Blue Line slow zones fixed!

Ha ha! Just kidding!

I've been writing on Fridays about Blue Line service suspensions for much of the year, so I just wanted to make sure you were still really reading this.

So yes, the Blue Line will be shut from Clark/Lake till UIC/Halsted. Shuttle buses will operate from station to station. And as the CTA reminds us:

The first two phases of the current project were completed six weeks earlier than originally anticipated
due to improvements in how the work was sequenced. 
So far, more than 20,000 feet of track have been replaced just north of the Division station to just south of the Grand station. 
Trains have resumed normal speeds from Division to Clark/Lake as a result, allowing riders to experience faster travel times. Crews are replacing deteriorated wooden half ties with concrete half ties, running rail and contact (third) rail to
remove emerging slow zones and help prevent the creation of new slow zones. 

CTA gets all 58 hybrid buses. Last week the CTA took delivery of the last of 58 articulated hybrid buses, paid for with $50 million in federal stimulus funds.

The CTA got a total of $241 million in stimulus funds. It's using $75 million to rehab buses and train cars, and $12.5 million  to rebuild the Cermak-Chinatown station on the Red Line and make the station ADA compliant.


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  • Don't we have an option to buy more hybrid buses when the mini-capital bill comes through? Or rather IF that comes through...

    One other thing about the new buses... Has anyone noticed that these latest ones have a new seat alignment and metal/steel edges around the seats instead of the blue plastic? There is no seats in the accordion area, and they seem to have lowered the seat height, which was one of my few complaints about the new buses. Was this just for the last 58 buses we received? Can anyone shed light on this?

  • The seating on the new buses looks *really* nice. Definitely glad they're starting to phase out the blue plastic ones for stainless steel space-age style.

  • It might look nice but I don't find the seats terrbily comfortable. Also there's nothing to hold onto in the accordian area, so you can't really stand there or even pass through it if the bus is moving.

  • Coming from Chicago and since moving to Qatar, I have had an opportunity to travel parts of the world and experience several public transportation systems. On a very recent trip to Guangzhou and Honk Kong, it is striking the differences between the trains and busses offered between these fantastic locations and Chicago. Even car happy Dubai has gotten into the game with building an extensive, shiny new elevated train line with more train lines to come. I hope for the sake of Chicago if they get the Olympics that they are able to get their act together and try to put together a system which could potentially be world class. Many developed and developing nation cities have far superior transit systems.

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