SAFETY ZONE painted on California Avenue, immediately south of North Avenue.
There are four news stories in this edition of Grid Bits.
The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications announced two weeks ago that it will be testing speed cameras from Monday, December 3 (yesterday), to Thursday, January 3.
“City officials are testing both mobile camera systems and permanent camera systems, which will be temporarily installed at:”
- McKinley Park, at approximately 2223 W. Pershing Road
- Warren Park, at approximately 6541 N. Western Ave
- Dulles Elementary School, at approximately 6340 S. King Drive
- Near North Montessori School, at approximately 1446 W. Division
The Department of Transportation will install signs that tell drivers no citations will be issued. Continue reading Grid Bits: Speed camera testing, CTA riders don’t own cars, I-90 bus lanes, driver’s license legislation
Bonus: The Chicago Transit Authority is building an auxiliary entrance at the Roosevelt Green and Orange Lines station, on the south side of Roosevelt, near the Starbucks, Jewel, and dry cleaners. This was previously exit-only. The new entrance will speed up trips for those who transfer from the eastbound #12 Roosevelt bus to this train station. Photo by the CTA.
There are six stories (five transit, and one bicycling) mentioned in this September 4th edition of Grid Bits. The Chicago Transit Authority has been very busy in the past few months.
Chicago Sun-Times will sponsor three years of the “first day of school free rides” program that gives all Chicago Public Schools students a free ride today and in 2013, and 2014.
Sun-Times Media is contributing more than $150,000 to the program, designed to promote first-day attendance for CPS elementary and high school students.
Continue reading Grid Bits: CTA modifies Red South plan, hearing Tuesday; bike crashes at intersections
A Metra train crosses Canal Street in downtown Chicago. Photo by David Wilson.
There are 6 articles in this transit-focused edition of Grid Bits, a sporadically occurring category of posts that summarize and link to recent articles in other news media. At the end you’ll find two Grid Chicago-authored commentaries. The first attempting to explain the logistical reasons why CTA’s Blue and Red Lines, the busiest, don’t have 5000-series cars; the second recommending a possible weekend-only pilot project to allow bicycles on South Shore trains.
In the federal transportation bill that was signed into law in early July, a provision was included that requires the Federal Transit Administration to work with state departments of transportation to develop safety regulations for transit providers across the country (including the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace). No such regulation currently exists, as it does for intercity bus travel, air travel, and highways, among other modes. Transit agencies, understanding consequences of poor emergency responses, have been self-regulating. It remains to be seen if such regulation will be an improvement over past self-regulation. The Chicago Tribune reports: Continue reading Grid Bits: CTA bus job fair, pay with smartphone on Metra, new federal transit safety regulations
Photo of a Metra train by Sam Dickey.
There are 5 stories from 8 sources in this edition of Grid Bits, all about transit.
CTA Red Line south track renewal project
The Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line south project to shut down 9 Red Line stations (Cermak-Chinatown to 95th) for five months in 2013 to replace 100% of track is generating uninformed controversy. The CTA will be holding at least 5 meetings across the south side to meet one-on-one with neighbors and community groups. The first meeting was Monday; the second meeting is tonight.
Coverage and commentary of the Red Line south project:
The CTA has posted an extremely detailed webpage dedicated to informing people about the project’s goals, alternative service, and why it chose to avoid a 4-year-long weekend-only shutdown to complete the same work.
Continue reading Grid Bits: Red Line south closure, Bombardier trains under construction, universal fare card
The Morgan Street Green/Pink Line station will be open in May, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. This photo was taken April 2, 2012, by Jeff Zoline, a frequent photo contributor.
There are 8 transit stories in this post (1 for Pace, 2 for Metra, 4 for CTA, and one story about how transit users save money because they’re not driving to work). Hat tips to CTA Tattler and Riders for Better Transit for keeping up with transit news in Chicagoland.
1. Pace yesterday began putting more buses on routes 755 and 855, both of which can drive on the shoulders of I-55/Stevenson Expressway during rush hour periods when traffic is moving slower than 35 MPH. They’re doing this because of increased demand for a route that’s seen its reliability improved and travel time decreased. There’s no word yet on the status of running buses on the shoulder of I-90/Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.
2. People who take transit to work instead of driving save $1,006 per month because of the cost of gas, insurance, parking, and other expenses. This is actually just a monthly calculation the American Public Transport Association releases. See the savings in the top 20 cities on the APTA’s website (via Chicago Sun-Times). Continue reading Grid Bits: Pace increases bus frequency on Stevenson and other transit news
Photo of a Blue Line train at UIC-Halsted. This train has the oldest cars in the system, noticeable with their “butterfly doors” that are inaccessible to people using wheelchairs, or customers with bicycles. Photo by David Wilson.
In this edition of Grid Bits, five transit stories, and an update on President Obama’s State of the Union address last night. First, the transit news.
(1) CTA overtime
The Chicago Transit Authority uses an employee’s overtime work to calculate their pension amount, and analysis from the Chicago Tribune finds that the CTA reports overtime in an odd way: Continue reading Grid Bits: State of the Union address, transit news