Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gold Line Coming Through the Sloop?

The Tribune has an interesting read today about a community group called SOUL (Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation) who is pushing for a new CTA 'Gold Line' which would serve the South Side (mainly along the lakefront).

From what we can tell it's essentially proposing that the CTA run a line on existing Metra tracks. It's something similar to what we've posted about before (here and our own unfounded iteration here), but this is the first time a major Chicago news organization has picked it up (from what we can tell). Although it would be great to provide El transportation on the South Lakefront, our guess is that it won't happen.

Regardless it's still an interesting concept.

(Image from chicagotribune.com)


Jim in Chicago said...

For much (all?) this route would use existing Metra right of way and stations. Wouldn't it make much more sense to allow passengers to use CTA fares on the Metra within Chicago, much like you can do on the Metro/RER in Paris, where a regular Metro tickets is good on the RER (regional rail) within the center city? Why spend millions of dollars to duplicate an already existing service?

Sloopy said...

I agree, maybe add a couple Metra runs per hour and allow people to use CTA tickets to transfer to the Metra (and vice versa).

I'm sure there are some logistical things we're overlooking, but it seems pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm with Jim. Add some more trains and make it easier to transfer or use CTA fare cards. Done.

On the other hand, if they're handing out ponies, here's the pony I'd want:

Build a short connector line between the loop and Millennium Station (logistical nightmare, but hey, ponies!). Now run the Brown Line trains down the Metra Electric tracks to South Chicago. Then you have your hotels connected to your McCormick Place, an easy connection between Northwestern and University of Chicago, and frequent service to the south lakefront--which is then sure to start filling in with more highrises.

But wait, there's more! The Green Line has basically zero ridership south of Garfield, so rip that nonsense right out. Now use the 59th St. right-of-way to build a red line branch down 59th, up King to Garfield, through the park (right by the Olympic Stadium), and down 55th all the way over to your brand new Brown Line. This gives you a way to transfer between Red, Green, and Brown without going downtown. Voila, a Southern Circle Line!

Imaginary transit construction is teh fun.

Anonymous said...

God this is old news. I cant believe the Trib is just now writing about it

haighterade said...

Jim in Chicago, I'm completely with you about CTA fares on Metra within the city. When I lived in San Francisco, I always bought a monthly Muni (CTA equivalent) pass, and it was good on BART (Metra equivalent) within the city. So useful, and so easy to implement.

...Adding, it sure would be nice if the Metra Electric line ran more than once an hour off-peak.

stephen said...

I love the idea as a transit corridor... but having metra manage urban rapid transit will never work. The only reasonable long term solution is to have the CTA take over the route and run it like an el. I've wanted to see this idea come to fruition for a long time, glad to see the newspapers are now talking about it. Someone ask Fioretti for his thoughts?

stephen said...

by the way, what is SOUL trying to be liberated from? Bad acronyms?? From a lawmakers perspective its hard to take an idea seriously whenever "Unity and Liberation" are a part of the advocacy group's name.

haighterade said...

How about Southsiders Organized for Unity and Pride (SOUP)? Or Southsiders Organized for Outstanding Transit (SOOT)? Better Integrated Transit in Chicago's Heartland (BITCH)?