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Chicago September 2014

Posted by Leo on September 9, 2014 at 4:35 PM

The CTA was good as always. Because I go so often, there is not much to say. The CTA Orange Line is an OK line.Operated with 2400s, 2600s, and 3200s, the Orange Line uses 3 of the 4 types of rolling stock currently on the CTA "L". A major problem with the Orange Line, as i've stated before, is station distance and the abundance of park n' rides. Seriously, stations are way too far apart! My suggestion, in addition to extending the line to Ford City, would be to add infill stations at a few places. And then there is the tiny matter of ALL THE STUPID PARK N' RIDE LOTS! TAKE IT AWAY! I don't know how transit agencies don't understand how bad park n' rides are for transt! An OK line, which would be so much better with a few improvements.

The CTA Brown Line is the third busiest line in the CTA "L" System. The line gets about 100,000 riders per weekday. The line goes through many hipster neighborhoods, and is therefore sometimes called the Cappucino Line! However, these same hipsters are the ones who give the line its strong ridership. Signage is quite good, as on the Orange Line, with station names prominantly displayed, and Helvetica being used for nearly everything. The system map, a neighborhood map, and the "L" map can be seen at each station, but there is no frequent transit map! Next train indicators are present in many of the stations, and due to being installed recently, are very modern looking and easy to read. Stations along the line are typical "L" stations with narrow platforms, tight turns, and mostly side platforms. Divvy and CTA bus connections are avaliable at most stations. Western Station has a piece of the Berlin Wall within the station house, and good bus connections are also at the station. Two reasonably frequent standard frequent bus lines, the 49B North Western and the 11 Lincoln, both terminate at the station. Two Divvy bikeshare docks are present, and two extremely frequent 24/7 bus routes, the 81 Lawrence and the 49 Western, pass through the station. Past Western, the line runs at grade for the Rockwell, Francisco, Kedzie, and Kimball Stations. At Kimball, very good bus connections are avaliable. The line is mostly served by 8 car trainsets, and the rolling stock consists almost entirely of 3200 series cars. Seats are not in bench format, so blah. AND THE VOCALS ARE AMAZING! A great line.

The CTA 49B North Western is a fairly frequent bus route on Chicago's Far North Side. The route feeds the very frequent, 24/7 49 Western and the Brown Line via Western Station. The line operates every 15 minutes or better, 7 days a week. THE VOCALS ARE AMAZING, the line is heavily used, with about 5,000 riders per weekday. The buses used are standard New Flyer D40LFs, but there are no bench seats! My suggestions would be to increase frequency, and,once the Yellow Line Asbury Station opens, to extend the line there. Stops are pretty good, and shelters are awesome! A good line.

The CTA Red Line is the busiest in the system, with about 250,000 boardings per weekday. The line's rolling stock is mostly 2600 and 5000 series cars. Signage and maps were good, VOCALS WERE AWESOME, and the alignment (on the North Side) was good. The 5000 series had bench seats, so that was good. In most of the 5000 series, the walls were painted a very nice grayish-blue color, which was nice, and instead of rollsigns, LED screens were used. Downtown, the line uses a subway, with some side platform and some island platform stations. There is a continuous island platform through much of downtown, and the line runs 24/7, with frequent service the whole time! Subway stations are shallow and have a New York feel. On the South Side, stations are widely spaced and are in the middle of the Dan Ryan expressway, with island platforms. The North Side routing utilises the old North Side Main Line, so the line is quite twisty and close to the surrounding buildings. These stations are both island and side platforms. A great line!

 :)

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