Thursday, January 24, 2019

Hinz: Expand Metra before extending Red Line to 130th Street? #ChiMayor19

Red Line Extension
This is for those of you who would support Mr. Paul Vallas for Mayor of Chicago and especially if you live in the area that could benefit from the red line extension.
Wading into a debate that’s been waging for years over how to best bring more fast-train service to areas of the South Side that primarily have to rely on buses, Vallas says it appears that pursuing the Metra work "may be the more viable alternative" than extending the Red Line south to 130th Street, as outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants.

In an interview after unveiling his overall transportation plan, Vallas said he wouldn’t use the word "shelve" to describe his views on the Red Line project. But the Metra Electric work "is more viable, at least financially," Vallas said. "In the absence of a funding solution for the Red Line, the Metra Electric may be an affordable alternative."

The Red Line extension would cost an estimated $2.3 billion, money the CTA does not have. Emanuel hopes to get some funding in a new state capital bill that Gov. J.B. Pritzker and lawmakers are working on, but the CTA has other huge capital needs, including likely billions to finish reconstruction of the Red Line north.

In comparison, upgrading the Metra Electric service to CTA-like frequencies—perhaps every 10 or 15 minutes rather than every hour—could cost as little as $400 million by some estimates. And it possibly could occur more quickly, since a line already exists.
Read the whole thing 

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