News pickup: Expanded 31st St. bus service; Train Tracker at all stations

Here are a few other news items of interest from last week's CTA board meeting.

Experimental 31st Street Bus Service. The CTA will test extending the #35 31st/35th busy to serve 31st Street between Kedzie and Cicero beginning this fall. The Little Village neighborhood has been asking for more bus service since it was eliminated on 31st Street 15 years ago.

MillerCoors to foot bill for New Year's penny rides. The CTA found more revenue last week when it announced a deal worth at least $630,000 over three years for MillerCoors to sponsor "penny rides" on New Year's Eve and into the new year.

Goldman Sachs to help CTA find Red-Purple modernization bucks. The CTA also announced that "Goldman Sachs and other financial advisers [would]  explore public-private partnerships and other alternative methods to help pay for a complete modernization of the Red Line/Purple Line corridor for all stations north of Belmont. All stations would then comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act." See bottom of Trib story.

All rail stations to get Train Tracker screens. CTA President Forrest Claypool promised that all 145 CTA rail station will have Train Tracker screens within a year, according to a Red Eye report. About 20 station already have them. The first stations to get the new screens when they arrive later this month will be Morse and Granville. These two Red Line stations recently benefited from spiffy rehabs under the Red North Interim Station Improvement project.

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  • I'd much rather have more Bustracker screens on bus shelters than Train Tracker screens on L stations.
    As bad as L service is, it's far more regular than the godawful bus service.

  • The 31st Street project is definitely something that's overdue, but then I found this tidbit:

    "The bus route will be renamed No. 35 31st/35th and operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, officials said."

    The current route runs until midnight. Does anybody know if this span of service only applies to the extension on 31st west of Kedzie, or the whole route itself? Even the 39 Pershing has a better span of service than that.

    I ask as that would mean that Sox games would get no east-west bus service after night games, save for the last of the 39s on weekdays, a ridiculous proposition.

  • In reply to bms2535:

    I (and you) should have gone to the CTA Press Release, which says:

    Service along the route extension will be provided seven days a week, between the hours of 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at a frequency of 10-20 minutes – depending on the time of day. Hours of service along the #35 route east of Kedzie will remain the same from approximately 4 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. seven days a week.

    So, disregard my prior post, except for the short turn point.

  • In reply to jack:

    Gotcha jack. Yeah, that statement as it originally appears on the link Kevin provided may have been out of context. Thanks for clearing it up.

  • In reply to bms2535:

    That's what the slide for the Board Presentation says, but I doubt that is what is meant. There undoubtedly will be short turns at 36-Kedzie, and usually additional service is provided for games.

    Probably each bullet point has to be considered separately.

    Finally, there would need to be a public hearing to cut service east of Kedzie, but the reason this (and most other CTA restructurings) are denoted as experiments is that a public hearing won't be held if the "experiment fails."

  • Miller-Coors: I thought they were already sponsoring this, so this would be a renewal.

    Goldman Sachs: Ordinance No. 012-15 indicates that contracts are attached, but they are not (at least on the web), which raises the question whether it is on commission or pay in advance. This becomes relevant because the private part of the PPP isn't interested unless there is some way to make money. Tolls got jacked up on the Skyway, for instance, but I doubt that riders on those two line segments would be willing to pay a $6 fare to cover the private investment on the improvements. If GS can figure that out on its own dime, fine.

    Prior message: Somehow, the reply to bms I typed second posted first. This server is totally fouled up.

  • "Goldman Sachs to help CTA find Red-Purple modernization bucks"

    So some money is laying around somewhere just waiting to be found? And Goldman Sachs will take a look and..."Oh there it is. There. Just laying there waiting to be found."

    I don't trust Goldman Sachs. There will be hell to pay for what ever money they "find." It will be a long term contract with the devil where we pay much more in taxes than we get in value from the "found" money.

  • In reply to wegerje:

    I don't think Paul Powell's shoebox is still out there.

    But I said 1 week 1 day ago above what the real issue is.

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