The CTA's South Side Problem

Next week, the CTA will conduct two public hearings about it’s five month shut down of the south branch of the red line.

Unlike some of my fellow south siders, I will not waste my time attending a meeting with an agency who has clearly demonstrated that they believe me to be a second class citizen.

To say I’m unhappy about this foolishness is an understatement, yet the questions below may shed some light on why people down here are so mad.

1.  Did anyone at the CTA ever give any  thought to how many potential gang territories are going to be crossed with the current service plan?  You’re gonna ship people across neighborhood and gang lines to all converge at the green line?  Brilliant.

2.  What have you been doing with all of the previous slow zone track work?  Kindly explain why what was done before hasn’t worked and how the repairs that will necessitate the five month shut down will finally solve all of the existing problems?

3.  These repairs couldn’t have been done when you rehabbed the 63rd, 79th & 87th Street stations a few years ago?  By the way, why weren’t elevators installed at the time of the rehabs instead of coming back and addressing them years later?

4.  The CTA can close one station at a time for rehab on the brown line but all nine of the south branch stations have to get closed at once?  Can anyone remember when this had been done before?

Ladies and gentlemen, everyone knows that the repairs need to be made; that’s not up for debate.

What really gets my blood boiling is that the CTA didn’t have the decency to seek community input before this decision was made.

And that half assed “service plan” isn’t a winner either.

In my opinion, the CTA thinks so little of it south side ridership that not only do they make unilateral decisions on our behalf but attempt to reassure us with the whole “we’ve got 10 months to plan this out so don’t worry.”

Don’t worry?

If the CTA’s track record is littered with waste, mismanagement and mishandled projects; why should anybody trust them?

Moreover, if you’re going to significantly disrupt my life, I’d appreciate a tad more hard work and thought put into the process than a “Don’t worry, we’ll get it all worked out” excuse.

That’s like me coming to your home, ripping off your roof—even though the work needed to be done—and being amazed that you’re upset with me because I didn’t consult with you.

It’s the same thing and I find it incredibly disrespectful.

I’ve always heard stories from older south siders about what happened down here back in the day.  How streets wouldn’t get fixed.  How playgrounds were little more than a place to put cast off equipment.  The attitude that the south side was an after thought.

I thought that the blatant injustices and discrimination of the past were slowly and quietly being addressed.  That the “bad old days” were a thing of the past.

Clearly I was wrong.

Way to go CTA.

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  • I don't think the gang territory thing is going to be that big of an issue.

    I too wonder what was the deal with all the work they've been doing on the tracks over the last decade or so. All that money was spent and nothing got 'better'.

    I'm pretty sure that this kind of thing is unprecedented. But considering the context that the red line is in, it would be a good place to try this.

    I want to see what other changes they plan on making to get through this period.

  • In reply to B K Ray:

    "I don't think the gang territory thing is going to be that big of an issue"....

    You must don't have young teenage boys riding the Red Line to get to school.

  • In reply to B K Ray:

    I chose to reply to BK Ray only because your comment is at the top and I want people to see this right away! Stop whining about what the CTA is going to do. We are Chicagoans, and we are always going to find a way to endure this. So the train is going to be out of order for a few months...take the 29 STATE, which runs straight down State Street to Navy Pier. At times, the 29 STATE is faster than the train. I live on 66th Street, right between train stations, and the 29 has been working for me for years. There's always a way to make it. Who cares about a Shuttle Bus. As long as CTA has the wisdom to add more 29 State Street Bus's, we'll be OK! If any of you go to the meeting, just bring that up and stop whining!

  • Yes the CTA is littered with waste like any gov't agency, but if they had more public discussion this would have been a non-starter. Bold leadership to try something else.

    They have given you months to prepare. So do so. Every major CTA disruption has been met with a large communication outreach including regular office workers getting out on the platforms and bus stops. I assume this time will be no different.

    It's a hassle, but less of one.

    One final point is it will be interesting to see if crime on the Red Line drops and crime downtown and points north also decline as bangers will have to think about how to organize to attack innocent people. Harder to do a flash mob on a bus than on the L.

  • In reply to ChadHopkins:

    The purposed of this post was to illustrate the slip shod manner in which the CTA has presented this major change to their south side ridership. The process has lacked transparency, community input, clear planning & accountability. It offends me that those in control of this project would be so thoughtless and unprofessional to NOT present a fully fleshed out transition plan.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    How would you know? You never went to the public forum. I'm not trying to be smart here, but how do you expect them to understand your concerns when you refuse to go to any of the three forums they offered?

    This will finally solve the slow zone issue because in stead of doing piecemeal fixes, they will be completely replacing the tracks.

    The fact that by closing that part of the Red Line for 5 months instead of 4 YEARS, they will be saving over $75 million dollars. There wouldn't even be ANY station rehabs over that part of the Red Line if they followed the 4 year plan, because the money for those rehabs come from the $75 million they are saving by consolidating the work.

    One other thing that isn't really big news about the reasoning for this, is that the plan to extend the Red Line to 130th needs Federal funding, and that work needs to be done by a certain time in order to receive that funding.

    Yes, it is a pain. Yes it is not ideal, but I don't think it's fair to try to say the CTA doesn't care about the South Side. We need to stop looking at this city as different sides and start seeing us and one city, and be damn proud of it. All of it.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    Wouldn't it be nice to "Change before Change Changes you!" this is of course sarcastic and optimism all in once- I am not from chicago but have made it my home for 5 years; I know I know- u complain that the fear of all the WHAT IF'S- i may know nothing about- but I will add I have a mental disability and I can harp about all the fears and changes and usually everything I fear never even I have hopes of seeing the redline go to 127th street and beyond on the redline but obviously that can never happen given the true status and reality of the redlines current condition. Instead of crying and moaning about commute issues consider all the other people past 95th that have a dreary commute and then get congested between these areas. Most çhicago people have never been to New York and the small mindedness really doesn't help the situation because these diversions are nothing like New York city and Chicago really could have faster train service. Why are gangs even a part of this re-construction conversation? Sounds like guilty conscience and poor parenting(no disrespect). when I first came here blacks from out west said they don't go south and vice versa, and whites said they don't take the Redline any further than 35th/Cermack -just bus it up thru south shore area by taking the # 6 bus. I mean really? I just want to point out people in Chicago live a small minded life and I am not living in fear. Its sad that CHANGE for the betterment has to be forced upon people that will give themmore options thru out the city on public transportation; instead of getting on here with the crying and weeping- just purchase a car. nothing stays the same- in a hundred years you wont be here to enjoy anything anyways so stop crying and get with the

  • "The CTA can close one station at a time for rehab on the brown line but all nine of the south branch stations have to get closed at once?"

    Well, yes, because the Brown Line project only involved renovating the stations, not the track (except for changes to track configuration at the Belmont and Fullerton stations made necessary by the station renovations). The proposed Red Line project, in contrast, involves track improvements. THAT'S why the CTA can close one station at a time on the Brown Line but all of the south-side Red Line stations have to be closed all at once.

  • In reply to joefromchicago:

    Thank you for the clarification Joe.

    It makes me wonder what the heck the CTA has been doing all of the previous years with the work on the slow zones? As I stated, why is this repair going to finally solve the problem?

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    This issue came up when Emanuel suddenly discovered the "problem" during his campaign.

    Construction reports on the CTA website said that they fixed the slow zones in 2005-2007. However, they reappeared 7 months later.

    I raised this issue in a letter to the Inspector General, but got no response.

    Other than that, this has been hashed out on the CTA Tattler, but many of the posters there indicate to just kiss Claypool's behind and drink the Kool Aid.

    I also predicted that Mayor Vanecko or someone of his clan will rediscover the problem in about 6 years.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    If I am correct the article speaks about the new rail cars and them being compatible with the tracks. 1969 is a long time to be patching little issues only to revisit them again at another station; I am black and I know sometimes we want to see things in a color scheme of them and us- but the reality is that there has been several trains de-rail in the 5 years I been here and that should be a cause for alarm over any travel inconvenience...and for semblance- the Brown line, if I am correct doesn't run all night long- so comparing the two at any junction is riddled with misconceptions of what should have been done and will these issues finally be resolved(????) Cars have maintenance issues over time too- so I think we need to be optimistic. I am off the redline and it is great to be able to get on the train anytime of day or night. Lets try to see something good out of this...if at all possible

  • Ordinary track work on "slow zones" usually involves repair and maintenance on the track. From what I understand, the south-side Red Line project will involve far more substantial work to the substructure (ties, bed, etc.) in addition to the track. It's like the difference between repairing some potholes and tearing up the street to lay a new roadbed.

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    In reply to joefromchicago:

    It's actually more like tearing up the road to repair the roadbed (Red Line) vs tearing up sections of the sidewalk so people can access the vehicles on the road (Brown Line). The road can stay open in the latter but not the former.

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    The shuttles are basically on the Dan Ryan most of the way - which although I know nothing of gang territory lines - I must assume the gangs can't control the hundreds of thousands of vehicles crossing their boundaries on it every day. Furthermore, The #29 and #55 already cross the same boundaries everyday on local roads without incident - why would the shuttles be any different?

  • In reply to Dave:

    To be perfectly honest Dave I wouldn't say that the #29 & #55 are without incident; you simply don't hear about the drama unless the police are called and/or someone is arrested.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    I have mixed feelings about the Red Line shutdown in general--but wanted to ditto the point about the #55 for others. There's plenty of drama, but usually it resolves itself in some fashion without police involvement. At best case, the person shouts for a while, then sits down. Or the driver has to yell at the offending passenger to get off the bus--there's some back and forth there, but usually people comply because they don't want the cops involved. And in the worst cases, the driver calls the CTA for assistance (the equivalent of the babysitter calling Mom) and the person leaves the bus during the call.

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    As for #3 above, I assume cta didn't have the funds to install elevators at that time. Elevators are extremely expensive to install, which is why suburban developers almost always build public buildings with only one story - avoiding the need for them.

    #2 is the only valid criticism as I see it. I too thought the Red was "done" a few years back... What *did* they do if they claimed the slow zone problem was fixed back then?!

  • In reply to Dave:

    To the best of my knowledge The Americans with Disabilities Act doesn't give public works the option of opting out of installing elevators. It should have been done right the first time.

  • When this has been done before was in 1994-1996 when the entire Green Line was shut down.

    The main reason for keeping Green Line stations open at 47th and Garfield (but not rehabbing the Garfield station for about 5 years) was people turning out saying that they would have to cross gang territory to get to 51st.

    Finally, being from Woodlawn, you do have the alternative of the 63-Cottage or 63-King station, courtesy of said closure.

  • In reply to jack:

    I should have added, though, that, due to, among other things, rerouting buses into the Dan Ryan stations (such as the 43, 51, and 59 buses), no one really cared that the south side Green Line was down. There was an express bus, but it lost its ridership pretty quickly.

  • In reply to jack:

    In the 10 years I've lived on the south side, I can count on both hands the number of times I've been on the green line. Please note that I'm not afraid of my neighborhood or the people that live in it, but the green line is not my preferred mode of public transportation.

  • They are working on the Northside stations started last month (Granville). Yes it sucks they are closing stations one at a time, but the real issues is all the stations north of Addison are old, hosed and in need of being updated and modern compared to everything south of Sheridan. I agree, shutting down the El all at once is effed up and uncalled for, they should do it one station at a time, but they figure if they can keep all traffic off the tracks they can move a lot faster and work around the clock instead of just at night like they are doing in my area (Edgewater). Cheaper and faster in the long run, but I agree that the CTA does not take a look at what is around the Greenline. I took that train once to my Vets office in Hyde Park and that will be the last time. Since I found the Redline and the new facility they opened, that is the way I will be going. Sorry, nothing about the Southside, but I am a short white woman that looks weak (deceiving) and would rather not have to deal with a bunch of gang bangers around the train station and trying to get my little bun-buns to the vet (kids love them)!!! It's a catch 22 when it comes to the CTA but over all I think the cheaper route would be better only because it would not cost tax payers and the riders more in their fare.

  • In reply to Brandi Wall:

    Well now that we cleared up that *every* black man standing in the vicinity of a south side "L" station is a gang banger, we can move on.

    Really Brandi?

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    In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    Yes really - I live in the south loop near the red, orange and green lines - which makes for interesting people watching. If young black men dress like "gangsters" then what is a person to assume?

  • In reply to Lynda Young:

    The same bigoted "assumptions" you have about young black men who dress like gangsters is the same racial animus white police have against blacks but show entirely different treatment in a GLORIFICATION AND PRAISE of Italian gangsters, and Russian Mobsters who commit crime- but the plank in your eye to people watch is critical of one while you denigrate the other; Oh poor hypocritical Lynda these Italians and Russian Mobsters are criminals in suits wearing designers but it makes it different because they are stylish gangsters...? Really...Out of the heart the mouth speaks, criminals are criminals and being black don't make a person such- so I assume your stupid because you wrote hoe stupid you are...

  • In reply to Lynda Young:

    pardon me- I mis-pelled "How stupid" you are- I wouldn't call you a hoe because I don't know you and don't assume that of

  • In reply to Lynda Young:

    You're wrong and clearly have biases that need work. For someone like you it wouldn't matter how a young black man is dressed; he'll still me automatically guilty in your mind.

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    In reply to Lynda Young:

    That they could be Obama's kids

  • What do you think of this idea for solving the South side transportation issues?:

  • CTA plans to use “Shuttle Buses” (Express and Local) to replace the Red Line service — This plan however is fraught with possibilitys for disaster: A traffic accident, a fire, bad weather and/or storms — MANY things could easily disrupt such a service, and cause thousands to be late for (or miss) their jobs, or important events

    At just about any large event – CTA can assign portable Fare Boxes (at the back door of busea, and/or additional spaces in an ‘L’ station, like at Addison on the Red Line).

    With MINIMAL changes to the Metre Electric Infrastructure, you could assign CTA Staff with portable Fareboxes (and a Cop) at the bottom of the MED station stairs (111th, 103rd, 95th, 87th, 83rd, 79th, 75th, etc., etc., etc…….), or in the station house — to control access to the platforms, and then just run the MED trains more frequently.

    This alternate service would terminate at 111th St., so as not to interfere with Metra University Park and NICTD trains - and is based on the CTA Gray Line Project:

    NO (or fewer) “Shuttle Buses” needed, and as an added benefit Far South riders would not have to ride down to 95th t. to transfer to a “Shuttle”, to transfer to the Green Line at Garfield, to finally get where their going (3 vehicle changes, no matter what the fare situation).

    CTA and Pace bus routes from the Far South (#’s 34, 103, 106, 108, 111, 112, 352, 353, etc., etc…) could Terminate at 111th & Cottage Grove instead of 95th & State — GREATLY reducing travel times and fuel usage.

    CTA and Metra should consider this idea, because once the PUBLIC gets ahold of the possibilty of a R A I L alternative, I don’t think they will be satisfied with “Shuttle Buses”!

    I will be at all of those proposed CTA Town Hall meetings to distribute CTA Gray Line literature:

    Hope to see you there,

    Mike Payne

  • Positives about Southside CTA stations:
    1. If I smoked cigarettes, and some times I do I can always find someone selling some for much cheaper. Governor Quinn just added a dollar to packs, so whether your black, white, yellow, or from the Carribean- everyone on the Southside is not in a Gang. 2. And White New Yorkers are not terribly scared to go to seedy areas for food and beautiful areas such as the ones near the 55th/Garfield stop, Washington Park and Jackson park 63rd and Stony Island. Washington Park was said to be developed and designed by the same guy who did Central Park in New York. 3, Learning how to be assertive is not a black or white thing-its a skill set- Blacks in Harlem or Boston are no different then the blacks here hawking items on the streets. 87th street Redline you can get 100% Cotton socks off the street, bath towels- I mean there is a lot of culture in chicago and if your paying high prices for anything its probably because your a bigot and you isolate yourself and blame gangs for stealing your quality of life. 4. I didn't watch the news for the first two years here because I am not turning into a coward and fear how beautiful Chicago is. I would just encourage people during next years reconstruction to just step outside your comfort zone and do things you never done while busing it. and stop being so

  • In reply to Thatnig94:

    You make many far reaching assumptions about people's comfort zones vs. how things really work in this town.

    Then of course I'm sure you spent quality time in the Howard Beach neighborhood when you were living in New York.

    Like you I am not a native Chicagoan, but I have been lucky enough to sit with not only my peers but earlier generations and hear about the "bad old days." The block busting, illegal housing contracts, taxis not serving the south side. There's a reason why things are the way they are. Perhaps further investigation on your part is warranted.

    Re-read my post. Change is not the main issue. The main issue is the manner of transparency & community input. I and many others don't appreciate the manner in which the CTA made these decisions without considering the people it will impact.

    Your several comments above illustrate the diversity of thought in the black community. I just would have appreciated if someone from the CTA being considerate enough to explore them before reaching this decision.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    Dear Woodlawn Wonder,
    Thanks for the diatribe if that's what you want to call it... lol,
    Lets start here, as an educated black man who's family is from poor Ruleville, Mississippi my mother migrated from the south like many -thru-and out of Chicago and settled in Boston , Mass to where she would settle and start a family; that's where I was born and educated.

    My point is I never been to Howard Beach (assumption of yours) and never lived in New York city(another assumption of yours). I worked for Peter Pan Trailways/Greyhound and traveled back and forth to New york as a ticket agent for semblance as a part of my job. I used New york as a BIG CITY reference.
    The snide remarks you have concerning I am uneducated has nothing to do with taking life by the horns and just DOING IT- which appears to have you stagnated in fear-Your not alone and you have a right to be angry and concerned but you seem to be transfering all the wrong energy to a project that keeps you stuck...

    Chicago's dilemma on the Redline is actually a dis-service but I have a friend from Alabama who states they can walk two hours to work down there and the bus still wont be on that route. so can we find something to be blessed and content about? It is certainly beyond CTA's powers to make everyone happy with the transition but meetings will not change anything except for giving you another place to vent. (but you have one here and seem to be doing a great job Gangs don't run this city either- so people can't throw this into the equation to justify CTA's lack of transparency....

    I am not the most religious but I believe in Jesus my protector and "comfort" has no bearing in faith when it is aligned with fear. Your rattling on as though the criminals have made you afraid to CHANGE your mindset or either your elderly (and in that case forgive me for sassing you) nonetheless I cannot find any pleasantries in your disdain for change that is going to happen with or without you. Your not the spokesperson for the rest of us blacks who come from urban communities and the South side has only but so many re-routes for public discord during the renovation. Given that we all have been publicly warned ,advised or given fair notice how do we move forward to make you happy when this is a major transition that has to occur for the future of things, not the past- where u seemed to be stuck at?No disrespect- all the issues you raised about the past- we blacks on the east coast faced them- blacks being denied rides in taxi's and gypsy taxi's for the Burroughs in New york and cabs thru out Roxbury and Mattapan Massachusetts. We learned and serviced our own community with solutions, not just unbalanced complaining... I don't need to investigate anything because I will not allow people to put fear in me because I am a child of God and fear and faith cannot abide at the same time; now as far as being cautious- I can feel u and hear you but this has nothing to do with transparency and the CTA: as for police meetings and forums- it hasn't altogether and probably won't prevent random crime and criminals. As we age we may be protective and second guess ourselves but these changes are for the future and current and we have to jump on board; Your initial argument had semblance of Redline vs. Brown line- that argument fell thru the cracks as you were educated that a facelift/cosmetic on brown line is different than tracks and beds being demolished for the new trains and to provide faster efficient service on the Redline... maybe you like reading yourself complain or something - but your argument has no legs to stand on- after all the grandstanding and wall crawling a change must come.

    Its time to look at the positives for the 2013 renovation:
    1. There will be seasonably warm weather.
    2. Express buses- WEEEEE!
    3.Learning how to adapt to change.
    4. It will all be over sooner than later and we can look forward to the extention to 130 th street. nothing stays the same. and lastly
    5. the howard beach joke is - I'd rather a safe train commute than a slow one that is riddled with an accident and train derailment- we have to move into the future and all the meetings and community input is just posturing- Work has to be done. It would be nice to have been given options but your only option is now to save your loochie,duckets(money) and get a car...Repeat after me "I will be content whether I have plenty or not a lot- and Ï will not complain"

  • I will dare say that the majority on the south side vote Democrat.
    This is your payback, an "improvement".

    Bend over and enjoy the ride.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    To educate you- blacks from the south generally have been Republicans; get your facts straight, and some states were allowed to vote as an independant in primaries... but good bigoted joke. Not funny but ignorant- yet we get your concerns- note taken

  • In reply to Thatnig94:

    Dear Mr. Thatnig94, I was not speaking of anybody south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but south of Madison Avenue, where I happen to live ( and have lived all my life). Thank you for the mis-education. Is 94 your IQ?

    In case you missed the history of Chicago the last 50 years, most on the south side --blacks, Irish, Italians, Spanish, etc.-- have voted Democrat.

    You must be enjoying the Democrat ride.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I can't understand what being a Democrat or republican has to do with this forum of reconstruction,transparency, gangs on the re-routes, or any of the other innuendo u people have thrown in to stir the pot up against CTA. Tax payers are not getting screwed regardless how one votes. You interjected that like as if everyone got played and it is insulting and condescending and not adding anything to the discussion. I see a glass half full while you and the blogger see a glass half empty. Again, visit Atlanta Georgia where educated black business men and women vote Republican and always have that migrated here as well and they went to all HBCU Historical Black colleges and Universities, for semblance these blacks voted for Bush because he offered better incentives tax wise and most of these blacks income was well over $200,000.00 a year. I really don't know who you small minded blacks and whites think your talking to from Chicago, but you all need to stop being so negative- CHANGE doesn't make citizens victims as you and the blogger is trying to suggest so I rebuke you again. Can you all find a Bible anywhere in Chicago for hope,faith and prosperity? lol

  • In reply to Thatnig94:

    Gosh, Mr. Thatnig94, who are "u" people? A bit racist, I might suggest? Are you a "u people", or is that kinda racist? I don't happen to think it is, but I could never say that.

    Once again, I am not talking about anybody south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but south of MADISON AVE. I don't care how many Republicans of any color are doing whatever in Atlanta, GA. Further, I do not care how many have migrated here and are voting whatever, though if they are not voting Democrat, there garbage may be stinking up behind their garage for a long time.

    You are missing the point big time, Mr. Thatnig94. The point is, that in Chicago, you have no voice -- no matter how dark or light you are. You have no voice, because one party, the party of the Ass, has run this city for 50 plus years.
    If you do not think that taxpayers are not getting the screw because of how they vote, you need to stick around for another 50 years or so and see how Chicago really works.

    The only color that matters in Chicago is green, and somebody at some end of the CTA repairs is getting the green, whilst taxpayers get the rail. Period.

    Your "rebukes" are aimed at the wrong target. You are really hostile to someone who is just pointing out that the political system here does not give a CTA subway rat's ass, no matter what the color.

    And I have visited Atlanta Georgia, and it is a great place to keep on moving through.

    Do ya get it now? One party. One party does what it wants, no matter who it screws. And people of all hues on the south side keep voting for that party. I can't make it more simple, but, then again, I am one of "u" people and not so edjamakted.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I apologize for the "you people" it is condescending- I am just amazed that tax payers have so much FEAR due to the corruption and feeling powerless in the city over EVERYTHING. Now do you understand that black men in urban communities say voting doesn't really matter because as you and the blogger suggest- the corruption of public officials will still trump any citizens vote. Maybe the devil is running this town - but how did we get here; nothing happens without God's permission- if the citizens are being sifted it maybe because of the sins of our mothers and fathers or maybe enough of us are not praying. I suggest the alcoholics mantra of accept the things you cannot change and have courage to know the difference...or something like that...Sorry for being offensive

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    I'll make this short and sweet. If you actually RIDE the Redline and have commuted between the 69th 79th 87th or 95th redline stations then you won't see this move as that big of a deal. The southside of the redline is HORRIBLY slow as it is, just yesterday our train stood in china town and barely moved to 35th and stood still for nearly 15 minutes.

    My problem with the plan is they expect that they can take all the people who would normally ride the redline and put them on the bus which is extremely unlikely to be a smooth transition. The busses are usually packed or full to capacity already WITH redline trains running in the morning and evening every 5-10 minutes. The chicago tribune already said for this to be possible there would have to be shuttles coming every 90 seconds to accomomadate the more then 1500 new bus trips that would be needed

    As far as the #29 and #55 thats a joke. Do you really think CTA will be able to accomodate it's riders with good service at 7am in the morning every weekday when it's the morning rush?

    My problem with the plan was that it seemed to not have been thought out fully and did not take into full consideration how it would effect the community, and the stupid "40 cent reduced fares" is a dumb idea anyways since most people are riding with one days or weekly bus cards.

  • In reply to Marlon Frazier:

    You are correct Marlon, crappy plan + no community input = disaster.

    Thank God, someone's light bulb is on.

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    and by morning rush, I mean when the dan ryan is completely packed in the morning

  • People! People! If you want respect from the city, better use of your tax dollars, better public transportation, fewer red light cameras like the ones they took down at Roosevelt and State street, less police abuse and a chance of being tazered for a parking violation or your parking meter expiring, having a voice in decision making, lower prices in some cases(if you can believe that), MOVE TO THE NORTHSIDE!

  • In reply to SMILE:

    That's right southsiders, it's always someone else's fault! Remember the perpetual victims mentality: "woe is me, give me more s%@# for free!"

  • In reply to Capt Vegas:

    While Smile's comments are ridiculous at best, I have no idea how you connected them to a perpetual victim mentality?

    I don't remember anything is this post about asking or being given anything. I am, on the other hand, illustrating how the process to reach this decision without community input is flawed.

    BTW, when you're giving out free s%@#, let me know.

  • It may create more problems for the innocent people living in the South Chicago neighborhoods, and for that I'm sorry.

    However, it will also mean less crime for the people who live in Chicago and northward, near Red Line stops. It's a well known fact that the CTA's Red Line is a conduit for gang banging low-life's to come to the city and steal, beat and terrorize. They've already laid waste to their own neighborhoods, so they jump the turnstile at 95th and come look for other "opportunities."

  • In reply to Capt Vegas:

    Stop pandering to fear my, blacks have bus passes and crime is committed by police more often than it is by youths jumping a turnstile; I was in shock this cities residents couldn't tape or record a police officers or a public official, judge,prosecutor etc without being charged and facing felony conviction. The voters here have been in fear and until recent (only after Mccarthy the police chief gave his approval for transparency did you all ever voice your concerns for transparency. Do u see the hypocrisy in that- you find any reason to lump CTA,/Blacks,Gangs, and crime together but you can't look the evils in the eye and come together for change. I don't know any other cities who have this on the books- instead of trying to denigrate blacks ask yourself how you helped the conditions here stay in the 60's- all of you?

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    I can't help but wonder if Rahm is shutting down the redline for 5 months to see if the crime (beatings, muggings and iphone theft) drastically drop in number. In essence, the redline closure make it more difficult for southsiders to get to the loop, river north and lincoln park.

  • In reply to lstk:

    Uh Duh, no my friend- there is a green line connection to the loop,river north, and /lincoln Park. I just liked how you tried to slyly add your bigoted views about the mayor and blacks on the south side in your paragraph.

    To address your racist innuendo lets start here- The mayor is not testing a reduction of crime manual of sorts by shutting down the Redline- Where did you get these lies from? Read and Comprehend the blog- It concerns giving us information about the public hearings to offer and voice concerns and offer any input for the Reconstruction to replace a system that is badly in need of a revamp. Who knows if citizens may offer viable re-routes and the CTA may adopt some of the communities suggestions. Yet, as far as I can see there has been black bigots, white bigots, and other bigots on here with totally different agenda's that has nothing to do with offering even a idea of even "car pooling" or the likes to add to the discussion as a viable option while the reconstruction is taking place. Sadly enough...

    You seem happy that the south side connections are hampered based on your conjecture of "beatings, muggings, and iPhone theft"s" statement...But let me assure you this criminals will find a way to these areas that your so concerned about being safe zones, and better neighborhoods- that;s the problem with bigots - it appears you all are removed from the entire Cities dilemma with crime unless it concerns you- You don't have any vested interest in commuters from the south side who face these delays,diversions, and re-routes during this phase of reconstruction- you just came on here to gloat about your own safety and to thumb your finger up to be condescending because you HOPED the Redlines shutdown would keep blacks from your community but you didn't want to come out and laugh at people so you fudged around it.

    Here's a news bulletin for u though- NOBODY IS SAFE! We all have children, iPhones and fear muggings and the reconstruction is not to protect bigots from black vandals,thieves, and criminals...Really How stupid can you be. Lord I need to, let me go pray- I just don't know how you could be so insensitive,callous, cruel and demean a whole race of people just to diss the mayor and blacks like we are all criminals...I have good news though- You get the dumb award for the month of June, hows that. Sorry for the arrogance but someone has to say these things...or people will continue to insult blacks like we are still in the 40's

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    In reply to Thatnig94:

    @Thatnig94 - I am not talking about race. I'm talking about crime. No need to get angry or call names. Peace.

  • In reply to lstk:

    Uh, Mr. Thatnig94 seems to see race, first, last and always. And is he angry at "u" people.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    If I am guilty of anything it is I am proud to be Black, African American, and I read beyond a 12th grade reading comprehension level. People get on the internet and try to use sarcastic racial animus and innuendo as jokes and then try to camouflage it like its a colorful joke.My mother was raised in a city in Ruleville Mississippi that had two libraries, one for black and one for white- the one for white had books with words while the one for blacks had pictures only(no words)- the bigots there never thought we had the capacity to read so our lot was to be "corrected all the time " by people who are not above us- I am not going to dummy down to anyone online - say what you mean and mean what you say but don't say it mean...and we will all get along

  • In reply to lstk:

    Well you started off with lies about why the Redline was shutting down and you threw the mayor under the bus as if he was trying to punish South side CTA riders for a freak experiment to curb crime. My reading comprehension is above 8th grade level. Do you see how easy it is to "can't help but wonder" and my adding 1+2 to surmise you thought the Mayor was "shutting down the Redline for 5 months to see if crime (beatings,muggings, and iPhone thefts)drastically drop in numbers can be misunderstood as being looney. Sorry if I offended you but the paragraph didn't make since especially since black employees of Northwestern Hospital and others business have to face these same incidents coupled with this headache of a commute you didn't seem genuinely concerned- I thought you were passing on a bad rumor that the mayor CONSPIRED to inconvenience all these people just to stop a few criminals from committing crimes against an affluent community or your neighbors on the northside. My badd for getting riled up and calling you names but notwithstanding- you didn't put a "Question mark" after that mayor shutting down the redline "rhetorical statement"- so I assumed you were being facetious and trying to clown riders. My badd- I read it how you wrote it

  • In reply to lstk:

    I was wondering the same thing myself. I don't believe the timing was a coincidence at all.

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    In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:,0,7630712.story

  • CTA Video concerning trains currently being built in New York that are one of a kind in the Nation that will be used on the Chicago CTA.
    Here is the link for anyone to read the article and to watch the video...See there-We are going to be ahead of the fray with custom made trains- That's a positive start...,0,2929242.column

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    The first question is definitely something to consider.
    The second question, however, is just stupid. The third and fourth questions are irrelevant. They have all already been answered by the CTA and news media in various press releases and stories. Maybe you should do some research before you just start whining?

  • In reply to Kiernan Sanders:

    It's "stupid" to ask about the status of previous work that was supposed to improve the slow zones? It's "irrelevant" to be concerned about the quality of work in the past (station rehabs) to ensure the resources aren't wasted this go round?

    If demanding transparency and asking questions counts as "whining," they I'll continue to whine away.

  • In reply to Woodlawn Wonder:

    Moving Forward:
    Are you able to use this forum that is unprecedented to get volunteers mobilized for a carpooling at various locations at different times, or is this blogs sole purpose for a gripe
    I feel your in a unique situation to provide a resource of sorts for people unless you have a car and are being Facetious as well. I didn't read anywhere on this blog that CTA has agreed to allow South side riders to use their transit cards on Metra during the interim. I believe that is a great alternative because commuters can get to Metra stations so that is a good look to another option.

  • Woodlawn - I didn't get through all the comments as they seemed to start getting uuuum, mean?

    Anyway - what is your proposed alternative?

    From what I understand, the reason they have to do the project this way is due to money and space. Unlike the north branch of the red line, the south branch has no place to store equipment as it runs along an expressway- it's much easier and faster to leave the equipment there (the north branch has areas capible of storage).

    If the timing is indeed deliberate to prevent crime, what is the harm there? I think any and all ways to prevent any crime should be explored. Not just for downtown and the Gold Coast but all over the city.

    I understand it's quite an inconvenience (I'm south of Chinatown), but unfortunately, we're going to have to deal with it - it's only a short time. And luckily - as far as weather, it's during the best possible time. It would be ten times the headache during winter.

  • Asking why previous work was even done if it wasn't going to be effective is a completely legitimate question, however it doesn't change the fact that this is a much bigger project than anything before it.

    I'd like to address your points, one at a time:

    1. Gang:

    The CTA did talk to the Aldermen before coming up with the plan. I wouldn't expect the CTA to be gang experts, and I wouldn't expect a government agency to allow itself to be forced to implement a radically different plan because of criminal activity. That said, I *would* expect the Aldermen to be aware of gang issues in their own wards and if it was an issue to present it as an issue to the CTA. On this point, I think your beef should be with the Aldermen much more than with the CTA.

    2. Why did previous work fail?

    This is a totally legit question. I don't think the CTA realized how bad the understructure of the tracks had gotten until they tried the easier fixes. Most people would try glasses to fix bad eyesight before resorting to surgery. The CTA trying to do track work before resorting to a complete reconstruction may look bad in hindsight, but it'd be as bad (or worse) if they just went straight to the surgery so to speak.

    3. Previous station work?

    They didn't have the money for elevators then. Sometimes the CTA has to work with what it has due to the assinine funding methods not just in the CTA, but in the RTA, at CDOT, at IDOT, and at the Federal level. I agree that it's wasteful and dumb, but not all of the funding issues are within the CTA's scope to control.

    4. Brown line stations?

    The Brown Line work was station-only work. No significant structural work was done on the Brown Line. The Dan Ryan rehab is structural. They're basically rebuilding the entire line in place - this is more like the Pink Line project than the Brown Line project. It may be counter-intuitive to close a busier line for a short time instead of bleeding out a longer project like they did with the Pink Line, but there are a lot of differences. The proximity of the Green Line, the proximity of a highway and of good side-streets suitable for shuttle buses, even the proximity of Metra all make a shutdown easier to mitigate. You may disagree with their decision, but I don't think the facts point to the CTA being totally off base on this. Either decision has pros and cons. This shutdown means more people will benefit sooner, even if they have a harder time in the short term.

  • What's crazy is that some Southsiders actually believe your life will be better with the rail work.....You still will get you buts on the platforms and wait at the end of the day..Your life WILL NOT BE BETTER BECAUSE OF IT. AND we already know no jobs will be created for us, and no construction contracts, BUT we will be inconveienced

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    I for one am for the provision as long as it provides much needed jobs for individuals from the south side community. I am entering into the environmental remediation industry and I am tired of seeing Construction done in our communities and not seeing ANYONE from our communities be hired.

    We do have Section 3 hiring to fall back on though (look it up you don't' know what it is) but there are many loopholes to that .....

    What I cay say is this has definitely motivated to have a vehicle WAY before this project takes place. The slow times will be horrendous and you won't be able to rely on CTA for anything.

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