The CTA, other transit agencies and their millions of riders got another reminder today of the importance of capital investments in infrastructure. A new study released today by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce showed that the failure to invest in transit would seriously derail the area's economy.
“Nearly two-thirds of employees in downtown Chicago arrive by bus or train,” said nationally known transportation analyst Joseph Schwieterman, a study author. “Without a strong transit network, the city will lose the vitality of its downtown area, which is home to more than half a million jobs. Overall, the deterioration of the system will impose more than $500 million – or $175 per household – in costs annually on highway and transit users, primarily as a result of higher travel times and congestion.”
According to a news release, the study’s findings also show that failure to keep the system operating in a state of good repair will:
- Cost the region $1.30 to $1.90 for every dollar not invested in adequately maintaining the mass transit system. This includes estimates of costs pertaining to health, land use, and the public image of the region.
- Lead to longer travel times and reduced transit schedules and reliability. Chicago’s transit system currently has some of the oldest vehicles and infrastructure in the nation.
- Result in ridership losses of at least 15 to 20 percent.
Making the needed investments will provide an estimated $1.5 billion in annual benefits by giving employers access to a larger and more qualified workforce pool., said study authors. At least $2 billion over a multi-year period would be needed to address the area's transit issues. Read the study.
CTA begins stroller rules campaign
CTA bus drivers last week began handing out fliers reminding parents to be "stroller savvy." The campaign asks parents to be considerate, keeping strollers clear of doorways and aisles. It reminds folks not to use seating for handicapped and seniors is they are present. It also urges use of smaller umbrella strollers.
I think parents generally want to follow these rules, and probably will.