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Old July 8th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #421
emathias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Any plans to connect to those lines?
Which Lines? All the "L" Lines have free connections between each other. Not every line connects directly to every other one, but that wouldn't be a reasonable expectation anyway.

Connections between the commuter rail system and the "L" system could definitely be improved, but there are some plans to do that (both the Circle Line and the West Loop Transportation Center would do a lot to remedy at least the West, NW and SW commuter line connections).
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Old July 11th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
It's great to see the US pushing the use of Mass Transit.
A couple months ago, this is still what you could read in the local press:
http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...20080612a.html
(not sure if it was a joke or serious though).
Thankfully times are changing and everybody is catching on. Last time I was there, carpooling was also getting extremely popular.
Reads like a satire, doesn't it?

Don't forget, if you leave your car or even sell it without getting replacement, you are a Socialist! Public Transportation is a tool of the communists to enslave freedom loving America. And PT forces you to meet with other people, like in... public squares or in malls. Maybe they should be fought as well...


"We should drill our own oil -- now. And, when the supply naturally diminishes to where prices drive the market elsewhere, American entrepreneurs must create another fuel whose production the government cannot readily curtail, and that keeps Americans driving where they want to, when they want to, in privately owned cars."

Yeah, another fuel, like love and air for example. It seems to go beyond the horizon of some there there is no equally substitute to the current oil as energy source. No matter what.

... I need a break.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
It's great to see the US pushing the use of Mass Transit.
A couple months ago, this is still what you could read in the local press:
http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...20080612a.html
(not sure if it was a joke or serious though).
Thankfully times are changing and everybody is catching on. Last time I was there, carpooling was also getting extremely popular.
That is the most scary thing I've read in a while.

"Freedom Machines"...

It reads like the worst kind of satire, but I don't believe it is unfortunately...
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Old July 14th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
It's great to see the US pushing the use of Mass Transit.
A couple months ago, this is still what you could read in the local press:
http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache...20080612a.html
(not sure if it was a joke or serious though).
Thankfully times are changing and everybody is catching on. Last time I was there, carpooling was also getting extremely popular.
What a moron. I can't believe that guy is serious. All transportation is subsidized. Mass transit has user fees as well.

This guy thinks that freedom is the ability to build, build, build and use as much oil as humanly possible. He neglects to mention that the government aids and abets America's oil reliance through subsidies to big oil and coal and refusal to invest in renewables.

Furthermore, by shifting to mass transit, America would not need to drill for more oil domestically, in the process saving millions of acres of pristine coastal and interior natural habitat.

What is it that makes this lunatic think oil consumption is the free market asserting itself?

That article is just another vacuous conservative hit piece that uses emotional and inaccurate terms like "socialist" and "communist" to describe any attempts to reduce oil consumption and air pollution. Well, the VA system, military, and police departments are all "socialist" organizations as well.

This moron is an anti-social human being that can't stand the thought of having to share with others. Why does he demand a separate, solitary transportation device? Does he distrust people that much?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 05:56 AM   #425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ov_79 View Post
Americans made a mistake by getting rid of city public transport in the 1st half of 20th century. It created many urban, structural, ecological and consequently social problems. It is nice to read it has been getting changing in last decade, America is still far from European standards though. The Good luck wish is supposed to be send over the ocean .
GM's fault for that.

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Old July 16th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #426
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Which Lines? All the "L" Lines have free connections between each other. Not every line connects directly to every other one, but that wouldn't be a reasonable expectation anyway.

Connections between the commuter rail system and the "L" system could definitely be improved, but there are some plans to do that (both the Circle Line and the West Loop Transportation Center would do a lot to remedy at least the West, NW and SW commuter line connections).
I was talking about how there are almost 400 train stations in the Chicago area, but we have 21 trains lines radiating out in every single direction from downtown - yet nothing to interconnect people who happen to want to go somewhere that doesn't happen to take them through downtown. Say from the northeast to the northwest, the southeast to the southwest, or the northeast to the southeast.





My original point though, was responding to someone who said NO ONE in the US can just walk to a metro/subway station. That's extremely inacurate, especially in cities like Chicago, New York, Boston, Philly.

There are dozens of train stations in Chicago that trek through neighborhoods like this





and I can assure you there are thousands of people who have no problem walking a few minutes to a train station. I've lived in 4 different apartments in Chicago, each in a totally separate neighborhood, and each time I've been from within 3-7 minutes walking to a train station. One on the Blue Line, one on the Red Line, and two on the Brown Line.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:03 AM   #427
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Fuel costs strain U.S. mass transit, too
18 July 2008
The Christian Science Monitor

At 8:34 a.m. the sleek Metrolink train from Oceanside, Calif., swept into Los Angeles's historic Union Station, disgorging a rush of commuters. Some pulled briefcases on wheels, others hefted backpacks, blending seamlessly with bus and subway passengers pressing through the terminal's sunlit corridor.

"To see this," says Marc Littman, spokesman for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, "dispels any kind of notion that no one uses public transportation in Los Angeles."

With West Coast gasoline prices averaging $4.41 per gallon, even car-crazed southern Californians are joining the nation's slow move away from the automobile and toward public transportation. But even as more Americans pile onto city buses, subways, and suburban trains, the increase at the pump is also hitting transit agencies hard.

"High gas prices are really a double-edge sword," says Virginia Miller, spokeswoman for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). "While they are bringing more people to ride buses and trains all across the country, public transit agencies are facing challenges to meet their costs."

In many cases this means fare hikes and service cuts. So far this year, nearly half of metropolitan bus operators surveyed by the APTA said they had increased prices to address the strains of rising fuel costs; 19 percent said they had reduced service.

Such fare hikes are hurting the poor disproportionately. While more of the country's suburbanites are choosing mass transit, many of the nation's poorest urban dwellers, whose only option is often public transportation, aren't riding at all because of fare hikes and the downturn in the economy, transportation experts say. Some no longer have a job to commute to, they add.

Los Angeles is in the thick of the quandary. While LA Metro's subways saw a 7.13 percent increase in ridership from April to June compared with a year ago, bus ridership was down 1.9 percent in the same period. Mr. Littman, the Metro spokesman, blamed the drop on a fare hike that raised monthly passes by $10 to $62.

"That fare increase had a huge impact," says Tom Rubin, a Los Angeles-area surface transportation consultant and critic of the LA Metro. "Los Angeles has one of the most transit-dependent riderships in the United States."

As the country's third-largest public-transit network, behind New York and Chicago, respectively, the LA Metro needs to expand faster than it is to meet the demands of a rapidly increasing population, says Littman. "Our dilemma now is to pay for service."

The Metro board's solution: a new tax. It wants to increase the county sales tax by a half penny, a controversial proposal that could go to Los Angeles voters in November.

One of the unresolved questions is how long the surge in mass transit ridership will last. Overall, mass transit ridership climbed 3.4 percent during the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same period last year, according to APTA.

Much of the growth was on commuter lines. There passenger numbers climbed 5.7 percent nationwide during the first quarter compared with a year ago. Ridership jumped 27 percent in Seattle, 17 percent in Harrisburg, Pa., and 10.4 percent in Philadelphia. During the same period, Americans drove 2.3 percent fewer miles, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Last year marked the first such dip since the agency started recording the figure in 1982.

But if the price of oil begins to decline, mass transit ridership could again dwindle, transit experts say.

"We are in uncharted territory," says Robert Poole, director of transportation studies for the Reason Foundation, a free-market- oriented think tank in Los Angeles. "It's too early to tell if we are at a fundamental point of change. The impact is large on transit systems, but small on highway systems."
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Old July 21st, 2008, 06:35 PM   #428
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@chicagoago

No one doubts that NYC, Chicago, DC etc have a decent if not great PT system. The pitty is that they are not perfectly representative for the entire US.
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 05:29 AM   #429
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^ right, I just reread my statement and didn't mean to sound so offended! It's definitely very rare among the 300,000,000 people in this country to just walk down to the neighborhood train station, but at least it's available in many of our largest cities.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #430
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More and more people will use mass transit as people move back to the city. Gas prices won't be going down that much. High prices are here to stay.

And mass transit has the added benefit of reducing highway congestion, promoting sustainable development, and reducing air pollution.

If the commuter rail in So. Cal. electrified its track, then high gas prices would not increase its operating costs.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Any plans to connect to those lines?
Yes, Metra, almost a decade ago, proposed the STAR Line. Suburban Transit Access Route.

Starts in Joliet, goes west and north and then east to Schaumburg and O'Hare. Would connect several of the western rail lines and bring suburban dwellers to a major airport.

http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/star.php

Steve

Last edited by stevevance; July 24th, 2008 at 07:42 AM. Reason: added link
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Old July 24th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
^ right, I just reread my statement and didn't mean to sound so offended! It's definitely very rare among the 300,000,000 people in this country to just walk down to the neighborhood train station, but at least it's available in many of our largest cities.
Public transit ridership is up in every part of the country. In Dallas, you can't find a parking spot at some park-and-rides after 7AM. In Houston, their seemingly puny Metrorail light rail was standing room only during rush hour, and very well ridden. The problem is development patterns -- it took 60 years to get to our present state; give it 60 more years, and I promise every major American city will have a walkable core with reliable rail transit.

Ironically, the brand spanking new rail lines in Texas were far more comfortable and clean than the CTA.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #433
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Originally Posted by Chicagoago View Post
^ right, I just reread my statement and didn't mean to sound so offended! It's definitely very rare among the 300,000,000 people in this country to just walk down to the neighborhood train station, but at least it's available in many of our largest cities.
The more people get the chance to have such a choice the better it will be. I am optimistic in that regard for the US.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ov_79 View Post
Americans made a mistake by getting rid of city public transport in the 1st half of 20th century. It created many urban, structural, ecological and consequently social problems. It is nice to read it has been getting changing in last decade, America is still far from European standards though. The Good luck wish is supposed to be send over the ocean .
You are so correct. I worked for Conrail back in 1976-9 and watched as they selectivley ripped up passenger rails systems in order to move freight only. The U.S. once had connections to every state on the mainland. You could go from the smallest of towns to the largest cities, there was always a way to connect by rail. Now, it's clogged highways, long waits at toll booths and when an accident occurs........figgeddabowtit, you're done. While our government has us fighting the waste war and wasting all our monies in Iraq, our infrastructure continues to suffer. We can't even cross one state to another by rail to connect with NYC (we live just 100 miles west of it). We have to drive and take a bus, then we can get onto the streets. It's sensless, wastefull and just plain stupid.
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Old July 26th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #435
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I would love to be able to take a train from my town into a big city. There is a nice train station downtown in my town (small <10,000) but it has been converted into a restaurant i now work at actually. It was supposedly very nice and sometimes quite busy. I don't understand why the government spent so many billions of dollars trying to get us to use our cars instead of rail? How much sense does that make?
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Old July 28th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #436
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I assume you must no longer live in San Francisco then. The BART is a fairly extensive system for the Bay Area.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #437
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Today's Guardian in the UK has a short article about the increase in people using public transport in the US, accompanying a long piece about Stockton, California, which has the highest rate of house foreclosures in the US.
Quote:
For communities struggling with home foreclosures, the rocketing price of petrol is prompting drastic action: Americans are taking the train.

Amid cries of dismay, the average US price for a gallon of petrol recently reached $4 (£2.02, or about 53p a litre) - still less than half the cost in Britain but a steep rise of $1 a gallon since the beginning of the year.

In Stockton, the number of people using the Altamont Commuter Express, has surged by 15%. The train operator has ordered extra carriages. "We've seen a huge increase in the last couple of weeks because of the price of gas," said Thomas Reeves, a spokesman for the railway, which runs from Stockton to the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.
[...]
This shift is momentous in a nation that has rarely taken buses and trains seriously. Public funding is limited, as is the reach of services - only 54% of Americans have access to public transport.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 02:42 AM   #438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevance View Post
Yes, Metra, almost a decade ago, proposed the STAR Line. Suburban Transit Access Route.

Starts in Joliet, goes west and north and then east to Schaumburg and O'Hare. Would connect several of the western rail lines and bring suburban dwellers to a major airport.

http://metraconnects.metrarail.com/star.php

Steve
I like that proposal. I would like to see the STAR route extended on existing freight rail ROW SE of Joliet through Chicago Heights and into Indiana, passing through Griffith and ending in Hobart. NW Indiana needs more commuter rail than just the South Shore Line.

Amtrak used to also provide service between Valparaiso and Chicago. That service should resume, this time as commuter rail.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:38 PM   #439
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Amid rising gas prices, T sets ridership record
28 July 2008

BOSTON (AP) - Rising gas prices sent commuters flocking to the MBTA in record numbers over the last 12 months.

The transit system released figures Monday showing that nearly 375 million people took public transportation in fiscal 2008, a 6 percent increase from the previous year and the highest ridership figure ever.

The MBTA said the largest increases came in riders on buses and light rail, such as the Green Line.

State Secretary of Transportation Bernard Cohen says $4-per-gallon gasoline prices are creating major changes in travel behavior.

MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas tells The Boston Globe that the extra fares aren't enough to solve all the agency's financial problems. The T was forced to deplete much of its reserves to bridge a $75 million dollar budget gap for the new fiscal year.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:59 PM   #440
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Because of absolutely no funding (the stupid governor is cutting funds), the CTA is trying to find new ways to ease the massive influx of people on the trains/busses due to gas prices. They're in the process of ripping out seats on some trains to run trains with 6 cars containing seats like usual, and 2 center cars that would be seatless and crammed with standing room only passengers. I see their point, but it's crazy it's come to this and NO FUNDING for transit.



CTA considers standing-room-only L cars

CTA riders on busy rush-hour lines could see some L cars designated as standing-room-only in the next few months.

That’s one measure in the works to deal with soaring L ridership prompted by higher gasoline prices.

The CTA also is considering making some trains “short turn” runs that would cover just the busiest stretches, to accommodate more passengers at rush-hour. For instance, a southbound Blue Line train might start at Jefferson Park, instead of O’Hare.

The transit agency — which reported today it saw a 6.9 percent increase in passengers last month — is also considering taking out seats on busy bus routes.

The CTA says such steps are being weighed because it can’t afford to buy more train cars and buses. Transit officials say they need the Legislature to pass a new capital bill to be able to do that.

The CTA attributes most of the increased ridership to fast-rising fuel prices. But as much as 10 percent of the extra riders are seniors who have enjoyed free fares since March 17.

“While we’re very excited to have as many seniors as we can, it’s becoming a acapacity challenge on the system,” CTA President Ron Huberman told board members today.

Passengers can decide whether or not to get on a standing-room-only train car, which would be clearly marked, Huberman said. Pregnant, elderly or disabled passengers, for instance, could choose cars with seats.

The extra ridership hasn’t translated into a corresponding increase in revenue for the CTA, officials said, due to the increased number of free rides and to the number of CTA riders using monthly passes.

Last edited by Chicagoago; July 31st, 2008 at 07:06 PM.
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