Tag: Metra

All aboard the fantasy express to O'Hare Airport

Imagine zooming 125 m.p.h underground from downtown to O’Hare Airport on a new express train and getting there in plenty of time of find out your flight has been delayed–again. Imagine making that trip in a promised 20 minutes from O’Hare to downtown after it took your flight 20 minutes to get to the terminal gate... Read more »

Rahm's latest flight of fancy: a high-speed subway train to O'Hare

Chicago’s public schools are broke, property taxes are sky high, savage gang wars rake the South and West sides, and so on and so on. So here comes Mayor Rahm Emanuel ballyhooing an out-of-sight costly subway to link the Loop and O’Hare Airport with high-speed trains. (Here and here.) Irresponsible. Nutty. Insane. The cost, disruption... Read more »

Flash! Chicago's Union Station has dirty air!

The latest of the EPA’s “alarming” studies comes in the announcement that the agency has discovered that Chicago’s Union Station–used by Metra and Amtrak diesel-powered trains–are afflicted with, cough, cough, dirty air. And get this, the air is worse during rush hour! And, believe it or not, when you walk out of Union Station, you’ll... Read more »

Keep the RTA; junk Metra, CTA and Pace service boards

Pardon me while I take a moment to guffaw at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Daley’s politically and transparently self-serving proposal to eliminate the Regional Transportation Authority. Same goes for Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s aspersions cast in the direction of the RTA in an effort to discredit the transit agency in the wake of the scandals... Read more »

We owe Metra's Alex Clifford for exposing Illinois' patronage innards

In 2011, when Alex Clifford was brought to Chicago from Los Angeles to fix Metra, the commuter rail operation, someone neglected to warn him about the way things are done here. Or if someone did, Clifford — an experienced transportation professional — didn’t pay attention or play along. Good for him. But for acting ethically,... Read more »

After more than three decades of dithering, a universal fare card for CTA, Metra and Pace riders?

When voters narrowly approved the creation of the Regional Transportation Authority 37 long years ago, one of the promised benefits was a universal fare card that could be used on the CTA, commuter rail lines and suburban buses. That wasn’t the main reason the RTA was created—it was to provide subsidies principally to the CTA—but... Read more »

Seniors' free rides may end. Yes!

A House committee has approved legislation that would roll back the free transit rides for seniors program pushed through by ex-Gov, Rod Blagojevich. The committee vote, 19-4, indicates that enough House members may have found the courage to end the controversial program. Under the measure, sponsored by Rep. Suzie Bassi, seniors would return to paying... Read more »

Racial pandering on the CTA

Once again, the big, bad, white suburbs are victimizing poor, minority Chicagoans. That’s the underlying logic of a class action suit brought against the state, RTA and Metra by a public interest law firm that hasn’t a clue about the Pandora’s Box that it is opening. According to the suit, filed Wednesday in federal court,... Read more »

Lake Forest Shows Chicago How to Generate Beach Revenue

By tradition and case law, Chicago’s lakefront is supposed to be free, and I find no legal citations that say parking meters are allowed. Yet, the Chicago Park District intends to install 4,000 parking meters, charging $1 an hour, in its lakefront parks, doing away with the longstanding tradition of free parking. Even though I... Read more »