CTA to Waste $1.2 Billion in Red Line Boondoggle

3 Responses

  1. taxpayer says:

    CTA has repeatedly wasted money on big capital projects when there were much cheaper ways to solve the problem. Other examples: Brown Line platform lengthening, Block 37 subway station, Howard-Dan Ryan subway connection. Providing more funding to CTA is unlikely to improve actual transit service, unless management priorities change.

    Reminds me of a quote attributed to the former Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, noted for its innovative and efficient bus rapid transit system: “If we had had as much money as you have in Chicago, we probably would have wasted it. Since we had little, we had to use it intelligently.”

    This is not an argument against using tax funds for public transportation, since good public transportation improves life for all city dwellers. But these funds must be put in competent and honest hands.

  2. Harvey I Kahler says:

    I’m glad to see someone pick up on the idea of exploiting the Metra Electric more fully as an existing transit asset for the South Side.
    As a transportation planner for two decades, I knew a good idea when I saw one. Mike Payne originally conceived the idea for the Metra Electric South Chicago Branch and Mainline to 115th/Kensington; and I urged him to expand the scope to Blue Island and Kensington in light of the proposed Red Line Extension and commented to the CTA and RTA on this.
    It’s no surprise that Metra was not considered as an alternative – the Red Line Extension is an autonomous CTA proposal; and it’s the same old story that RTA coordination is non-existent.
    Of course the neighborhood wants closer effective rail service; and the Red Line is what is offered.
    Area residents don’t want to pay the higher Metra fares in Zone C and feel equally entitled as for the North Side; but monthly passes actually are cheaper than for CTA in Zones A & B even if 1-way fares are higher, so operating costs cannot be so different and CTA costs also would be higher for the extra distance of an extension.

    • Dave says:

      Fares charged bear little relationship to operating costs. CTA (and presumably Metra) have different operating costs for every line they operate… yet to make fares reasonably simply to understand, they charge one set of prices. Many businesses do this… for example, movies may cost between $500K and $100M to film… but theaters charge a uniform $10-11 each for all of them.

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