NF) Program
The JARC/NF program is available to local governments, transportation agencies, and the CTA, Metra and Pace for operating and capital projects derived from the RTA Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP) that enhance mobility for seniors, people with disabilities, and low income populations, address reverse commute markets and/or provide access to jobs. More information regarding the JARC/NF Program can be found at www.rtachicago.com/jarcnf
Innovation, Coordination and Enhancement (ICE) Program
The ICE Program is a competitive funding program, established as part of the 2008 Mass Transit Reform Legislation. The program provides operating and capital assistance to enhance the coordination and integration of public transportation and to develop and implement innovations to improve the quality and delivery of public transportation. Projects funded through this program advance the vision and goals of the RTA Strategic Plan by providing reliable and convenient transit services and enhancing efficiencies through effective management, innovation and technology. More information regarding the ICE Program can be found at www.rtachicago.com/ice.
April 2, 2009. A down payment on a state capital plan for transportation uses state funds to leverage federal stimulus funds- total $3 billion. Gov. Quinn has signed it. It includes $490 for transit and a sizeable amount to the city for streets and potholes. Known local projects so far include Lake Park Avenue. The capital package includes a mix of state funds and federal stimulus dollars received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to provide for a new multi-year capital program for roads, bridges and mass transit. The $3 billion state portion of the capital program is made possible by bonding $200 million in Road Fund dollars and another $100 million from the General Revenue Fund. RTA (Moving Beyond Congestion) says.
July 2009: It is unclear how much of the 5-year 31 billion state capital budget passed in July 2009 will go the CTA and the other agencies- much will go to start up high speed rail. $18 billion is for transportation, leveraging about $4 billion in federal funds and are partially covered by transportation user fees. The ratio for transit is improved to 1 in 4 dollars. The downside according to Metropolitan Planning Council, is that money allocated by the new capital plan is not coupled with spending reforms to evaluate the merits of projects against state goals. HB2359 - now HB4590 - outlines a process by which transportation projects should be selected and evaluated. The bill should have been passed in tandem with the Illinois Jobs Now program. Because it was never called for a House vote, lawmakers did not have the opportunity to approve these critical reforms that would change the way we spend limited capital dollars. Another question is how much is "shovel-ready."
Moving Beyond Congestion says, Northeastern Illinois' transit agencies will receive $2.7 billion in funding through a combination of investments approved in early April and the just-signed capital plan. The regional transit system needs to replace outdated vehicles and equipment, deteriorating rail ties and tracks and aging stations, resulting in slow zones and less reliable service.
The service boards have already announced plans for the state capital and federal stimulus funds they have received this year. Investments will include rehabilitating and purchasing new train cars and locomotives, new buses and paratransit vehicles, remodeling and expanding stations, parking lots and other facilities. Additional infrastructure such as communications, signals and electronic systems will also be upgraded. Riders should see improvements in service in the near term and throughout the five-year program. We will follow up to send details about the funded projects.
The state capital funds will help address critical maintenance needs and move the system toward a state of good repair, but additional capital dollars will be needed to expand the system and add new services to meet growing demand for public transit. Also at the federal level, the RTA is working with the service boards and the Illinois Congressional delegation to dedicate funding for northeastern Illinois transit in the surface transportation bill that is being developed in Congress.
For a full summary of the Illinois Jobs Now! plan, visit http://www.illinois.gov/publicincludes/statehome/gov/documents/Illinois%20Jobs%20Now%20Press%20Packet%202.pdf
The latest revival of the Gray Line Lite concept (now Gold Line) was cast in Olympics context, by the 5th Ward Olympics Task Force and by a wider Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation, became part of a newly launched umbrella Communities for Equitable Olympics. The plan includes 10 minute service, Visit http://alwaysintransit.typepad.com/hyde_park_urbanist/2008/08/gray-line-lite.html. Chamber, HPKCC sign on. Kudos to James Withrow and Linda Thisted. (Description of similar concepts started by Mike Payne are in our Gray Line page.) Note: These kinds of transportation improvements, which involve getting agencies to work together and find areas where priorities can converge are always next to impossible.
April 13, 2011, Wednesday, 4-8 pm. South Lakefront Corridor Transportation Study opportunity for public input and information. Sponsors may include RTA, CMAP, MPO, CTA, Metra. At Illinois Institute of Technology's Atrium of University Technology Park #117, 3440 S. Dearborn St. Information in a March 30 Red Eye-
Here is an update drawn from the July 7 2009 Red Eye:
...a coalition of South Side activists also would like to commute for the Gold. Underserved by rapid transit, residents there would benefit from a proposed "gold Line," an innovative hybrid of both Metra and the CTA, according to Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, or SOUL. With the city bidding or the 2016 Games, the line also would serve key Olympic venues, say SOUL members, who represent more than 20 churches and community organizations. "The project would help support the needs of thousands of people on the South Side," said Dhyia Thompson, co-chair of the group's Gold Line Task Force. Although the Olympics served as inspiration, the real goal is better access to jobs -- especially downtown and in the suburbs -- as well as improve transportation options, supporters say. Parts of the South Side, particularly neighborhoods close to the lakefront and south of Jackson Park are among the city's most populated and the most in need of additional rapid transit, SOUL believes.
Under the group's Gold Line plan, more frequent trains would be provided on the Metra Electric District Line [South Chicago Branch}. The plan also calls for allowing transfers between Metra trains and CTA buses and adding a new station at 35th street. The proposal faces a number of obstacles. These include securing funding, overcoming a historic lack of cooperation between Metra and the CTA and even proving the line is needed.
SOUL estimates that implementing the Gold Line would cost $159 million [far less than the other new lines described later here and with a larger pool of riders]. this would pay for adding 26 Electric District Highliner cars for $91 million a well a for new tracks, station upgrades and fare equipment [all arguably desirable anyway]. But funding for big ticket mass transit projects is already scarce to non-existent, experts say. the Regional Transportation Authority has lobbied vigorously for a $10 billion, five-year capital plan to maintain and expand transit systems, but the legislature this spring came up with a "status quo" $2.7 billion capital package.
But the bulk of the money for the Gold Line or any other major capital project would have to come from the federal government. Metra and th CTA already have projects in the planning stages that those agencies say would help the underserved Southeast Side and south suburbs and would bolster public transportation for the Olympic venues.
One project, Metra's proposed SouthEast Service Line, would extend commuter rail service through the city on existing Union Pacific/CSX railroad tracks to 20 suburbs in South Cook and Will counties. A preliminary estimate puts the line's cost at more than $524 million, but the figure is likely to be much higher. Meanwhile, the CTA is looking at an extension of the Red Line that would connect the current terminus at 95th Street with 130th Street. Estimates for that project rang from $210 million to $1.1 billion, depending on the specific route.
Gold Line supporters say a key component of their plan calls for permitting transfers between Metra and the CTA. "It you put both Metra and the CTA to work, the problem is that there's no transferability," Thompson said. While the two agencies operate independently, the RTA has been working to implement a universal fare card that it hoed to start testing next year.
The Gold lIne, is similar to a Gray Line proposal, which transit advocate Mike Payne created and has promoted for years. The concept received little traction from the CTA an Metra. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has included it on a list of long-range planning projects, but the Gray Line isn't considered a high priority, a spokesmen said. SOUL has lined up support from community organizations, several aldermen and state legislators. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) has agreed to seek $995,000 in federal money to fund a Gold Line study.
Members of SOUL have met with transit agencies and the Chicago Department of Transportation. The RTA urged the group later this year to apply for funding to evaluate the need for the project, said RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman. "We wil look at hat teh SOUL people are advocating and assess the value of all the options and see what makes sense," Schlickman said. But the Gold LIne will have to compete with other projects for money, he said. SOUL has also pitched the plan with Chicago's Olympics organizing committee. "We got involved originally because we were looking for a transportation idea around the Olympics," said Linda Thisted, chair of the SOUL task force. "We wondered what could benefit the South Side long-term and teh Olympics."
Even without the Olympics, SOUL believes the Gold LIne would be worthwhile, Thisted said, adding the group is prepared for the long haul. "We're just kind of plugging along," she said. "Nothing in transit goes very fast. These things can take years."
The article also compared getting to the proposed Lincoln Park Tennis Center and to the Aquatics Center in Washington Park. From an L line the former is a 15 minute walk, the latter a 10 minute walk. The former has several buses lines nearby, but mostly north-south, while the latter connects via fewer lines but equally on n-s and e-w axes (note that the 174 is gone).
SOUL, Communities for Equitable Olympics, legislators and aldermen along the line have joined forces to 1) seek a full costing out study 2) include the project in an Olympics Benefit Agreement. Main components are frequent service (will cost more rail cars), inter transfer, and a new station in Bronzeville at 35th.
SOUL defends Gold Line in June 17 Tribune
Your story, "Olympian effort by lobbyists," (June 7, Chicagoland) refers to the Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation Gold Line transit project as a "pork barrel spending project that has little or nothing to do with the city's bid." The Gold Line will improve transit on the South Side by providing more frequent trains on the Metra Electric line, allowing transfers with CTA buses and trains, and building a new station at 35th Street. This line will serve many of the proposed venues, including Soldier Field, McCormick Place, Jackson Park, Northerly Island and the Olympic Village. These venues have a combined seating capacity of 140,000, so more frequent train service along the Metra Electric line will help the city transport people to and from the games and will enable South Side workers to access the jobs that wil be created in building Olympic facilities in those locations.
With South Side residents having the longest commute times in the Chicago area, the Gold Line is an important priority for the South Side regardless of whether Chicago is awarded the 2016 Olympics.
Ben Booker Vance, president, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation; pastor, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Chicago
April 7, 2009. Gold Line dropped from CBA but still backed by Chicago Maroon- asks UC admin to push.
For the last few days, representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been wined and dined as city officials shuttled them between sites of proposed Olympic venues. IOC members have seen a host of glitzy proposals for multi-million dollar projects and infrastructural improvements. What they haven't seen is anything resembling a strategy for revamping the city's transportation system. Instead, the bid relies on the existing train network along with temporary shuttle services, but pointedly offers nothing in the way of long-term improvements.
For Hyde Parkers, this represents a wasted opportunity. The proposed "Gold Lien" -- an El route that would take the place of the South Shore [South Chicago] Metra Line in East Hyde Park -- would be a boon for the neighborhood. The line, which would run every 10 minutes and allow 25-cent transfers to other CTA buses and trains, has been pushed with an eye toward the Olympics (hence the name). The idea behind this initiative is that the Games would increase congestion and a new El line would be necessary to serve the massive influx of people. Most appealing to Hyde Parkers is that long after the Olympic torch is snuffed, the Gold Line will still be here.
the Gold Line is a good fit for Hyde Park whether or not Chicago gets the bid, but the Olympics present the best chance to push it through. An El stop, particularly in conjunction with Olympic-sized crowds -- an, in an ideal world, a new hotel -- would spur development in the neighborhood. Hyde Park would become a more attractive destination for retailers and restaurateurs, and a more convenient one for tourists. For students, meanwhile, freezing late-night waits for the 55 at Garfield would become a thing of the past. If the Gold Line materialized, Hyde Park would undoubtedly be a more appealing place to live. On a broader scale, new transit options would also be environmentally friendly, giving Hyde Parkers adn outsiders an incentive to leave their cars at home.
The U of C exerts considerable influence as one of the South Side's major institutions, and with its purchase of properties in Washington Park and with President Zimmer's seat on the 20156 Exploratory Committee, the University has been actively involved in the bid. Going forward,t eh U of C should take full advantage of its clout to push for new transit options for Hyde Park.
The Olympics wouldn't be a panacea for all of Chicago's problem. But it inarguably presents a unique opportunity for massive infrastructural improvements. The U of C and the city should not trip over the finish line when it comes to public transit.
A service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Transit Task Force/ Transportation and Parking Committee and the HPKCC website, www.hydepark.org. (email) Help support our work: Join the Conference! Join and work with the Task Force- contact chairman James Withrow.