CTA capital needs top $22 billion over next 10 years

The Chicago areas three transit agencies need more than $36 billion over the next 10 years in new equipment and infrastructure improvements, according to a Regional Transportation Authority study.

And the CTA accounts for 62 percent of these capital needs, or more than $22 billion.

From the news release:

According to the report, transit providers in Northeastern Illinois will need $1.66 billion per year over the next 10 years in order to fund normal replacement, rehabilitation and capital maintenance needs. Nevertheless, in recent years, the amount of capital received from federal and state sources has been lacking. In addition to the $16.6 billion needed over the next 10 years, the region has $19.5 billion of deferred investment also known as “capital backlog.”

Meanwhile, the RTA projects that it will receive about half of that capital funding over the next decade from state and federal coffers. “Based on these projected annual average capital funding levels, the current backlog will grow over time, potentially increasing from $19.5 billion as of December 31, 2013 to more than $25 billion in 2030.”

Read the Tribune’s story.

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  • In CTA's case, some of these are bogus, in that the L is listed as having exceeded its 90 year service life, but they are hanging new stations on the L (like at Washington-Wabash). So, maybe Rahm ought to demolish and rebuild the L first.

    But stuff happens when CTA continually has said for the past 20 years that it is $8 billion short based on capital needs compared to projected sources, in the current situation that stuff is still not fixed (like whatever the switching problem was this morning), it is putting itself further into hock, and apparently CMAP, which can't plan anything, is "starting the conversation" for another tax hike that won't accomplish anything as far as building durable capital assets.

  • There's also the problem that the CTA just can't figure out, that spending a little more in capital funds can save them millions in operating funds in the next 40-50 years, where the L is concerned.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    There is no such a thing as a "CTA", there is only a phone on the right side of Rahm's desk.

    And since we ARE going to Re-elect him -- everybody needs to just STFU, because it must taste really good!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    "I can't stop to sharpen the ax. I have to get this tree cut down (with this dull ax)".

    Slow zones account for 8.8% of the total trackage in the system according to their December report. This is completely unacceptable. If I operated a business where nearly 10% of my assets were in need of repair at any given time, I'd likely be out of business. They've been working on the zones for ages. According to the report, they repaired 0.7% of the slow zones in December.

    The August report states that slow zones are down to 9.0%, but then jumped to 9.7% in September. So basically, they're treading water.

  • Let's start with the gutless politicos that are too afraid to raise the gas tax. With gas prices at near record lows, this is a good time to raise the tax to pay for needed infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and public transportation. The general public understands that our infrastructure is basically sh*t, so a raise in the tax, provided it's put to good use (), won't raise that big a stink.

    While we're at it, a fare increase wouldn't be unwarranted. 'Time to pony up, folks.

  • I'm looking at the January and December 2014 slow zone reports. In January, the Congress rail line had 27,670 feet of slow zones (29.5%). Nearly a year later, the total was up to 29,583 feet (31.5%). WTF! Are they creating slow zones as a jobs program?

    Similarly, the Evanston Express increased from 20,960 to 24,371 feet.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    The Evanston Express hasn't been an express since they made it stop at all those Ravenswood stations to relieve the crowds on the Ravenswood Line.
    With the addition of 8 car trains for the now Brown Line, I don't get why the now Purple Line has to make all those stops. The only stop that should be kept is Chicago, because people now have jobs in that area or take the 66 bus east to them.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The snafu yesterday indicates that the Purple Line can and should be routed through the subway. Obviously, it can't helicopter over the Brown Line trains on the "Brown-Purple connector" or using tracks 1 and 4 between Belmont and Fullerton.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, how does the Purple Line get turned around and go back up north when it uses the subway tunnel?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I believe it uses the subway-to-Green/Orange Line connector just south of Roosevelt Road. The connector is rarely used these days. I assume the motorman stops on the connector, and then walks to the other end of the train.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Thanks Spiny. I was figuring it was somewhere around there.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    No problem.

    Before rerouting the Purple Line, I'd like to see the boarding numbers at the stops between Fullerton and Downtown. The Brown Line is already at capacity, and eliminating the Purple Line at these stops would stress the Brown Line unless additional Brown trainsets were added.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    The additional trainsets are indicated, although they would have to come from other yards (such as the Midway to Kimball trips).

    The question that has been unanswered for the past 2 years is that whether CTA has been using the additional available cars, from about 1190 before the 5000s arrived to about 1370 now, given that about 600 5000s have arrived, but maybe 340 2200s, 2400s and 2600s have been retired (the 2600s involuntarily).

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Probably. IDOT has its study to rebuild the Eisenhower Expressway, including the Rapid Transit in it. Not in time for this election, but the "Follow the Red Line" commercials indicate the intent.

    To get to your and Mike's point, Emanuel is taking credit for the Red Line, even though it was supposedly Pat Quinn's "personal" jobs money. Also, he promised 4 years ago that the 130th St. extension would at least be in progress by now. Somehow, you don't hear anything about it now. The only thing that was mentioned in the past 4 years what the amount of property that would have to be condemned if it were built on either the east or west side of the UP right of way.

    In the meantime, CTA got diverted by the amount of property needed to build the Clark Jct. flyover, which seems to have also been ignored during this campaign. So, Mike's right--you are going to get what you are going to get.

  • Jack,

    I can't replay to your previous comment, but how many train cars are supposedly unused? I know they added a few more runs during rush hour on most of the lines, but that's going to add up to much.

    I agree that we need to pay more gas tax and increase the fare. Use this to pay work on capital projects that will impact the operating budget like Scooter suggests. Then maybe you can get the ball rolling on other things as some money frees up.

  • In reply to chris:

    I don't know how many are unused, just that the count is up to the extent I indicated (160-170 cars). Only direct number I've seen is that there are about 60 more cars at Midway Yard, apparently to cover published Midway-Kimball trips. That would mean that about 100-110 cars are being used for something else.

    This also seems the rationale behind the 7000s spec (at least version 1 addendum 1), where it is stated that the first 400 are to replace 2600s, the next 256 are to replace 3200s, and the options for 190 more are for possible growth. While with the announced rehabs of the 3200s, that has to be taken with a grain of salt, that still indicates that at the end of the 5000s procurement (Spring 2016), there still will be about 1370 cars

  • In reply to jack:

    Why were the 2600s retired involuntarily?

    Maybe they will increase service again? I guess it's not a big deal if they need to take cars out of service for maintenance with the supposed surplus they currently have. Other than that, it would seem odd to have cars just sitting around as you suggested.

  • In reply to chris:

    I guess you didn't hear about the ones that crawled up the escalator at O'Hare or collided at Harlem.

    People are being oblivious for no particular reason here today, as well as going out of their way to say things I DID NOT SAY.

  • In reply to jack:

    I did, but I didn't recall what type of train they were or that the whole series was being recalled. Just 2 or 4 I would take it.

  • In reply to chris:

    I didn't say the entire series was recalled. I said that among maybe maybe 340 2200s, 2400s and 2600s that have been retired it included 2600s involuntarily, which I should have said WERE WRECKED. Out of the 340 retired, about 130 were 2200s (the rest previously wrecked) and 180 2400s (about 20 work cars retained). Do the math. Also, note the word "about."

    Also, something is obviously running on the Blue Line. My point 2 days ago in the post about trainsets is that apparently CTA is not short of cars, as the fleet has increased by about 180 cars. You apparently are reading all sorts of things into that comment that don't exist.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not sure what you mean by reading into it, I'm just guessing as to what they are doing with an extra 180 cars just like you are.

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