Thursday, July 17, 2008

CTA unveils plan to Quadruple capacity on Blue Line Subway

At a Wednesday press conference in the CTA's Blue Line subway just north of Randolph, CTA President Ron Huberman led a press demonstration of the agency's latest innovation.

"We had begun to exceed our capacity for rush hour passengers," Huberman explained. "We've been studying the changes airlines are making to address their own critical problems, and we thing we can take it that extra step.

By basically "shucking" riders out of the confinement of "L" cars, we can place them on fast-moving, continuous conveyors. Combined with the simple act of reducing the volume of weight we have to carry by removing unnecessary passenger body parts, we will satisfy the exploding demand for rush-hour capacity, slash capital costs, help make Chicago the world's greenest city by consuming a lot less energy, and provide our riders the kind of speed and reliability that they deserve."

At the same press conference, Huberman announced a ambitious marketing plan centered around the CTA's new slogan, "The CTA - What Other Choice Do You Have?"

All seats to be removed from CTA "L" cars.


Maggie said...

Well, not exactly. It would only be on the brown line for now and only on two clearly marked cars. Perfect for people taking shorter commutes. People with longer trips who want to sit still can.

Lynn Becker said...

Well, no, no exactly. Huberman talked about starting with the Brown Line and expanding it to the Red and Purple. If you think this proposal was designed to make it "perfect for people taking shorter commutes", you're dreaming. Not even Charles "It's the strap-holders who pay the profits" Yerkes had the gall to make his trains Standing Room Only. Any review of the CTA's history would indicate that if they get away with this, SRO cars will become not the exception, but the standard. Despite their own overcrowding issues, you don't see Metra proposing taking out all their seats, even on "some cars."

Anonymous said...

Maybe the CTA Board should experiment with a seat-less board room so that it can fit more executives in the same space. Thus increasing the chances of them solving this rush hour problem sooner rather than later.

Isaac said...

I'm not sure why they don't consider a compromise. Many of the current CTA cars seem to have an over abundance of seats that results in congestion and difficulty entering and exiting the cars. A car with some seats, but more standing space, and a wider passageway to the exits, would seem to be a nice compromise. This could be accomplished by placing the seats in a long bench format, with the back of the seats against the windows. I've seen this seating arrangement successfully used in other mass transit systems.

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of your blog, but have to say that I don't see why this is such a big deal. I like to sit as much as the next guy, but during the morning rush, most people are already standing up anyway. Is standing only good enough for people entering southbound trains south of Belmont? I get on at North and Clybourn and never understood why I had to wait as full trains went by loaded with people paying $2 to travel while sitting in comfort from Evanston. If it means other people have to stand so that I can get on the train and get to work, I am all for it.

The Lady M said...

Ever since they expanded to 8-line cars on the Brown line, we haven't seen the kind of sardine-can overcrowding we used to; this seems like a silly idea coming to late to help anyway.

In response to Isaac Gaetz, the CTA *is* putting in train cars like you describe; they've supposedly already been ordered and are supposed to debut in a few years. As anyone who's commuted on a train car like that for a significant amount of time knows, they are intensely uncomfortable for passengers both seated and standing and would really be a disservice to passengers on an above-ground line. (You end up being forced to stare at crotches on your commute instead of being able to look out the window.)

A *much* better option would be using train cars with FOLD-DOWN seats like on the Paris metro. In fact, these "standing-room only" cars could actually have groups of fold-down seats and voila, best of both worlds! You wouldn't have to couple and uncouple train cars for the rush (as Huberman wants to do with the standing room only cars), you could just leave the cars on the train and if it gets crowded, people fold up the seats and stand; if it's empty, you sit down. Seems like this would be a no-brainer for the CTA.