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
Can we board? Photo by Melissa McClarin.
Ed. note: This op-ed was originally posted on The Chainlink by Adam “Cezar” Jenkins and is published here with his permission. Jenkins commutes on Metra from Mokena to his job as a web developer downtown. He is vice president of the Folks on Spokes bicycling club in Southland Chicago. -Steven
My family is car-lite. One car. I’ve been riding Metra for over a year to work and the city for whatnot. Something the entire time has stuck out at me.
I will preface the below with the understanding that I know it’s getting better, but that it exists at all is a problem if you support a real workable public transit system.
There’s one thing above all others that makes me want to buy a second car and use it. Inconsistency. Let’s start with what hits home with The Chainlink the most. Bikes. Continue reading Metra’s inconsistency makes me want to drive: Am I the only one?
Update: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) blogged a new report about this connection. I haven’t read it yet, though.
I am passionate about the nexus of bicycling and transit, and I’ve written often on Steven Can Plan about how bikes are stored on trains in the United States and around the world. When I travel, I look at this relationship closely.
Bikes on the subway in Seoul, South Korea. Photographer unknown.
Recently I’ve had several discussions with people (the latest while volunteering at Pitchfork Festival in early July 2011) about getting bikes on the South Shore Line that goes to Indiana. What I’ve learned is that it will probably take an act of legislation to make this happen, as well as a reconfiguration of the trains. This is what forced Metra to change its policies, but they caved before the legislation passed. Continue reading Open discussion: What suggestions do you have for bikes on trains?
I don’t know if this will be normal Grid writing, but it’s important to those who like to bring their bike on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains or rely on it if you have a flat or breakdown.
Continue reading CTA makes temporary bike ban for its trains this holiday weekend