Sunday, January 06, 2008

1/20 is coming

The latest CTA doomsday is fast approaching now that the holiday are past. If you haven't checked out the service cut list on the CTA web site, it has changed since the previous round. The north side along the lake and northwest side are the biggest losers. Many NW side routes will be cut, and all the Lake Shore Drive express buses (which have very heavy ridership) will be gone. The 147 express will be gone, as well as the 93 California, 96 Lunt, 97 Skokie, and 200, 201, 205 and 206 Evanston buses. If you currently use a bus to go to St. Francis Hospital or Evanston Hospital, you'd be out of luck. 81 of 154 bus routes will be gone (52.5%). Looks like all the proposed changes are now on the bus side of the equation, as they do not show any trains on the service cut list.

For the fare side of the picture, click here. It continues the trend towards incentives to switch to the Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus.

For more info from CTA, click here.

Meanwhile, Pace has their own list of proposed cuts, mostly evening (after 7 p.m.) and weekend service and not a lot of route eliminations. What does that mean around here? The 215 and 290 buses would lost all evening service. If you have a night job and depend on one of these routes to get there, you would be screwed.

Metra is proposing either a 5 percent or 10 percent fare increase, plus the elimination of the $5 weekend pass (to be replaced by a $7 all-day fare good for travel on either weekend day. They have already been making some cuts which are invisible to anyone but regular riders, reducing the number of open cars and conductors on some off-peak trains. If the system doesn't get additional funding, off-peak service cuts would be proposed in 2009. For more detail, click here (large PDF).

To put in your $0.02 worth yet again, click here. Bug the governor. Bug your legislators, mayor, and aldermen. Geez, I really hate that we're in this position yet again, after our train wreck of a state government has failed us for the umpteenth time in this critical issue.

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