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: JamesT4, metraRI

  by byte
Something big is on the horizon: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 6718.story
In what would be the biggest reshaping of the Chicago region’s bus and train system in 30 years, a Public Transit Task Force is recommending abolishing the Regional Transportation Authority and the boards of the CTA, Metra and Pace in favor of a new superagency in charge of policy and funding.

The Gov. Pat Quinn-appointed panel concluded Monday that the current leadership structure -- with four separate transit boards and 47 directors -- has “structural, cultural and historical impediments (which have) led to stalemates and dormancy (and) inhibited collaboration” between the city and suburban transit agencies.
  by doepack
And just when you want to get your hopes up, we'll get something like this to stand in the way:
However, Meza took issue with what he termed “inexplicable” and “unexpected challenges” by the RTA to block his office’s hiring of auditors to investigate the transit agencies, and an attempt by the RTA to get legislators to cut his office’s funding.
Despite this, I hope obstacles like these can eventually be overcome. Change is long overdue...
  by justalurker66
It is a turf war ... I hope those in the Chicago area who are cheering on the re-combination of the services (due to issues where it seems they are not coordinating service patterns, rates, transfers and improvement plans to the end user on the Internet's satisfaction) realize that the proposed winner in this solution to the turf war is not them.

Be careful what you wish for. And be prepared for higher rates and cut services - not the service increases and lower rates "the man on the Internet" demands. :)
  by dinwitty
No, Chicago is a BIG city and LOTS of responsibilities, you are just hoarding everybody into one room, sorry, doesnt work.

You could have an overseeing organization over the groups so they get their differrences squared for better cooperation, but nope, there is far too much responsibility in each sector.

Quinn has an organization problem he can't seem to deal with (and I like the guy, he's done better that the previous governor)
  by wda4449
Chicago's city/suburb rivalry for transit services and funding will make any RTA/CTA/Metra/PACE make-over a long shot. The suburbs do not trust the City of Chicago and the City does not trust the suburbs. Plus 'sharing' is not part of either side's vocabulary.
  by R36 Combine Coach
Even SEPTA which has bus, subway/el, trolley and regional rail in one regional agency still has separate operating divisions (transit, suburban, rail) as well.
R36: CTA,METRA and PACE -ARE- totally separate operations under the RTA...
The difference is that SEPTA operates everything with the aforementioned divisions and fares under one name...

Everyone: This is interesting news...I recall the RTA WAS the "umbrella" organization that the six-county region has to administrate
mass transit services in the Chicagoland region and that the CTA,METRA and PACE were the three agencies operating city transit,
commuter rail and regional bus services respectively...

What is confusing me is what IDOT will replace the RTA with: Will there continue to be a RTA-type organization or will these three
agencies operate separately from one another or together under one unified name?

I remember the "City vs. Suburbs" funding disputes and also the "Chicagoland vs. Rest of Illinois" funding disputes when it came
to transit funding and it always became political to some degree realizing how Chicago and the NE Illinois region dominates
state politics and many policies...

In closing millions of NE Illinois commuters use these three services each day and hopefully any change benefits everyone positively...

  by Pacific 2-3-1
MACTRAXX wrote:n closing millions of NE Illinois commuters use these three services each day and hopefully any change benefits everyone positively...
As well as some folks going to/from Southeast Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana!

There may have been more, better coordination of services in Chicagoland in the 1920's back when, under private enterprise, Samuel Insull controlled the electric company, the interurbans, the streetcars and the elevated lines (railroads excluded).

When the Chicago Transit Authority was formed, it lost no time ripping up the streetcar lines, and later it eliminated the electric trolley buses.
  by Metra210
Ever since the recent outcries over the glitches in the new Ventra farecard system became apparent, wishes of the RTA disbanding popped into my head. This doesn't come as a shock to me, and if the RTA does go under and CTA, Metra and Pace each become separate entities once again, well, that doesn't shock me either. The RTA was formed to oversee the three agencies, yet they continue to duke it out with one another over certain issues such as which gets more funding and whatnot. I could care less if RTA itself falls off, but maybe a reformation of the boards of all four entities will bring forth a decrease in political corruption in this state. We can only hope.
  by justalurker66
Pacific 2-3-1 wrote:When the Chicago Transit Authority was formed, it lost no time ripping up the streetcar lines, and later it eliminated the electric trolley buses.
CTA was not a continuation of a successful service ... it was a salvage attempt to cut losses and keep what they could keep running with a subsidy to cover the remaining losses.
  by Pacific 2-3-1
Yes, I agree. I think the electric companies in various towns were providing a cross-subsidy, of sorts, to their streetcar and interurban lines, where they owned them. The CTA, c.1948 was in no position to do the same.
  by justalurker66
One of the early subsidies was land sales. Sell property in undeveloped areas along the line making money off of the sale of the property (or getting the land owners to pay for the train line to be extended to that area so they could sell the property). But once the land was sold or the payment was spent the lines had to operate profitably to stay in business. Not many managed to do that. Some did not survive long enough for "the government" to save them.

I'm glad you understand ... too often the closure of failing services is reported as the big bad government destroying a successful system. A lot of tough decisions were made when CTA was born ... what to kill, what to keep, how to maintain a level of service that would not completely bankrupt the people either through high fares or high taxes. The same basic challenges RTA and the public face today.