CTA Brown, Yellow lines have highest, lowest nearby household incomes

The folks at You Are Here recently released an interactive map of the CTA's eight rail lines showing the median annual income of households within half a mile of each station.

Interesting stuff. Here are some key takeaways.

  • The Brown Line has the highest median household annual income at $84,030, just slightly ahead of the Purple Line at $83,416.
  • The nearby Yellow Line has the lowest income at $50,609.
  • The Green Line has the next lowest income, at $57,879.
  • The Red Line, which has the most ridership and goes from 7600 block north at Howard to 95th Street on the South Side, boasts a median household income of $61,206. That's the third lowest of all rail line.

Rail stops with the highest median incomes:

  1. Linden (Purple Line): $123,657
  2. North/Clybourn (Red Line): $113,837
  3. Paulina (Brown Line): $106,364

Rail stations with the lowest median incomes:

  1. 63rd (Red Line) $17,632
  2. King Drive (Green Line): $22,208
  3. Pulaski (Blue Line) 22,392

That's quite an income gap between the North and South sides of Chicago.


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  • These statistics seem suspect, and are probably valid only for particular stations.

    For instance, all I would consider Yellow Line are Dempster ($57,195) and Oakton ($55,501). Only way they could have reached the number for the Yellow Line was to average in Howard ($43,900), but nobody associates that neighborhood with the Yellow Line.

    The telling statistic about the north vs. south sides is for the Green Line from Indiana south, roughly between $22K and $40K. Actually, I don't think Garfield Green statistic has any significance, since, as the Obama Library debate indicates, nobody lives within a half mile radius.

    So, Scooter will probably say that is is a waste of time.

  • In reply to jack:

    You beat me to it, not only a waste of time, but incorrect use of statistics.
    As Mark Twain said, there are three kinds of lies, lies, damned lies & statistics.

  • In reply to jack:

    Here is another interactive map, that will clearly show why I am (and have been) so obsessed with utilizing the Metra Electric District better: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130511/ISSUE01/130509751/money-train-metra-stops-and-income-levels#

    See all the Red Dots?? Please come back with comments on how to improve their situation......

  • Mousing over the dots proves a point I made earlier, that the build transit and they will come theory doesn't work.

    The orange dots between basically between 103rd and Kensington are about $44, 000. The red dots between 75th and 95th are all $36,000 (how can they all the about the same)? How can all of 71str St. be $29K and South Chicago uniformly $38K? I'm sure that the reason the that only Dominick's in the city that couldn't find a new operator was the one at 71st and Jeffery not because the ME stops there only once an hour.

    The statistics for 59th and 63rd are probably bogus because very few live near those stations (are they including students at International House and the Mott building?) Is the one for 57th including all the students? After all, 57th is served by all 3 lines.

    But compare those numbers to Garfield and King Dr., Green Line which are around $22,000-26,000. Transit service via the L was improved there, including the new Garfield station, that was supposed to be a catalyst to neighborhood revival, but the neighborhood has gone downhill ever since.

    Even though it is in the suburbs, Riverdale has really gone downhill on that map. Do you think it has anything to do with demolishing Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens and giving the tenants Section 8 vouchers, as compared to being on the ME main line and having express service?

    Finally, someone thinks that the answer for economic development in 2 areas cited above are the Pullman National Monument and Obama Library. However, UIC says it needs the Obama Library adjacent to the Blue Line, again, not a transit starved area.

    Maybe improving the area involves getting real businesses to invest there. For instance, the LSD extension has been completed, but I haven't heard any announcement about developers clamoring to start building at whatever South Works is called now. I bet it also doesn't help South Chicago that the steel mills that originally attracted its population to that area are now pet coke piles (not that that population was heading downtown). Probably the correct conclusion can be drawn that Rahm attracting headquarters from the suburbs to Willis Tower isn't doing a darn thing to provide industrial jobs to the south side, where they are needed. Quinn attracting the rail car plant to Rochelle instead of putting it in Pullman didn't do much either. Ask Chuy what he is going to do about it.

  • You don't believe a word that somebody who L I V E D there for 58 yrs, and has known the area for all his life. This kind of sounds like "they don't know what they need"

    SET UP -- WHY would you possibly believe anything Chuy says, since HE has never lived there, and could only know vague generalities, which would be something to pounce on.

    So I guess the solution is do nothing at all to change the situation, and let them go down like the titanic; or correct me please!

  • NOTHING Chuy could say would change your mind, it's pre-set, and locked (including prepared

    How come when CTA gets to tout it's new Cermak/McCormick Place station (half a mile from McCormick Place) as "stimulating TOD, and the Motor Way thing, Restaurants, Hotels, and the DePaul Arena and Bringing All The Blessings Of God upon that neighborhood" it is widely acclaimed and well believed. (applause please)

    I try EXACTLY the same thing, and I get put down 187 ways.

    Well to lighten things up, here is a proposal from folks downtown (who WILL be believed because it comes from downtown):

    Notice how in a later phase, they use MY idea of extending it all the way out onto the South Chicago Branch ("on existing rails"), and even adding some stations. And it's like "Oh look, how smart of them!!"

    btw: You could not run streetcars/light rail on tracks adjacent to Class I Equipment on the MED, unless they were FRA Compliant

  • I don't want to accuse you of flaming, like I did someone else, but it doesn't seem like that, after asking for comments, you read mine.

    I said that transit was not the panacea, but that someone has to do something to get industrial and residential development in the south side.

    I didn't say I believed what Chuy said, just that his position contrasted with Emanuel's.

    You said a couple of days ago that you were going to campaign for Chuy, so I suggested that you ask him what he was going to do.

    On your "Chuy never lived there," apparently this is the second time a mayoral election has been held where the weak Black candidates have been easily eliminated. You might want to go back to a debate on chicagobus.org where jajuan challenged me on whether I was assuming that Black voters would vote all Black, when I said that it is clear that since the death of Harold Washington, the Black vote has not been able to coalesce behind anyone. So, the Chicago voters have a choice between someone from Ravenswood and someone from Little Village.

    But if I remember correctly, you don't have a vote in this election. I don't either.

    Finally, on the McCormick Place station, while I question whether it is close enough to McCormick Place, it appears you have the cause and effect backwards, as the DePaul Arena and hotel had already been planned. Let's see if that station has any causative effect on redevelopment of the Hilliard Homes site. As I said before, the Red and Green lines did nothing to help redevelop the State corridor between 35th and Garfield.

  • In reply to jack:


    “Today we cut the ribbon on not just a new station for the Green Line but on a new economic future for the businesses and residents on the Near South Side,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “For Chicago to have a growing 21stcentury economy, we must have a 21th century infrastructure. >> So this new station is an essential investment in the continued growth of the Near South Side. It will encourage more investment and bring more jobs and more opportunities for people who live and work in this growing neighborhood.” <<

    So how come when the Mayor says EXACTLY the same things that I am saying about new stations, he gets praised, and applauded -- I get told how it doesn't work, never would, and why waste the money? And he's not talking about the Arena and the Hotel "already being there", he's talking about "more jobs and more opportunities" isn't he jack?

    WHY can't I say that and be believed?

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/12/11/study-jobs-prevent-violence-in-chicagos-most-impoverished-neighborhoods/

    I sure don't believe this big spin party, but the people who live where all those red dots are should believe him, right? Because he has done - and he will do so much for them, right?

    >> "So these new stations are an essential investment in the continued growth of the Near South Side. They will encourage more investment and bring more jobs and more opportunities for people who live and work in this growing neighborhood.” <<

    Recognize those words jack -- so how come (as you have so often pointed out to me) my words are just not valid, when I use the exact same words in a similar context and situation??

  • Get a hold of "The Prince" by Machiavelli, that is how I understand exactly what is going on - we are peasents, pawns, and tools in his larger game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince

  • I have no quarrel with that (it was required reading in college, and I certainly don't need the unreliable source of Wikipedia, which is not a source), but it seems like 2 hours before you posted this comment, you were willing to be manipulated by The Prince of North Hermitage Ave.

    If you really want to study up, I suggest going to a bookstore (if such still exists) or a download site for an eReader, and get the originals of The Prince and Man of La Mancha.

  • I forgot, there is also the Public Library.

  • You telling me now that YOU believe anything in a CTA PRESS RELEASE or what its leader Mayor Rahm Emanuel says? In the first case, I have not since about 2006. In the second I quit fairly early in his term, when it became clear that his pledge when he was campaigning at 95th that he would get the extension going during his first term, not that he was going to shut down the line north of 95th, even if only for 5 months (although some of it did come out in the campaign in 2011).

    I guess what Steve Mayberry (formerly a Stroger toady but now working for Rahm) and Brian Steele say now can be believed because for once it is congruent with one of your beliefs, even though Fearless Leader has also made it quite clear that other than having claimed to clean up Metra by putting Oberman on the board, he has nothing to do with it.

    Results speak much better that gum flapping. I've noted situation where transit projects did not get the touted results.

    I also take it that you changed your mind about working for Chuy.

  • In reply to jack:

    NO I do NOT believe him jack for even a milli-microsecond, I was using that as an example of "spin" -- When I use those exact same words and concepts to promote my Project, I get put down (and what he's saying is true)

    I LIVED on the South Side for 58yrs -- But somebody who's never even been there (working from maps and data) would know what it needs better than I do? Really jack? That's kind of "elitest" isn't it?

  • The only thing that implied "elitist" was your reference to The Prince. The only thing I said is that somehow, after knocking you head against the concrete wall for about 13 years, you haven't come up with anything that has been implemented, as typified by your repeated Don Quixote references, while economic development has happened elsewhere, including within the city. I also thought that the reason you brought up living on the south side was your point that the 2 remaining mayoral candidates didn't, to which my response was that the community there can't coalesce behind any candidate. Maybe I should have excepted that they did coalesce behind the Strogers and Jacksons, who did nothing for Chatham and South Shore other than rip them off. Maybe Ald. Beale is doing something to develop Pullman, but that's about it.

    The bottom line, though...only results count.

  • BTW, I did live on the south side for a while, just not as far south as you did, but certainly used the IC and SS.

  • In reply to jack:

    Do you know who Hyman Rickover was jack -- and his similar Quixote story? (for decades) Explain it for us jack.

    And you hit the nail right on the head: "elsewhere" in the City, why are those red dots still red dots? And I was explaining to Chris why I don't have a vote, nothing to do with the candidates.

  • Yes I am familiar with Rockover, but that still doesn't explain your figuratively hitting your head against the concrete wall, without coming to the realization that stopping feels so much better (as the expression goes).

    There is also Einstein's definition of insanity*, but I said I'm not going into personal matters.

    *Some debate whether it is properly attributable to Einstein, although it certainly applied to Bob Einstein, better known as Super Dave Osborne, who always shot off his nuts at the end of his routine.

  • jack, You said you are familiar with Rickover, but you didn't explain his story as I asked (neat trick), in case others don't know about him.

    And I think my battle is over anyway, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Black Ministers just endorsed Chuy Garcia: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-mayoral-candidate-garcia-met-0310-20150309-story.html

    Rahm will L O S E

    And I think Chuy might want to find a way to repay their faith in him, with new Jobs!

  • Ask David, who knows that I don't answer rhetorical questions, especially if they are off topic. I'm not asking you to write an essay on any of the Einsteins, either.

    I responded to your other point where you double posted it.

  • In reply to jack:

    Do neither of you live in Chicago that you don't have a vote?

  • In reply to chris:

    I lived on the South Side for 58yrs, that is why I'm so obsessed with what happens there. I live in Lisle now (halfway to Sunny Cali.), I moved there to be near my job. Nicest, quietest, friendliest place you could ever want to live; it drives me NUTS thinking of all my family and friends still trapped down in that crime-pit (red dots) -- with NOBODY trying to do anything about. And my suspicions have been confirmed, and published by someone much more sophisticated than me: http://www.transportnotes.com/south-lakefront-corridor-transit-study-shame/

    I will be addressing CTA's Bd. on Wednesday, the RTA Bd. on the 19th, and Metra's Bd. on the 25th. And if you couldn't tell already Don Quixote is one of my main role-models, along with Hyman Rickover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rER7n6fcpzk


  • In reply to chris:

    That's certainly the implication although I found out about Mike because he put a full signature on a comment or letter to the editor somewhere else. But I wasn't going to get into his personal circumstances, other than to make that observation.

    But so long as CTA still says it has an entitlement to 81% of the RTA sales tax collected throughout the region, and gets about 55% of it, both of us have the right to comment on CTA wasting it. After all, one of the first responses Carole Brown put on Ask Carole in response to a McHenry County poster was that if CTA didn't get a tax increase, it would send air pollution in that direction. Not her exact words, but you get the point.

  • In reply to chris:

    You might also note that the vast majority of riders inconvenienced by the failure to install a switch on the Purple Line come from Evanston and Skokie, and also don't get a vote, and that the vast majority of riders on the Lake portion of the Green Line come from Oak Park and also don't get a vote. That's why I bring up that Emanuel acting as The Prince of the CTA is illegal. I'm surprised that he did not show up in his native Wilmette during the 100 year celebration of the Linden station (although, unfortunately, Claypool did).

  • In reply to jack:

    The West Loop ridership is close to the amount of ridership originating in Oak Park. I don't think you can say the vast majority anymore, especially after the Morgan stop has seen huge gains (some at the expense of other stations, some at the expense of buses)

  • In reply to chris:

    It depends how one defines West Loop, but essentially only the Morgan station serves a part of it (I assume Ashland is too far west to count as West Loop). Doesn't explain the need for the Loop Link to serve bus lines such as 20 and 124, nor the plethora of bus lines serving UIC (7, 60, 157), even though it has a Blue Line station.

    Anyway, there is the Ridership Report, which I assume is relatively accurate with regard to station entries. Harlem (total of 3 entrances) has 3700 entries, Morgan has 2000, but other than Ashland and Central, the others in Chicago don't have squat. The 4 in Oak Park add up to 8300.

  • In reply to chris:

    I also forgot that Morgan and Ashland, although reported under Green also include Pink, as the first Pink Line station reported is Polk.

  • Relevant to the points being debated here is this story* about how there are no jobs in Detroit, and the transit system is fragmented between city and suburbs, making it extremely difficult to get to even a minimum wage job. Maybe a difference is Chicago has a subway, but the secret for helping the South Side and south suburbs doesn't seem to be the current one of trying to get the working class to Schaumburg.** As I indicated above, what is needed is a more coordinated economic development plan. Someone (and I definitely can't) should figure out why the "Ravenswood Station" development can be built at an abandoned Sears*** but not at the similar situation at 79th and Kenwood.

    *I saw this first in the Daily Herald, but am trying to bypass the gateway survey.
    **As typified by the statutory South Cook Job Access setaside and the 889 (dead) and 895 buses.
    ***Note that it is built next to a Metra station with no transfers from CTA, but apparently the highest ridership station on the line, so some people are willing to pay for the privilege of avoiding the nearby Brown Line or transferring at Broadway for the Red Line.

  • In reply to jack:

    Don't forget that are large numbers of riders at Rogers Park, Main St. & Davis St. on the UP North, even though the Red Line is a half mile away from Rogers Park & Main & Davis are less than a couple of hundred feet away from The Purple.
    Several of the NB, PM Rush trains are 70% empty after Rogers Park as people will pay double just to avoid a 45-55 minute ride on the Red Line in uncomfortable & cramped seats & dozens of stops, versus 20 minutes on wide upholstered seats.
    Metra used to flip trains after Central St. Evanston, now they do it at Winnetka.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The Winnetka ones go back to the three track operation during the Belmont-Fullerton work. Carole Brown said on Ask Carole that Metra cooperated to provide that additional service. Maybe that's an indication of how bad the chairmanship of the CT Board has become in the past 9 years, since that is probably the last time a CT chairman has mentioned Metra, not that Carole was that big a fan of regional cooperation.

    Your point gets back to the point I made at the beginning of the "Purple Line traffic" topic before I was so rudely interrupted--apparently CTA is fine with directing more riders to the UPN, if current management doesn't even have the brains of management under Kruesi, and can't figure out to install a remote switch at Montrose.

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