Last chance: Share questions you want to ask CTA president

Here's your last chance to tell me what questions you would like to ask CTA President Forrest Claypool.

As noted last week, CTA Tattler will interview Claypool later this week. I want to make sure your voice is represented. So fire away in comments with thoughtful questions you would like to ask.

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  • I asked my question last week, but I'll add a comment...

    Kevin, will you be able to press him for a concrete answer? Hilkevitch already asked most of these questions, but answers like "I just took over" or "there are new guys at 3 of the agencies, so maybe things will be different" don't answer anything.

    For instance, I and probably Mike would want to know when he is going to sit down with T.J. Ross, and what lines to coordinate. Mosena was able to do it with the Pace counterpart in 1997.

  • I would like to know why it is no longer possible to buy the 1-day pass from the pass vending machines. Also, why is it not possible to sell every type of pass at every train station? I was in St. Louis over the weekend and the vending machines for their transit system allow one to purchase almost any type of pass that they have available.

    Would it be possible to set up the Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus to be used as any type of pass? For example, allow someone to use it as a 1-, 3-, or 7-day pass rather than having to choose between either per-ride or 30-day pass. As a frequent, yet irregular, user of public transit this would be most helpful for me and I am quite certain that I am not alone on this.

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    ask him on what schedule the new 5000 series L cars are coming and what his plans are in terms of how the car allocations will change. What lines will have what cars after the 400 or so new cars are ordered and the 2200s are scrapped?

  • Please ask him about the slow zones, especially those on the Brown line. I have read that he is a regular Brown line rider, so hopefully those will get attention soon.

  • Why is Chicago the largest metropolitan area that has not embraced the concept of light-rail (streetcars)? There are numerous streets that could support streetcars including Western, Ashland, Irving Park, Peterson, Stony Island, State, in addition to service throughout the downtown areas connecting
    Union Station to points north ending at Navy Pier and points south to the Rock Island Station ending at McCormick Place.
    What does LA, SF, Seattle, Portland, St. Louis, Phoenix, New Orleans, Tampa, Boston, DC, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Memphis, San Diego, Dallas know that Chicago doesn't?

  • In reply to JackF66:

    Maybe what Chicago knows is that CTA got rid of streetcars by 1958, because of congestion on the streets made it unfeasible to run them. Street congestion hasn't gotten any better in the past 60 years.

    If you had an open right of way to run light rail, CTA would probably put rapid transit on it.

    So, this is a nonstarter. I don't see NYC on your list, which would be comparable.

  • In reply to jack:

    New York City indeed is considering a streetcar line along 42nd Street. However, they are going even further by closing off streets to all automobile traffic.

    CTA like almost all the other transit systems were fooled by General Motors
    into thinking that the bus was the "savior of all mankind".

    And you don't think Chicago traffic compares with the traffic in Los Angeles? Apparently you have never driven there.

    You still didn't answer my question about that do the other cities know about transit that Chicago is ignoring.

  • In reply to JackF66:

    Well, I thought you wanted Claypool to answer. No one here has logged on as forrestc.

    Anyway, I suggest you read Krambles and Peterson, CTA at 45, and Lind's Chicago Surface Lines. While the GM conspiracy may have been valid in Los Angeles, at least according to Roger Rabbit. it had nothing to do with CTA doing away with streetcars. And, if it was part of the GM conspiracy, why did CTA buy about 1600 Twin Coaches, and, in fact, no GMCs between 1949 and 1961.

    Come back when you have read those books.

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    What is the target date to have:
    (a) a discounted annual CTA pass that works with pre-tax transit benefits?
    (b) a combined payment option with Metra, car sharing, and bike sharing?
    (c) credit card payment?

  • John, please clarify:

    (a) Not sure what you mean. Was there a promise made to offer a discounted annual pass? Never heard that....
    (c) What do you mean by credit card payment? You can tie your Chicago Card Plus to a credit card. And you can use a credit card to buy a pass at rail stations. Are you talking about filling up your Chicago Card at the regular transit card vending machines via credit card? And buying regular transit cards at the same machines via credit card?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I think (c) has to do with doing away with all CTA issued fare media, and the RFP to just use a bank's smart card as the only fare medium.

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    In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Hello Kevin,

    John, please clarify:

    (a) Not sure what you mean. Was there a promise made to offer a discounted annual pass? Never heard that....

    John- There is currently a discounted monthly pass. I think an annual pass has proven a wise offering on many transit systems. You could set it up similarly to the monthly pass available on the Chicago Card Plus. This would incentivize customers to choose the higher commitment, which would disincentivize purchasing a car.

    (c) What do you mean by credit card payment? You can tie your Chicago Card Plus to a credit card. And you can use a credit card to buy a pass at rail stations. Are you talking about filling up your Chicago Card at the regular transit card vending machines via credit card? And buying regular transit cards at the same machines via credit card?

    John- Until recently, I did not have a credit card payment station available at the Loyola Red Line Stop. Now that I do, that is great. I'm talking about using a debit/credit card to ride the El and earn points towards car sharing, Amtrak rides, ect.

    Also, just wanted to let the Tattler know, Pat Quinn just signed a bill to make the PACE, Metra and CTA all on the same smart card, http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/news/metro/universal-transit-fare-card-illinois-gov-pat-quinn-20110707

    Sweet!

  • Should the 4 Transit Agencies be dissolved (since they CANNOT or WILL NOT work together).

    And if not, why not - since they waste HUGE sums of money and compete in their present operating formats?

  • Is he going to have the 5000 series cars equipped with those horrible sideways seats, which actually result in far fewer people being able to sit due to the fact that people are way fatter than the seats allow for?
    The costs to change them to the original 3200 configuration after this fails, and it will, are going to be huge!

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    In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    right, about the 5000 cars seating--if we're going to make it sideways at least make it bench seating v. the individual seats that are too small.

    more importantly make the seats of a solid (non-porous) material that is easy to clean

  • In reply to Seth Blumenthal:

    As long as the stanchions are attached to the seats, in many cases, only one person is going to fit.
    Why not just have single seats facing front & rear? Then there's just as much standing room & no problem when a huge person sits on one, they still only take up one seat.

  • What are you doing to improve the speed of bus service?

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