Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by doepack
 
MACTRAXX wrote:Gov.Blagojevich did the systems no favor allowing this large giveaway program but not funding it correctly as far as I noticed.
Can some Illinois Lottery proceeds fund mass transit in any way?
Two years ago, Gov. Blago introduced legislation to expand Illinois' gambling authority that would have resulted in three new Casinos in Illinois, including a land-based one in Chicago. Included in that legislation was the proposal to use lottery proceeds as a stopgap, temporary funding measure for the three Chicago area transit agencies. The bill died (thankfully), but to me, Blago was just buying time by including the lottery-proceeds-for-transit carrot in the bill, because frankly, I don't believe he was ever really interested in finding a permanent funding solution.

Interesting comparison to SEPTA's arrangement, thanks for the link...
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The predictable has occurred:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi- ... 2554.story

Again, I personally don't need it but darned if I'm going to look a "gift horse in the mouth". I do know however, a lady who resides in Arlington Heights in one of those condos up there within sight of the train station and who uses METRA all the time and won't sign up/ "Others need it more than I".

Regarding Mr. Mactraxx's comment, Senior half rates are Federal law; any agency that has accepted UMTA/FTA funds are required to offer such.

Oh well, there is ONE "future senior' that won't be able to benefit from the program, as he surely will be behind bars when he "celebrates" his 65th brithday. I think anyone knows who I have in mind (at least I can say I never voted for him).
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I guess Kubler-Ross Phase V - Acceptance - is the order of the day.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi- ... 5475.story

Thanks Blago, you really stuck your people with a "keeper".

disclaimer; author holds such pass, but would hardly meet litmus tests that should properly be applied. Author further acknowledges that he "can't look a gift horse in the mouth".
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
http://www.wttw.com

Seniors Ride Free is mentioned @ 42:51 of last night's Democratic Quinn-Hynes debate. Quinn is for its continuation; Hynes wants what I have consistently held throughout this topic, "means testing".

The whole charade was reason enough to vote Republican (the two leading Republican gubernatorial primary candidates are from DuPage).
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Looks like something is going to happen regarding this needless largess. Where in all likelihood Blago's next "residence" will be, and he may well be living there past the age of 65, he will not have too much use for this "perk'.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 4257.story

Brief passage:

  • — The Illinois House voted Wednesday to scale back the number of senior citizens who get free rides on buses and trains, leaving the freebies for the poorest and raising fares to half-price for others.

    Applying means testing to the free-ride program would recover about $37 million, said sponsoring Rep. Suzanne Bassi, R-Palatine, but it would not restore CTA service cuts.

    The measure passed 83-27, with three voting present. The Senate also must approve and Gov. Pat Quinn must sign the legislation for it to become law.

    Under the bill, senior citizens 65 and older would keep riding for free if they qualify for the state's Circuit Breaker program, which sets income guidelines for seniors to get tax breaks and help buying prescription drugs. A one-person household with an income of $27,610 would be eligible under the guidelines. A two-person household could have a maximum income of $34,635.
Hold me to it, those of you here who know me personally; I will turn in my pass when advised it has been cancelled. I will be thankful that I am 'set' enough in retirement and that the benefit will be re-allocated through the existing Circuit Breaker program, just as I suggested in the opening post of this topic, to those who are not.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
BOOOO....throw the Bums out!!!

Chicago Tribune

Brief passage:

  • SPRINGFIELD — A push to eliminate free local bus and train rides to all but low-income senior citizens failed Wednesday in the Illinois Senate.

    Under the bill, riders age 65 and older would have kept free status only if they met income requirements. A single person would have had to make less than $27,610 a year, while household income for two people had to be less than $34,635 a year.

    The legislation passed the House this year but failed Wednesday in the influential Senate Executive Committee. Six senators voted for the restrictions on free rides while seven voted against the measure
The Donald did it to UNOHOO. Maybe someone will throw the slammer's key away (daytime TV WILL be "sport" around here this Summer) once a "grand entrance" has been made.
  by CHTT1
 
This whole thing is such a farce. The free fare was Blago's idea, seemingly off the top of his hairy head, done without any study as to its effect on the transit agencies. Our local politicians have such a fear of the "senior" vote. It's not like seniors of any income would be required to pay full fare, the fallback would be to half fare. As someone who will be eligible for this peak in a year, I must protest the cowardness of these politicians. I wonder if the Republicans are even running a candidate in my state senate district this year?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Marriott Courtyard Vanderbilt U Nashville--

Be it assured, this is one Senior Citizen here who can say I never voted for him (I would take my chances with Judy - I did meet her once face to face when she was a speaker at a seminar).

I caught him in a lie or two regarding taxation.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
At long last, there appears to be movement towards a repeal of this nonsense:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009 ... es-seniors

Brief passage:

  • Seniors accustomed to boarding public transit in Chicago and surrounding suburbs without paying a cent might have to forgo that luxury.

    Talk has returned among mass-transit officials in the area to discontinue a program that gives people 65 and older free rides on the CTA, Pace and Metra as the agencies grapple with a budget crunch.

    The Regional Transportation Authority wants to repeal the Seniors Ride Free program, which then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich added to a mass transit tax increase bill in January 2008, and instead offer only low-income seniors a free ride. That would include seniors who earn about $22,000 or less a year. Seniors who would not qualify would pay half fares, which is what they paid before they could ride free.
It would appear that Illinois's existing program, Circuit Breaker, would become the platform through which "seniors ride free' would be one of an array of benefits offered to lower-income Seniors.

Of interest, a Huffington Post poll is running 72-28 in favor of adopting a "litmus" (needs) test. As for myself, I'm a senior and a passholder. I'll gladly give it up when a repeal is enacted, but then I was not going to look the 'gift horse in the mouth". I do however, know a lady, a former client, residing in Arlington Heights and uses METRA "all the time', so far as she is concerned 'she doesn't need it' and never applied for the pass.

Now that he has been re-elected, I would hope Gov. Quinn will 'get on board' and that this piece of needless waste will find its way into the trash barrel..
  by Pacific 2-3-1
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:At long last, there appears to be movement towards a repeal of this nonsense:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009 ... es-seniors

Brief passage:

  • Seniors accustomed to boarding public transit in Chicago and surrounding suburbs without paying a cent might have to forgo that luxury.

    Talk has returned among mass-transit officials in the area to discontinue a program that gives people 65 and older free rides on the CTA, Pace and Metra as the agencies grapple with a budget crunch.

    The Regional Transportation Authority wants to repeal the Seniors Ride Free program, which then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich added to a mass transit tax increase bill in January 2008, and instead offer only low-income seniors a free ride. That would include seniors who earn about $22,000 or less a year. Seniors who would not qualify would pay half fares, which is what they paid before they could ride free.
It would appear that Illinois's existing program, Circuit Breaker, would become the platform through which "seniors ride free' would be one of an array of benefits offered to lower-income Seniors.

Of interest, a Huffington Post poll is running 72-28 in favor of adopting a "litmus" (needs) test. As for myself, I'm a senior and a passholder. I'll gladly give it up when a repeal is enacted, but then I was not going to look the 'gift horse in the mouth". I do however, know a lady, a former client, residing in Arlington Heights and uses METRA "all the time', so far as she is concerned 'she doesn't need it' and never applied for the pass.

Now that he has been re-elected, I would hope Gov. Quinn will 'get on board' and that this piece of needless waste will find its way into the trash barrel..
Needless waste is the worst kind of all, and this is the 21st century.

Has there ever been a public opinion survey about consolidating the 1970's-era RTA's Metra, PACE and CTA into one universal "brand" (like Boston's MBTA or Philadelphia's SEPTA) to resolve the abovementioned budgetary crisis?
  by ohioriverrailway
 
From an outsider's point of view, this is all kind of strange.

For as backward and jerk-water as Pennsylvana is, the state lottery has funded free transit rides (bus and light rail) for senior citizens for about 30 years or so.
  by Pacific 2-3-1
 
ohioriverrailway wrote:From an outsider's point of view, this is all kind of strange.

For as backward and jerk-water as Pennsylvana is, the state lottery has funded free transit rides (bus and light rail) for senior citizens for about 30 years or so.
What about "heavy rail"?

Can a Philadelphia Main LIne "Uncle Pennybags" TAKE A RIDE ON THE READING (should he choose to) for free?
  by ExCon90
 
Close to it. On SEPTA Regional Rail he would pay $1 per ride, or $2 if continuing through Center City (=downtown, anywhere else), and a little extra if crossing the state line to West Trenton, Trenton, or Claymont to Newark (DE), inclusive. He could also buy a strip of 10 tickets for $8.50. Seniors below a certain income threshold ride free within Pennsylvania. I don't have any reference materials handy, but Levittown to Thorndale, at $2, must be 60+ miles.
  by justalurker66
 
Pacific 2-3-1 wrote:Has there ever been a public opinion survey about consolidating the 1970's-era RTA's Metra, PACE and CTA into one universal "brand" (like Boston's MBTA or Philadelphia's SEPTA) to resolve the above mentioned budgetary crisis?
How would rebranding save money?

People would just expect more for their ticket if everything was CTA and the transit authority would just have to spend their time (and money) explaining why CTA "elevated" trains are a different price than former Metra "CTA" trains and the difference between CTA buses and former PACE suburban "CTA" services. The separate brands help define the services. Combining top management might save money ...but rebranding?
  by ohioriverrailway
 
[quote="Pacific 2-3-1What about "heavy rail"?

Can a Philadelphia Main LIne "Uncle Pennybags" TAKE A RIDE ON THE READING (should he choose to) for free?[/quote]

Not everyone who rides public transit, mode notwithstanding, falls into the Daddy Warbucks category. So if the average senior citizen can get a break on the cost of his bus or rail ride, why not? The Pittsburgh area has the 2nd highest percentage of senior citizens in the country, and if they weren't getting subsidized rides, the current transit system would be even closer to going out of business than it is now.

What do you folks in Ill-inoise do with the lottery proceeds??