CTA ideas blooming on site soliciting notions on saving Chicago money

Chicagoans have never been shy about expressing opinions - especially about the CTA. Mayor Emanuel has asked citizens for ideas on how the city can get its fiscal house in order, and there are plenty involving the CTA.

As of this writing, an idea to put coffee and other small vendors at every train station was among the top five most popular ideas on ChicagoBudget.org.

Ideas tagged with CTA also were leading the way among those tagged. They include:

  • Redbox kiosks in every CTA station.
  • Making Blue Line riders to O'Hare pay a premium.
  • Privatizing the CTA.
  • Implementing the Gray Line project, from Tattler frequent commenter Mike P.

It's a nice site that allows you to vote on ideas and comment. Put your ideas out there!

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  • Premium fare from O'Hare I thought about about 40 years ago, when there was premium fare from Evanston. I can't see how that could be implemented now (well technically I could, in that an O'Hare turnstile could take $4 off an open fare medium, but then who is going to pay it, vs. using an airport limo; but, as previously discussed, not very feasible charging it to O'Hare compared to a regular fare to Rosemont).

    Redbox makes sense only if people are taking them home from the station. If the are watching the DVDs on a train, just another way to get your laptop or pad computer stolen.

    But, in any event, cf. James Reyes comment from yesterday.

  • I definitely think the Redbox thing is a great idea. If you walk by that same spot every day, it is easy to just pick up a movie on the way home from work, and then return it the very next morning on the way to work. I'm pretty sure there is a RedBox at the Lasalle St. Metra station. Not sure about Union Station or Ogilvie, although that would make sense as well (pick up a Redbox movie and watch it on your computer if you're taking a long ride out to the burbs...).

  • In reply to Nirvana911:

    There's a Redbox just inside the Merchandise Mart, near the L station entrance by the food court.
    But the simplest way for the CTA to save money is to just shut down the engines of the buses when in the terminals. They already claim it's required when a bus has more than 10 minutes of waiting time, but it's never done.
    The only time to not shut down is in the summer when the A/C needs to be kept running.
    Also, retrain & if that doesn't work, fire bus drivers that deliberately drive just slow enough that the transmission doesn't upshift. There's a bunch of them & that also wastes fuel.

  • How much money would the RedBoxes generate for the CTA?

  • I suggested that they put city-owned ATMs in the stations. Most stations still have those huge, hulking, cash-only CTA card vending machines. Combine that with all the people who use the CTA daily and all of our visitors, at, say, $2 a pop and the city would get mad revenue.

  • In reply to cinco:

    CTA was announcing agreements to that end.

    Of course, I wouldn't show my ATM card or money in a CTA station. Just asking to be robbed or solicited by someone asking "do you have train fare?" Might be different if that becomes the universal fare medium, but now thinking about it, I probably should use something else.

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