The CTA is eager to spend $570 million+ on the Belmont Flyover to shave a mere 20-30 seconds off only 40% of the rides downtown for North Side Red Line riders.
Meanwhile, they’re busy ignoring a simple, inexpensive CTA/Metra fix which would vastly increase commuter service along a long corridor of the South Side, bringing people to jobs and vitality to multiple under-served neighborhoods.
How about a real increase in transit service on the South Side for a change?
Transit Activist Michael Payne, author of the Gray Line proposal, has been proposing this simple, good idea for years. Now, some South Side groups are giving it a push. Here’s hoping the CTA can finally listen.
What’s the idea? Read here:
South Side Groups: Make the Metra Electric Run Like the CTA ‘L’
By Steve Vance, Chicago Streetsblog, 1/14/2016
From the article:
A dozen neighborhood organizations, along with the Active Transportation Alliance and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, are calling for the Metra Electric line, with its three branches that run through several South Side communities, to operate like a CTA ‘L’ line.
The fourteen organizations signed a letter to the editor of the Chicago Maroon, the independent student newspaper of the University of Chicago, stating that if Metra Electric trains were operated more like the Blue and Red Lines, “[it] could unlock the enormous development potential of the South Side and South Suburbs.” They described the neighborhoods and places the trains already reach:
The Metra Electric serves many key destinations on the South Side, such as the University of Chicago, the Pullman district, Chicago State University, the Museum of Science and Industry, Governor’s State University, McCormick Place, the South Shore Cultural Center, and the proposed Lakeside Development. The communities surrounding its stations are densely populated and walkable, ideal areas for rapid transit development.
The idea of turning the Electric Line into a rapid transit route isn’t a new one. For years, local advocate Mike Payne has been pushing a similar proposal called the “Gray Line.”