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More Riders and Less Money Make Jack Pissed Off

By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Feb 20, 2007 11:17PM

The good news:

Metra posted a single-year ridership record with approximately 80 million passengers. This was partly due to construction on the Dan Ryan, expanded rail service, and high gas prices.

Amtrak also rang in with a 69 percent increase on expanded routes between Chicago and St. Louis, Carbondale and Quincy. The Chicago-to-St. Louis line showed a 95 percent increase in riders for last quarter over the same period last year.

2007_02ctafucked.jpgThe news:

The Regional Transportation Authority is seeking $10 billion from the General Assembly this spring for Pace, Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority. It'll be fun to see how that all gets divvied up. Illinois' General Assembly did double the funding that the Illinois Department of Transportation gave to Amtrak for the coming year, to $24.2 million, to pay for the extended services that began Oct. 30. So, that's something.

There are four community meetings coming up in March to discuss the snafu related to the next phase of the Brown Line expansion project, which involves taking one of four tracks at Belmont and Fullerton out of service until late 2009. You know, the one where Kruesi says we'll just have double the commute times and oh fucking well. They're actually at night, and we're waiting to hear if people are going to be allowed to speak.

  • March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m., Lane Tech High School auditorium, 2501 W. Addison.
  • March 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., Agassiz Elementary School auditorium, 2851 N. Seminary.
  • March 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., Truman College cafeteria, 1145 W. Wilson.
  • March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m., CTA headquarters, 2nd floor, 567 W. Lake.

The bad news:

Amtrak is trying to dodge the proverbial foot up the ass as the Bush administration has proposed $400 million in funding cuts for the 2008 fiscal year budget. "This increase in ridership tells me that the federal government is headed in the wrong direction when it tries to slash funding for Amtrak," Gov. Rod Blagojevich said in a statement Sunday. Really? That's the only thing that tells you the federal government is headed in the wrong direction?

Judy Pardonnet, a spokesperson for Metra, said that for the last three years, Metra has used money that was supposed to go for maintaining the 11 lines to operate things day-to-day. "We want to continue to provide the same safe and efficient transportation," she said. "We got the riders because we have a good maintenance record."

Unlike the CTA ... who kept a large number of people waiting at the Division stop of the Blue Line this morning when they shut down power on the southbound rail of the Blue Line this morning for a significant amount of time. We got an email from a grrrred-out reader who said, "This stranded at least the 400+ CTA riders that were at the Division stop during ... the 20 minutes I waited ... at the station and 10 minutes I waited for the Division bus. Upon asking the CTA station rep if the CTA would be sending buses to transport passengers along the Blue Line route, as used to be standard when the train shut down, she said no and then proceeded to scream at me and other passengers." Awesome.

When we went to the CTA website for more information, we saw no alert to anything happening this morning, but some vague alert that a re-route had ended. WHAT re-route? Good times, good times. Fuck public transportation, save the world.

"good fucking question" by smussyolay.