Transit potpourri: Mass transit birthplace; more helicopter lifts!

Here's a mixed bag of interesting transit stuff, though not all of specific to the CTA.

Paris, 350 year ago - mass transit is born. A French mathematician started the first "bus" system in 1662 with six horse-drawn vehicles running on regular routes, reports Wired: "Each coach could carry six or eight passengers. Some sources specify three routes; others say there were six, and that one of them was a circular route." All hail the foresight of Blaise Pascal. (Hat tip to BeyondDC.)

Pittsburgh to cut transit 15% on Sunday. The town where I rode my first public transit bus will suffer 15 percent service cuts on Sunday, including the elimination of 29 bus routes. Things sound similar in my hometown of Pittsburgh to what Chicago and the CTA were facing in 2008. The state governor and legislature can't agree on a new way to finance mass transit, the Post-Gazette reports. Without a deal, the Steel City faces 35 percent cuts on July 1. Good luck.

Snowflake tour flies Sunday. The Illinois Railway Museum has sold out its Snowflake Special Excursion Sunday starting from the Forest Park Blue Line station. If you have tickets, enjoy! And check back here on Monday with details.

More helicopter lifts! I'm not sure what it is about helicopter lifts, but I love to report about them here.Mabye it's because I see them in the CTA Weekend Alerts often enough disrupting transit schedules. This weekend, two different lifts will reroute buses around 3933 N.Clarendon from 8 till 10 am Saturday, and at 5445 N. Sheridan from 9 to 11 am Sunday. 

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