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Chicago Transit Fare Hike

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  • eric.britton@free.fr
    Dear Sujit and new mobility friends, Please don t think that our Chicago CTA friends have made these moves with joy in their hearts. The fact is that they
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 1, 2007
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      Dear Sujit and new mobility friends,

       

      Please don’t think that our Chicago CTA friends have made these moves with joy in their hearts.  The fact is that they have been sandbagged by state legislators (many of whom have their power base in rural and small town areas) who have decided to, in a phrase, “punish the CTA for their inefficiency and profligacy”. Typically “old mobility” and terribly wrong headed, but if this were only the only city and agency that this kind of thing were to take place this would be a happier planet.

       

      In point of fact I have just come back from a lively week of new mobility brainstorming sessions with a group of more than forty experts and agencies around the table, where we gave our full attention to the possibility of “Reinventing Transport in Chicago”.  I found it a very encouraging exercise and am hopeful that a very radical reform strategy may in time come out of it. At least it is getting serous consideration, which is already an important step forward.

       

      You can see more of that if interested in our New Mobility/Climate Emergency Project at www.climate.newmobility.org, where I hope shortly to post some useful information on these sessions. In the meantime, you may find some value in the “Cooperative Workpad” that you will find on the bottom left menu of the site.  These are earlier versions of some of the presentations used for the Chicago brainstorm, and set out some of the concepts and strategies that we feel to be relevant in the reinvention process. . And of course if any of you have comments or suggestions for improvement, this would be most welcome and timely.

       

      Eric Britton

       

      PS.  What about our all getting together Sujit to see how we might help to “Reinvent Transport in Pune”?  I think we are moving toward a convincing structure/strategy there, but if we ever are to move from old mobility to new and better ways of getting around in our cities, it is going to take a real team effort.   City after city, project after project. A lot of hard thought and even harder work. Not for the weak-kneed. But the fact is that I think we are really beginning to see how this can be turned from good thoughts into palpable on-street reality. So off we go!

       

       

       

       

      -----Original Message-----
       On Behalf Of Sujit Patwardhan
      Sent:
      Saturday, September 01, 2007 9:35 AM
      To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
      Subject: [sustran] Chicago Transit Fare Hike

       

      1 September 2007

       

       

      While we feel encouraged by the excellent proposals initiated by the Mayor

      of New York, here is what I got from a friend about Chicago. I was under the

      impression that Chicago was one of the better cities in the US in providing

      transit facilities.

      --

      Sujit

       

      Here is the news:-

       

      To make up for poor revenues in recent years, the Chicago Transit

      Authority's board has approved *fare hikes *and changes to services—to

      include the shutting down of 39 bus routes. Bus and off-peak train fares

      paid in cash will rise from $2 to $2.50. During peak hours, train fares will

      become $3. The price of the one-day travel pass will increase from $5 to $6;

      the seven-day pass from $20 to $23; and the 30-day pass from $75 to $84. The

      changes go into effect on September 16th.

       

      --

      ------------------------------------------------------

      Sujit Patwardhan

      sujit@...

      sujitjp@...

       

      "Yamuna",

      ICS Colony,

      Ganeshkhind Road,

      Pune 411 007

      India

      Tel: 25537955

      -----------------------------------------------------

      Hon. Secretary:

      Parisar

      www.parisar.org

      ------------------------------------------------------

      Founder Member:

      PTTF

      (Pune Traffic & Transportation Forum)

      www.pttf.net

       

    • On Behalf Of Brendan Finn
      Dear Eric, Sujit, I have argued many times against cheap fare policies (i.e. deliberate under-pricing) and that transit should be as close to self-financing as
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 2, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Eric, Sujit,

        I have argued many times against cheap fare policies (i.e. deliberate
        under-pricing) and that transit should be as close to self-financing as it
        can achieve. I have argued three main points :

        1) All choice users and many non-choice users have the affordability to pay
        more than "cheap", and most would be willing to do so for better quality.
        Under-priced transit uses up the available funds for wealth-transfer,
        leaving little for quality improvements or reinvestment. Public funds should
        be spent on service, quality and infrastructure, not on low fares.

        2) The vulnerable within society can be supported by subsidising transit
        passes for them (rather than for all users) and this should be done through
        welfare funding channels rather than transit funding channels. This better
        protects the funding source since politicians and administrators would have
        to overtly remove welfare from those who need it, at risk of heavy political
        backlash.

        3) Cheap fares require heavy subsidies, and these inevitably tend to keep
        growing. The transit is then totally at the mercy of the funder. Sooner or
        later, an administration will come in who decides to cut the subsidy
        program. They can dress it up in many ways - national austerity measures,
        correct 'inefficiency and profligacy' (as Eric quotes), moving to a
        user-pays principle, etc., etc. - we are all familiar with these dreaded
        sea-changes. Tariffs increase dramatically, services are thinned out and
        quieter routes closed, customer support programs are slashed, investment is
        put on hold, quality programs are shelved, important management functions
        are shut down, and confrontation arises with labour as hard measures are
        forced through. Patronage is lost, good working relationships are lost, the
        development effort of a few decades goes down the drain, and the innovators
        and developers in the management team are pushed aside for the
        bean-counters. Instability and down-sizing kil
        l user confidence in a way that takes decades to recover.

        Chicago seems to be yet another example of the vulnerability of transit once
        subsidy becomes a significant part of its income stream. I have no moral or
        economic argument against subsidy for transit - the more public funds the
        better, if used wisely. However, it is a Faustian Pact, and a day of
        reckoning eventually comes. Transit planners and managers should think long
        and hard about the bargains they enter - they owe it to their customers,
        their city and their workers.

        With best wishes,


        Brendan.
        ____________________________________________________________________________
        _________
        >From Brendan Finn, ETTS Ltd. e-mail : etts@... tel :
        +353.87.2530286
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: eric.britton@...
        To: sustran-discuss@...
        Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:10 AM
        Subject: [sustran] Chicago Transit Fare Hike


        Dear Sujit and Sustran friends,

        Don't think that our Chicago CTA friends have made these moves with joy in
        their hearts. The fact is that they have been trapped by state legislators
        (many of whom have their power base in rural and small town areas) who have
        decided to, in a phrase, "punish the CTA for their inefficiency and
        profligacy". Typically "old mobility" and terribly wrong headed, but if this
        were only the only city and agency that this kind of thing were to take
        place this would be a happier planet.

        In point of fact I have just come back from a lively week on brainstorming
        session with a group of more than forty experts and agencies around the
        table, where we gave our full attention to the possibility of "Reinventing
        Transport in Chicago". You can see more of that if interested in our New
        Mobility/Climate Emergency Project at www.climate.newmobility.org
        <http://www.climate.newmobility.org/> , where I hope shortly to post some
        useful information on these sessions.

        In the meantime, you may fond some us in the "Workpad" that you will find
        on the bottom left menu of this site in process.

        Eric Britton

        1 September 2007

        While we feel encouraged by the excellent proposals initiated by the Mayor
        of New York, here is what I got from a friend about Chicago. I was under the
        impression that Chicago was one of the better cities in the US in
        providing transit facilities.
        --

        Sujit

        Here is the news:-

        To make up for poor revenues in recent years, the Chicago Transit
        Authority's board has approved *fare hikes *and changes to services-to
        include the shutting down of 39 bus routes. Bus and off-peak train fares
        paid in cash will rise from $2 to $2.50. During peak hours, train fares will
        become $3. The price of the one-day travel pass will increase from $5 to $6;
        the seven-day pass from $20 to $23; and the 30-day pass from $75 to $84. The
        changes go into effect on September 16th.
        --------------------------------------------------------
      • Richard Layman
        Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are also experiencing massive financial problems, and their fares are rising. Cities like Chicago and New York City have much more
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 3, 2007
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          Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are also experiencing massive financial problems, and their fares are rising.  Cities like Chicago and New York City have much more flexible pass systems that include bus and heavy rail.  DC only has bus passes.  So while the individual base fare is higher in Chicago and NYC, on a weekly pass basis, it is possible to travel there for about $3/day (less if you by a monthly pass).  The minimum price for bus service in DC would be $2.50 round trip.  The base subway fare is $1.35, but this rises with distance, and during peak periods.  OTOH, with buses, DC allows a two hour transfer period in both directions for no extra charge.  Transfer from rail to bus costs 35 cents.  There is no discount transfer fee from bus to rail.

          The problem with public management of fares is that politics, not just economics, dictates action.  And it is difficult to raise fares (equity advocacy becomes paramount) until absolutely necessary.

          Many people complain about the "high fares" in DC, but I always think of them as cheap, compared to other cities (although with tokens the SEPTA base fare is $1.35) where I have ridden transit.  Granted subway costs much more from farther out, but I don't see that as a problem as those other places aren't Washington, but suburbs, and the way the operating subsidies are provided, communities pay in large part on the basis of the number of subway stations.  Since DC has the most stations, we pay the most, although a goodly number of the riders derive from the suburbs.

          RL

          On@..., UNEXPECTED_DATA_AFTER_ADDRESS@.SYNTAX-ERROR. wrote:

          Dear Eric, Sujit,

          I have argued many times against cheap fare policies (i.e. deliberate
          under-pricing) and that transit should be as close to self-financing as it
          can achieve. I have argued three main points :

          1) All choice users and many non-choice users have the affordability to pay
          more than "cheap", and most would be willing to do so for better quality.
          Under-priced transit uses up the available funds for wealth-transfer,
          leaving little for quality improvements or reinvestment. Public funds should
          be spent on service, quality and infrastructure, not on low fares.

          2) The vulnerable within society can be supported by subsidising transit
          passes for them (rather than for all users) and this should be done through
          welfare funding channels rather than transit funding channels. This better
          protects the funding source since politicians and administrators would have
          to overtly remove welfare from those who need it, at risk of heavy political
          backlash.

          3) Cheap fares require heavy subsidies, and these inevitably tend to keep
          growing. The transit is then totally at the mercy of the funder. Sooner or
          later, an administration will come in who decides to cut the subsidy
          program. They can dress it up in many ways - national austerity measures,
          correct 'inefficiency and profligacy' (as Eric quotes), moving to a
          user-pays principle, etc., etc. - we are all familiar with these dreaded
          sea-changes. Tariffs increase dramatically, services are thinned out and
          quieter routes closed, customer support programs are slashed, investment is
          put on hold, quality programs are shelved, important management functions
          are shut down, and confrontation arises with labour as hard measures are
          forced through. Patronage is lost, good working relationships are lost, the
          development effort of a few decades goes down the drain, and the innovators
          and developers in the management team are pushed aside for the
          bean-counters. Instability and down-sizing kil
          l user confidence in a way that takes decades to recover.

          Chicago seems to be yet another example of the vulnerability of transit once
          subsidy becomes a significant part of its income stream. I have no moral or
          economic argument against subsidy for transit - the more public funds the
          better, if used wisely. However, it is a Faustian Pact, and a day of
          reckoning eventually comes. Transit planners and managers should think long
          and hard about the bargains they enter - they owe it to their customers,
          their city and their workers.

          With best wishes,

          Brendan.
          ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
          _________
          >From Brendan Finn, ETTS Ltd. e-mail : etts@indigo. ie tel :
          +353.87.2530286
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: eric.britton@ free.fr
          To: sustran-discuss@ list.jca. apc.org
          Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:10 AM
          Subject: [sustran] Chicago Transit Fare Hike

          Dear Sujit and Sustran friends,

          Don't think that our Chicago CTA friends have made these moves with joy in
          their hearts. The fact is that they have been trapped by state legislators
          (many of whom have their power base in rural and small town areas) who have
          decided to, in a phrase, "punish the CTA for their inefficiency and
          profligacy". Typically "old mobility" and terribly wrong headed, but if this
          were only the only city and agency that this kind of thing were to take
          place this would be a happier planet.

          In point of fact I have just come back from a lively week on brainstorming
          session with a group of more than forty experts and agencies around the
          table, where we gave our full attention to the possibility of "Reinventing
          Transport in Chicago". You can see more of that if interested in our New
          Mobility/Climate Emergency Project at www.climate. newmobility. org
          <http://www.climate. newmobility. org/> , where I hope shortly to post some
          useful information on these sessions.

          In the meantime, you may fond some us in the "Workpad" that you will find
          on the bottom left menu of this site in process.

          Eric Britton

          1 September 2007

          While we feel encouraged by the excellent proposals initiated by the Mayor
          of New York, here is what I got from a friend about Chicago. I was under the
          impression that Chicago was one of the better cities in the US in
          providing transit facilities.
          --

          Sujit

          Here is the news:-

          To make up for poor revenues in recent years, the Chicago Transit
          Authority's board has approved *fare hikes *and changes to services-to
          include the shutting down of 39 bus routes. Bus and off-peak train fares
          paid in cash will rise from $2 to $2.50. During peak hours, train fares will
          become $3. The price of the one-day travel pass will increase from $5 to $6;
          the seven-day pass from $20 to $23; and the 30-day pass from $75 to $84. The
          changes go into effect on September 16th.
          ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------





        • Ian Wingrove
          First a bit of information. A remarkably large number of people on London s buses are travelling free. All the pensioners, plus the police and Transport for
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 4, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Message
             
            First a bit of information. A remarkably large number of people on London's buses are travelling free. All the pensioners, plus the police and Transport for London staff and some job seekers. We also now have all the under 16s. I've heard that it accounts for over a third of passenger numbers.
             
            The three key issues are demand, capacity and the relative cost of less sustainable alternatives. The cheap fares policy in London during the 1980s worked really well because there was lots of spare capacity on the buses which could be taken up quickly. The big problem now is that the whole transport system is congested and over crowded - the solution is to
            manage overal demand for travel, which might mean raising fares. This has happened on the railways and London's tube, but the problem here is that the cost of car travel is decided by national Government and has become relatively cheaper compared to the cost of public transport since 1997.
             
            I think that the discussion on this has to recognise the limitations of real city politics. It is no use having abstract discussions about lowering or raising fares without putting it in an overall context of population changes and national policies.
             
            Ian
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Richard Layman
            Sent: 03 September 2007 21:34
            To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [NewMobilityCafe] Chicago Transit Fare Hike

            Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are also experiencing massive financial problems, and their fares are rising.  Cities like Chicago and New York City have much more flexible pass systems that include bus and heavy rail.  DC only has bus passes.  So while the individual base fare is higher in Chicago and NYC, on a weekly pass basis, it is possible to travel there for about $3/day (less if you by a monthly pass).  The minimum price for bus service in DC would be $2.50 round trip.  The base subway fare is $1.35, but this rises with distance, and during peak periods.  OTOH, with buses, DC allows a two hour transfer period in both directions for no extra charge.  Transfer from rail to bus costs 35 cents.  There is no discount transfer fee from bus to rail.

            The problem with public management of fares is that politics, not just economics, dictates action.  And it is difficult to raise fares (equity advocacy becomes param! ount) until absolutely necessary.

            Many people complain about the "high fares" in DC, but I always think of them as cheap, compared to other cities (although with tokens the SEPTA base fare is $1.35) where I have ridden transit.  Granted subway costs much more from farther out, but I don't see that as a problem as those other places aren't Washington, but suburbs, and the way the operating subsidies are provided, communities pay in large part on the basis of the number of subway stations.  Since DC has the most stations, we pay the most, although a goodly number of the riders derive from the suburbs.

            RL

            On@..., UNEXPECTED_DATA_ AFTER_ADDRESS@ .SYNTAX-ERROR. wrote:


            Dear Eric, Sujit,

            I have argued many times against cheap fare policies (i.e. deliberate
            und! er-pricing) and that transit should be as close to self-financing as it
            can achieve. I have argued three main points :

            1) All choice users and many non-choice users have the affordability to pay
            more than "cheap", and most would be willing to do so for better quality.
            Under-priced transit uses up the available funds for wealth-transfer,
            leaving little for quality improvements or reinvestment. Public funds should
            be spent on service, quality and infrastructure, not on low fares.

            2) The vulnerable within society can be supported by subsidising transit
            passes for them (rather than for all users) and this should be done through
            welfare funding channels rather than transit funding channels. This better
            protects the funding source since politicians and administrators would have
            to overtly remove welfare from those who need it, at risk of heavy political
            backlash.

            3) Cheap fares require heavy subsidies, and these inevitably tend to keep
            growing. The transit is then totally at the mercy of the funder. Sooner or
            later, an administration will come in who decides to cut the subsidy
            program. They can dress it up in many ways - national austerity measures,
            correct 'inefficiency and profligacy' (as Eric quotes), moving to a
            user-pays principle, etc., etc. - we are all familiar with these dreaded
            sea-changes. Tariffs increase dramatically, services are thinned out and
            quieter routes closed, customer support programs are slashed, investment is
            put on hold, quality programs are shelved, important management functions
            are shut down, and confrontation arises with labour as hard measures are
            forced through. Patronage is lost, good working relationships are lost, the
            development effort of a few decades goes down the drain, and the innovators
            and developers in the management team are pushed aside for the
            bean-counters. Instability and down-sizing kil
            l user confidence in a way that takes decades to recover.

            Chicago seems to be yet another example of the vulnerability of transit once
            subsidy becomes a significant part of its income stream. I have no moral or
            economic argument against subsidy for transit - the more public funds the
            better, if used wisely. However, it is a Faustian Pact, and a day of
            reckoning eventually comes. Transit planners and managers should think long
            and hard about the bargains they enter - they owe it to their customers,
            their city and their workers.

            With best wishes,

            Brendan.
            ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ ! _________ _
            _________
            >From Brendan Finn, ETTS Ltd. e-mail : etts@indigo. ie tel :
            +353.87.2530286
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: eric.britton@ free.fr
            To: sustran-discuss@ list.jca. apc.org
            Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:10 AM
            Subject: [sustran] Chicago Transit Fare Hike

            Dear Sujit and Sustran friends,

            Don't think that our Chicago CTA friends have made these moves with joy in
            their hearts. The fact is that they have been trapped by state legislators
            (many of whom have their power base in rural and small town areas) who have
            decided to, in a phrase, "punish the CTA for their inefficiency and
            profligacy". Typically "old mobility" and terribly wrong headed, but if this
            were only the only city and agency that this kind of th! ing were to take
            place this would be a happier planet.

            In point of fact I have just come back from a lively week on brainstorming
            session with a group of more than forty experts and agencies around the
            table, where we gave our full attention to the possibility of "Reinventing
            Transport in Chicago". You can see more of that if interested in our New
            Mobility/Climate Emergency Project at www.climate. newmobility. org
            <http://www.climate. newmobility. org/> , where I hope shortly to post some
            useful information on these sessions.

            In the meantime, you may fond some us in the "Workpad" that you will find
            on the bottom left menu of this site in process.

            Eric Britton

            1 September 2007

            While we feel encouraged by the excellent proposals initiated by the Mayor
            of New York, here is what I got from a friend about Chicago. I was under! the
            impression that Chicago was one of the better cities in the US in
            providing transit facilities.
            --

            Sujit

            Here is the news:-

            To make up for poor revenues in recent years, the Chicago Transit
            Authority's board has approved *fare hikes *and changes to services-to
            include the shutting down of 39 bus routes. Bus and off-peak train fares
            paid in cash will rise from $2 to $2.50. During peak hours, train fares will
            become $3. The price of the one-day travel pass will increase from $5 to $6;
            the seven-day pass from $20 to $23; and the 30-day pass from $75 to $84. The
            changes go into effect on September 16th.
            ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------





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          • Richard Layman
            Paying for Free Transit The article has links to the other pieces in the series. RL
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 4, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              The article has links to the other pieces in the series.

              RL
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