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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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
    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 plentious 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).
    AN INFLATED PRICE WAS GIVEN TO GOLD LINE AND IT WAS PLACED LOW.
    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)

    TO MORE INCLUDING SOME MEETING REPORTS AND LINKS TO PRESENTATIONS OF EARLIER MEETINGS.
    THE GOLD LINE IS IN A PRELIMINARY COMPREHENSIVE 2014 COOK COUNTY PLAN OF WHERE ROUTES SHOULD BE TO GET PEOPLE WHERE THEY WANT TO GO.
  • Train and bus service, bus routes overhaul planned for Dec. 16 2012- ENACTED BY CTA BOARD IN SEPTEMBER. By GMO. 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.

Where to go to find out reroutes, closures etc. NotifyChicago.
http://www.cityofchicago.org/oemc. https://webapps.cityofchicago.org/NotifyChicago/
Twitter@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.
http://www.Metrarail.com.

CTA's big news in the short time is complete closure of the Red Line south of Cermak starting in May 2013, while it assembles funds for the north side viaducts and mulls long-ranges, now including possibility of a Pink Line station at the United Center (having just opened a new stop at Morgan on the Green Line).
Re the Red Line (see more in the transit home page including links), CTA is scrambling to bring Metra into the mix to handle the passengers, although there is not yet a clue on how handle the different fare vbase (zones vs one-fee) if CTA fare cards are honored (there was short-term honoring during the NATO), or how to increase service on the Metra Electric and freight train-plagued Rock Island. There is skepticism about the heavy shuttle-bus proposal. See above for June 18 public meeting.
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,
redlinesouth@transitchicago.com, www.transitchicago.com/redline, 1-888-968-7282 (Your CTA).

Alternate rail sevice- Green Line tracksRoosevelt to Ashand/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 stopes at 69th, 79th, 87th. Note- shuttle riders can board Green Line free at Garfield.

Other suplemental bus and shuttle:
Roosevelt to Cermak/Chinatown, #51 extesion to Green Line, #71 extension and #30 extension to Green Line,
Suplementa east-west serciced connecting to the Green Line.
NO plan to run shuttles or suplemental 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.


  • CTA has let out bids on the Jeffery rapid bus program. Under this the #14 would have a dedicated lane from 67th to 83rd in rush hour, priority signalling from 73rd to 84th, and a bypass lane at Anthony Avenue. Buses will stop at quarter to half mile intervals. Ald. Hairston has said she is skeptical.
    See at a meeting June 28 what else may be proposed to speed commuter times and, as they say, spur transit-oriented development in the south lakefront corridor. There is disappointment that the main spur for the study, improvements to Metra, may get short shrift.
  • CTA, Metra, and PACE heads sent a sharp rebuke to the RTA re it's barrage that the service boards work together more and stop duplications, pointing out where they do and where it seems not practical, and pointing fingers at RTA bureaucracy and duplication with other regulating bodies (but the latter seems to be required by laws).

    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.

  • C


Sign up for Chicago Card Plus I-Go Card and get a big discount. to Feb 29.

Loading the seniors cards

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. THE PHOTO ID YELLOW CARDS CAN ONLY BE REPLACED AT CTA OFFICE.

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:
11kd33_seniors_pamphlet_english_FINAL_8182011.pdf
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.

In May 2012, CTA said it can hold the line on fare hikes and service cuts for the remainder of the year with one-time savings, despite negotiations on union work rules having gone nowhere so far.

Cost of Metra-CTA link up pass (paid to Metra) going up, higher proportion goes to CTA.

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.

It appears from RTA projections that only about $7 million will be brought to CTA from the elimination of seniors ride free. Not the $30 m plus that was touted.

Changed through May 2 2013 for construction: #15, #28 bus stop at 53rd and Lake Park. There is a bus stop change here, from northwest to southwest corner.

Starting January 9 2012 Madison will reopen and streets to the south will close as part of Wacker rebuild from west of the bridge to Franklin- and on Wacker northward. Lots of detours.

Effective at the start of service on Monday, January 9, 18 CTA bus routes that operate in the downtown area near Adams and Monroe streets at Wacker Drive will undergo service changes, as Stage III of the Wacker Drive construction project begins.

Construction work will require either new changes in service or buses maintaining detours currently in effect along the following routes. Customers are advised to allow extra travel time along these routes:

· #1 Indiana/Hyde Park Express · #126 Jackson
· #7 Harrison · #129 West Loop/South Loop (PM Service Only)
· #14 Jeffery Express · #130 Museum Campus (Operates Mid-May – Labor Day)
· #X28 Stony Island Express · #134 Stockton/LaSalle Express
· #60 Blue Island/26th · #135 Clarendon/LaSalle Express
· #120 Ogilvie/Wacker Express · #136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express
· #121 Union/Wacker Express · #151 Sheridan
· #123 Illinois Center/Union Express · #156 LaSalle
· #124 Navy Pier · #157 Streeterville/Taylor
126, 129, 130, 134, 135, 136, 151, 156, 157

Concurrently, Madison Street at Wacker Drive will reopen allowing #19 United Center Express, #20 Madison, #56 Milwaukee and #122 Illinois Center/Ogilvie Express buses to return to their original routing.

CTA INFORMATION SPECIALISTS
To inform and prepare customers to the pending changes in service along the 18 affected routes, CTA information specialists will be available during peak travel periods on Thursday, January 5; Friday, January 6; Monday, January 9 and Tuesday, January 10, at multiple downtown locations including:

Adams/Canal Randolph/Canal
Adams/Wacker Randolph/Wells
Clinton/Adams-Quincy Monroe/Canal
Clinton/Jackson Monroe/Franklin
Clinton/Madison Michigan/Washington
Clinton/Washington Wacker/Wells
Randolph/Canal
Randolph/Wells
Monroe/Canal
Monroe/Franklin
Michigan/Washington
Wacker/Wells


In addition, CTA is alerting customers to these upcoming service changes via signs posted at bus stops in the downtown area along all affected routes; as well as information being posted and issued via the CTA website (transitchicago.com), Twitter account, Facebook page, subscription email/text alerts and also the service alert feature on CTA Bus Tracker.

#14 Jeffery Express. With the reopening of Madison Street, northbound #14 Jeffery Express buses will return to the original routing and travel via Michigan, Madison to Jefferson before beginning southbound service.

Southbound #14 buses will be unable to travel along Clinton Street between Washington and Monroe and Monroe Street between Clinton and Franklin. Southbound #14 buses will instead depart from Washington/Jefferson and operate via Washington, Franklin to Monroe and then resume the regular route.

Bus Stop Changes – Northbound #14 Buses
The following changes will be made to stops served by northbound #14 buses:

•Madison/Clark: buses will resume serving the westbound near side stop. •Madison/Wells: buses will resume serving the westbound far side stop. •Madison/Wacker: buses will resume serving the westbound far side stop. •Madison/Clinton: buses will resume serving the westbound near side stop. •Jefferson/Washington: buses will resume serving the northbound near side stop. •Westbound Stops on Randolph: the westbound stops along Randolph at Clark, Wells, Wacker, Canal and Jefferson will be removed from service. Bus Stop Changes – Southbound #14 Buses
The following changes will be made to stops served by southbound #14 buses:

•Washington/Canal: buses will serve the eastbound near side stop. •Washington/Franklin: buses will serve the eastbound near side stop. •Monroe/Franklin: the eastbound near side stop will be temporarily removed from service. Buses will serve the new eastbound far side stop. •Clinton/Madison: the southbound near side stop will be temporarily removed from service. •Monroe/Canal: the eastbound far side stop will be temporarily removed from service.

#X28 Stony Island Express
Northbound #X28 Stony Island Express buses will be unable to travel along Adams Street between Franklin and Canal. Northbound buses will instead operate via Adams, Franklin, Madison, Clinton, Canal to Union Station before beginning southbound service.

From Union Station, southbound #X28 buses will continue south on Canal to Jackson then will resume the regular route east.

Bus Stop Changes – Northbound #X28 Buses OnlyThe following changes will be made to stops served by northbound #X28 buses:

•Madison/Wacker: buses will serve the westbound far side stop. •Madison/Canal: buses will serve the westbound near side stop. •Clinton/Monroe: buses will serve the southbound near side stop. •Adams/Wacker: the westbound near side stop will be temporarily removed from service.

 

Route 28- early morning service is now stretched out to as much as 30 minutes apart.

September 1 2011. Ended 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 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.

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:
11kd33_seniors_pamphlet_english_FINAL_8182011.pdf
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.

 

South Lakefront Corridor Transportation Study held the first of several opportunities for public input and information April 13 2011. See our 1st meeting report in pdf. Their site http://www.cityofchicago.org/transportation. Email southlakefront@cityofchicago.org, Brenda McGruder, CDOT, 30 N. LaSalle St., Ste. 500, Chicago, IL 60602, 773 312-744-6139, fax 312-742-2422. 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. Here is the link to the post meeting city report
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/south_lakefront_corridortransitstudy.html.
Study's report on Sept. public meeting- http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/SouthLakefront_091211_pubmtgnotes.pdf
Here is a link to report on meeting 1 by Gary Ossewaarde of HPKCC.
To June 28 meeting

Meeting 2 sept 12 2011 is here:

2nd public meeting of the South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study
By Gary Ossewaarde

Meeting at Apostolic Church of God.
Topic stations, presentation with Q and A

The purposes include improving efficiency and convenience including of connections, economic vitality and jobs in the communities including transit-oriented development.

They looked at safety, length of trips especially to the Loop and outside the area, distances to transportation, frequency, and access from high density areas and to job concentrations. They looked at possible solutions by timeframe to complete, by synergies with multiple benefits, degree of benefit for the cost, and approaches that can be packaged for further studies.

Types of improvements considered were
frequency and service hours,
restored or new express service,
corridors for rapid bus or streetcar service,
information for passengers (such as real-time displays at shelters and stations,
seamless fares and transfer,
station improvements (incl. for safety and ADA), more stations, and extensions of routes,
fixing slow zones
Metra fixes and integration

Short- and medium-term fixes. (Chart with capital and operating costs for each). They found a general correlation of quick time to implement and low capital cost (but not always).
These were mainly changes to frequency and length of service hours/day, and new express service.
They kept most of the ideas of this kind that they started with or people suggested –many were referred directly to CTA with recommendation to plan and implement.

Medium-range fixes have involve some construction and/or new technology (all of the ideas were kept):
fare integration (already mandated by law),
some stations,
bus rapid transit,
track repairs (high expense on Red Line stuck out)

Long-range are more than 10 years and not surprisingly have high capital costs:
lines,
Metra other than fare integration- and for this they ruled out full conversion to CTA operation as there are other ways to fix this.

What is going forward already?
Bus Rapid Transit on the Jeffery Corridor,
real-time bus arrival display at 160 shelters,
Metra 59th-60th stations (announced the other day from federal funds released),
Red Line planning

The five programs they are keeping for the recommendations (will tweak and bring back to meeting in January)

1. CTA bus express- 83rd -WalMart, King, LSD bus priority (?), shelter real-time, 31st crosstown

2. CTA rail station, track/slow, Green line to Dorchester (or something like it) and new Green line 26th station, Red line 87th station (which isn’t accessible)

3. North-south corridor (between Green and Metra centered on Cottage Grove from downtown but could split at 63rd southward to run on both Cottage and Stony I)- could be BRT or streetcar

4. East-west connectors- BRT or express/enhanced bus- 55th express, 79th incl. signal priority to Western, possibly 35th

5. Metra Electric South Chicago District (only). Selected was the Gold Line option (over CTA conversion or light rail) Gold Line was considered at least a good first step.
Includes greatly upgraded frequency, fare integration, new 35th station, 59th redo and extension with opening 60th. Noted against it was that equipment and signaling could be high—and needs another funded “capacity” study.

Next: analysis, write up of recommendations, final January meeting.

Public comments:
Doesn’t deal enough with/ propose enough for south edge of study and beyond. Areas around Chicago State and other colleges not served. Team showed some proposals do.
Need to make sure the station and equipment upgrades are for full accessibility, complaint that recommendations deal only with fixed mode/routes and not with e.g. para-transit, signage, hard to get to stops and stations.
Need more outreach to local stakeholder groups and ridership segments, awareness of local development plans and job-creating possibilities, how the looks of infrastructure affects community morale and ability to attract people and businesses.
Just fixing track not enough to make Red Line fast and effective- back to A and B trains?
Gold Line not as expensive to do as estimated.
Late evening and owl service missing on too many lines, esp. in north part.

(deleted due to timeliness gone.)

 

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. ...

June 28 meeting

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.
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 plentious 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)
The final report is due end of summer 2012.

From Herald interpretation by Lindsay Welbers. July 4, 2012. The Gold Line, a vavorite among transit advocates, resurfaces

Presenter, Larry Englisher of Cambridge Systematics, was quoted, "The goal of this study was not to immediately implement anything."

The principal purposes of the godl Line plan would be 10-20 minute service adn seamless intertransit. Capital cost would $350 M plus and (an unexplained) hughe expanison of Milennium Station and added upgrades on the Main Line. Operating cost woudl be $560$60 milion a year, $32-36M above current. But it would serve 61 percent more people- part from CTA and part in new riders (not estimated). Service would be 6 am-midnight, 10 minute headway during rush hour, 20 minutes off-peak. Funding would be a major problem- even with federal match, the local match would be one half.

Other types of service under consideration are restoration of former, especially express service and creation of bus rapid transit (BRT) or streetcars on main arterials. BRT on 55th (part of which is being reconfigured now for bikes and road diet) from the Museum to Midway Airport would be in Hyde Park as would new service on Cottage Grove. The former was estimated to reduce travel time by one-third through dedicated lanes, off-board fare collections, and transit signal priority. It would run up to 16 hours a dy every 10-15 minutes stopping every half mile. Cost: $71-136M, operation cost bein $4M a year. It would be eligible for federal Small Starts- requiring half local match. Ridership was estimated to increase 23%. But 27% of parking spaces would be lost (almost all of that here is already lost in the bike conversion.)

Cottage Grove was proposed for similar treatment (but with several more options, the parameters varied widely.) (The article noted the cost effectiveness of a new King Dr. X3, but not its minimal effect on ridership or transit-oriented development.)

 

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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 barage 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 opend in 1969.

Hearings start in June 2012: June 18, Monday, 6-8 pm (doors open 5 pm). CTA Hearing on 5-month Dan Ryan Red Line closure and reconstruction. South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive. (Alt. meeting June 21, Thursday, 6 pm at Kennedy-King College, 63rd and Halsted.) For scope etc. visit http://www.transitchicago.com, click on "Red" then and search around for the south/Dan Ryan project.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference Friday morning September 30 2011 in Kenwood Academy Parking Lot to unveil the first of 400 real time bus tracker displays. Two others are unveiled today, on Canal St. and Belmont Avenue. The displays have touchpads for the vision impaired. Several organization representatives and notables from Hyde Park joined the Mayor, Ald. Will Burns, several other aldermen, CTA head Forest Claypool and other notables. The Digital Sign Projexct will expand to Cottage and 63rd and S Hyde Park and 56th. The three parties sharing the cost of $3.8 million are CTA ($1.4), RTA ($1.8) and federal ($640,000).

From CTA release: Locations were chosen based on ridership and connections to intermodal transportation i.e. CTA train, Metra and major transfer locations. When choosing between multiple stops with high ridership levels, a general preference was given to stops with one or more of the following characteristics: (a) serving multiple bus routes, (b) serving a 24 hour owl route, (c) serving an intersection with multiple bus-to-bus transfers, or (d) in locations providing a connection to Metra and CTA rail service. A list of the bus shelter locations will be posted on the CTA web site at:

http://transitchicago.com/sheltersigns with the first 150 sites to be listed immediately.

Here is the link for winter cta routes and schedules now in effect:
http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_information/service_changes/201012_timetables.aspx#1.

Link to emergency and diversion-from-route information at the website. Coming early next year sign up for CTA email alert. Learn about emergency evacuation procedures at chicagotribune.com/ctatraining, www.metrarail.com, www.pacebus/com.

Bus Tracker can save you time. (Not yet tracking all routes, but now most in HP incl. 171 and 172.)
http://www.bustracker.com.

UC Office of Transportation and Parking-- interim head is Rodney Morris, formerly of the Medical XCenter transportation and reporting to Marlon Lynch. Many students remain dissatisfied with recent changes and residents with loss of even early evening UC-CTA service.

CTA is putting on a full-press for safety especially for women.

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A big doomsday loomed for the start of 2010. Hearings. More coming. Meanwhile,

Doomsday is partly averted again in 2010.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/finance_budget/2010budgetbook.pdf

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.

Some highlights of CTA doomsday from print media: Deficit still $180m. Rides cost $7 and tax take is down %30 percent. Lost to seniors and others free: $30m.

Fare hikes: Averted: Fare hikes, fares being frozen for two years under a bond issue agreement brokered by Gov. Quinn, RTA, andCTA.

Service cuts: Some are finalized some not.

110 of 150 routes and trains- less frequent service -waiting times could increase dramatically. There may be adjustments to this but some reduction is likely.
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 at 12:30 vs present 1:30/1:45 ).
Certain: Elimination of express service on 9 routes, here X3, X4, X55.

January 21, 2010 Red Eye facts and comments on coming CTA cuts
Routes with service reductions.
All rail lines except Yellow
Routes in the area with reduction in start and end times as well as less frequent service:
6, 15, 28 (system total 41)
Eliminations: X3, X4, X55 (system total 9)
Longer waits on 119 routes and the trains except Yellow: 287 of c.2000 buses taken out of service (effect might depend mainly on time of day or whether there are too few vehicles on the route at rush hour). OWL night service will not be reduced.

Administration including Jacky Grimshaw and unions point blame at each other, one saying the unions have not contributed while non union take many furlough days and have had no raises in 4 years, the other side saying they took a pension and health care giveback recently and there’s still a lot of administrative bloat. The most recent proposal, for the union to forego its 3.4 raise (cost $20m), was rejected.
Also pointed out is the huge number of free rides (not just for seniors) that together amount to $39 million and have increased by 16.8 million rides in the 11 months since the free ride program went into effect.
Layoffs plus cuts are projected to save $95 million in a $300m shortfall, and unpaid days for nonunion another $32m, deferred capital spending another $90m. The cancelled fare hikes would have brought in maybe $83m—instead the RTA will CTA float bonds and the state cover part of the service on the bonds.
What would be CTA priorities to restore if money appeared?
First the start and end times on the 41 routes
Next the nine express routes
(ed.- This implies that they think the c15% reduction in buses and trains can be managed by them and the public or they can manage/ignore any outcry).

So, how bad is it?

UC students have created website "heat maps" of changes in travel time by neighborhoods and blocks. Effects seem light on rush hour, but things are not so good at night.

UC subsidized CTA Changes under way 2009- and changed more in 2010

It's definite- #173 downtown-Lakeview and #174 Green and Red Lines were eliminated and not reconfigured. The University had justified them as necessary to student and staff safety and convenience.

Also, #171 was changed- and back to original route. Both 171 and 172 had their hours trimmed to end at 6 pm, service frequency was restored midday.

And a new route will be tried, but private, not CTA, for the south and west sector: 55th, Ellis, looping at 61st or to the Cottage 63rd Green Line, east on to hit approx. Woodlawn and 63rdd, north to 60th, east then north on Woodlawn to 55th.

5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston has criticized lack of notification to her office and of public meetings.

Capital

The city will spend part of its Stimulus money for 58 hybrid buses, Blue Line upgrades (mainly ballast in the subway, and station upgrades. Due to weather damage to ballast, slow zone trackage on all rail lines had increased from 5 to 13 percent.

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."

One question is whether legislators will succeed in rolling back the seniors free provision to a needs-based basis. Gov. Quinn opposes. It costs 50 million plus in tough times for transit agencies. Also, whether transit wil be in a capital plan. So far it has n ot happened.

HPKCC Transit Task Force Chairman's transit blog service including commentary on the CTA bailout, next steps, fare hikes, move of route #15 back to Lake Park, parking.

New UC/CTA routes and their maps: http://www.yourcta.com/maps/bus/bus.html

The University discussed and is seems to be considering or planning changes with bus routes (more info needed).

CTA board meets 2nd Wednesdays at 10 am. 547 W. Lake, 2nd Floor. You must contact them in advance if you wish to speak.

More information concerning the Gold Line transit proposal, (Metra So Chic. Electr. upgrade-CTA lease-el-like frequency-univ. card- added Bronzeville station) including an explanation of the name change, can be found here:

http://alwaysintransit.typepad.com/hyde_park_urbanist/2008/11/gray-gold.html

Additionally, SOUL, with HPKCC and CECD reps, met with staff from the offices of Ald. Hairston (who hosted the meeting), Sen. Durbin, Rep. Jackson, Majority Leader Currie, state Senator Raoul, Ald. Preckwinkle and the Chicago Dep't of Transportation. Like most of our meetings with politicians on this effort, this meeting was very positive and we got commitments to go forward from all involved. Holdup was Metra, which prevailed. The proposal was dropped or swapped in the final benefits agreement.

April 2009 HPKCC funded day transit passes for participants in the 2009 Teen Summer Program at Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. This program teaches teens how to use and trip-plan on CTA (encouraging an early buy-into- using transit) and brings them to many diverse parts of Chicago. Read page about.

NOV. 13 2008 THE BOARD VOTED A FARE INCREASE FOR JANUARY 2009.(There are also 632 layoffs.) Here are the changes for January 2009:
Bus up $.25- card and Chicago Card $1.75 (seniors free), cash up .25- $2.25
Rail all $2.25 and no cash option; no bargain for cards. Up $.25 to $.50. Transit card goes from $1.75 to $2.25, Chicago Card goes from $1.75 to $2.25. All transfers stay $.25.
Passes go up 15% vs proposed 20%. 1-day pass goes up .75 to $5.75; 2-day eliminated, 3-day goes from $12 to $14; 5-day eliminated; $7-day goes from $20 to $23, 30-day goes from $75 to $86.
Ridership is up and fuel down, advert. rev. should go up and the Governor has reinstated $32 m in reduced-fare subsidies, but sales and real estate transfers are really down and maintenance needs up.

IT WAS 'NO DOOMSDAY' FOR CTA/RTA/Metra AND SENIORS RIDE FOR FREE now thanks to General Assembly's early 2008 agreement. The law includes 530 million in property and sales tax increases. Fiscal responsibility, more CTA oversight were included. Seniors with the right cards can ride fee later this year; disabled penalized. There was a separate 10% Metra increase in February 2008. Transit home. Can CTA stay in good shape and take advantage of fuel-cost driven new customers and not wear out? How many will put up with standees only L cars? And what will the effect be of rising fuel costs? The CTA gambled on rising fuel costs and locked in a high rate-- actual prices went down.

A big deficit will have to be addressed at the April 2 2009 board meeting. At the March meeting an 11-point program was introduced by staff of internal cuts to reduce the shortfall by 80 million, but that leaves 75 million. How much sales taxes will be down for 2008 and in 2009 projections should be released by the end of March.

CTA is now extending free fare rates for military personnel and disabled as well as seniors. The Gov. has agreed to rescind his veto of $32 million in subsidized rides reimbursement.

And the other shoe...Many billions of dollars behind in capital needs. Daley's major step:

Daley announces $227 million start on repairs, upgrade in February 2008- demands results by fall 2009, and a state Capital Plan.

From Chicago Tribune Red Eye article, February 15, 2008

Mayor Daley issued a challenge Thursday to the CTA: on-time buses, cleaner and quieter trains, attractive shops in rail stations, and fare machines that accept credit cards. Daley demanded that he start seeing quick results as he announced $227 million project to improve the safety, reliability and comfort of CTA trains and buses.

Although the mayor didn't mention Chicago's Summer Olympic bid, most of the improvements would be completed before October 2009 when the International Olympic Committee is set to name the host city for the 2006 games.

The planned new CTA investment focuses on its most pressing problems, as well as on introducing amenities that would benefit everyday customers as well as visitors from abroad. The top priorities include eliminating "slow zones" on the rail system, overhauling outdated bus and train fleets to reduce equipment breakdown, installing more security cameras and using global-positioning system technology to inform readers about delays.

CTA officials did not consult with the RTA before releasing the latest blueprint for improvements Thursday. The RTA essentially has veto authority over individual transit projects under newly passed state legislation. But RTA officials say they appreciate the mayor's involvement and understand his motivation. "It's going to take a while to turn around the deterioration that has occurred at the CTA," said RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman.

Daley on Thursday called on the CTA to redouble its commitment to operate a quality system and not relax in the wake of recent passage of new state funding for transit operations. The immediate goal is "improving the customer experience," said Daley at CTA headquarters. "Ours is a 1920s system. It's costly and inefficient."

Rehabbing the emergency exits in the Red Line and Blue Line subway and installing new larger canopies on elevated train platforms, both by December, are among the goals City Hall set for the CTA.

Without a state capital spending budget to help pay for infrastructure, CTA officials said they have no choice except to issue bonds to finance th $227 million project in part. They hope the bonds would be paid off with anticipated future federal transit funding. But a state capital program must be approved no later than early 2009 to safeguard tens of millings of dollars in federal funds earmarked for the CTA, Metra and Pace. That would require the legislature and Gov. Blagojevich to set aside their differences over how to pay for structural improvements statewide. "The state needs to act," Daley said.

By 2010 a system may be in effect on CTA where your credit cards will have a chip allowing them to be read and automatically be debited by CTA readers instantaneously- just tap the reader at turnstyle or on bus.

CTA will enter into deals with credit card companies and will be able to reduce use of its own cards, which is very expensive and time consuming for them under the present vendor. This has been very successful in Europe and Asia and is part of the move to one or just a few cards vs having a card for every store etc. Deals will probably emerge as with cards and banks-- sign up with us and get week of free transit or an ongoing discount, or..... CTA will put the system out for bid in early 2009. A question is what that will do to hopes for intermodality/universal cards, as for a Metra Electric South Chicago "Gold Line" (already is with PACE), since Metra is not moving in either direction, at least at present.

Ways to pay now: CTA Chicago Card. Value added at vending machines (few outside CTA system)
CTA Chicago Card Plus. As above but can have value replenished automatically from your bank or credit card
CTA magnetic strip transit cards, passes. Buy at Jewel, Dominick's and some other locations (like phone cards)
Cash--buses only!

Hurdles face Ron Huberman's replacement . Resolution of funding, other woes will affect area progress, ability to cope with Olympics. Doomsday is back on the table but less than feared.

MHNDASH/1352719301

 

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Frank Kruesi's departure as president of CTA, anticipated by many, may or may not remove a perceived lightning rod but leaves many headaches for his successor, Ron Huberman, until now Mayor Daley's Chief of Staff. Kruesi, a transportation professional as well as politician, brought many innovations and a hard headed approach among positives. How will Mr. Huberman will funding and funding changes from the legislature, gain more collaboration with the suburbs and downstate (perhaps in exchange for more accountability and transparency), and refocus on the nuts and bolts needed now and for the South Side future with or without the Olympics? Right now, CTA alone faces c $5.8 billion in capital needs, an operating budget c$110 million in th red, and for a new funding level if even current needs and service are to be maintained, according to RTA. Huberman, 35, promises both belt tightening and "new and innovative ways to deliver service more efficiently. Everything is on the table. Several administrative positions involving $22 million was cut by Mr. Huberman.

CTA did very belatedly reach a tentative agreement with their unions ( 3 percent or more for 5 years but heavy give back on health and pension) once it was clear they have to prove to the state that they are being fiscally responsible. The pact depends on their getting not $130 million but $200 million from Springfield (which is again passing a continuing resolution on the budget for one month.)

Doomsday was averted for CTA, Metra and PACE. But fares may still have to rise due to fuel costs and early 2008 agreement to give seniors free rides.

CTA directions, news, meetings

RTA has formed "Transit Partners" for it's new "Moving Beyond Congestion" program, the public is invited. But just as the RTA, CTA et al went to the legislature for a basic $10 billion to prevent system degradation 1) a state audit greatly faulted the services on efficiency, leadership, and priorities and 2) the governor decided he wants to fix health, education and pensions first while the city has to gather funds as a last resort backing for the Olympics (which may or may not bring upgrades to transit).

CTA train ridership was up dramatically in 2005, but bus usage slipped some for a net gain. The latter is disturbing and reasons should be surveyed and shared with communities. Also, with train use sure to be disrupted by Brown Line reconstruction, the CTA's funding woes are sure to be compounded.

Slowdowns on trains continue to increase due to inability to keep up with repair needs and flat funding. Yet watchdogs, including a state audit, point to absenteeism, high salaries, bloated bureaucracy, inefficiencies including in procurement, poor priorities including on expansion and getting the last federal dollar and other problems as compounding the woes. And there have been a series of entrapment in the tunnels, on the els et al--with little improvement of communications during emergencies.

In December 2006 CTA extended for another 6 months the trial period for Pink Line, Blue Line cuts , etc. There are coalitions(Citizens for Transit Justice) fighting to go back to the old way. They have a petition drive. These changes affect many in our area, including those needing to access the west side medical center, juvenile justice, an UIC--so tell CTA your take and suggestions.

Service starts earlier and ends latter on area routes on weekends, especially #14 and 6, with shortened time between buses.

The class action suit on lack of availability of the new transit cards in early 2006 has been settled without prejudice. Riders with claims must bring documentation of extra money spent and efforts to buy the cards to Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin LLC 120 S. LaSalle St. Suite #1800, Chicago, IL 60603. For more info visit transitchicago.com.


If you note changes (+ or -) in bunching etc. please send comments to hpkcc@aol.com and we will forward, also to Sue Purrington of the 5th Ward Office- spurrington@cityofchicago.org. CTA has put more buses on the #6 and #26 routes and the #6 now starts earlier, at 4:45 am on Saturday.
The #15 generally starts at 3:45 am according to Ald. Hairston. Alert on the CTA rapid transit lines. The Sun-Times said in mid-September that there is an unprecedented number of slow zones on all el lines.

CTA has purchased 200 more low-emision busses for $74.4 million to replace aging buses. 276 of these New Flyer low buses are already in service and are said to give 60 percent fewer emissions. And they have the back door that you touch (not always successfully) to have open. But some neighbors complain about buses continually parked and running in the neighborhood. There is a dilemma as to whether and what kind of hybrid to use. CTA is said to now be looking at a new kind used in Cleveland.

Complete Street: The regional planning agency's Soles and Spokes division sent out notice of the following City of Chicago notification of policy on total accommodation on the public way:

The City of Chicago released a landmark Complete Streets Policy Oct. 10, mandating for the first time that all transportation users must be accommodated in all transportation projects. According to a multi-agency document issued by the city, the policy is expected to be implemented in a variety of ways advocated by Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and its Healthy Streets Campaign. The policy calls for pedestrian improvements like bulb-out curb extensions for crosswalks, countdown crossing signals, median refuges, and re-timing signals to minimize pedestrian delay and conflicts. To read more, visit
www.biketraffic.org/content.php?id=1024_0_16_0_C.

Think ChicagoCard and ChicagoCard Plus. Visit ChicagoCard page.

CTA has averted a strike in 2006 -or rather had it averted by an arbitrator who will rule in summer what will replace the spit-shift rostering method of route staffing. Meanwhile pension costs continue to mount. CTA insists the whole transit pot in the region needs to be increased.

CTA is adding more articulated buses on the lakefront express routes affected by Dan Ryan closures and now provides #192 service downtown from the U of C Hospitals Goldblatt entrance. For other changes being considered see UC/CTA Routes page.

Visit Farehike home and CTA Funding. CTA found it necessary in January 2006 to institute a quarter fare hike and loss of transfers to those using cash rather than cards and virtually double fares for supposedly-subsidized paratransit.

U of C let out its Hospitals-downtown train station shuttle to CTA in February 2006. It is now route #192, rush hour one way from and to Goldblatt entrance, 860 E. 59th St. Now a #174 to 55th Green nd Red Line stations to start fall 2006 as 5 year contract is renewed. Details about these and other changes in the UC Routes page.

CTA had cut planned purchase of buses, rail car overhauls and train signal improvements. Nevertheless, more buses and rail cars are being purchased and coming on line. Backlog and future capital need is estimated at 8 billion.

CTA is getting new satellite guidance for its bus fleet. Many buses are now set up for alternative fuels.

CTA reports ridership up more much in 2005 and 2006.

Congress did increase aid in 2005 for Illinois Mass Transit by 28% (vs national average 45%) but the lack of significant increase for Illinois combined with the end of IllinoisFIRST funds ($260m a year) means a drop in RTA capital allotment this year from $900m to under $500m. If RTA can't scrape together another $125m match to garner a federal $500m, the capital allotment will fall under $100m in 2006. Top

Transit Justice Coalition holds meetings on train slow zones, Pink Line problems, lack of maintenance crews.

The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization has been surveying riders about slowdowns on the Cermak/Douglas Pink and Blue Lines since the beginning of summer. Our latest survey shows that since the Pink Line began, 46% of trips were reported to be longer by an average of 20 minutes. 13% of riders reported their trips take the same amount of time. 33% reported a shorter trip. 8% of the trips were made by undecided riders. Over 70% of people surveyed want the 54/Cermak Blue Line back without a cut in frequency.

Now the CTA has revealed that in addition to the lack of Blue Line trains connecting Cermak to O'Hare, in addition to the slowdowns caused by extra Pink Line trains on the Loop, nearly every rail line on the system is experiencing slow zones due to construction, train traffic, and poorly maintained track. In fact, 18% of the linear track (almost 1 in 5 sections) is under slow zones and there is no way to get it all moving again before the end of the year. Why? Instead of doing necessary maintenance on existing track, the CTA is diverting operating funds to questionable projects like the Pink Line. (see below for links to news articles on this)

With CTA budget hearings around the corner, we may again be facing Doomsday service cuts and fare hikes.
This is NOT AN OPTION for Chicago's workers, students, and families. We need to keep EVERYONE in this city moving.

We invite all CTA riders and community groups to the first Transit Justice Coalition meeting, if you feel you have a complaint with the CTA, want to get back the Cermak/Douglas Blue Line and/or have an idea about cheaper, safer, more efficient public transit for all.

Earlier in 2006, CTA President Frank Kruesi justified the $38 million of taxpayer money spent so far on the Pink Line by claiming it would save riders 5, 10, or even 15 minutes. According to the new survey, the average CTA trip is about four and a half minutes longer since the Pink Line began, but those with longer rides have felt the change much more sharply. Now slow downs are paralyzing the entire city, and things are only likely to get worse as winter weather approaches!

If the CTA rearranged spending priorities, they could keep the existing train system running. For example, with the $5 million spent on Pink Line operations, the CTA could hire 3 additional 18 person crews to work on eliminating the system wide slow zones.

We thank all of you who took the time to complete our survey. Now we need to get the word out to the media.
It’s time the CTA Board and President Frank Kruesi act like they care by giving us, their clients, what we want - regardless of our race, income, national origin, or the neighborhood we come from. We need to restore the 54/Cermak Blue Line to pre-June 25 service levels during all hours of the day, and cut back the Pink Line to relieve potentially dangerous train congestion from the Loop.

Bus Tracker- will it help flow, customer use? What about preventing the breakdowns, esp. underground and on els, communications during emergencies, the pessimistic agency projections on systems upgrades?

Bus Tracker program clocks Hyde Park buses. Chicago Maroon, May 20, 2008. By Christina Schwartz

Hyde Parkers can now wait for the bus from the comfort of their homes. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) yesterday expanded its satellite Bus Tracker service to include 18 additional routes, bringing the total routes covered to 32. This number includes four routes that make stops in Hyde Park: the #55 Garfield, #55X Garfield Express, #59 59th/61st Streets, and #63 63rd Street routes.

Bus Tracker makes use of a satellite GPS to locate buses, then calculates traffic flow and other factors to determine the estimated time between stops. Using the feature, CTA riders can view projected arrival times at bus stops from a computer, cell phone, or other wireless device with Internet access. Customers can access the time estimates in both map and list format. The map function shows the bus traveling along the route in real time, while the list format provides estimated arrival times of the next two or three buses.

The online information refreshes each minute, and the site allows users to set up alarm notifications when a a bus nears a selected stop. CTA officials said that he Bus Tracker additions are a part of broader transportation reforms that attempt to accurately predict time intervals between buses and to prevent bus bunching. According to the Chicago Tribune, CTA President Ron Huberman (a.M., M.B.A. '00) announced the initial expansion of t he Bus Tracker system at a March press conference. "I'd definitely use [Bus Tracker] to figure out when the #55 is coming. What wil really be great, t hough, is when they expand it to the #6, #171, and #172," second-year Michael Powell said. CTA launched the Bus Tracker program in 2006 on a test basis. It also installed a downtown bus shelter equipped with a bus tracker display screen. The CTA has encouraged customers to provide feedback via the system's website.

A quick scroll through comments posted in response to the effectiveness of the initial route that incorporated the system turned up mixed reviews. In a test conducted by a Maroon reporter, the system lagged, and the map and bus listings did not always update on time. According to the CTA website, Bus Tracker should be accurate within 5 minutes when a bus is 30 minutes away from a designated stop and accurate within 75 seconds when a bus is fewer than five minutes awry.

The CTA plans to add Bus tracker to all 154 routes by spring 2009 and eventually to launch a "next-train" service which will provide train arrival times at all 144 El stations.

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Route changes and new routes, buses

CTA's 2003 bus reconfiguration, adjusted through 2005, increased ridership and service area, but some think weakened the east-west connections. Service seems to have largely adjusted to needs in Hyde Park, although some still complain of bunching and thinning (especially southbound in the evening) or would like more daytime service to the west Loop, especially if it could run directly to/from the UC campus. To learn the story of the changes and the partial success with community input--including our workshops, start from the Bus Routes Changes homepage and also visit the Transit Task Force pages.

In August 2005 the #15 Jeffery Local bus route went back to Lake Park between 51st and 56th Streets rather than E and S Hyde Park Blvd. and 57th Drive. This has been sought by both local aldermen and the Hyde Park Transit Task Force as well as shoppers/businesses and residents on Lake Park. Moving the route to Lake Park was backed overwhelmingly at a Sept. 2004 hearing. CTA's own studies agreed. It is probably the only one of the the 3 changes the TTF sought that will be enacted. Notice as usual was top-down and tardy.

All buses and routes are now ADA accessible. converted free to Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus through July 31 only. New buses continue to come on line. www.transitchicago.com or 888 968-7282.

In June 2006 CTA announced it is buying brand new small buses to navigate neighborhoods such as Hyde Park with narrow streets. Here they will be used on the UC routes-- see there. In addition to the new 192 downtown express, other remote routes may be changed or added.

Bunching got considerably worse in July and August 2006 on the #6, 14, and sometimes 28. Supervisors are out in force at ward office insistence. Progress and action reports are expected soon. It seems to involve long term and newer drivers as well. Related to Ryan project traffic?? Top

CTA board and other meetings, contacts

CTA Board meets second Wednesdays, 1o am, 547 W. Lake. These are brief, largely pro forma, and non participatory-or have been until now. Only 15 minutes is allowed for comment period at Board meetings. You must sign up in advance by calling Gregory Longhini, 312 321-0394. CTA lets any one person talk only once in six months. So sign up so they won't say nobody cares. An alternative is to pick up/view on their website the press briefs and submit written comments.

The separate committees include Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Capital Construction Oversight, and the Finance, Audit & Budget Committee. For an exact schedule of committee meetings call 312-664-7200 x15026.

Chicago Transit Authority. or www.transitchicago.com. Route and schedule information.
CTAhelp@transitchicago.com, www.yourcta.com/news/ctaandpress/ (where you can also find press releases),
1 888 YOU-RCTA

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Amenities

CTA's newer kinds of buses seem to be spread more evenly through the system, are ADA accessible, hug closer to the ground for loading and unloading, have enunciators (that are often out of sync with stops ahead and that many think are too loud--the speaker passengers waiting for buses), have good air conditioning.

The city's contracted bus shelters help when there are not too many waiting to board and have CTA maps. Maybe there could be more information about connections or what's at the stops. Some spots that should have the shelters still do not--and there seems to be no schedule for getting them. There have been complaints about advertising inappropriate to children by school and park entrances.

Index of all site pages on CTA

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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.

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