Friday, September 20, 2019

Increased Metra service on Chicago's south side affects CTA service?

From the Tribune yesterday:
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle cemented a plan to lower fares and increase service on both the Metra Electric and Rock Island train lines at the center of a racial equity agenda presented to the City Club of Chicago earlier this week — saying the effort would help ensure South Side and south suburban residents have better access to transit.

“This is what equity investments in transportation look like," Preckwinkle said of what she described as a three-year pilot plan that would advance with financial support from the county government.

Lightfoot’s not convinced. The fare reduction plan would have “a dramatic effect” on the Chicago Transit Authority, the mayor told reporters Wednesday.

“I’m not in favor of it based upon the analysis that we’ve done," Lightfoot said. "I’ve spent some time talking with (CTA President) Dorval Carter about it, and it looks like it is essentially a transfer of CTA passengers to the Metra line.

“Obviously there’s an area of the South Side where we need to have better transportation services," Lightfoot said. "That Metra line is underserved, and I’m absolutely willing to work with Metra and the county, but this particular proposal I think causes problems for the CTA and I’m not going to support something that would have the effect of diminishing ridership at the CTA.”
I think increased service on the Metra Electric at least could be a good thing. I do hear there are those public transit users who prefer taking Metra over taking the L. I think at current the increased service on the south side and even the close in southern suburbs could be great.

At the same time, one could wonder how this could affect future CTA service upgrade. For example could increased service on Metra Electric through Pullman and Roseland affect the future CTA Red Line Extension.

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