New RTA chair; new life for O'Hare express?

John Gates Jr., the newly appointed chairman of the RTA, is saying all the right things so far:

  • Move past the city-suburban factionalism and partisan politics.
  • Develop more private-public partnerships in transit.
  • And operationally, finding a top notch RTA executive director to replace Steve Schlickman, who retires in October.

We’ll give Gates some time to see how he does on all that. Read the Trib story.

Reviving the O’Hare express. And speaking of private-public
partnerships in transit, Mayor Daley Wednesday pulled out of mothballs
the plan to provide express service to O’Hare. The CTA bailed on the
project when it couldn’t find a private partner. Daley admitted he
wasn’t sure if the plan was feasible, but he appointed a committee anyway to explore the idea of private investors building and operating the train service.

Found $2 on discarded transit card.
The woman in front of me
couldn’t get the rail turnstyle to accept her CTA Chicago Card Plus.
After a couple of tries, the farebox spit out a transit card and
accepted her smart card. I swiped my card and proceeded, but then I
thought about the Trib column
Monday, where John Noel admitted he picked up discarded transit cards,
but often found some good coin left on them. So I grabbed that card left
on the farebox and later learned there was $2 left on it.

Red Line track work reduces Saturday northbound service to Wilson, Lawrence, Argyle. Northbound
trains will bypass those stations from 7 am till 3 pm Saturday due to
third rail maintenance work. If you need to get there during that time, find details here about how to do it. 


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  • On the first two points we can only hope.

    However, since Reilly was a total failure on these goals, but then lauded as being the person to fix up McPier, I'm not putting bets.

    Similarly, with the "we're going to get the Olympics" impetus to the belief that "the money will come through" and "we need the Airport Express for the Olympics" being gone, I'm not putting bets on there actually being an Airport Express, either. However, if Australian, UAE, or Chinese investors actually want to put their money into this (and it appears that it would have to be at least US$2 billion), more power to them. No one (especially not Carole Brown in her blog les morts when it was in existence) has explained how the CTA got out of its "contract" with the apparently los muertos Mills Corporation.

    At least with regard to item 3, hope materialized fairly expeditiously, once the article gave the clue.

  • The only way to move past the city-suburb factionalism is to get rid of separate CTA, Metra, and Pace boards and have one regional transit system. Right now, we have a Regional Transit Authority, but no regional transit system. What's the point? It seems like a huge waste to me. Either get rid of the RTA or get rid of CTA, Metra, and Pace as separate entities.

  • The whole

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