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  #14961  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 1:02 AM
wwmiv wwmiv is offline
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Originally Posted by Handro View Post
This is what I'm thinking. Barring a miracle, Chicago won't be laying any new heavy rail. But integrating Metra/CTA would do wonders for neighborhoods currently out of reach of reliable public transit. BRT is the other realistic albeit major component--a few east/wast and a few north/south routes would do wonders to connect the city (with connections at CTA rail and the aforementioned integrated metra stops.)
Electrifying select Metra lines within the city limits would require requiring transfers at the last electrified station to traditional Metra diesel trains. It would also require a unified fair structure (so that outbound Metra riders can make it to their proper transfer station after work). It would also require rerouting Metra tracks within the loop into a centralized new tunnel system (you cannot reroute into the blue and red tunnels unless you want to significantly disrupt those service headways) to distribute those new riders throughout the loop. You’d also need a new set of transfer stations with existing loop stations and with both the blue and red lines (without checking I would assume the rail gauges are different, too, between the two systems). This would decrease ridership tremendously on the remainder of the non-electrified stops that remain within the commuter Metra belt while increasing ridership within the city. Does the increase outweigh the decrease? Then you’ve gotta consider that the ridership decrease on the remaining Metra system is disproportionately going to move to their car and drive into the city for work every day, thus either making traffic worse in the city or having at best no net traffic effect at all. I’d say worse is more likely, if only because the people in the city who would have shifted their commutes to the new electrified rail would have disproportionately come from preexisting bus transit riders.

All of this is to say: you either electrify the whole system and consolidate their fair structures or you leave the dual system structure as it is while expanding each separately.
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  #14962  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 1:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Anything else involves some pretty crappy compromises. One other thought I had is that you could put the subway cavern under Milwaukee, which would actually be very convenient for the bus transfer folks and JP residents, but would screw over any Brown Line riders going to O'Hare with a long convoluted walk. Maybe that's not a big deal if the Brown Line train continues directly to O'Hare.
True, which begs the question if you have to slog a 1000 foot + moveable sidewalk bridge connection ($$$ by itself) why not just end the extension with a superstation between the MD-N (with new stop) and a reactivated electrified Weber Spur to Lincolnwood and beyond. Two commuter rail and two rapid transit services in one station complex. A guy can dream.
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  #14963  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 4:43 AM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
Electrifying select Metra lines within the city limits would require requiring transfers at the last electrified station to traditional Metra diesel trains. It would also require a unified fair structure (so that outbound Metra riders can make it to their proper transfer station after work). It would also require rerouting Metra tracks within the loop into a centralized new tunnel system (you cannot reroute into the blue and red tunnels unless you want to significantly disrupt those service headways) to distribute those new riders throughout the loop. You’d also need a new set of transfer stations with existing loop stations and with both the blue and red lines (without checking I would assume the rail gauges are different, too, between the two systems). This would decrease ridership tremendously on the remainder of the non-electrified stops that remain within the commuter Metra belt while increasing ridership within the city. Does the increase outweigh the decrease? Then you’ve gotta consider that the ridership decrease on the remaining Metra system is disproportionately going to move to their car and drive into the city for work every day, thus either making traffic worse in the city or having at best no net traffic effect at all. I’d say worse is more likely, if only because the people in the city who would have shifted their commutes to the new electrified rail would have disproportionately come from preexisting bus transit riders.

All of this is to say: you either electrify the whole system and consolidate their fair structures or you leave the dual system structure as it is while expanding each separately.

Why coudln't suburban trains still be diesel (or dual-mode locomotives) while in-city trains would be EMU's? The suburban trains could run mostly express in the city.
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  #14964  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 5:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SIGSEGV View Post
Why coudln't suburban trains still be diesel (or dual-mode locomotives) while in-city trains would be EMU's? The suburban trains could run mostly express in the city.
Those larger diesel trains would be a major safety hazard running on the same tracks without temporal separation, let alone technical and engineering limitations to combining the technologies. That’s why you don’t see that any real world examples of this approach, that I know of. You’d either have to electrify the entire system or require commuter transfers at the edge of a centrally electrified system. Either way, that would require massive investment in the core to integrate the current termini into a functioning system.

It’d be more cost effective to:
(1a) build CTA extensions where logical: red-south, blue-west, orange, yellow & brown line extensions
(1b) change service structure to provide a better and more seamless system: inbound yellow line direct express service into the loop via the red line tunnel, plus other similar express arrangements on the south side
(1c) build new CTA lines where necessary by activating vacant rail beds, thru eminent domain, or cut/cap/subway: the circle line, Weber spur (nice suggestion, above poster), etc.
(2) build a supplementary light rail system for in-city medium density or redeveloping areas, designed to facilitate seamless passenger transfers to key CTA and Metra stations and in a way that can be upgraded easily for increased frequency later: Lincoln Yards, Portage Park / Dunning are seriously underserved.
(3) infill stations on Metra and CTA where needed
(4) bus rapid transit down key corridors
(5) complete streets (bike lanes, bus lanes, etc.) everywhere
(6) consolidate payment systems and fair rates. One ventra pass should qualify you for ALL of Metra, CTA, and Pace. Rather than the separated systems they have for them.
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Metropolitan Central Texas 2018: 5,672,404 (+19.98% over 2010):
San Antonio: 1,532,233 (+15.43%) + Metro Suburbs: 985,803 (+20.94%)
Austin: 964,254 (+22.00%) + Metro Suburbs: 1,204,062 (+30.04%)
Killeen/Temple Metro: 451,679 (+11.44%) + Waco Metro: 271,942 (+15.77%) + Bryan/College Station Metro: 262,431 (+14.77%)
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  #14965  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 5:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
Those larger diesel trains would be a major safety hazard running on the same tracks without temporal separation, let alone technical and engineering limitations to combining the technologies. That’s why you don’t see that any real world examples of this approach, that I know of. You’d either have to electrify the entire system or require commuter transfers at the edge of a centrally electrified system. Either way, that would require massive investment in the core to integrate the current termini into a functioning system.
What are you talking about? Any electrification system would be overhead catenary. Diesel trains run under catenary all the time, including on the South Shore Line right here in Chicago. Or on the Northeast Corridor in New Jersey. There's no regulatory issue with installing an overhead power system on a diesel road - although freight railroads may want to ensure that double-stack container cars can fit under the wires, and some bridges over the tracks may need to be raised higher.

The temporal separation thing you're thinking of is not about power supply, but about crashworthiness. Most modern multiple-unit trains from foreign manufacturers - like the ones on NJ's RiverLine, or Texas' Cotton Belt - have an efficient, lightweight design to save energy and improve performance. However, FRA historically didn't want lightweight passenger trains running on the same tracks as uber-heavy freights... in the event of a crash, lightweight trains would get wrecked along with everybody inside them. So American commuter rail operators were forced to purchase heavy, inefficient locomotives and cars (whether diesel OR electric) that would hold up better in a freight collision.

BUT - FRA's policy has now changed. The Positive Train Control system being installed across the country drastically reduces the likelihood of crashes, so FRA will now issue waivers to any railroad that wants to run modern lightweight equipment - whether diesel OR electric. Caltrain in SF is currently installing an overhead catenary system AND plans to run modern, lightweight trains AND will mix them with UP freight trains at several points along the corridor.
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Last edited by ardecila; Nov 21, 2019 at 5:59 PM.
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  #14966  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2019, 2:59 PM
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Given my limited expectations of Metra's willingness to innovate they could buy ALP-45DPs and start electrification from the city terminals on out as funds and negotiations with the various railroads allow. That is of course separate from the Rock Island which Metra owns and could electrify at will provided they had the cash and desire.
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  #14967  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2019, 3:06 PM
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I sincerely hope the recent profoundly encouraging decision to electrify by the Boston MBTA will serve as inspiration to the ye olde railroading culture at Metra.
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  #14968  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2019, 3:40 PM
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I sincerely hope the recent profoundly encouraging decision to electrify by the Boston MBTA will serve as inspiration to the ye olde railroading culture at Metra.
Metra has never seemed all that interested in what the other commuter roads are doing that could apply to their own operation. I'm skeptical that will change a lot. I mean they were still trying to buy gallery cars for christ's sake until only one company responded to their request. I'm fully expecting to see the Caltrain ones riding our rails in a couple years when they start using EMUs.



Last edited by k1052; Nov 22, 2019 at 5:15 PM.
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  #14969  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2019, 6:19 PM
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This could change with a generational shift in leadership at the agency — also public shaming.
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  #14970  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2019, 6:48 PM
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Red painted bus lanes appearing in curb lanes around town! On Western in Bucktown, also I spotted them along Chicago Ave in River West.

This phase also includes some paint on 79th. The next phase, according to the Block Club article, will include parts of Halsted, Pulaski, 63rd, and Belmont.

https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/12...special-lanes/


src: Block Club
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  #14971  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 1:43 PM
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Going to need some on board camera enforcement for these things...
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  #14972  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 3:21 PM
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Going to need some on board camera enforcement for these things...
Which, as you know, requires a new state law. Good luck getting anything out of Springfield. It'll take at least a few more years, and more deployment of bus lanes, before there is any urgency in the State House on this matter. And even then it may require the city to trade out red-light cameras or speed cameras. Ideally all money raised from this ticketing goes toward maintenance of the existing bus lanes or creation of new ones.

Lightfoot hasn't been especially gung-ho about camera enforcement or ticketing generally, but she has expressed support for bus lane cameras at transportation forums.

I'm just amazed to see red paint at all, considering we are still in the grips of the insane parking meter deal...
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  #14973  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 3:57 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is online now
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Red painted bus lanes appearing in curb lanes around town! On Western in Bucktown, also I spotted them along Chicago Ave in River West.

This phase also includes some paint on 79th. The next phase, according to the Block Club article, will include parts of Halsted, Pulaski, 63rd, and Belmont.

https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/12...special-lanes/


src: Block Club
Saw this yesterday in person. They also tricked out Milwaukee with green bike lanes. Looks v gentrified...
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  #14974  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 3:59 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Which, as you know, requires a new state law. Good luck getting anything out of Springfield. It'll take at least a few more years, and more deployment of bus lanes, before there is any urgency in the State House on this matter. And even then it may require the city to trade out red-light cameras or speed cameras. Ideally all money raised from this ticketing goes toward maintenance of the existing bus lanes or creation of new ones.

Lightfoot hasn't been especially gung-ho about camera enforcement or ticketing generally, but she has expressed support for bus lane cameras at transportation forums.

I'm just amazed to see red paint at all, considering we are still in the grips of the insane parking meter deal...
I'd probably trade out the red light cameras, not the speed cameras. If the city can get unlimited ability for on board enforcement it would be worth it. Putting the cash it raises back into more bus improvements seems like an easy sell.

Even with the POS meter deal the city has a fair amount of unmetered parking at its disposal that could offset taking out spots on the busiest bus corridors for enforced bus lanes.
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  #14975  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 4:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post

I'm just amazed to see red paint at all, considering we are still in the grips of the insane parking meter deal...
Yea where did they relocate the parking? There are/were definitely metered spaces where those lanes are...

A small glimpse of what might have been
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  #14976  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 5:31 PM
Baronvonellis Baronvonellis is offline
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Yea where did they relocate the parking? There are/were definitely metered spaces where those lanes are...

A small glimpse of what might have been
Most of Western between Montrose and 63rd doesn't have metered parking, only a bit in Lincoln square does and around Diversey. That particular stretch doesn't have metered parking for example. Ashland is mostly unmetered as well. Only near belmont and Ashland and in Wicker Park does Ashland have meters.

Here's the parking meter map.
https://map.chicagometers.com/
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  #14977  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2019, 7:00 PM
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Most of Western between Montrose and 63rd doesn't have metered parking, only a bit in Lincoln square does and around Diversey. That particular stretch doesn't have metered parking for example. Ashland is mostly unmetered as well. Only near belmont and Ashland and in Wicker Park does Ashland have meters.

Here's the parking meter map.
https://map.chicagometers.com/
Wow could have sworn longer stretches than that, thats great. Wouldn't be that hard to piecemeal together stretches on other roads to make room for BRT on Ashland and Western...
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  #14978  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2019, 1:07 AM
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I am loving the bus lanes.
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