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Old August 21st, 2008, 07:21 PM   #461
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarbury View Post
High speed rail project in California, though that still hasn't got secured funding...

I'm pretty sure there are big expansions happening to the LA metro.

East side access project under construction in NYC linking the Long Island Railroad with Grand Central Station.....

I am sure there are more...
Major expansions to the LRT system in Minneapolis / St. Paul...
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 02:25 AM   #462
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It does seem like the USA is going to light-rail and busway systems much more than commuter rail or metro.

I guess this is because of lower population densities than European cities?
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:42 AM   #463
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I represent all those cities. I am relocating to Nicaragua this month. I have homes in Seoul, Tokyo, NYC, Managua, and San Jose CR just FYI.
Buddy, i'm sorry your card just has to be pulled

You contradict yourself when you said You can NEVER walk to a subway system in the USA, you need a car, park at the metro parking garage and then ride the metro...which is RIDICULOUS (post number 31 in this thread)

just doesn't add up, and you say you have a home in nyc, now albeit you may live in some part of riverdale, throggs neck, whitestone, richmond hill but the public transit is still more than adequate (than most places in the US) to get you to where you need to be.

what you had said isvery suspect
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 05:27 AM   #464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarbury
It does seem like the USA is going to light-rail and busway systems much more than commuter rail or metro.
Commuter rail in the US is expanding... It's just not like "commuter rail" in other places, as it's usually bi-level DMUs with low service frequencies, usually running on old freight/railroad ROW. Wikipedia has a fairly complete list of existing and planned commuter rail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarbury
I guess this is because of lower population densities than European cities?
Not just Europe, but pretty much anywhere else. High-capacity systems like metros wouldn't pencil out for most areas--low ridership demand, high cost... For most of these places which are getting entirely new systems, smaller-scale light rail and rapid bus systems are more palatable to the average citizen, who probably doesn't use public transit at all and don't plan to. They're very small baby steps in the right direction, though... Once there is a large constituency that uses transit on a daily basis, public perceptions should start to change and people will begin to understand transit's role and potential. The end of cheap oil is also proving to be a boon.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 09:21 AM   #465
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Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
I think a lot of projects are happening in the smaller, less [internationally] well known cities like Phoenix, Charlotte and Salt Lake City - I can't be too sure though so if anyone has info and pictures then that would be great.

I always wondered why Miami does adapt its metrorail into a good transport mode. With a few extensions, higher frequencies equipping it to carry more people, it would be a pretty great transit system.
Miami is currently constructing the InterModal Center just east of it's airport which will be a station for Amtrak, Tri Rail (tri-county commuter rail) & Metrorail. At the end of this year Miami will start an expansion which will finally link it's airport to Metrorail and the other systems I listed above.

It also has plans to expand Metrorail by several lines including one that goes from the suburbs in the west to Miami Beach in the east & another line to the southern parts of the Ft Lauderdale metro. However these extensions require Federal funding which is 50% and the rest must be funded by Miami and the state of Florida. It's an ardous process because the Feds must approve the line in order to get funding first.

the orange lines are the planned extensions:



Miami InterModal Center (MIC on the map):



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Old August 24th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #466
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So what are some of the new transport projects in the United States? All I know is the new Second Avenue subway...
There is a 1/2 cent sales tax increase proposed for LA County which would fund a Purple Line subway extension to Beverly Hills, Century City, and Westwood; a Green Line extension to LAX; another subway through downtown to connect the light-rail lines that end in downtown but do not currently go through it; and a Gold Line extension to Azusa and possibly all the way to Montclair. However, there are a lot of freeway projects listed for this money and plenty of pork because of political nonsense. The list of projects can be found here.

A non-profit firm was recently created that will revive the streetcar in downtown Los Angeles and maybe take it even further.

100 miles of light-rail is currently planned for Denver and I think that all of the money is allocated for it.

That's all that I'm really aware of, but I only really follow the west coast.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #467
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Originally Posted by jarbury View Post
It does seem like the USA is going to light-rail and busway systems much more than commuter rail or metro.

I guess this is because of lower population densities than European cities?
That, and cost.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #468
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Not Republicans, its more of what is called neo-conservatism and many neo-conservatives lie in the Republican Party. A traditional Republican would be Ron Paul. John McCain is a neo-con although most of them reside in Congress since they are the ones sending money for Iraq funding. After all, the President signs the stuff or vetos, but the most power is held in the Legislative Branch.
Republicans do tend to be more resistent when it comes to funding public transit & other public infrastructure.

But a lot of why the US has lagged so far behind the rest of the developed world (& even some developing countries like China, which has greatly expanded its transit) in transit infrastucture is the lack of urban-oriented politicians in top positions.

Even the one Democratic president we've had in recent decades came from a small mostly rural state. Although most Americans live in larger metropolitan areas, urban constituencies are vastly underrepresented in the US Senate.

And when's the last time a big city mayor was elected President?
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:55 AM   #469
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Republicans do tend to be more resistent when it comes to funding public transit & other public infrastructure.

But a lot of why the US has lagged so far behind the rest of the developed world (& even some developing countries like China, which has greatly expanded its transit) in transit infrastucture is the lack of urban-oriented politicians in top positions.

Even the one Democratic president we've had in recent decades came from a small mostly rural state. Although most Americans live in larger metropolitan areas, urban constituencies are vastly underrepresented in the US Senate.

And when's the last time a big city mayor was elected President?
If Bloomberg had run on the Democratic Party (which he should have), he'd probably be elected. Now he'd be a pretty damn good president.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #470
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High gas prices cut US driving for 8th month-Govt

WASHINGTON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Americans scaled back their driving during June by almost 5 percent in response to soaring fuel costs, the government said on Wednesday -- a day after announcing the biggest six-month drop in U.S. petroleum demand in 26 years.

The Transportation Department said U.S. motorists drove 12.2 billion fewer miles in June compared to a year earlier, marking the eight month in a row that travel declined in the face of record gas prices as Americans change their driving habits, buy more fuel-efficient cars and switch to public transport.

"Changes in consumer behavior have essentially erased five years of growth in gasoline demand," the American Petroleum Institute said on Wednesday in a separate report that showed gasoline use during the first seven months of 2008 fell by 2.1 percent to the lowest level for the period in five years.

The impact of driving less was also reflected in new Energy Department data released on Tuesday that said total U.S. petroleum demand shrank by an average 800,000 barrels a day during the first half of this year, the biggest decline since 1982, because of soaring pump costs and a weak economy.

Since last November, U.S. motorists have driven 53.2 billion fewer miles than they did over the same period a year earlier, topping the 1970s total drop in U.S. miles traveled of 49.3 billion miles that was caused by several recessions and increases in gasoline prices over the decade.

The Transportation Department collects its highway data from more than 4,000 automatic traffic recorders operated around the clock by state agencies.

The presidential candidates have responded to voter angst over high gasoline prices by offering different solutions they claim will bring down short-term fuel costs.

Democrat Barack Obama wants to release 70 million barrels of crude from the U.S. emergency oil stockpile that he believes will immediately cut prices as more supplies are put into the market.

Republican John McCain wants to expand offshore drilling, which he says said would result in lower prices by sending a message to oil traders that the United States was serious about boosting domestic oil production.

The decline in miles traveled since last November has occurred the most in rural areas, where travel has fallen by 4 percent, compared to the 1.2 percent drop in urban miles traveled, the department detailed.

High fuel costs have the biggest effect on individuals in rural areas, who normally drive more and spend a larger share of their income on gasoline.

In response to soaring fuel prices, Americans appear to have given up their long love affair with big, gas-guzzling vehicles and are leaving them for cars that can save money at the pump.

U.S. automakers reported that car sales in July outpaced SUV and other light truck sales by 10 percentage points, with cars accounting for 55 percent of all vehicles sold.

Trucks sales had consistently made up the majority of vehicles sold between 1997 and 2007, until rising gasoline prices encouraged consumers to switch to cars with better fuel economy.

"Hopefully, the era of the Hummer and other gas guzzlers is over," said Daniel Weiss, energy expert at the Center for American Progress think thank in Washington.

Honda Motor Corp., the industry leader in fuel efficient cars, is expanding its fleet in 2009. "Small, fuel-efficient vehicles are not short-term strategies for Honda," Richard Colliver, executive vice president of Honda America said on Wednesday at a forum in Traverse City, Michigan.

"I do think there has been a shift in consumer preference here," said Tim Evans, energy analyst for Citi Futures Perspective. "Over the intermediate to longer-term, I don't think automakers are going to risk building as many SUVs."

Many Americans are giving up the car altogether to get to work and instead are using public transportation.

"Americans are beginning to drive less and less," Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, told Reuters. "America is beginning to change its habits, which I think is a good thing, and government investment ought to follow," he said, referring to more money for public transportation projects.

However, the downside of less driving for the government is fewer dollars to pay for highway projects and public transportation, which is funded by an 18.4 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and a 24.4 cent-per-gallon diesel fuel tax.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #471
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The Atlanta Beltline is currently scraping together funding to begin the transit portion of the project. The creation of several parks and trails has already begun, and there has been a lot of high density development along the planned route. The Beltline and MARTA will connect at 4 transfer stations. MARTA lines are yellow on the map, and the Beltline is red.


http://www.beltline.org/Portals/26/I...apOverview.jpg

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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #472
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Metro ridership remains high as gas prices fall
August numbers are 7 percent ahead of 2007

25 August 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Even though gasoline prices have fallen in recent weeks, daily ridership on Metro rail service this month is about 7 percent higher than last August.

Preliminary statistics show Metro is averaging 757,000 riders per weekday, compared to 707,000 in August 2007.

That follows a July that saw a 5.5 percent ridership increase over July 2007.

Ronald Kirby, transportation planning director for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, says the numbers may be a sign that people are making fairly permanent changes to their commuting habits.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #473
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Bus systems lure riders with plush seats and Wi-Fi
25 August 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Think of the typical city bus, and Americans are likely to picture old vehicles with hard seats and noisy brakes that belch diesel fumes as they jerk from stop to stop.

Transit agencies want people to take another look. They are rolling out more attractive and comfortable buses, convenient express routes and even on-board Wi-Fi.

High gas prices and a tight economy have made all kinds of transit, including buses, more popular. In the first three months of 2008, 2.6 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the U.S., a 3 percent increase over the first quarter of 2007, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Bus ridership increased 2 percent to nearly 1.5 billion trips.

Buses may lack the hipness of subways or light rail, but they are the best hope for accommodating large numbers of new riders quickly and affordably. To harness the increased demand for mass transit, officials are turning to new ways of delivering and marketing their bus service.

Ted Mann, an Arlington, Virginia, resident, has been a regular bus rider since totaling his car a year ago and has noticed the improvements.

Mann, 66, said the Washington area's extensive transit service has meant he hasn't felt compelled to buy a new car. Still, he can testify to the image problem that buses face.

"The other night I was with a group of people, and the fastest thing to do was to get on the bus. Some of these people had never been on a bus -- as if this was some awful low-class way," he said.

Nationally, bus riders tend to be poorer than rail passengers. According to a 2007 national study by public transportation association, 21 percent of trips by rail are made by people with household incomes less than $25,000, compared with 43 percent of bus trips. On the other side of the spectrum, 30 percent of rail trips are made by people with incomes of $75,000 or higher, while only 12 percent of bus trips are.

Metro, the Washington region's transit agency, hopes a makeover will help buses' public relations problem. This month the agency is introducing new buses with a modern red and silver color scheme, cushioned seats and sound-deadening floors for a quieter ride.

"People who wouldn't normally take the bus -- they can see this beautiful piece of art here and want to take public transportation," said Milo Victoria, Metro's assistant general manager for bus operations.

Elsewhere, transit agencies from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Cincinnati to Oakland, California, have introduced Wi-Fi on buses, particularly those on longer commuter routes. Metro plans to make Wi-Fi available at elaborate new bus shelters in Arlington, which will also feature heated seats and electronic signs with bus arrival and departure information.

And transit systems are looking for inexpensive ways to make bus trips faster. Cincinnati's Metro received permission this month to make permanent an arrangement that allows buses to travel in the left shoulder of Interstate 71 when traffic is heavy. Other systems use technology that keeps traffic lights green when a bus approaches.

Transit systems are also adopting more fuel-efficient alternatives to regular diesel buses, helping insulate them from rising fuel costs while also providing another selling point for potential passengers who care about the environment. In Philadelphia, for example, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has ordered 400 new diesel-electric hybrids, with the first 100 to be introduced by the end of the year.

In the Washington region, the emphasis on improving bus service marks a shift. Metro's rail system, a federal project of the 1960s and 1970s, has long been the local favorite. Home buyers often pay a premium for proximity to a Metro station while bus routes don't have the same cachet.

Metro General Manager John Catoe, who arrived at the agency last year with a mandate to improve bus service, said nicer vehicles and more convenient service will go a long way to changing the mode's image.

"We painted the picture of the bus," he said. "We as an industry need to repaint the picture and make it attractive."

Expanding and improving Washington's bus service is critical to shift some of the pressure off the rail system, which is packed during rush hour and has little room to add longer or more frequent trains. Catoe has proposed an extensive network of express buses that would use shoulders or bus-only lanes to help meet the region's immediate transportation needs.

Such an initiative would require millions of dollars in new equipment. Washington's new 60-foot (18-meter) articulated buses cost nearly $800,000 apiece -- a total of $17.4 million for 22 buses.

But that's nothing close to the cost of expanding the rail network. For example, a project to extend Metrorail 11.6 miles (18.6 kilometers) in northern Virginia carries a $2.6 billion price tag, and it won't be done until 2013 at the earliest.

"Right now we have the issues," Catoe said, "and we don't have a lot of time to be building things."
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Old August 26th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #474
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Fuel prices hurting Cincinnati transit agency's budget
24 August 2008

CINCINNATI (AP) - The executive director of the Cincinnati-area transportation authority is warning that high fuel prices and lingering equipment needs are taking their toll on the agency's operational budget.

Marilyn Shazor said in a letter to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transportation Authority board on Friday that cuts to bus service or fare increases are possible.

She says more people are riding Metro buses because of the rising cost of transportation. But the increase in customers won't be enough to offset the agency's fuel bill, which will rise by $3 million to $12 million next year.

Public hearings are required if next year's budget includes fare changes or service reductions of more than 25 percent on any route.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #475
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Tucson puts the brakes on bus expansion
27 August 2008

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Sun Tran buses running their routes through Tucson are jammed with riders.

The bus line has seen dramatic growth over the past two years as the cost of gas and diesel fuel soared. Ridership in July was up nearly 19 percent compared with July 2007, said Kandi Young, Sun Tran's communications director.

Riders are often standing shoulder to shoulder during their commute. If Sun Tran buses are too full, they have to wait for the next one, sometimes a half hour or more.

"Why don't they run them more closely together?" asked Amanda Brobbel, 37, while calling to report she would be late for work at the University of Arizona.

The answer? Not enough buses, drivers and mechanics, Sun Tran officials said.

"It's a very dangerous situation," said Kevin Redding, 27, before boarding Sun Tran's Route 9 Tuesday. "It's very bad for elderly people who have a hard time walking, and then they can't get a seat," he said.

Sun Tran says it replaces aging vehicles regularly. The city transit system will buy 18 new buses in February at a cost of about $400,000 each, Young said. But those are replacement buses, she noted. "They won't add a single bus to Sun Tran's fleet of 206," she said.

Tucson doesn't have the cash to buy additional buses, said Jim Glock, director of the city's Transportation Department.

County voters in 2006 approved a 20-year Regional Transportation Plan that is supposed to raise about $2.1 billion for transportation improvements. The plan allocates about $533 million for transit improvements, which include more Sun Tran buses, a modern streetcar, rapid transit buses, more express routes and service to areas outside city limits.
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Old August 30th, 2008, 06:01 AM   #476
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U.S. to continue conserving gas as prices fall
Thursday, August 28 04:41 pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - American drivers faced with $4 gasoline have embraced conservation and consumers are unlikely to easily return to their old gas-guzzling ways now that pump prices are retreating from record levels.

As U.S. gasoline prices burst above $4 a gallon this summer, U.S. gasoline demand staged its biggest drop in more than a quarter of a century.

But even with gasoline prices falling to their lowest level in 16 weeks to average $3.69 a gallon on Monday, Americans will continue to ride public transportation and buy more fuel-efficient cars.

"There was a period when SUVs were a kind of status symbol and everyone in the suburbs wanted one," said James Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California at San Diego. "I think that has really changed. I think there are a lot of people kind of embarrassed socially now with the kind of car they have."

U.S. motorists drove 12.2 billion fewer miles in June compared with a year earlier, while gasoline demand shrank by an average 800,000 barrels a day during the first half of this year, the biggest decline since 1982, because of soaring pump prices and a weak economy.

In the 1990s the price of gasoline seemed cheap to consumers as incomes rose. But, when gasoline began its steep climb this year, Americans could no longer ignore the cost.

In July, U.S. auto sales fell to a 16-year low as Americans turned away from fuel-intensive SUVs and pickup trucks. In a reversal of the past decade, cars sales outpaced truck sales at a ratio of 55 percent to 45 percent.

The move toward more fuel-efficient cars will have an enduring impact on U.S. gasoline demand, Energy Information Administration head Guy Caruso told reporters this week. The EIA is forecasting for the first time that gasoline demand will continue to decline in the long term.

"Some of it's permanent, but some of it is highly dependent on two things: the price, but probably even as important is personal disposable income," he said.

Americans made a similar shift to smaller cars during the energy crisis of the 1970s. By the early 1990s, however, gasoline prices had dropped significantly and Americans began to prefer larger vehicles.

There is concern that, if prices keep falling, some Americans would likely revert back to their old ways.

But Ken Medlock, energy fellow at Baker Institute at Rice University, said consumers burned by $4 a gallon gasoline may be more cautious than in the past.

Medlock said people will be more conscious of conservation because, if prices spike again, they "don't want to be riding around in a Hummer, when they could be driving something fuel-efficient."

The giant Hummer SUV may be one of the most identifiable brands in the long line of gas guzzlers. But in another sign of the times, General Motors has put the brand on the block and two investors from the oil-rich Gulf Arab region have expressed interest.

The EIA sees gasoline demand falling to 9.17 million barrels per day this year, from 9.29 million barrels in 2007. In 2009, demand is to fall again, to 9.15 million barrels.

"Even though, as prices fall, we'd expect some increase in travel, unfortunately, household budgets have been strained by these high prices," said Tancred Lidderdale, senior economist with the EIA.

Americans have also turned to public transport in record numbers to save money and are unlikely to alter their new money-saving habits. Ridership on public transportation rose 3.4 percent in the first three months of 2008, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Virginia Miller, a spokeswoman for the group, noted that fuel prices spiked in the spring of 2006 and public transit ridership rose. By the end of the summer prices declined, but ridership had not.

"As gas prices came down, they could have chosen to go back to the car, but for the most part they didn't, and gas prices were significantly less then than they are now," Miller said.

Still some worry that if gasoline prices fall below $3.50 a gallon, Americans will leave their energy-efficient ways behind.

As well, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has struck a cord by mocking the idea that Americans need to do things like inflate car tires to save gas, saying the solution was more drilling and more supply.

"Everybody wants to consume gasoline and they would prefer to have a larger vehicle, so consumers don't give up the wanting," said Mary Novak, managing director of energy services for Global Insight. "The thing that makes them give up the wanting is the price."
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Old August 30th, 2008, 08:51 AM   #477
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I'm glad to see Americans using less gas as the price rises. That is the ONLY thing that will bring the grossly inflated price down.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 02:33 PM   #478
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In New Zealand we've had the same good news with public transport usage still remaining high even with petrol prices coming down.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 05:34 PM   #479
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Record ridership strains CTA, Metra, Pace—and it's likely to get worse
Lack of capital improvement catches up to transit agencies

By Jon Hilkevitch and Richard Wronski | Tribune reporters
September 2, 2008

Hop aboard the bus or train, if there's an inch of space for the doors to close, and prepare for a rough ride.

The surging popularity of mass transit in the Chicago area is on a collision course with the system's shortcomings: too few seats and inadequate capital funding.

Fueled by high gas prices, ridership is at or near record levels for Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority. Expect it to become even more crowded with Labor Day in the rear-view mirror and families returning to work and school from summer vacations.

"There's a huge bounce in ridership after Labor Day vacations," said CTA President Ron Huberman, who noted CTA ridership historically peaks in September.


It promises to be challenging for the CTA and Metra to accommodate the extra riders. As it is, try to squeeze onto the overcrowded CTA "L" platform at Clark/Lake—let alone actually get onto the next train—at about 5 p.m. on a weekday.

"It's another wild night on the cattle drive. Moove along," commuter Katie O'Shea, 33, said during evening rush last week as she held her backpack in both arms and pushed toward a Brown Line train approaching the station.

The CTA is hurriedly hiring hundreds of bus drivers and train operators after higher-than-normal attrition and a hiring freeze last year prompted by a series of "doomsday" threats that would have slashed service, raised fares and furloughed hundreds of workers.

Delivery of new CTA rail cars—to replace trains that began service in 1969 and should have been retired more than a decade ago—remains at least two years away. In addition, the CTA has received only half of the 400 new buses it ordered to replace 1991 models that had been due for retirement in 2003.

The predicament leaves the transit agency no option except to attempt to recycle its existing equipment more quickly on routes and put supervisors on train platforms and at bus stops to improvise service changes to deal with waiting passengers.

"I guess you could call it the poor man's version of expanding the fleet," Huberman said.

There's no hiding the desperation.

The CTA is removing all the seats from some of its rail cars and reducing seats on some buses as part of an experiment beginning this fall to pack in more riders.


To boost its seating, Metra ended bar-car beverage service Friday and plans to remove some on-board toilets. The commuter railroad is also rehabbing five 1950s-era bilevel coaches that it had sold to a Virginia commuter line and bought back earlier this year.

Even the Pace suburban bus system, the unfortunate symbol for years of how the car is king in the suburbs, is packing them in these days on routes that feed Metra and CTA rail stations and business parks. Pace reduced special express service to Cubs and Bears games to free up buses for regular evening service, officials said.

The CTA, which provides an average of 1.7 million rides a day and is already operating at full capacity during rush periods, is bracing for up to 200,000 additional riders each weekday, transit officials said.

At least many CTA customers ride for relatively short distances. Most Metra riders aren't as lucky, traveling up to 50 miles each way, in some cases while standing in the aisles and vestibules or sitting on the steps of packed trains.

When the trains are too crowded, the conductors don't always collect cash fares, so revenue is lost, Deborah Moore pointed out after her morning Union Pacific North Line train arrived last week in downtown Chicago more than an hour late.

"Metra, the way to really fly," said Moore, mocking the commuter railroad's slogan. "Oh, yeah, how could I forget? Flying doesn't seem like a good idea these days, either."

Sustained ridership increases month after month leave little doubt that transit across the U.S. is experiencing a renaissance as commuters drive less. The 53.2 billion-mile reduction in total miles driven nationwide since last November has surpassed the mileage decline during the oil crisis of the 1970s, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

But in the Chicago region, another crisis that has been developing for years—no new money for capital improvements for mass transit—threatens to erupt as transit ridership grows.

CTA bus ridership has increased 6 percent through July, compared with the first seven months of 2007, while rail ridership rose 2 percent, the CTA said. Weekend ridership on the CTA system also increased 6 percent. And ridership in 2007 was the highest since 1992.

"We're ecstatic about the phenomenal growth in ridership but concerned about our capacity to manage and keep the new customers," said Huberman, who calls state passage of new capital funding to help pay for new buses and trains the CTA's No. 1 priority.

"Some people are willing to push onto a crowded train or bus during rush hour and find that acceptable," Huberman said. "Other people simply will not opt for that transportation."

The CTA plans to introduce operational changes after Labor Day to try to maximize efficiency. Its efforts include:

• Deploying managers who have the authority to call extra buses into service at pinch points during rush periods. The goal is to redistribute buses where they are most needed and ease bus-bunching.

• Increasing the number of train runs through the end of the year as slow-zone construction is completed, particularly on the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line and in the Red Line subway.

• Doing more short-turning of trains on the Brown Line corridor and along the Blue Line to address pinch points where waiting passengers cannot board already full trains. Short-turning involves running some trains on a portion of the route in the morning to pick up passengers at high-volume stations and deliver them to the Loop.


Meanwhile, Metra ridership increased 5 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2007.

Metra expects 2008 to be its third consecutive record-setting year, said Lynette Ciavarella, the railroad's director of planning and analysis.

Eight of Metra's all-time top 10 ridership months have occurred since June 2007, she said. In particular, weekend ticket sales are outstripping all categories, up 20 percent in the first half of 2008, she said.

But without millions of dollars in new funding from a state public works program, Metra cannot buy the additional cars it needs to meet ridership growth, said spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet. The commuter railroad has not acquired any new trains since 2005.

Pace's total ridership increased 3.6 percent through July. July's ridership was up 10.6 percent compared with the same month last year, the highest July hike in the suburban bus system's history, said spokesman Patrick Wilmot.

Pace is also coping with equipment shortages due to the capital funding shortfalls. With increases in ridership slowing service, on-time performance has suffered.

"We've used a majority of our capital funding to cover operating deficits over the past several years," Wilmot said. "The issue for us is whether a capital bill is passed soon enough and is adequate for us to replace our fleet."
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 06:27 PM   #480
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US metro operator should really study how to reap it's newly obtained riders.
More ridership mean more people, try selling in-train ads and station billboards.
More concentration of people means more chance of selling products meaning higher value in real estate around hub stations.
People riding train meaning people having more time to kill meaning sales of books, magazines, music etc. around the station should also be expected.
With these kind of confort amenities surrounding the stations it becomes insentives in selecting trains as first choice for commutingl.
Bottom line more convinient it becomes the more people will select as their means of travel.
Japan should know it has all and much more.
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