South Cook County Fair Transit Pilot
Advocates in Boston ("More trains mean equity for Fairmount Line," Boston Globe), New York City ("Relief for New York City’s Transit Deserts? Commuter Trains Might Help," New York Times), and Chicago ("Instead of extending the Red Line, some see promise in the Metra Electric," Chicago Reporter) have argued for an integrated transit system linking railroad passenger services with heavy rail, because there are many train stations within those cities in areas where subway service isn't prevalent. They argue for allowing train to subway transfer and making city train fares comparable to subway fares.
The model is how train and subway service works in London, between the London Overground and the Underground ("One big idea: Getting MARC and Metrorail to integrate fares, stations, and marketing systems, using London Overground as an example," 2015), Paris, and the integrated transit systems in German systems where the S-Bahn -- "suburban commuter rail" -- is tied tightly to other transit services, including an integrated fare system, and pricing that is comparable to regular transit fares, not the more typically higher priced railroad train fares.
(In the DC-Baltimore region, there are opportunities to add in-city railroad stations in Baltimore and DC. See "A "Transformational Projects Action Plan" for a statewide passenger railroad program in Maryland." In Baltimore it could make a real difference, while in Washington the effect wouldn't be as significant, but could add stations in the New York Avenue corridor which lacks Metrorail service.)Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s South Cook Fair Transit pilot to slash certain Metra fares gets final green light without CTA participation," Chicago Tribune). Although for loss of revenue reasons, the City of Chicago, which runs the heavy rail system, the CTA, isn't participating, which reduces the efficacy of the program.
-- South Cook Fair Transit initiative
From the article:
Starting in January, the three-year program will slash fares on Metra Electric, which runs through Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs, and Rock Island Line, which serves areas of the Southwest Side and southwest suburbs, by 50%. It also boosts the hours and frequency of the Pace 352-Halsted bus route that runs from the CTA 95th/Dan Ryan station to the Pace Chicago Heights Terminal.
“Parts of the county (are) underserved by public transit and, as a result, hampered in their economic development because good public transit is the foundation of economic development,” Preckwinkle said in a call with reporters, outlining a vision of correcting those “transit deserts” that exist in southern Cook County.
Preckwinkle unveiled the idea last year to bring “equity investments” to those areas that lack public transportation access compared with the rest of the county despite households there spending a disproportionate amount of income on transportation. The goal is to boost ridership on southern Cook public transportation by offering more affordable fares and service improvements for the thousands who rely on Metra and Pace in the region. The county is funding the program with about $35 million, some of which will offset the fare reductions.
Originally, the plan was to also bring CTA on board for coordination purposes such as Ventra cards eventually being used for free transfers with Metra ("With Cook County’s help, South Siders could see lower fares on Metra," CT), and the county offered to subsidize revenue losses that would happen. But Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot balked at the initiative, saying last fall that it would have a “dramatic effect” on CTA revenue ("Citing ‘dramatic effect’ on CTA ridership, Mayor Lori Lightfoot opposes reduced Metra fares backed by County Board President Toni Preckwinkle," CT).
According to a brochure published by the MVV, the transport association serving Greater Munich in the German State of Bavaria, the association:
carries out key tasks which include creating a joint tariffs and fares structure, distributing revenues, planning, controlling tenders and contracts with regard to regional bus transportation, system marketing as well as market research, providing customer information across various transport companies, in particular web-based timetable information across the association, conceptual transport planning as well as traffic and transportation research. In addition, the transport association passes on its expertise to third parties on a consultant basis.
Speaking of branding and treating transit as a "design product." An interesting element of transit service in Germany is that they use the same symbols for types of transit across the country. U for subway, S for commuter rail, etc. Regardless of where you are.
Labels: branding-identity, capital planning and budgeting, design method, fixed rail transit service, transit deserts, transit equity, transit infrastructure, transit marketing, transportation planning