Thursday, October 05, 2006

The future of express trains to O'Hare and Midway

The CTA's vision for 20-25 minute express service from the Loop to either O'Hare or Midway airports has at least temporarily been placed on the back burner. It's a great idea, a whole lot quicker and cheaper then taking a cab. Capital seems to be the big obstacle, approximately $1.5 billion. Ouch. So instead it has been proposed that a $10 a ride "express" service could take it's place. The big difference is that the ride would last the normal 40-45 or 30 minutes respectively, and would managed by a private company. A copy of a report obtained by Crain's Chicago Business, projects by 2010 an estimated 1.7 million riders would take advantage of these dedicated trains with special luggage space. And won't that be a god send, to actually have some room to place the luggage out the the way. Chicago isn't the first city to try this. Singapore and other major cities have successful express link trains. If it takes a public/private partnership to get service improvements, like this then I say go for it. The issue is expected to come before the CTA board for approval as early as it's November meeting. Stay tuned for more information.