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CTA, City Hall Survey Travelers In Effort To Improve Transit To O'Hare

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 1, 2015 8:15PM

(O'Hare by snoopoz)

The CTA and the city are spending $280,000 on a survey this month to learn how travels commute to and from O'Hare International Airport.

To get personal with travelers, the survey asks people whether they take a car, cab, limousine, ride-share services or public transit to get to the far North Side airport and whether they ever use the airports parking garage, economy lots or People Mover transit system. It also wants to know how many bags people carry with them to the airport, according to the Tribune.

The survey will be useful for incoming Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans, who started her new post in Chicago from a job in D.C. on Monday. It could also serve to bolster the mayor's push for a nonstop express passenger train between the Loop and O'Hare. Such a train could take 25 minutes or less each-way—much faster than the all-stop Blue Line—but would cost $20 to $25 per customer, according to previous studies conducted by the city.

The idea never made it past former Mayor Richard M. Daley or Gov. Pat Quinn, transit columnist Jon Hilkevitch writes. And there are few state or federal budget options to finance such a plan. But some still champion the idea in and out of City Hall.

"Chicago was a leader 20 years ago with rapid transit service to both O'Hare and Midway Airport, but there has been little improvement since then, while traffic on the expressways has gotten steadily worse,'' Joseph Schwieterman, a transportation professor at DePaul University, told Hilkevitch.