Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by ctagrayline
Metra's Friday, September 15th Board of Directors Meeting will include the presentation "Metra and the CTA Gray Line".

The meeting starts at 9:00 am at Metra Headquarters, 547 W. Jackson Blvd 15th Flr.

The meeting is open to the public, please plan to attend if you can.
  by ctagrayline
The presentation "Metra and the CTA Gray LIne" at the September 15th Metra Board of Directors Meeting has been rescheduled to a later date.

Metra said they are forming working committees, and requested having an operating committee addressed instead of the general Board (which makes sense).

The new date will be posted as soon as notified by Metra.


  by Scotty Burkhardt
I hate to sound like an ass, nor do I want to get into a pissing contest with you. There is no realistic way that the "Grey Line" can happen. Metra and CTA are different entities.

From the "Grey Line" site.....
+ A Rapid Transit ("L") line normally costs about $100 million per mile to build, but the Gray Line would only cost approximately FIVE MILLION DOLLARS PER MILE.
From CTA site.....
The CTA faced a $55 million operating fund shortfall in 2005. This structural deficit will only get worse every year without a long-term funding solution.
I assure you, nothing will ever become of this project. Again, I'm not out there to insult you, I'm just stating there is no way in hell Illinois taxpayers are going to dump this many millions of dollars to put a new logo on the side of side of 40 year old cars and paint a bunch of old metra sh*t grey.

let it go, It will not ever, (let me beat this into the ground)EVER! happen.
The state of Illinois is 5 Billion in the red. We don't have the money!!!

  by ctagrayline
Hello Scotty, and thank you for your response; you are most certainly not an ass, and I never piss amongst others.

You can have intelligent discussion of opposing viewpoints without circling the wagons if you try.

Metra and CTA are certainly much different agencies, serving very different areas and constituencies.

However they both operate under the RTA, and will both be going to Springfield again sometime for operating funds; and they are aware in Springfield of CTA and Metra's wasteful duplication of services on Chicago's SE Side; Rep. Julie Hamos mentioned it in a recent statement on Transit Reform: http://www.juliehamos.com/

And while it is certainly true CTA is facing operating shortfalls, it would be more economical in the end result to operate feeder bus lines to a CTA rail route (like in other quadrants of the city), instead of high-frequency long-haul (high labor cost) bus services like the #14.

And the City and/or CTA "found" $160 million to invest in ONE (let me beat this into the ground) - -
O N E F*****G 'L' Station in "Block 37" - to enhance convenient transport of business people (non-Chicago residents).

But isn't interested in spending $60 million LESS then that O N E Station to create 37 New Stations to serve Chicago residents in communities all along the South Side; seems criminal somehow to me - what's your opinion Scotty?

Also, enhancing in-city Metra Electric services (as the Gray Line Rapid Transit Element) is included in CATS Shared Path 2030 RTP (and it's $100 million cost is included in the RTP budget, and recommended for immediate funding).

And on CATS RTP Transportation Proposals page they provide a link to the Gray Line website as an example of how the improvements might be accomplished:


Inclusion in the RTP certainly doesn't mean the line is built yet, but it's much closer than it was 5 years ago when there was no mention of it in the RTP at all.

And I assure you Scotty, that I will specifically invite you to the first run.

All comments are always welcome...


Mike Payne

  by MetraRy
i think it would be more wise to improve the metra service that is currently run. I don't see how rebranding it will help.
  by doepack
Metra and CTA are indeed two different animals, but to me, the Gray line proposal has many benefits. It offers a unique oppurtunity for CTA to expand its service, while at the same time Metra would save money on crew and labor costs by transferring the South Chicago and Blue Island operations to CTA. Metra can then simply focus on its suburban service to University Park, and intermodal transfer stations could be built at Hyde Park, Blue Island, and Kensington. In short, the proposal caters to the service strength of both providers while improving connections in the process. I'd go for that.

Here's one potential snag, though: Even though the ROW is currently in place, certain upgrades and minor modificiations will be needed, not the least of which would include the necessary expansion of Kensington, which is currently an island-style two track station. The four-track main shrinks in half about two blocks north, but with Metra, South Shore, and the proposed CTA service, Kensington will definitely have to be a four-track depot. Looking at the area on Google Earth, land acquistion for the extension shouldn't be too difficult, there seems to be enough room along the eastern part of the ROW to place an additonal platform, although relocating the freight mains about 50 to 75 feet east may be required. And with its reduced labor costs, Metra could concievably provide a a portion of the needed funding for this capacity enhancement project.

Overall it's a great idea, and if it can secure funding, there's no reason why it can't work...