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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 7:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
Something to remember with 95th street is that any red line extension would significantly REDUCE ridership at 95th, since the bulk of ridership at that stop would be taken by the new stations on the extension. 95th is primarily a transfer point from bus riders.
^That's because people could go to the nearest station in the Hundreds instead of schlepping aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way up to 95th. An extension of course would create a drop in use of 95th, but a likely gain in overall Red Line ridership if nothing else. Y'all want more people on the L, rite?

Norsider my disagreement with your last statement is quite plain and unambiguous. Here's where economics may come into play: Metra isn't for everyone who lives near there. Just because the Electric Line has stations every half-mile doesn't mean that it's practical for everyone who is in proximity.

I live literally steps from the 83rd St. stop. But Metra is a little rich for my blood at the moment--especially since that stop is the first in a new and costlier fare zone. If I could afford Metra I'd be all over it; my moms *LOVES* the Electric Line to go to/from work in the Loop; hates the L. But me? I'm all about the 79th and 87th St Red Line stops, even tho I gotta take the #79 or #87--both shit bus routes--or bike to/from there (or, If I'm coming back from partying up North or something and it's like 5 in the AM, walk the 1 1/2 miles from there). Furthermore the Metra scheduling isn't the best for me, either. In summary, the L works better for me and that's the same for many people who would be served by a potential Red Line extension--that's why they take these shitty ass buses driven by ornery ass bus drivers and ridden by ornery ass fellow riders to 95th and the Dan Ryan.

I understand the reasons why many here agree with the CTA prioritizing the Circle Line. And I say by all means maintain those priorities because they are of benefit to y'all. But to say extensions of existing lines aren't necessary or are cost-ineffective is in my opinion due to being uninformed about the neighborhoods they may serve, and I think are notions based on ridership patterns of some existing lines that I don't feel are fully applicable.
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 7:52 PM
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^
Replied at the same time.

Anyways, has anyone here actually ridden the Metra Electric to the end? Seriously, its like a ghost train. You have to flag the operator to stop at certain stops. I was waiting for them to serve Sweet Tea and Shoo-fly pie. Even if its convienient, it still costs more than CTA and has no compatibility with it. So no transfers, etc....

As GZA stated, 115th and Michigan is one of the most vibrant shopping districts most people (including me til last year) don't know about. Many people ride the bus from downtown to visit it. Nothing brings people on transit like development around stations, (as evident by DC having the 2nd largest ridership). Chicago is fortunate to have concentrated commercial areas like this, but so many of them are nowhere near transit. On that note, as painful as it is to admit, having transit terminate in a mall is an excellent way to boost ridership. I've seen the results of that in Toronto and Minneapolis. Of course if the mall fails............

Of course an extension will lower ridership at one station, but it will also boost the rest of the line. For instance, ridership at the Jefferson Park station (a similar hub) isn't reduced because it continues into Rosemont and O'Hare. 95th provides connections to the 95th/Commercial shopping district, Chicago State University, areas west of the Ryan like Beverly, and the South Suburbs. If you built a line down to Michigan/115th, it still wouldn't serve these areas, but it would have one hell of final stop, sort of like downtown Jamaica in Queens. Matter of fact, if it did get built, it would be the only such S.Side shopping district located near rapid transit besides 47th on the Green Line. There's more stuff in the 90's and 100's than the entire Orange Line stretch.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 8:03 PM
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Word. What this man said.

I also wanted to say in my last post (I didn't think you'd swing by this thread tho) that I think you should bust out some more pix sometime (or come down this way and take some more) to provide visual evidence of what I'm trying to get across. Last time I spoke on this in the "Red Line extension" thread last summer you broke one out and it was both Goonsta-Great and helpful in the discussion at hand.

Your camera eye is probably better equipped to make the point than any words I can type on the matter, short of people actually going down there to explore and see with their own eyes.
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  #64  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 8:12 PM
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All the extensions are important and sensible Red line south to at least 115th, yellow line to Old Orchard (with an infill stop at Oakton, damnit), and Orange Line south to Ford City. But I'm with Norsider, where we start kicking ass is once people associate CTA with interconnectivity as well as corridors. I'm comfortable with CTA's choices of priority, though I wish the mid-city transitway and some sort of downtown metra distributor were nearer on the horizon.
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  #65  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 8:31 PM
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Yeah Mid-City Transitway will be sweet.
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  #66  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 9:58 PM
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"Until the CTA can provide convenient and direct access for all the little trips that make a urban area vibrant (think Paris, London, NYC, Tokyo, even an upstart DC), I will be vociferously against all of these things. And it frustrates me that building for these long-ass, Operating-expense-killing trips are all the CTA seems to talk about (other than the Circle Line of course, and Mid-City Transitway to a lesser degree)"

No one's against urban vibrancy, and I'm all for the CTA being less of a hub-and-spokes system, but we're talking about a huge swath of the city that has zero train access. And, let's face it, the Circle Line is not going to solve a huge number of the CTA's hub-and-spoke problems; if it would, I might be more sympathetic. But as is, you're gonna have a hard time convincing me that it's more important to get from North/Clybourn to the United Center a little bit faster than it is to give direct Red Line access to several miles' worth of neighborhoods.
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  #67  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oshkeoto
No one's against urban vibrancy, and I'm all for the CTA being less of a hub-and-spokes system, but we're talking about a huge swath of the city that has zero train access. And, let's face it, the Circle Line is not going to solve a huge number of the CTA's hub-and-spoke problems; if it would, I might be more sympathetic.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oshkeoto
But as is, you're gonna have a hard time convincing me that it's more important to get from North/Clybourn to the United Center a little bit faster than it is to give direct Red Line access to several miles' worth of neighborhoods.
Me either, put simply.

I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree with the North Siders on this one...
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  #68  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2006, 11:32 PM
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Agreed on extending the Red line to 130th.

I just hope they plan to extend it though the city as opposed to in the median of an expressway.

Circle and Red Line are the two most important new transit projects in Chicago, if you ask me.
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  #69  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 12:59 AM
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Extending the red, orange, and yellow lines are together only going to cost a fraction (probably around $500 million) of what it will cost to build the full circle line ($3 billion+). I'm also in favor of a Clinton Street subway as well.

Someone mentioned a metra circulator downtown. I have my own ideas about that one, but the amount it would cost and logistics behind it would be enormous. #1, it would require construction of something similar to East-Side Access in NYC (which will bring LIRR trains into Grand Central through new tunnels). #2, it would require electrification of most, if not all existing and future commuter rail lines in the Chicago area, something I'd actually love to see.
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  #70  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 1:31 AM
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Actually it doesn't involve Metra service. It's a way to connect the downtown Metra stations to the remainder of the downtown area and important destinations therein. What we've been discussing here in that regard is its composition (light or heavy rail [i.e. a new L route]) and routing (thru the heart of the Loop or hugging ROW along the Chi River).
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  #71  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 2:37 AM
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^, right the hope would be a subway under, or light rail over, Monroe street, running east to grant park then branching north and south to Mag Mile and Museum Campus/McCormick Place, with linkups to all other CTA routes along the way.

I guess they hope the Carrol Ave busway will suffice for now at a much lower cost.
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  #72  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 2:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail Claimore
Extending the red, orange, and yellow lines are together only going to cost a fraction (probably around $500 million) of what it will cost to build the full circle line ($3 billion+). I'm also in favor of a Clinton Street subway as well.

Someone mentioned a metra circulator downtown. I have my own ideas about that one, but the amount it would cost and logistics behind it would be enormous. #1, it would require construction of something similar to East-Side Access in NYC (which will bring LIRR trains into Grand Central through new tunnels). #2, it would require electrification of most, if not all existing and future commuter rail lines in the Chicago area, something I'd actually love to see.
For the record, the red line extension is the least problematic of all the extension plans because a) it ain't really that far away from downtown, and b) we're not talking about too long an extension either. And I agree that it should be through the neighborhoods and not on an expressway. The urban mojo of an expressway median "el" line amounts to slightly less than zilch.

But Rail Claimore. Dude. This is something that we have all really got to internalize here. Extending lines may cost less capital, but they absolutely fuck the operating budget. Capital is not the problem. The US is the richest country in the world and we could afford many many billions of dollars for transit projects every year if anyone gave a shit about it (instead, we give those billions to Exxon and Chevron and whoever in subsidies because they must not be making enough money to do their own R & D). What IS a problem however is having a transit system whose expenses are so high that they have to cut hours, charge prohibitively expensive fares, or let their infrastructure deteriorate. Without a critical mass of short trip riders (aka non commuters), extending lines with impunity just digs the CTA deeper into financial trouble.
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  #73  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 9:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsider
For the record, the red line extension is the least problematic of all the extension plans because a) it ain't really that far away from downtown, and b) we're not talking about too long an extension either. And I agree that it should be through the neighborhoods and not on an expressway. The urban mojo of an expressway median "el" line amounts to slightly less than zilch.

But Rail Claimore. Dude. This is something that we have all really got to internalize here. Extending lines may cost less capital, but they absolutely fuck the operating budget. Capital is not the problem. The US is the richest country in the world and we could afford many many billions of dollars for transit projects every year if anyone gave a shit about it (instead, we give those billions to Exxon and Chevron and whoever in subsidies because they must not be making enough money to do their own R & D). What IS a problem however is having a transit system whose expenses are so high that they have to cut hours, charge prohibitively expensive fares, or let their infrastructure deteriorate. Without a critical mass of short trip riders (aka non commuters), extending lines with impunity just digs the CTA deeper into financial trouble.
I'm not denying the reality of capital vs operational costs, and you're absolutely right about line extensions. Cost per rider is the bottom line for any company or agency that spends money, or has a limited budget to work with, which is why even in my own opinion, the circle line should be CTA's top long-term expansion priority over the next 15 years. The el must become a true city-wide point-to-point rapid transit system, and not merely a partial one that has to rely on commuters as well.

The downtown circulator thing, now that it's been clarified to me, is a neat idea. I'd love to see something like that connect with the existing pedway system, create somewhat of an underground city like that in Montreal.
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  #74  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 1:54 PM
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The Red Line extension would still be quite significant....the orange and yellow extensions are much shorter and cheaper, but (probably) less ROI, depending on if the red is to reach 115th (good idea) or 130th (waste of money).
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  #75  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 3:47 PM
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I think I’ve finally put my finger on why the Circle Line is significantly more important than the Red Line extension.
A few points:
1. People say the southland (Roseland, West Pullman, etc.) is underserved by transit. But if transit is so important to the residents, its worth pointing out that no one is forcing them to live there. What I mean by that is, there are vast amounts of underutilized areas in Chicago with excellent transit access (think south and west sides), where the cost of living is comparable or in some cases, less than the southland. Why invest in more transit infrastructure farther out from the core while what we have is going underutilized?
2. If the current demographic trends continue, i.e. the formerly-working class residents of the south side are increasingly middle class and more affluent, car ownership and usage will also continue to increase. Since the southland is essentially totally built out, both residentially by bungalows and commercially, this suggests that there is little long term ridership growth potential with a red line extension
3. the beauty of the circle line, as opposed to line extensions, is that it increases the viability and effectiveness of all the lines it connects to. Similarly, if done in conjunction with Chicago Planning and Development, it would significantly contribute to the expansion of a dense, walkable, transit-able Urban core, something these far out line extensions don’t, and can’t, do. This means that the Circle Line has (relatively) unlimited ridership growth potential, both on the circle line itself and on the lines it connects to through enhanced interconnectivity.

Basically, extending the red line is like calling the rest of the south side, which has received a ton of transit investment, a lost cause. Imagine what the ~$400 million the line extension would cost could do in terms of transit-oriented development along the south branches of green, red, and west branches of green and blue.

Hopefully you can see what I’m getting at….the Circle Line is forward-thinking, the line extension is looking backwards. The circle line is a return to the “glory” days of speculative transit, where the urban development we love followed the transit lines to give us our unique neighborhoods.

There’s a clear difference in return-on-investment. I think the red line extension –should- be built (and probably is more important than either the Orange or Yellow extension), but if we view transit as a means to an end (the end being a more sustainable and vibrant pattern of urban development), the choice between extensions and Circle Line is very clear to me, notwithstanding the economic argument that line extensions at the outer reaches have almost always wreaked havoc on operating budgets.
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  #76  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 4:02 PM
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Nothing new, but an interesting commentary and description.

http://www.gapersblock.com/detour/a_cta_map_for_2055/
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  #77  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 5:47 PM
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Great thoughts, Viva.
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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 8:29 PM
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"1. People say the southland (Roseland, West Pullman, etc.) is underserved by transit. But if transit is so important to the residents, its worth pointing out that no one is forcing them to live there. What I mean by that is, there are vast amounts of underutilized areas in Chicago with excellent transit access (think south and west sides), where the cost of living is comparable or in some cases, less than the southland. Why invest in more transit infrastructure farther out from the core while what we have is going underutilized?"

Ah. So the onus isn't on the city to provide decent transportation to all Chicagoans, it's on Chicagoans to move to the right parts of the city. How stupid they are to complain about an extension that was supposed to happen 30 years ago when all this time, they could've just picked up their entire family, left their community, and bought something in Englewood next to the Green Line.

"If the current demographic trends continue, i.e. the formerly-working class residents of the south side are increasingly middle class and more affluent, car ownership and usage will also continue to increase. Since the southland is essentially totally built out, both residentially by bungalows and commercially, this suggests that there is little long term ridership growth potential with a red line extension"

Viva--first off, we all know that Dan Ryan/95th is one of the most heavily-used stations in the system, which suggests there would be a good number of people who would use stations further south. (And if that isn't enough, there's the fact that people in those neighborhoods have been organizing and demanding the extension--something that hasn't happened at all in the areas that would be affected by the Circle Line.) Secondly, there's this thing called densification--something we frequently attribute to the growth of public transport. Of course there's potential for growth.

"3. the beauty of the circle line, as opposed to line extensions, is that it increases the viability and effectiveness of all the lines it connects to. Similarly, if done in conjunction with Chicago Planning and Development, it would significantly contribute to the expansion of a dense, walkable, transit-able Urban core, something these far out line extensions don’t, and can’t, do. This means that the Circle Line has (relatively) unlimited ridership growth potential, both on the circle line itself and on the lines it connects to through enhanced interconnectivity."

Do you honestly think that the Circle Line is going to be some magic bullet that suddenly makes it sensible to travel from the far North Side to the far Northwest Side, or an equivalent trip on the South Side, on the El? Am I really going to take the time and effort to switch to a *third* train to save four or five stops? If I live in the West Loop, am I really going to be *that* excited about this, unless one of the three new stations is located right outside my doorstep? I really don't understand this; if the Circle Line were some massive project that would significantly change the nature of the system, I'd say we have to do it before anything else. But it won't. It'll make a few kinds of trips a little bit more convenient. The Red Line extension will provide trains to whole neighborhoods that previously lacked access.
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 8:31 PM
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Yeah I've seen that before, rgolch. It could be better IMHO but they're on to something.

Viva, I say this with all due respect because I recognize the knowledge you've demonstrated on the matter of transit, but I'm beginning to interpret your arguments as thinly-veiled opinions that a Red Line extension should NEVER be built even after the a Circle Line is done (Norsider's already seemed to have taken that position), and you're practically going out of your way to both make that point and keep it thinly-veiled.

I'll grant you your first point. I mean, nobody (WHO CAN AFFORD IT) HAS to live ANYWHERE. In saying that you're like Cosmo Kramer when he always tells Jerry, "Well, no one is holding a GUN to your head!". And that's a valid point if not a universally applicable one, as there are many determinants on where people live sepearate from mere choice. But for the purposes of this discussion I'll go with what you say.

Even taking into the validity of that, let's just say that there's some major trend of West Pullman, Roseland, and Morgan Park residents to Kenwood, Oakland, Grand Boulevard, and Douglas, etc--the 30s 40s ad 50s. Does that automatically mean that people aren't going to take their place in the Hundreds? And I mean regardless of the background of these hypothetical new residents--these communities may or may not stay Black forever. This take the supposition that the population in Chicago city limits can't ever grow significantly again (probably not, but not impossible, I don't think). And the verticality of future closer-in development is only going to go so far no matter how much you all (smartly) promote it here on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
2. If the current demographic trends continue, i.e. the formerly-working class residents of the south side are increasingly middle class and more affluent, car ownership and usage will also continue to increase. Since the southland is essentially totally built out, both residentially by bungalows and commercially, this suggests that there is little long term ridership growth potential with a red line extension.
Are you aware of current car ownership levels in these communities? I don't. Not in the sense of citing figures. But I seen with my own eyes. Besides 95th, the busiest stops on the Ryan are 87th-69th. They serve communities as far east as South Chicago and probably as far west as Ashburn, with Calumet Heights, Avalon Park, Burnside, Chatham, etc. in between. ALOT of people own cars in these communities--A. LOT. Go on a major artery like Halsted, Stony Island or Cottage Grove pretty much any time during daylight and you'll see what I mean. After a certain time every day, parking in my little hood is very much an issue.

That said, if you get on the L inbound after 79th (or, sometimes, 87th) between like 7:30-9AM, you're standing. Same going outbound between 3:30 or 4-6ish in the PM. Of course there are significant amounts of people who don't have cars in these areas who ride the L, but there are more "choice" riders, I argue, that there is credit being given to (including myself)--that's why Wabash and in some cases Michigan in this stretch are residential parking zones from 8-10AM. While the Hundereds are not generally as well off (tho for the record they are largely well-off nevertheless) I don't buy the case that it wouldn't be the same here. ALOT of people have cars there also, and drive because, what are the alternatives besides the Electric Line and Rock Island Line? And I've stated the insufficiency of Metra down there.

I'll take that argument and pose this question to you: If the Howard branch didn't already run thru Uptown and Edgewater and Rogers Park, where ALOT of people own cars, would you be opposed to extentions from, say, hypothetical terminal at Wilson up thru these areas, assuming everything esle about the character of these places were the same? What about everyone's favorite Lakeview and Lincoln Park? Parking there is impossible--does that mean they don't deserve transit either, tho the Red Line is well-used up there?

Listen, I know I said I would "agree to disagree" and this isn't consistent with that, but I just couldn't let that ride. We can go on about this ad infinitum but why? I'm already on record supporting the Circle Line, which is irrelevant anyway because its a foregone conclusion. The choir of SSP is being preached to in support of it anyway. And don't say extension will be acceptable to have if you're going to support an argument for why it should NOT be had.

And PLEASE don't base your arguments in the "con" camp on conceptions you have on the eneighborhood based on biased heresay and what you read about the community in the Trib. Take the time to see for yourself one day; nobody'll hurt you. Promise. Also, while I believe in statistics, they don't have eyes. While I can't cite numbers like some of you can, I have the experience in the area that is less tangible but as useful. Right now, Viva, you're making your case based on the assumption (at least I've concluded it's the assumption), that I've seen you mention regularly in this thread and others, that the vaaaaaaast majority of South Side is some a grimy ghetto. That's a makes what you've been saying, candidly, a mis-informed argument.
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2006, 8:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oshkeoto
Do you honestly think that the Circle Line is going to be some magic bullet that suddenly makes it sensible to travel from the far North Side to the far Northwest Side, or an equivalent trip on the South Side, on the El? Am I really going to take the time and effort to switch to a *third* train to save four or five stops? If I live in the West Loop, am I really going to be *that* excited about this, unless one of the three new stations is located right outside my doorstep? I really don't understand this; if the Circle Line were some massive project that would significantly change the nature of the system, I'd say we have to do it before anything else. But it won't. It'll make a few kinds of trips a little bit more convenient. The Red Line extension will provide trains to whole neighborhoods that previously lacked access.
Once again I've gotta piggyback on whay you're saying. This to me is one of the most important points in trying to speak from the perspective of your average South Side L rider. Certainly speaking for myself. Say I'm going to, for example, North/Damen/Milwaukee to party, or better still for my point, to see some buddies who live off the California stop on the O'Hare branch. Why am I going to want to take the Red Line to Chinatown, then hop the Circle Line which'll take me all that way back down to 31st and Ashland before turning back up to go to the Division stop, where I'd have to get off and either wait for the O'Hare train or (in the Wicker Park case) probably end up walking? Seriously, I know you North Siders get such fantasitc service comparatively, but y'all are acting like it's ideal even up there. Naw, man riding the L can be a stressful thing anywhere the way the CTA runs it.

So, that's THREE trains, TWO transfers. Nah, Red to Jackson, Blue to Damen or Cali works just fine in its imperfection. I mean, hell. It's bad enough waiting for the one transfer--especially since the CTA loves to make it so that you JUST miss a train when you do transfer. Circle Line's gonna be great for the system, sure. But not for me. There may be times I'll have a use for it but not many. For example, it MAY be a prudent route to get to Midway, but again we got the variables of train frequencies and synchronicity between lines. Same for many others in my side of town--especially those who don't have an L nearby to begin with. I don't have a survey on me, but feel free to conduct one scientifically or informally.

Listen, I ain't trying to change minds here. Just expand them without use of certain substances.
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