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Oct 5, 2006 - Overall, the Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace) compare well with their ... North Central Service Improvement, UP-West, and Southwest ...

October 5, 2006

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Table of Contents Page Executive Summary ……………………………………………………………………..

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Introduction …………………………………………………………………………….…

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Regional Strategic Plan Process ……………………………………………………………

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Benefits of the Regional Transit System ………………………………………………….

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Existing Situation ……………………………………………………………………………

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2.0

Vision ………………………………………………………………………………………..

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3.0

Agency Profiles …………………………………………………………………………...

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RTA ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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CTA ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Metra ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Pace ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Current Situation versus the Vision ………………………………………………….

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Provide Transportation Options ………………………………………………………………………….

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Ensure Financial Viability …………………………………………………………………………………..

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Enhance Livability and Economic Vitality …………………………………………………………….

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Demonstrate Value …………………………………………………………………………………………..

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External Factors ……………………………………………………………………….….

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Socio-Economic Factors ………………………………………….…………………………………………

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Travel Markets …………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Traffic Congestion …………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Land Use …………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Freight Transportation ………………………………………………………………………………………

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Fuel/Power Prices ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Parking …………….………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………….….

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Executive Summary Investment in Public Transit: An Investment in the Future Northeastern Illinois faces a critical decision in 2007: invest in, modernize, and expand the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) $27 billion transit network, or begin shrinking the transit network and lose the economic and quality of life benefits that accompany it. Since its beginnings, Chicago’s public transportation system has helped define the region’s character and economy. Over the years, both users and non-users alike have come to depend on transit as a major contributor to mobility, to economic vitality, and to the way of life of the Chicago region. Public transportation continues to shape our region, by promoting economic development and access to jobs, mitigating the traffic congestion that immobilizes our city in gridlock and contributes to lost productivity, linking communities, and providing transportation options. Public transportation is vital to enhancing Chicago’s position as a major center of the global economy, with nearly 100 corporate headquarters, strong technology, freight, and manufacturing sectors, and over 30 million visitors a year. Public transportation is a key component to enhancing our quality of life, improving air quality, addressing traffic congestion, and reducing our dependence on oil. The mobility options created by public transportation also reduce the isolation of our most vulnerable citizens. The RTA system provides the region with more than $12 billion annually in economic impacts and congestion relief, plus substantial additional non-monetary environmental, mobility, and quality of life benefits. The region must now commit to maintaining and continuing to improve the RTA’s extensive system of assets that include 3,830 buses, paratransit vehicles and vans, and 2,300 rail cars and locomotives. The 400 bus routes and 19 rail lines that serve the 3,700-square mile northeastern Illinois region need to be improved and expanded to serve the growing six-county RTA region of 8 million residents and 5 million jobs.

Transit benefits us all—

The continued growth and changing demographics in our region even non-users. Imagine create more opportunities and needs for the transit system, as if the almost two million well as challenges that go hand-in-hand with the opportunities. rides on transit each day The region’s traffic congestion is the third worst in the nation and were carried in cars – costs the region over $4 billion in travel delay and excess fuel consumed. This congestion is the result of increased auto and TOTAL GRIDLOCK! truck use, fueled by the outward movement of low-density residential and non-residential land use, with little transit service. Congestion costs the average peak period traveler $1,000 each year. It is one of the greatest sources of frustration to area residents, and one of the key threats to our quality of life. And congestion is only going to get worse – as the Chicago region adds 2 million more residents by 2030, our transportation system will need to accommodate 6 million more trips every day. With many of our highways already at capacity, our long commutes will keep getting longer.

By 2030, the Chicago region will add two million residents and over one million jobs. If we can’t “build our way out of congestion,” then we must rely on transit and other alternative modes.

Although our current transit system has experienced recent growth, it has not yet recovered from historical ridership losses, nor has it kept pace with changing demand from regional growth. Our inability to keep up with these demands stems from inadequate investment in the upkeep and enhancement of service. If we intend to maintain northeastern Illinois’ centurylong role as America’s Transportation Hub, with a world-class transit network at its center, we need new and bold ideas to prepare us for the 2.3 billion additional annual trips predicted by 2030.

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Rising fuel, power, construction, healthcare, pension, and security costs have major impacts on our transit service providers. CTA, Metra and Pace are all facing funding shortfalls and are left with little choice but to transfer capital funding to operations. Without a better solution, disinvestment in the system and the downward spiral from unfunded needs will soon result in large service cuts, increased fares, and declining reliability. As evidenced by the RTA, CTA, Metra, And Pace joint statement on the 2007 transit budgets, transit faces a “large operating and capital shortfall, because there has not been any new state capital funding for transit since Illinois FIRST, and because operating funding has not kept pace with 21st century demand.” The system is at a critical crossroads. The Chicago region resounds with consistent themes and issues: the current transit network focuses on traditional markets, but service in those markets should be improved, and the transit network is not adequately addressing new travel markets. Customers want safe, clean, affordable and reliable service, and they want more of it. The transit system must respond to needs by providing more choices, more coordination, and better integration among services. We must increase our efforts to address land use and its relationship with transportation, developing new techniques for making the two work better. Understanding past trends will help the region respond to these needs. Despite recent ridership gains, the region has yet to return to ridership levels achieved as recently as the 1980s, and ridership growth has lagged behind similar regions around the country. Over the past two decades, the collective purchasing power of the region’s transit agencies has declined, causing reduced service levels and decreased ridership in traditional transit markets with a high return on investment. Opportunities to expand transit exist in both new geographies and in these traditional markets. When faced with similar challenges and choices, other regions, such as Denver, Houston, New York, and Seattle have recognized the value of public transportation, and have responded with significant investments in transit system renewal and expansion. For example, when the New York City metropolitan region was confronted with investment decisions, business and civic leaders joined together to lead a successful campaign for investment in transit. As a result, over the last two decades, almost $95 billion (in adjusted dollars) in capital improvements have been made to the New York region’s transit system. Service has improved dramatically. Ridership has grown significantly. And, a robust transit system has helped fuel a resurgence of the region’s economic vitality. This summary highlights the value of our current system, its benefits, challenges, and opportunities. The RTA is using the strategic planning process to think creatively about the future and how to significantly improve and expand transit in the region through strategic investments that will yield large dividends for years to come. Initial steps in that process, as summarized in this interim report, document the need not only to continue our maintenance of the existing public transportation system, but also to improve its performance and significantly expand the system so it can play a central role in the region’s future livability and economic vitality. In order to achieve our vision for a world-class public transportation system that is the keystone of the region's growing business opportunities, thriving job market, clean air and livable communities, we must invest in public transportation – it’s an investment in the future. The following are key findings from the Situation Analysis by each of the goals in our Vision, which is presented in Section 2.0 of this report. Transportation Options y y

Transit ridership has been growing since 2003. However, auto travel is growing even faster. Service coverage, service span, and service frequency are generally good for CTA given the dense urban environment that it serves. However, there are opportunities for serving emerging and re-emerging travel markets. Metra provides excellent peak direction, peak period radial service, but service for reverse commutes and off-peak travel are not convenient. Pace’s traditional high ridership routes have good service levels and spans. However, in many areas

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y y

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

service does not operate every day, or only operates during peak periods or during the day, making it difficult for people to rely on public transit for the full range of travel needs. Many Pace routes, such as those in Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Waukegan and other outlying communities operate only during daytime hours Monday through Saturday. On-time performance is excellent for Metra, and generally improving for CTA bus and Pace. CTA rail is showing a recent decline in on-time performance due largely to construction activities. Full regional fare integration does not exist. Metra’s fare structure and fare collection system differ dramatically from that of CTA and Pace. Current regional fare integration with Metra is limited to only Metra monthly pass holders, so that fare integration for occasional transit riders using Metra is not available. This represents a significant opportunity to move towards a seamless regional transit system.

Financial Viability y y y

y

y

y y y

Overall, the Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace) compare well with their peers in terms of operating efficiency and effectiveness. The Service Boards have extensive capital assets (replacement value in excess of $27 billion) that must be maintained. There has been a significant reduction in the size of the capital program with the expiration of Illinois FIRST. The 2007 capital program is expected to be half the size of the 2004 program. The federal share of capital funding will increase to 75 percent, as state and local capital funding declines. The RTA has had to resort to the use of paper “tollway credits” to capture all available federal funds. Significant unfunded capital needs (several billion dollars) exist to bring the system in a state of good repair. A wide range of specific project needs were identified, including bus, rail car, and locomotive replacements and overhauls, bus garage, rail yard and shop replacements and upgrades, rail system structure/bridge rehabilitations/replacements, signal upgrades, and passenger facility and station upgrades. Available operating funding is not keeping pace with rising costs, resulting in an operating shortfall that is caused by increased costs for security, fuel, healthcare, insurance and claims, and ADA paratransit costs that affects all three Service Boards. The Service Boards have had to resort to transferring capital funds to help cover the operating shortfall. In 2006 alone, the Service Boards used $102 million of capital funds for operating. The CTA pension is severely under funded. It is estimated that an annual payment of over $130 million will be required by CTA starting in 2009. In 2007, the operating shortfall will continue to increase and may require the transfer of capital funds to operations, service reductions, and/or fare increases. The Service Boards cannot continue to transfer capital funds to cover operations in 2008, because as maintenance and rehabilitation costs continue to rise in the future, service reliability will decline, starting a downward spiral.

Livability and Vitality y

y

y

Transit helps to create and sustain jobs, supports economic growth and development, attracts and concentrates new development, strengthens the financial health of local and state governments, and benefits residents and businesses. An earlier study of the economic benefits of the RTA system estimated an over 6-to-1 benefit/cost ratio on dollars invested in public transportation to bring the RTA system to a state of good repair. Transit plays an important role in improving the region’s air quality. The RTA system accounts for annual reductions of 1,840 tons of volatile organic compounds and 750 tons of nitrous oxides, which are both ozone precursors, and 10 tons of fine Particulate Matter, the equivalent of pollutants emitted by 3 billion auto vehicle miles.

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y

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Transit is estimated to be about twice as energy efficient as private vehicles. The RTA system results in gasoline savings of 150 million gallons per year.

Demonstrated Value y

y

The RTA system directly and indirectly provides at least $12 billion in economic benefits to the region and 120,000 jobs. Additional non-monetary benefits, such as improved air quality, also result from our transit system The Illinois FIRST program provided the RTA the ability to issue a total of $1.6 billion in capital investments bonds, increasing the size of the capital program to $3.8 billion from 2000 to 2004. Major accomplishments using Illinois FIRST funding included new CTA and Pace buses, Metra railcars, life-extending overhaul of buses and rail cars, capacity expansion of the Brown Line, reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Branch of the Red Line, reconstruction of the Blue (now Pink) Line Douglas Branch, replacement of bridges on the Union Pacific-North and Rock Island Lines, North Central Service Improvement, UP-West, and Southwest Service Upgrade and Extension Projects, and garages and facilities improvements.

Other external factors were identified that exert a major influence on the region’s transit system. y

y

y

y y

y

Population and employment growth in the region, sprawl, and demographics show continued growth in core transit markets (the Central Area, satellite cities, City of Chicago and adjacent suburbs), large growth in suburb to suburb commutes and reverse commutes that require a family of services (fixed-route, express, dial-a-ride, paratransit, vanpool, and other flexible services) to meet growing demand. The Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility report ranks the Chicago region second nationally in travel time ratio, which means that for the average metropolitan Chicago traveler, it takes 57% longer during the peak period to travel the same distance as when roads are not congested. The Chicago region is ranked third in travel delay, excess fuel consumed, and congestion costs. This report estimated public transportation saved the Chicago region $1.6 billion in congestion costs and that 182,000 new daily transit riders are needed every year to keep current levels of congestion (9% of current ridership). A Federal Transit Administration study of six urban corridors served by high-capacity rail transit corridors, including the I-55/CTA Orange Line corridor, found that transit passengers saved 17,400 hours daily over auto travel in the corridors, road users in the corridors saved 22,000 hours of delay per day due to the absence of vehicles from public transportation users, travelers on surrounding roads in the corridors saved an additional 20,700 hours per day as spillover congestion was reduced, and that this delay reduction represents a savings of $225 million annually in the six corridors analyzed. Increase of 2.3 billion annual person trips by 2030. Improved land use and transportation coordination is needed through transit oriented development and working with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to implement regional initiatives. Chicago is the nation’s busiest rail gateway, with 1,220 trains each day passing through the region and an almost doubling of freight traffic expected over the next 20 years. Through an unprecedented partnership with Metra, the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, the federal government, and the Association of American Railroads, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program was developed to reduce passenger and freight railroad conflicts and provide operational improvements along five key corridors.

The region must seize the opportunity to develop a world class transit system – through improved land use and transportation integration, new technologies, such as smart cards for fare integration and seamless travel, alternative fuel vehicles for improving air quality, and bus rapid transit to improve transit speeds. Service to new markets, better schedule and service coordination, and new methods of service delivery for greater efficiencies should be pursued. Moving Beyond Congestion – the time is now.

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Introduction

Regional Strategic Transportation Plan Process The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), in partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace, is developing a comprehensive Regional Strategic Transportation Plan called “Moving Beyond Congestion.” This strategic planning effort will evaluate how public transportation will best fit as a component of a larger, integrated transportation system that serves the northeastern Illinois region’s mobility needs. Focus areas of the plan include the development of a vision as to how transit can best serve the region as an integrated part of the overall transportation system, a comprehensive assessment of the current situation and future trends, and the development and evaluation of scenarios for transit’s future, including service and funding, with extensive community and public input throughout the process. The Strategic Plan is scheduled to be completed this winter. This interim report summary describes the preliminary vision and current situation of public transportation in northeastern Illinois. It highlights the value of the current system, its benefits, and the challenges and opportunities it faces. The interim report summary describes the Vision, Agency Profiles, Current Situation Relative to the Vision, External Factors, and the Conclusion. Two subsequent interim report summaries will describe alternative future scenarios and funding options. A final Strategic Plan report will describe the entire process, including a strategy for maintaining and expanding transit in the region, and at least a five-year program proposal to submit to the State Legislature. Benefits of the Regional Transit System Economic Benefits Public transportation is an important contributor to the nation’s economic vitality. Transit helps to create and sustain jobs, supports economic growth and development, attracts and helps concentrates new development, strengthens the financial health of local and state governments, and benefits residents and businesses. These economic benefits of transit include 1 2 : •

Regional and state employment and income growth related to construction, operation, and maintenance of the transit system



User benefits (travel time savings, safety benefits, changes in operating costs)



Access to jobs translating to an increase in employment and resulting economic growth, as well as contributing to lower crime rates



Greater access to medical care, including preventive care trips that might otherwise be forgone, resulting in a healthier population



Easier access to schools, leading to a more educated workforce and community. (Where transit is available, younger students have lower rates of absenteeism and more opportunities to participate in after-school programs and field trips)



Access to retail, recreation and entertainment opportunities, making communities more attractive to both residents and tourists



Urbanization benefits (higher productivity, lower infrastructure costs)

1 Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 35, “Economic Impact Analysis of Transit Investments: Guidebook for Practitioners,” 1998. 2 Wisconsin Department of Transportation, “Research, Development & Technology Transfer, Brief, Economic Benefits of Transit,” November 2003.

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Reduced development costs due to reduced parking needs



External benefits (air quality, energy consumption)

For the six-county northeastern Illinois region, a 1995 RTA study on the economic benefits of the transit 3 determined an over 6-to-1 benefit/cost ratio on dollars invested in public transportation to bring the RTA system to a state of good repair. This study also found that the system expansion scenario of the RTA system resulted in nearly a 2-to-1 benefit/cost ratio. These ratios clearly demonstrate the economic benefits of investing in the region’s transit system. The economic benefits to the regional economy in the last year alone are estimated as follows: 4 •

23,200 jobs created due to 2005 transit capital expenditures



99,400 jobs created in the short run due to 2006 transit operating expenditures



$2.22 billion increase in business sales due to 2005 transit capital expenditures



$5.58 billion increase in business sales due to 2006 transit operating expenditures



$3.72 billion in savings in transportation costs to both highway and transit users, including operating costs, fuel costs, and congestion costs due to total transit investment



$0.15 billion short run increase in business output due to 2005 transit capital expenditures



$0.06 billion short run increase in personal income due to 2005 transit capital expenditures

Such contributions to the regional economy benefit transit users and non-users alike. The RTA system directly and indirectly provides at least $12 billion in economic benefits to the region and 120,000 jobs. Air Quality Benefits Transit plays an important role in improving the region’s air quality. By increasing the person throughput on the existing transportation network, transit decreases per capita pollution. A 2002 study 5 estimates that transit produces 5% of the carbon dioxide and 8% of the volatile organic compounds (a precursor of ozone) that private vehicles produce based on passenger miles. Transit also produces 45% less carbon dioxide and 48% less nitrogen oxide (another ozone precursor) than private vehicles produce. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified all of the six-county northeastern Illinois region as a moderate non-attainment area for air quality in meeting the 8-hour ozone standard and a non-attainment area for the fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) standard. An estimate of the contribution by the RTA system to air quality was made based on annual passenger miles by transit. With 3.65 billion total annual passenger miles on CTA, Metra, and Pace, public transit is reducing air pollutants (net of bus emissions) in the region by the following amounts annually: • • •

Reduction of 1,840 tons of Volatile Organic Compounds Reduction of 750 tons of Nitrous Oxides Reduction of 10 tons of fine Particulate Matter

These annual emission reductions are equivalent to those produced by 3 billion auto vehicle miles. This reduction is even more critical during the summer, particularly during ozone action days when there are unhealthy levels of ozone. Ozone can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and nose and eye irritation, 3

RTA, “Investment in Public Transportation: The Economic Impacts of the RTA System on the Regional and State Economics,” January 1995. 4 Cambridge Systematics with Economic Development Research Group, “Public Transportation and the Nation’s Economy, A Quantitative Analysis of Public Transportation’s Economic Impact,” October 1999. 5 Shapiro, Robert J, Hassett, K and Arnold F., “Conserving Energy and Preserving the Environment: The Role of Public Transportation,” American Public Transit Association, Washington DC, July 2002.

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and can be especially dangerous to the elderly, children, asthmatics, and persons with chronic respiratory ailments. Energy Consumption Benefits Petroleum is the primary source of energy used for transportation. It is also an increasingly valuable resource, as global demand grows, supplies become less abundant and price increases. In the U.S., transportation is the largest end-user of petroleum -- of the 20.7 million barrels of petroleum consumed per day in 2005, 13.8 million barrels (67%) are used for transportation purposes. Using passenger miles of travel, public transit is estimated to be about twice as efficient as private vehicles, because transit vehicles are estimated to have 10 times the average vehicle occupancy of private vehicles. An estimate of the contribution by the RTA system to gasoline consumption savings was made based on estimated 3.65 billion annual passenger miles converted to auto vehicle miles. Assuming an average fleet fuel efficiency of 20 miles per gallon, the gasoline savings due to the RTA system is 150 million gallons per year. Existing Situation Public transportation is a critical element in shaping our community by promoting economic development and access to jobs, addressing the traffic congestion that threatens our region with gridlock and lost productivity, linking communities, and providing transportation options for medical, shopping, cultural, educational, and recreational, as well as commute trips. In addition, the mobility provided by public transportation mitigates the isolation otherwise faced by our most vulnerable citizens. The economy and vitality of our region is transit dependent – everyone benefits whether they use public transportation or not. While public transportation customers in this region generally are getting safe, clean, affordable, and reliable service, there is clearly room for improvement. The regional transit system represents a $27 billion asset that requires ongoing maintenance. The region is growing, resulting in changing land use patterns and demographics, and congestion and its costs for residents and businesses are increasing. At the same time, rising costs for fuel, power, construction, pensions, and security are having a major impact on our ability to provide public transportation services. While our current transit system has been effective in serving traditional transit markets, it has not very successfully responded to these changes. As evidenced by the RTA, CTA, Metra, And Pace joint statement on the 2007 transit budgets, transit faces a “large operating and capital shortfall, because there has not been any new state capital funding for transit since Illinois FIRST, and because operating funding has not kept pace with 21st century demand.” There is currently no state funding program available to support existing rehabilitation needs or expansions. The existing investment in our public transportation system, and the external factors that exert a major influence on the future of regional public transportation, also present opportunities for addressing land use and transportation integration, using new technologies, providing service to new markets and better system integration, and seeking new methods of service delivery. The RTA is using the strategic planning process to think creatively about the future and how to significantly improve and expand transit in the region through strategic investments that will yield large dividends for years to come. Initial steps in that process, as summarized in this interim report, document the need not only to maintain the existing public transportation system in good repair, but also to improve its performance and significantly expand the system as the keystone of the region’s future livability and economic vitality.

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Vision

The development of a vision is the first step in developing a strategic plan. A vision is a compelling statement or image of what the organization should be and look like in the future. The vision drives the strategic planning process serving as the basis for developing goals and strategies for the alignment and coordination of improvements and other actions to achieve the strategic plan vision. The first step in the development of the public transportation vision for northeastern Illinois was the review of existing strategic plans or long range plan documents prepared by the RTA, the Service Boards (CTA, Metra, and Pace), the counties, transportation agencies, and other regional planning and citizens’ organizations. These plans were all different in their emphasis areas and included several goals related to transit. A visioning workshop was then held with the RTA and Service Boards. Based on this workshop, a draft preliminary vision and set of high-level goals was prepared. The RTA Board of Directors then reviewed the draft and made enhancements. The preliminary Vision and goals for public transportation in northeastern Illinois are:

“A world-class public transportation system that is convenient, affordable, reliable and safe, and that is the keystone of the region's growing business opportunities, thriving job market, clean air and livable communities.” Provide Transportation Options • • • •

Provide people with public transportation choices that link them to jobs and deliver cost-effective, dependable, and on-time commutes Reduce regional dependence on peak period automobile use, the resulting congestion and impediments to goods movement, and national dependence on oil, by increasing the use of public transportation Facilitate the ease of use of public transportation for medical, shopping, cultural, educational, and recreational purposes Connect communities within Northeastern Illinois and beyond, and facilitate connections among different modes of transportation

Ensure Financial Viability • • • • •

Ensure the sustained financial viability of public transportation as intrinsic to the region’s multimodal transportation system Seek investments in public transportation that maximize beneficial returns Ensure that the passenger experience is of one seamless public transportation system Demonstrate measurable achievement in the provision of clean and attractive, affordable, safe, reliable and convenient public transportation services Continually enhance efficiencies through effective management, innovation, and technology

Enhance Livability and Economic Vitality • •

Provide a public transportation system that protects the environment and supports the livability and economic vitality of the region Look for new opportunities to: Encourage growth in corridors that support existing and planned vibrant and interconnected centers, discourage sprawl, and reduce the cost of new infrastructure Provide employers with access to a broader workforce, enhancing their competitiveness Support opportunities to realize economic development goals and plans Provide mobility for aging populations and people with disabilities

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Preserve and provide access to open space and natural resources

Demonstrate Value •

Create and sustain public understanding of the benefits of public transportation to individual health and well-being, regional economic vitality and sustainability, and as a catalyst for new opportunities for both users and non-users

The preliminary vision and high-level goals are being used to initiate the public and community input process for the Regional Strategic Transportation Plan.

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Agency Profiles

An overview of the services and facilities operated by the RTA and each of the three Service Boards is presented below. RTA The RTA was originally established in 1974 with the approval of a referendum in the six-county northeastern Illinois region. Initially, the RTA provided grants to the CTA and entered into purchase of service agreements with public and private suburban bus operators, and private railroad companies. Over time, the RTA assumed direct operations of portions of both the suburban bus and commuter rail systems. In 1983, the RTA Act was amended, resulting in substantial changes in the organization and funding of the RTA and its operations. All operating responsibilities were assigned to the three “Service Boards,” the CTA, Metra, and Pace. Each Service Board has its own independent Board of Directors, and the CTA is guided by its own enabling legislation. The RTA’s role is to provide funding, planning, and fiscal oversight for the Service Boards. The RTA is authorized to impose taxes on the region and issue debt, and is responsible for the allocation of federal, state, and local funds to finance the operating and capital programs for the three Service Boards. Annually, the RTA Board sets marks for each Service Board that include the recovery ratio for the annual budget, operating funding, and capital funding. The RTA must then adopt an annual budget, two-year financial plan, and a five-year capital program for each Service Board that conforms to these marks. The RTA is the second largest public transportation system in the United States and has a service area of 3,700 square miles. The 2006 budget includes $1.8 billion to operate the system’s 3,830 buses, paratransit vehicles, and vans, and 2,300 rail cars and locomotives. The replacement value of the system’s capital assets is valued at $27 billion, with a 2006 capital program at nearly $600 million. The RTA operates several programs that support its riders. These include the RTA/CTA Transit Benefit (TransitCheck) Program, the Reduced Fare Eligibility Program for seniors and disabled riders, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit Certification Program, and the Traveler Information Center. CTA The CTA is the nation's second largest public transportation operator and covers the City of Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. It provides heavy rail and bus travel options (as of July 1, 2006, all ADA paratransit services that were provided by the CTA were transferred to Pace for operation). Year of Initial Service: Organization Type: Governing Body: Board Selection:

1947 Independent Governmental Agency Chicago Transit Board Mayor of Chicago, Governor of Illinois, Illinois State Senate, and the Chicago City Council. Operating Expenditures: $1,037 million (2006 budget) Active Fleet: 2,106 buses and 1,172 rail cars Routes: 154 bus routes and 8 rail routes Ridership: 458 million (2006 budget) Average Speed: 9.8 MPH (Bus), 18.5 MPH (HRT) Storage/Maintenance Facilities: 8 bus garages/1 overhaul, 10 rail terminals/1 overhaul/1 maintenance Among the CTA’s 154 bus routes, there are 46 key routes. All of these key routes have service typically offered every day for at least 16 hours. The rest of the routes’ span of service is determined by demand, service standards, and funding resources. The 154 bus routes reported average weekday boardings of

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

962,000. Ridership on CTA’s rapid transit lines was 644,000 on each weekday during the second quarter of 2006. The fare structure for the CTA is a $2.00 cash fare on bus and rail, $2.00 Transit Card fare on rail, $1.75 Chicago Card fare on bus and rail, and $1.75 Transit Card fare on bus. Transfers are $0.25 with Transit Card and Chicago Cards. There is a 10% discount for every $20 on Chicago Cards. There are a number of pass options (1-day, 7-day, and 30-day are the most popular), U-Pass for university students, and reduced fares for seniors, persons with disabilities and students riding during school hours. This fare structure went into effect in 2006. CTA has 18 park-and-ride lots/structures with a total capacity of 6,692 parking spaces. Parking costs typically range from $2 to $3. Bicycles are permitted on buses equipped with attached front exterior bicycle racks. Bicycles are permitted on rail cars with sliding doors, and at all hours except weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Metra Metra is the second largest commuter rail operator in the country. It provides rail service in northeast Illinois, serving the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and Will, reaching 240 stations over 510 route miles. Year of Initial Service: Organization Type: Governing Body: Board Selection: Operating Expenditures: Active Fleet: Routes: Ridership: Average Speed: Maintenance Facilities:

1984 Independent Governmental Agency Metra Board of Directors Various County Officials and the Mayor of Chicago $546 million (2006 budget) 144 Locomotives, 821 Bi-Level Commuter Cars, 191 Electric Multiple Unit Cars 11 commuter rail routes 80 million (2006 budget) 30.0 MPH 25 shop/yards/maintenance facilities

Metra’s 2006 fare structure is a distance-based zone system with one-way fares ranging from $1.95 to $7.30, ten-ride tickets from $16.60 to $62.05, and monthly passes ranging from $52.65 to $197.10. Metra also has weekend, holiday, family, and special user fares. Metra has a total of 240 stations of which 200 stations have park-and-rides that provide a total of 85,326 parking spaces. Metra’s parking is operating at or near capacity with an average 75.1% utilization rate. Bicycles are permitted on all weekday trains arriving in Chicago after 9:30 AM and leaving Chicago before 3:00 PM and after 7:00 PM, and on all weekend trains. A 2002 Metra station mode of access survey showed that 54% of Metra riders drove alone and parked; 21% walked; 14% were dropped off; 3% transferred from CTA or Pace bus; 4% carpooled; and 2% used some other source (shuttle, taxi, etc.); 1% bicycled; and 1% used CTA rapid transit. Pace Pace provides both fixed route and paratransit bus service to suburban Chicago. It serves 130,000 daily riders with 242 routes, 570 vanpools, and many dial-a-ride programs. Pace covers 3,500 square miles and is the 14th largest bus service in North America. As of July 1, 2006, Pace assumed responsibility for operating all ADA paratransit services in the Chicago region, including those previously covered by the CTA.

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Year of Initial Service: Organization Type: Governing Body: Board Selection: Operating Expenditures Active Fleet: Routes: Ridership: Average Speed: Garages/Maintenance:

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

1984 Independent Governmental Agency Pace Board of Directors Suburban Members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the Chairmen of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. $156 million (2006 budget) 680 buses, 364 paratransit vehicles, and 670 vans 242 bus routes 37 million (2006 budget) 14.1 MPH 13 bus garages

Pace’s paratransit services include both ADA paratransit service and dial-a-ride. Paratransit ridership in 2005 was 1,580,544, which represents a 5.2% increase from the previous year. As of July 1, 2006, ADA paratransit services provided by the CTA, were transferred to Pace for operation. Fares remained the same, and there were no service interruptions during this transition. Pace’s vanpool program includes their Vanpool Incentive Program, ADVantage Program, shuttle and employer services, and municipal shuttles. In 2005, Pace’s Vanpool program had a ridership of 1,529,185, an 8% increase over the previous year. On July 1, 2006, Pace took over operation of the region’s ridesharing program that was previously operated by the Chicago Area Transportation Study. This regional program provides rideshare services to employers and the general public for the formation of carpool and vanpool, employer support for developing rideshare programs, real-time internet accessible carpool and vanpool matching, and informational material. In 2004, there were over 1,000 completed rideshare applications. Pace’s fare structure includes a $1.50 regular fare and a $0.25 Pace transfer fare. Some local and feeder buses, particularly in the collar counties have a $1.25 fare. Transfers to CTA involve higher fares. Premium, paratransit, subscription, special express, shuttle, and reduced fares also exist. Pace has 11 park-and-ride lots, with only two of them charging a daily parking fee. Pace also operates nine transportation centers throughout the region. As of April, 2002, every fixed-route Pace bus is equipped with a bicycle rack.

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4.0

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Current Situation versus the Vision

The current public transportation system and services were compared to the initial Vision presented in Section 2. An assessment was made as how well the Service Boards are currently addressing each of the four major goals. Provide Transportation Options A variety of measures were examined to assess how well the current RTA system meets the Vision. Ridership The RTA system is the second largest transit network in the U.S. Transit ridership has been on the upswing since September 11, 2001, and the economic slowdown in 2002-2003. 2004 to 2005 transit ridership increased by 3.8%. Available 2006 ridership figures show continued growth.

Transit Ridership (in millions) 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 CTA 442 451 455 457 444 445 461 Metra 77 79 79 76 75 75 77 Pace 40 39 37 35 34 34 37 Total 559 569 571 568 553 554 575

Modal Share of Work Trips

Source: RTA

Regional transit mode share is 5.0% for bus and 7.4% for rail work trips in 2000. Transit work trip mode share by place of residence (work trip origin) shows the highest transit shares in the Central Area, Chicago North, and Chicago South for bus, and the Central Area, Chicago North, Chicago South, and Suburban Cook, for rail. All mode shares declined between 1990 and 2000, except for Chicago origins for rail. In terms of absolute magnitude of transit work trips by place of residence, Chicago North and Chicago South are the highest for bus, and Chicago North, Suburban Cook, and the Collar Counties are highest for rail. Transit Work Trip Mode Share by Place of Residence and Primary Mode Bus

From

2000 Transit Share 19902000 Change

Rail

Central Area

N. Chicago

S. Chicago

Sub. Cook

Collar Counties

Outside Region

Central Area

16%

12%

16%

2%

0%

1%

10%

15%

-6%

-5%

-6%

0%

0%

-1%

+4%

+2%

Sub. Cook

Collar Counties

Outside Region

8%

7%

4%

4%

+1%

-1%

0%

-1%

N. S. Chicago Chicago

In terms of transit work trips by place of work (work destination), the Chicago Central Area has the highest transit mode share for both bus and rail, with Chicago North and Chicago South also exhibiting higher mode shares for bus. The Central Area is by far the largest destination for transit work trips and it also exhibited a 5% growth in transit mode share between 1990 and 2000 for rail trips. Transit Work Trip Mode Share by Place of Work and Primary Mode Bus

To Central Area

N. Chicago

S. Chicago

Rail Sub. Cook

Collar Counties

Outside Region

Central Area

N. S. Chicago Chicago

Sub. Cook

Collar Counties

2000 Transit 14% 10% 10% 2% 1% 2% 37% 5% 3% 1% 1% Share 19902000 -4% -4% -3% 0% 0% 0% +5% -2% -2% 0% 0% Change Source: RTA, Work Trip Trends for Northeastern Illinois, An Analysis of CTPP Work Trip Flows from 1990 and 2000

Outside Region

2% +1%

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Overall, transit work trip mode share remains strong in the City of Chicago, and in particular the Chicago Central Area, which is the strongest destination with over 51% transit mode share, and an emerging reverse commute market. The bus work trip share trends are down in the City of Chicago, with 4 to 6% declines between 1990 and 2000. Suburban transit work trip mode shares have remained relatively flat with Suburban Cook County having a relatively strong rail transit mode share. Service Coverage Service coverage is defined by the geographic areas served. CTA’s service coverage spans the City of Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. Existing CTA Service Standards include a tiered service coverage policy for bus routes that translates to a ¼-mile typical walk distance in high density areas during weekday peak periods and a ½-mile typical walk distance otherwise. CTA rapid transit station service coverage includes typical ½-mile walk distances around each station, bus access, and 18 park-and-ride lots at CTA rapid transit stations that typically have a larger catchment area, up to several miles for those stations located near expressways. In general, CTA’s service coverage is fairly comprehensive. However, with changing demographics and land use in its service area, there are emerging and re-emerging transit markets that call for new or enhanced services. CTA’s ongoing sub-regional service studies and longerrange Alternatives Analysis studies are helping to identify these opportunities for route restructuring as funding permits. Metra’s general service coverage is determined by its 240 stations. The majority of station access is suburban areas is park-and-ride, with walk, bus, kiss-and-ride, and other modes available. Station catchment areas include approximately a 10-mile radius for end-of-the-line stations, and between 3.5 and 5.5 mile catchment areas for intermediate suburban stations. In general, Metra service coverage is extensive in the region. However, Metra station park-and-ride lots are generally operating at or near capacity, resulting in constrained demand. Metra has been implementing an aggressive parking expansion program, and is conducting Alternatives Analysis studies to identify longer-range opportunities. Pace service standards generally require densities of 4,000 population and employment per square mile for regular fixed route service and 2,500 population and employment per square mile for feeder service to Metra stations. A ½-mile walk catchment area can be generally assumed for its 239 fixed bus routes. In most parts of its urbanized service area, particularly in suburban Cook County and the outlying collar county cities of Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, and Waukegan, Pace operates a relatively extensive bus network. Some collar county municipalities, such as Naperville have a comprehensive network of peak-hour Pace routes, but minimal off-peak service. Other communities, particularly those with low population and employment densities or automobile-dominated areas developed in the last few years, have little or no bus service. In addition, Pace has 11 park-and-ride lots and 9 transportation centers that provide service coverage of up to several miles. The Pace dial-a-ride and vanpool programs also provide additional service coverage in lower density areas. Service Span Service span reflects the days and hours that service is provided. CTA provides daily service and usually a minimum of 16 hours for most of its bus routes. One hundred of its bus routes operate on Saturdays and 93 on Sundays and Holidays. Seventeen bus routes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During rush peak periods, an additional 36 routes are operated to provide rail feeding and express commuter service. Eighteen bus routes also provide overnight owl service along selected corridors, although the owl network used to be much more extensive prior to the mid-1990s. Many other routes now stop running during the evenings or on weekends, leaving some network gaps of up to 2 miles during these times. Among the rapid transit lines, the Red and Blue lines run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and most other lines operate from early morning to late evening seven days a week. The Yellow Line operates only on weekdays and the Purple Line offers express service to downtown during rush peak periods.

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Off-peak trips already represent an increasingly important market for CTA. Between 1995 and 2005, CTA ridership has increased by approximately 50 million rides annually – 95% of this growth took place outside of the rush hour period, and was tied to initiatives such as U-PASS, Visitor’s Pass and other innovations. CTA exhibited 2.5% weekday bus ridership growth, 2% Saturday bus ridership growth, and 5% Sunday bus ridership growth between 2004 and 2005. However, April 2006 ridership figures show a decline in Saturday and Sunday bus ridership. CTA Saturday rapid transit ridership increased 7% between 2004 and 2005, with Sunday ridership increasing 11%. April 2006 rail ridership figures show a continued Saturday and Sunday ridership growth. Metra operates 800 trains each weekday on its 11 commuter rail lines. Weekend service is provided on all lines except the North Central Service, Heritage Corridor, and SouthWest Service. In general, Metra provides service from 4:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. each weekday. Eight of the lines operate 29 or more trains in each direction during weekdays, except for the SouthWest Service (15 trains each direction), the North Central Service (10 trains each direction), and the Heritage Corridor (3 trains each direction) on weekdays. Metra exhibited ridership growth of 3.9% weekday peak period/peak direction, 6.6% for weekday offpeak, 4.4% Saturday, and 12.5% Sunday for an average week between 2004 and 2005. Pace fixed route bus services have a varied service span. There is no overnight service. Some routes, particularly those that connect with CTA rapid transit lines, operate from the early morning through the evening, 7 days per week. In many areas, however, service does not operate every day, making it difficult for people to rely on public transit for basic travel needs. Many Pace routes, such as those in Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Waukegan and other outlying communities operate only during daytime hours Monday through Saturday. Still other routes are designed primarily to connect neighborhoods with Metra stations during peak hours only. Total system ridership increased 7.8% on weekdays, 5.9% on Saturdays, and 12.6% on Sundays between 2004 and 2005. Service Frequency Service frequency represents the scheduled time between transit vehicles serving any one location on a route. For CTA, buses typically are scheduled to come at least every 20 minutes when a bus route is operating. Most routes in the high-density portions of the service area are scheduled to come at every 15 minutes or more often during the daytime. However, some CTA bus routes operate every 30 minutes, particularly on weekends, evenings and during the overnight owl period. Because CTA bus routes are structured around the grid roadway network and transfers are required for many trips, even 20-minute service can add significant time to a trip and make transit unattractive. On CTA’s rapid transit system, with the opening of the Pink Line in 2006, service on nearly the entire network operates every 10 minutes or better when the rail route is operating. Service frequency improvements over the past several years have contributed to significant ridership increases on the rail system, now at its highest level in two decades. Metra trains run relatively frequently in the peak direction during the peak hours. 9 of 11 lines have express services that skip intermediate stops. During peak periods, most trains typically arrive at the downtown stations every 5 to 15 minutes. The reverse direction service during peak periods is typically hourly. During off-peak periods, trains are scheduled to come every one to three hours. This level of service can make it inconvenient to use transit, particularly if a bus connection is required. Pace service frequency varies widely. On its busiest bus routes, buses may run as often as every 10 minutes during the peak hours and every 15 to 30 minutes at other times. More typically, in lower density communities, Pace buses operate every 30 minutes during peak hours and every 30 to 60 minutes or less often at other times. With this level of service, it is difficult to serve non-peak period related travel or expand transit’s market share. In some suburban areas, low densities and automobileorientation may make it hard to support fixed-route, high-frequency bus service; in other suburban areas

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

that are more densely populated, the levels of service currently offered may be insufficient to serve existing or potential demand. In recent years, Pace has restructured services in northern Cook County, the Fox Valley, Elgin and other areas with the goal of improving ridership. However, due to funding constraints, Pace has been unable to make any significant net additions to overall service levels. On-Time Performance On-time performance is a measure of how closely a transit vehicle/train operates to its schedule. CTA tracks bus system terminal departures relative to scheduled departures. On time departures are defined as those no more than 1 minute early and 5 minutes late. During the first quarter of 2006, 77% of the bus trips had on time departures. This represents a 4% improvement over the preceding year. CTA tracks the number of rail trips which have experienced a delay of more than 10 minutes. CTA rail trips have experienced a 15% increase in delays for the first quarter of 2005 compared to the first quarter of 2006. This can primarily be attributed to an increase in slow zones and construction-related activities. For Metra, on-time performance data is tracked for each commuter rail line. The annual average on-time performance for 2004 was 96.4%, an improvement from 94.7% from the previous year. Pace on-time performance was over 91% between 2002 and 2004. In 2005, Pace began to use its Intelligent Bus System to measure on-time performance resulting in 50 times the number of data points available relative to previous manual procedures. Affordability Peer system fares were compared to assess affordability. Based on full cash fares for bus, CTA’s $2.00 cash fare is equivalent to New York City and Philadelphia bus fares, which are at the higher end of the fare range. The bus fare for Atlanta is $1.75, while Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. have $1.25 fares (Boston has a zone fare). On the rail side, CTA’s $2.00 cash fare is again equivalent to New York City and Philadelphia (subway), while Atlanta’s fare is $1.75. Los Angeles has a $1.25 fare and Washington, D.C. and Boston have zone fares that have a broad range of costs. Metra’s zone system include one-way fares that range from $1.95 to $7.30. Metro North one-way cash fares in the New York City area range from $5.50 peak ($4.25 off-peak) to $17.75 peak ($13.25 offpeak). New Jersey Transit ranges from $1.00 to $14.50. Long Island Railroad one-way fares range from $5.75 peak (4.25 off-peak) to $20 peak ($14.50 off-peak). Philadelphia one-way peak fares range from $3.00 to 7.00, and Boston’s are $1.25 to $6.00. Pace’s one-way fixed-route bus fare of $1.50 is comparable to SamTrans (suburban San Francisco bay area and San Jose), and less than the $1.65 fare in St. Louis, $1.75 fare for AC Transit (suburban San Francisco), and the $2 MTA-Long Island (suburban New York) bus fare. When adjusted for inflation, fares on CTA and Pace have remained relatively unchanged (since 1975 for CTA; since 1984 for Pace), while Metra fares have decreased over the same period. Inflation-adjusted Service Board transit fares over time are shown below.

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Inflation Adjusted Transit Fares ( constant 99 $ ) 7.00

6.00

( 1999 $ )

5.00

4.00

CTA ( Full Fare ) Metra ( Zone F ) Pace ( Full Fare )

3.00

2.00

1.00

0.00 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05

Years

Source: Chicago Area Transportation Study

Safety In terms of operating safety, CTA reports on accidents per 100,000 miles for bus and rail modes. Its 2004 accident rate was 5.78, which was higher than the 5.69 rate in 2003, but less than the 2000-2004 average of 6.41 per 100,000 miles. For the rail system, CTA’s 2004 rate was 0.17, which was higher than the 2003 rate of 0.10 and higher than the 2000-2004 average of 0.15. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has responsibility for monitoring railroad accidents/incidents using “Form 54 Reports.” Metra had a relatively stable number of Form 54 accidents/incidents from 2000 to 2004, with an increase in 2005. Pace exhibited a sharp decline in the number of accident occurrences in 2005. accident occurrences ranged from 306 to 366, with a drop to 111 in 2005.

Prior to 2005, Pace

Service Integration Fare Integration: Full fare integration does not exist. For Full Regional Fare example, on January 1, 2006, CTA revised its fare structure so that it no longer accepts paper transfers (including those from Integration must be Pace) and the $1 cash shuttle fare at downtown Metra stations achieved to provide a was eliminated. Metra’s fare structure and fare collection system seamless transportation differs dramatically from that of CTA and Pace. Current regional system fare integration with Metra is limited to only Metra monthly pass holders, so that fare integration for occasional transit riders using Metra is not available. The RTA and Service Boards have begun a new initiative whose aim is to develop full fare coordination. Facility Integration: The Service Boards usually consider inter-agency needs when making facility enhancements at their stations or terminals. Pace and CTA share space at 7 of 10 CTA rail terminals, and at many of CTA’s bus turnarounds. CTA and Metra share a station in Oak Park. Metra is in the process of reconstructing the Jefferson Park station on the UP Northwest line to provide ADA-compliant connections among Metra, CTA, and Pace. Thoughtful design of inter-agency facilities permits easy transfers among services. RTA’s 2001 “Regional Transit Coordination Plan: Location Study”, found nearly 300 locations where customers could make interagency transfers between two or more of the region’s transit providers. The RTA’s 2004, “Service Coordination Study”, concluded that, in general, the Service Boards provide a

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

cost effective transit system with supportive inter-agency transfer locations. Service Coordination: There is limited schedule coordination between CTA and Pace buses, and some schedule coordination between buses (CTA and Pace) and rail stations (CTA and Metra). There are a number of segments in the region where there is service overlap, but in many cases they are serving different markets. There is currently a disagreement between the CTA and Pace regarding extension of the CTA 90/Harlem route between Grand Avenue and Lake Street duplicating Pace’s 307/Harlem route. Ensure Financial Viability The financial situation of the RTA and Service Boards were examined in this section. Service Board Peer Comparison Several performance measures were chosen to evaluate the operating efficiency and effectiveness of the Service Boards in relation to their peers. No one measure can fairly represent an organization’s performance. The performance measures used in this analysis focus on three measures of efficiency and effectiveness: cost efficiency, cost effectiveness, and service effectiveness. Cost efficiency is a measure of how well operating costs are used to produce outputs (e.g., vehicle miles, vehicle hours). Cost Effectiveness measures how well operating costs relative to passenger use, measured by unlinked trips (transit boardings) and passenger miles. Service Effectiveness measures passenger use relative to service outputs: the three service effectiveness performance measures are unlinked trips per vehicle hour, unlinked trip/vehicle mile, and passenger miles per total vehicle miles. It should also be recognized that no one agency has an operating environment exactly like that of a sister agency, even in the same region. The selection of peer properties is an approximation of number of vehicles or routes or nature of the operation that is close to that of the RTA Service Board being compared. It will not reflect the differing management and operations practices for each agency. Service Inputs For CTA and Pace, the peers are the same as Cost Effectiveness Cost Efficiency those cited in each agency’s annual budget •Operating Expense/Vehicle Mile •Operating Expense/Unlinked Trip •Operating Expense/Passenger Mile documents, with the •Operating Expense/Vehicle Hour exception of the St. Louis Bi-State Development Agency (a peer for the Service Outputs Service Consumption Pace bus operation) which was included in order to Service Effectiveness provide a Midwestern •Passenger Miles/Vehicle Mile property in comparison. •Unlinked Trips/Vehicle Hour For Metra, larger •Unlinked Trips/Vehicle Mile northeastern US commuter rail peers were selected to provide this comparison. The results of this peer comparison are shown below.



Cost efficiency: CTA Bus and Rail and Pace were better than average. Metra was average.



Cost effectiveness: Metra and Pace better than average or average. CTA Bus and Rail were average.



Service effectiveness: Metra was better than average. CTA Bus was average. Pace and CTA Rail were average or worse than average.

Overall, the Service Boards compare well with their peers. Specifically, the Service Boards are better

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

than average in cost efficiency, generally average in cost effectiveness, and average to worse than average in service effectiveness. Recovery Ratio Farebox Recovery Ratios

The farebox recovery ratio represents system generated revenue (primarily Agency fares) divided by operating CTA expenditures. The RTA’s enabling Metra legislation mandated a 50% regional Pace farebox recovery ratio as a condition RTA for receipt of state funding for operating purposes. The regional farebox recovery expected in 2006 and 2007.

2002 54.0% 56.7% 40.0% 54.4%

2003 51.5% 56.1% 44.6% 53.7%

2004 54.9% 55.0% 41.7% 55.7%

2005 54.1% 55.1% 39.7% 52.6%

2006 Budget 53.0% 55.0% 34.2% 50.6%

ratio declined in 2005 and further declines are

The RTA Act requires that the revenue figures include all receipts consistent with generally accepted accounting principles with certain specified exceptions, such as security, depreciation and facility leases. Thus, the revenue figures include all of the items contained in the revenue calculations for the Service Boards budgets, and the net gain on lease/leaseback transactions. CTA’s recovery ratio exhibits declines in 2005 and 2006. The CTA recovery ratio calculation includes $22 million of in-kind security services provided by the Chicago Police Department as both a revenue and expenditure. Metra’s recovery ratio is expected to remain constant between 2004 and 2006 at 55%. Pace’s recovery ratio has been declining since 2003. In 2007, Pace will operate ADA paratransit for a complete year, and under new statutory requirements, minimum recovery ratios will be 10% in 2007, rising to 12% in 2008. With increasing operating expenses due to growth in health insurance costs, fuel costs, and pension contribution requirement, the Service Boards may have to choose between reducing expenses through service cuts and raising system-generated revenues by increasing fares in order to maintain their recovery ratios. Both of these choices are counter-productive toward achieving larger objectives of increasing transit ridership, mobility improvements, congestion relief, energy conservation, and economic development. Capital Program Situation The Service Boards’ capital assets, which have a total replacement value in excess of $27 billion, and their capital needs and funding were analyzed. This analysis included rolling stock (buses, rail cars, locomotives, other vehicles) and facilities (garages, shops, yards, stations and passenger facilities, track and structures, electrical, signal and communications). Rolling Stock The CTA rolling stock includes 2,106 buses, 1,172 active rail cars (1,190 total rail cars), 660 non-revenue emergency response vehicles. The CTA standard for bus service life is 12 years. CTA is in the process of receiving 265 “New Flyer” low-floor buses. Even after these buses are received, that will still leave 652 buses that are older than 12 years old. The CTA standard for railcar service life is 25 years. However, 322 railcars currently are greater than 25 years old, and 592 railcars are 20 to 25 years old. In May 2006, the CTA Board approved a contract to purchase 406 rail cars to replace the older cars and expand the fleet.

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October 5, 2006

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

CTA Fixed-Route Buses Type Year Age Quantity Orion 1990 16 10 TMC 1991 15 466 Flxible 1991 15 289 New Flyer 1995 11 59 Flxible 1995 11 328 Nova 2000 6 484 Nabi Artic 2003 3 225 New Flyer 2006 0 236 Optima 2006 0 9 Total 2,106

CTA Rapid Transit Cars Year Active Cars Before 1976 322 1977-1981 592 1982-1992 258 Total 1,172

A CTA “New Flyer” low-floor bus delivered in 2006

CTA Rehabbed 2600-series cars on a Blue Line train

Metra has 1,156 available cars (821 bi-level commuter cars, 144 locomotives, 191 electric multiple unit [EMU] cars). Metra continues to make significant investments in its vehicle fleet. Metra received 26 new EMUs, which replaced 22 EMUs that had been in service 35 years. During early 2006, Metra received the last of 300 new coaches/cab cars, purchased with Illinois FIRST funding, which were used to replace cars that had been in service for between 35 and 55 years. Metra Rolling Stock Vehicle Type Bi-Level Commuter Cars Locomotives EMU Cars Total

A train of the new EMUs is shown on the Metra Electric District

Available 821 144 191 1,156

Required During Peak Periods 775 114 155 1,044

One of the 27 MPI-built locomotives delivered during 2003 and 2004

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October 5, 2006

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Pace currently has a total of 680 buses, 364 paratransit vehicles, and 670 vanpool vehicles. The 119 buses from 1992-1993 are beyond their expected 12 year service life. These buses from 1992-1993 will not be completely replaced until 2008. Pace Fixed-Route Bus Fleet

A Pace low-floor Orion-built bus

Type Ikarus (40') Orion (35') Orion (40') Chance (26') Nova (40') Eldorado (29') Nabi (35') Nabi (40') Chance Trolleys Orion (40') Orion (40') Orion (40') MCI (40') Nabi (35') Nabi (40') Orion (40') Nabi (40')

Facilities

Year 1992 1992 1993 1995 1996 1997 1999 1999 2000 2000 2001 2002 2002 2003 2003 2004 2005

Age 14 14 13 11 10 9 7 7 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 2 1 Total

Quantity 15 21 83 15 22 56 30 22 7 32 120 1 8 84 98 6 60 680

CTA Bus Facilities

Support Facility Year Built Age CTA facilities include eight bus garages, plus the South Shops 1908 98 overhaul facility, ten rail terminals and yards, plus the Skokie Archer 77th Street 1908 98 st Shop overhaul facility and the 61 Street non-revenue North Park 1950 56 maintenance facility. The Archer and 77th bus garages are in Forest Glen 1955 51 1984 22 need of modernization/replacement, as well as the West Kedzie 1988 18 Shops for rail. There are 112 bus turnaround facilities, and 103rd 74th 1995 11 144 rapid transit stations. The CTA rail system comprises Chicago Ave 1994 12 nearly 290 miles of track with over 50 miles of elevated South Shops Overhaul Facility ** ** structure, 24 miles of subway tunnel and 115 bridges/viaducts. Much of the system was built before CTA Rail Terminal/Yard/Shop Facilities 1900, or in the decade immediately thereafter. Facility

Desplaines Yard/Shop The oldest portions of the system (Green Line branches Harlem Yard/Shop immediately south and west of the central business Howard Yard/Shop district, dating to 1892-1893) were rebuilt in 1994- Kimball Yard/Shop Yard/Shop 1996. Reconstruction of the Cermak Branch of the Linden Midway Yard/Shop Pink/Blue Line (dating back to 1895 and 1910) occurred Racine Yard/Shop between 2001 and 2005. The Dan Ryan Branch of the Rosemont Yard/Shop Shops Red Line opened in 1969 and has been undergoing Skokie 54th Yard/Shop extensive rebuilding since 2004 (in coordination with 61st Yard/Shop (non-revenue) the Dan Ryan Expressway Reconstruction Project). The 98th Yard/Shop Brown Line Capacity Expansion project that began in 2005 involves a line that was opened for operation between 1900 and 1907.

Year Built/Re-Built 1958 1967 1991-1993 1995 1995 1993

Age 48 39 13-15 11 11 13

1983 1995-1999 2003 1893 1969

23 7-11 3 113 37

Metra has 25 shops, yards and overhaul facilities on the Metra system. Four of the facilities (Richton Park on the Metra Electric District (MED); and, Barrington, Harvard and West Chicago on the Union Pacific (UP) lines) have not had either a complete or partial reconstruction since the inception of the agency. The Rock Island District 47th Street and Union Pacific California Avenue yards are also in need of rehabilitation and modernization. Metra has 1,200 miles of track, 800 bridges, and hundreds of signals/switches. Its MED has 102 miles of

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October 5, 2006

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

track which is equipped with an overhead catenary system that distributes the 1,500 volts direct current traction power. Extensive grade-separation projects were carried out throughout the Chicago area around the turn of the 20th century. Many of these structures were in poor condition when Metra assumed operating responsibility, and addressing replacement/improvement needs became a major effort for the agency. A 1989 study rated 66 of the bridges in critical condition. As of March 2006, 30 replacement structures were built and are in service, 9 replacement bridges are under construction, 22 replacement structures have been Pace Garage/Buildings designed but not yet constructed, and 5 replacement Facilities Owned or Operated Year Area bridges have yet to be designed and constructed. by Pace Opened (SF) Pace River Division

1989

1994 Pace has 11 bus garages (Pace also operates out of two Pace Fox Valley Division 1985 municipal garages), an administrative headquarters, 9 Pace Heritage Division Pace North Division 1987 passenger transportation and transfer facilities, 8 park- Pace West Division 1986 1994 and-ride facilities, and 18 boarding and turnaround Pace Southwest Division 1988 facilities. Pace 2006 bus garage improvements include Pace South Division Pace Northwest Division 1962 renovation of the Southwest, Heritage, and South Holland City of Highland Park* Divisions. Pace 2006 passenger facility improvements Village of Niles* 1995 include structural steel renovation at the Northwest Pace North Shore Division 1984 Transportation Center, and asphalt and concrete South Holland Acceptance Facility 2001 Pace Paratransit Garage replacement at various park-and-ride lots. Pace garages Pace Administrative Headquarters and passenger facilities will require ongoing improvement and expansion, as well as replacement equipment, including fare collection and radio systems.

63,000 56,800 55,000 57,800 221,570 81,500 191,000 82,700

81,500 44,700 27,097 46,500

Capital Funding

In the past few years, the Service Boards have had to resort to using capital funds to help cover the operating deficit. The CTA and Pace began this practice in 2003, and Metra needed to do the same starting in 2005. As the table below shows, these amounts have increased to over $102 million in 2006. Capital Money used for Operating (000s) 2003 2004 2005 2006 Total $26,655 $26,858 $59,964 $102,773

$ (000s)

The RTA’s capital program for 2007-2011 will differ substantially from that of 2002-2006. Average annual capital investment will decrease from $944 million in 2002-2006 to about $606 million in 20072011 based on the 2006 budget and program. This overall drop is caused primarily by the expiration of the Illinois FIRST program. The RTA is unable to expand 1,400,000 2002-2011 Capital Program Pace its capital program with further borrowing because the Metra RTA has insufficient revenue to service the debt for any 1,200,000 CTA new bond offering. The 2007 capital program will be at 1,000,000 its lowest level since 1998 and it is less than 50 percent of the amount programmed in 2004. 800,000

600,000

400,000

200,000

2002

2003

2004 2005

2006

2007

2008

2009 2010

2011

This need to transfer capital funds to operating may continue in 2007. Clearly, in 2008, the Service Boards will not be able to continue this transfer of capital funds to operating due to the adverse impacts on their capital renewal projects. While the amount received each year in federal grants is not expected to change drastically, the contribution of federal grants as a proportion of the total capital program will increase from less than 50 percent to over 75 percent of the total capital program. Federal grant awards also require local matching (typically 20% local match), for which the RTA depends on state support. Without state support, there

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

has been greater reliance on tollway credits. Tollway credits count towards the local match for the federal funds, but are not associated with real funding. Thus, for a $100 million project, of which $80 million is federal funding, and $20 million in tollway credits are used for local match, only $80 million in funding is available to do a $100 million project. The tollway credits represent a temporary band-aid approach, since they don’t provide the real dollars necessary for capital projects. Capital Needs Total unmet capital needs are currently being evaluated, but will be substantial (in billions of dollars). To date, major unfunded capital needs for each Service Board include: Major CTA unfunded capital needs include: • • • • • • • •

Vehicles (buses and railcars) replacement/rehabilitation Stations/bus passenger facilities rehabilitation Archer and Forest Glen bus garage replacement West Shops replacement Substation equipment replacement Red (north mainline), Brown , Blue (Jefferson Park to O’Hare), Green (south) Line signal upgrades Structural rehabilitation (north mainline) Rail and tie replacement

Major Metra unfunded capital needs include: • • • • • • • •

Diesel electric locomotives re-manufacturing Purchase 160 highliner cars for Metra Electric District New Metra Electric District Yard Rebuild Metra Electric District Weldon Yard Rebuild Rock Island District 47th Street Yard Rebuild Union Pacific California Ave. Yard Rock Island third track for Southwest Service Relocation Union Pacific North Line bridge replacements

Major Pace unfunded capital needs include: Replacement and expansion bus vehicles Garages/facilities expansion/improvements Park-and-ride facilities expansion/improvements Farebox system replacement Radio system system-wide replacement

The capital funding for these needs is crucial for bringing the RTA system to a state of good repair. In addition, capital funding is needed to address new security requirements and unmet transit demand.

Construction Cost Index 11000 10000 Construction Cost Index

• • • • •

9000 8000

At the same time, the rapid escalation in construction 7000 costs affects the Service Board’s capital program. 6000 Increased construction costs result in more costly capital Chicago 5000 projects. Overall, construction costs have been National increasing at a faster rate than the consumer price index 4000 for the Chicago region (CPI-U). From 1995 to 2005, the 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 CPI-U increased 27%. During the same time period the national construction cost index (Engineering News Record) increased by 38%. As seen in the graph,

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The Chicago Construction Cost Index has been increasing at a faster rate that the national CCI, a 60% increase between 1995 and 2005, compared to the 38% for the national CCI. From 2003 to 2005, the Chicago Construction Cost Index increased 21.3% compared to a 12.8% increase nationally. Operating Budget Situation The operating budget includes costs for the provision of transit service in the region. The Service Boards’ system-generated revenues (passenger fares, reduced fare subsidy, advertising, etc.) combined with non-system generated funding (including RTA’s formula sales tax receipts and Illinois state match) have historically equaled the Service Boards’ operating costs. However, available operating funding has not been able to keep pace with rising costs. This operating shortfall reflects increased costs for security, fuel, healthcare, insurance and claims, and paratransit costs that are affecting all three Service Boards. For example: y

CTA experienced a $7.2 million increase from 2004 to an expected $34.8 million in 2005 for security services

y

Metra is projecting a 73% increase in the per-gallon price of fuel compared to 2005

y

CTA’s fuel expenses have increased by 52 percent since 2004 and power costs are expected to rise signficantly starting in 2007 as the decade long rate freeze ends

y

Metra health insurance expenditures are projected to increase from $48.5 million in 2004 to $58.5 million in 2008

y

Pace expenditures on insurance and claims increased 16% between 2004 and 2005; Pace’s 2006 budget included $11.5 million for an estimated 6.1 million gallons of fuel, representing about 7.3% of the agency’s total estimated operating expense for the year

y

Pace ADA paratransit service costs are projected to rise from $46 million in 2006 (includes ½ year of expenditures for operating ADA Paratransit in the CTA region) to $80.4 million in 2007

As described earlier, the Service Boards have had to resort to transferring capital funds to help cover their operating shortfalls. In 2006 alone, the service boards transferred nearly $100 million from capital to operating. According to CTA’s 2006 budget, its Metropolitan Transit Authority Pension Fund has a “current funding ratio of 39%, the actuary projects that the fund will deplete its assets by 2012 without additional funding and substantial changes to the plan.” The CTA pension fund is under funded by $2.1 billion as of January 1, 2005, with assets of $1.4 billion and liabilities of $3.5 billion. According to a RTA February 2006 briefing, “the 8,900 people collecting benefits from the Plan will receive an estimated $190 million per year in benefits and approximately $78 million in health care costs.” These costs would be offset by $54 million in employee and CTA contributions, leaving $214 million to be made up by investment returns, etc. Based on the RTA’s analysis, “the Plan would have had to earn almost 18% to break even.” In June 2006, a bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law, requires the CTA to make annual contributions to the pension fund starting January 1, 2009, such that the minimum contribution to the retirement plan made by the CTA for each fiscal year 2009 through 2058 shall be an amount determined jointly the CTA and the trustee of the retirement system to be sufficient to bring the total assets of the retirement system up to 90% of its total actuarial liabilities by the end of fiscal year 2058. It is estimated that an annual payment of over $130 million will be required by CTA starting in

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2009. In 2007, the operating shortfall is expected to be well in excess of $100 million. In order to address the 2007 operating shortfall, the Service Boards may transfer capital funds to cover operations, increase fares and/or reduce service. However, this practice of using capital funds for operations cannot continue in 2008, because as maintenance and rehabilitation costs continue to rise, service reliability will decline, starting a downward spiral. Assuming the current funding situation, the resulting choices will include increasing revenues through increased fares and reductions in service. It should be noted that the required service cuts would be much larger proportionally than the operating shortfall due to labor rules and ridership losses. For example, a 5% operating shortfall may require a 10 to 15 percent cut in service Enhance Livability and Economic Vitality An assessment of the air quality, energy consumption, and economic contributions of the RTA system was performed. Air Quality A description of the air quality benefits provided by transit is contained in Section 1. It describes transit’s important role in improving the region’s air quality and the 2,600 tons of annual reduction in ozone precursors. Transit is committed to be a key player in improving regional air quality. The Service Boards are using and continue to explore the use of new, cleaner alternative fuels and power sources for their buses and locomotives. This includes the use of low sulfur fuel, demonstrations using fuel cell and hydrogen powered vehicles, and cleaner diesel engines. Energy Consumption A description of the energy consumption benefits by transit is contained in Section 1. It describes the estimated contribution by the RTA system to gasoline consumption savings of 150 million gallons per year. Economic Impacts The economic contribution of transit to economic vitality is described in Section 1. Transit helps to create and sustain jobs, supports economic growth and development, attracts and helps concentrates new development, strengthens the financial health of local and state governments, and benefits residents and businesses. A 1995 RTA study determined an over 6-to-1 benefit/cost ratio on dollars invested in public transportation to bring the RTA system to a state of good repair. Demonstrate Value Economic Benefits The regional economic benefits to the regional economy were previously described in Section 1. The RTA system directly and indirectly provides at least $12 billion in economic benefits to the region and 120,000 jobs Customer Satisfaction Service Board customer satisfaction surveys, performance evaluations, and media comments were reviewed in order to evaluate the public’s expectations of the three Service Boards and to determine if these expectations are being adequately satisfied. The CTA has been performing customer satisfaction surveys since 1995.

The surveys are used to

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evaluate what service improvements could be implemented to increase customer satisfaction, long-term loyalty, and increased ridership. The surveys found that overall customer satisfaction grew from 22% of customers who were “very satisfied” in 1995 to 43% in 2001. Customer satisfaction remained relatively flat at 41% very satisfied in 2003. With regard to perceptions of CTA as a market-oriented agency, including factors such as ease of use, management effectiveness, reliability, quality of service, fares, customer friendliness, cleanliness, and passenger information, the CTA improved from an overall 3.27 rating in 1997 to 3.64 in 2001, using a 5point scale. In 2003, there was a slight decline to a 3.57 rating. Metra performed customer satisfaction surveys in 1999 and 2005. Metra customers are generally satisfied with the service and marks continue to grow. The most important attributes to Metra customers were “getting to their destination on time” followed by “value for money.” ‘frequency of weekday rush service” was ranked number two in 1999 and was number three on the 2005 list. Pace customer feedback is gathered via an annual survey built around a sample of one-way trips of all Pace fixed-route customers across the 11 reporting units. In 2004, 48% of respondents were ‘Very Satisfied’ with Pace service and 32% were ‘Satisfied’. A total of 6% were either ‘Dissatisfied’ or ‘Very Dissatisfied’. Customer satisfaction dropped 5.5% from 2001 to 2002 before trending upward between 2002 and 2004. Previous Accomplishments The accomplishments and impacts of the RTA’s funding programs, including Illinois FIRST program are summarized below. Illinois First Accomplishments The Illinois Fund for Infrastructure, Roads, Schools, and Transit (FIRST) program, passed by the state legislature in May 1999, was a $12 billion program over five years. It granted the RTA the ability to issue a total of $1.6 billion in capital investments bonds, of which the state would reimburse the debt service on $1.3 billion in bonds. The Illinois FIRST program enabled a significant increase over the RTA’s total capital expenditures of $490 million in 2000. These funds are often classified as “RTA SCIP Bonds,” as the RTA used its existing Strategic Capital Improvement Program (SCIP) to issue the debt, or are included in “Local” funds. The State reimburses the debt service expenditures on SCIP bonds (“State Financial Assistance” in the operating budget). The bonds were not intended as a recurring source of capital funding, but to address a backlog of capital renewal projects. The RTA disbursed approximately $3.8 billion on capital projects from 2000 to 2004. The Illinois FIRST program enabled approximately $1.4 billion in capital projects, or 36% of the total. About 67% of these FIRST-related funds ($919 million) went to projects that were funded exclusively through the FIRST program. The remainder of the funds (33%, or approximately $481 million) was used to match other grant sources (e.g., the federal New Starts program). As a result, the Illinois FIRST program provided significant funds, both by funding the entirety of individual capital projects, and by providing matching funds for a substantial amount of other projects. In addition, Illinois FIRST provided the Illinois Department of Transportation with $540 million for statewide transit projects, of which approximately $430 million went to the RTA for local match of federal funds. Assuming a 20% local match, up to $1.72 billion in federal funds were matched. The economic benefits of the Illinois FIRST program for transit in northeastern Illinois include over $3 billion in transportation cost savings to both auto and transit users, and over $6 billion in increased business sales.

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Transit Riders Have Seen the Benefits of Illinois FIRST CTA •

Purchase of 300 buses



Life-extending overhaul of buses and rail cars



Capacity expansion of the Brown Line



Reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Branch of the Red Line



Reconstruction of the Blue (now Pink) Line Douglas Branch

Metra •

Purchase of 300 bi-level commuter cars and 26 electric cars



Replacement of bridges on the Union Pacific-North and Rock Island Lines



North Central Service, UP-West, and Southwest Service Projects

PACE •

Purchase of 139 buses and 75 vanpool vans



Improvements for garages and facilities

Other Funding Program Accomplishments In addition to Illinois FIRST, the RTA also generates revenue for the Service Boards’ capital projects from other sources, including federal, state and local sources. Based on 2001 to 2005 data from the RTA budget and capital program, the RTA generated an average of 48.9% of its capital funds from federal sources, 25.2% from RTA sources (SCIP bonds, non-SCIP bonds and discretionary funds) and 6.2% from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) grants. IDOT grants are used primarily as a local match to federal grants. In 2004 and 2005, the CTA issued its own debt in order to accelerate the implementation of its capital program. These bonds are to be repaid using future federal grants for CTA capital projects (specifically, from section 5307). With $250 million in 2004 and $275 million in 2005, these sources constituted a significant part of CTA’s capital program. CTA financing, although only provided in 2004 and 2005, accounts for 10.5% of the total from 2001 to 2005. The remaining 9.2% came from a variety of sources, including money carried-over from prior years or re-characterized from other uses (e.g., Transfer Capital, Service Board funds). Other than the RTA bonds and CTA financing, all of these sources are grants or transfers.

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External Factors

This section describes and analyzes external factors that influence the environment in which public transportation operates. Socio-Economic Factors Socio-economic factors determine the form of our metropolitan areas and greatly affect how successful transit will be in a region. Several socio-economic factors were examined to determine whether they affected or caused changes in transit travel patterns. Population and Employment Past trends and projected growth for population and employment were examined. Looking back, there was strong growth of population into suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s. This was followed by job growth in the 1980s and early 1990s. Additional population growth (post-1995) and continued outward expansion of population and jobs (post-2000) has occurred. This is due to the maturation of Cook and DuPage Counties. This outward expansion is often resulting in lower densities of development. However, the Chicago Central Area continues to exhibit strength and expansion as the region’s economic and cultural center with continued job growth, cultural and institutional attractions, and transition from non-residential to residential development. This continued growth of the Central Area was aided by the region’s transit system, with its radial services focused on the Central Area. For example, Mr. Jerry Roper, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, testifying before the House Subcommittee for Highways and Transit said, “A great example of transit's increasing importance in determining a business's location is reflected in the Boeing Company's decision to establish its headquarters near several Metra commuter rail stations and Chicago Transit Authority facilities. While the decision to come to Chicago was clearly based on other factors, I believe that the choice of where to locate their offices once the decision was made had a great deal to do with available transit options.” The six-county northeastern Illinois population is expected to grow from 8,364,400 in 2005 to 10,050,500, in 2030, a growth of 21%. Strong population growth for this time period is forecasted for Will County (additional 482,000 people), the City of Chicago (additional 432,000 people), suburban Cook County (additional 216,000 people), Kane County (additional 215,000 people), McHenry County (additonal 153,000 people), Lake County (additional 145,000 people), and DuPage County (additional 79,000 people). Kendall County is also expected to add 97,000 people between 2005 and 2030. Also expected is the continued growth of satellite cities, including Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, and Naperville, all with 2030 population forecasts of well over 100,000. In employment, the region grew by 36.3% over the 1980 to 2005 period. The City of Chicago grew by 3.1% over the same period. Many jobs followed population to the suburbs and beyond. However, unlike population which scattered, employment tended to cluster along major highways and at major intersections. By 2005, a major north/south corridor of jobs had developed between the Tri-State (I-294) and I-355, from the Lake/Cook border to I-55. It has employment densities of 4,000-16,000 per square mile. Smaller, less-dense corridors or concentrations continue from the main (Tri-State/I-355) corridor, southeast along the Tri-State to the Indiana Border, northeast along the Tri-State into Lake County, and west along the East/West Tollway (I-88) to Aurora through Naperville, one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. The region’s original satellite cities – Aurora, Joliet, Geneva/St. Charles, Elgin, and Waukegan – are also smaller centers of employment growth. The six-county northeastern Illinois region employment is expected to grow from 5,052,800 in 2005 to 6,874,200 in 2030, a growth of 35%. Strong employment growth is expected in the City of Chicago (542,000 new jobs), Will County (336,000 new jobs), DuPage County (304,000 new jobs), suburban Cook

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County (276,000 new jobs), Kane County (165,000 new jobs), Lake County (115,000 new jobs), and McHenry County (83,000 new jobs) from 2005 to 2030. Based on the 2005 to 2030 population and employment forecasts, there will be continued strength and growth in transit’s current service area in the City of Chicago and Cook County. This implies continued strength and growth in CTA and Pace services, including intra-city, intra-suburban, and reverse commute transit services. In particular, with the continued strength of the Chicago Central Area, growth in radial oriented transit services, including CTA rapid transit and Metra commuter rail services can be expected. The rapid growth in Central Area population also implies growth in reverse commute travel markets. DuPage County is nearing maturation with 2030 population expected at just over 1 million residents (an increase of 100,000 from 2000). However, employment will continue to grow with over new 180,000 jobs expected between 2000 and 2030. This implies continued growth in suburb-to-suburb and reverse commute transit services to DuPage. Explosive growth in population in Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties is resulting in growth in current satellite cites (such as Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Naperville) that are served by current transit services, and lower density new development, which is more difficult to serve by fixed-route transit services. Current suburban employment centers in Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Elk Grove Village, Naperville, Oak Brook, and Schaumburg with over 50,000 jobs will continue to be major attractors, as well as high job growth areas in Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, and Naperville with over 25,000 new jobs expected by 2030. Many of the current and forecasted high growth employment centers are not well served by current transit services. As seen in the following two figures, applying Pace’s service standards for population and employment densities per square mile results in the identification of areas that are candidates for fixed-route bus service in 2000 and 2030. The 2000 figure shows potential markets in southeastern McHenry, western DuPage, and northwest and central Will. The 2030 figure shows that almost the entire region could be considered for fixed-route bus service. It is more likely that these demands would be met with a family of services including fixed route, local circulator, dial-a-ride, and vanpool. Additional Socio-Economic Factors Several other factors were examined due to their potential impacts on transit travel patterns. Senior population (over 65) has been a major growth area in the U.S. over the past two decades. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that America’s older population will more than double by the year 2050. In the northeastern Illinois region, the population of seniors grew from 762,478 to 933,066 (a 22.3% increase) from 1980-2005. However, senior population in Chicago has declined from 341,213 to 286,785 (a 16.0% decline). The senior population is a growth market for fixed-route transit services and ADA paratransit services. Hispanic population also has been a major growth segment in the U.S. In 1980, Hispanics in the northeastern Illinois region numbered 591,447, of which 423,394 (71.6 percent) were in the City of Chicago. By 2005, this number had nearly tripled, to 1,653,901, in the study region, of which 821,092 (49.6%) were in the City of Chicago. Nationally, the Hispanic population is expected to grow 2.5 times by the year 2050. The concentration of Hispanics in the City of Chicago remains very dense; and migration to the suburbs is primarily to the satellite cities, DuPage and northwest Cook County. New migrants (primarily Hispanic) helped to fuel growth in Chicago neighborhoods and satellite cities, strengthening existing transit markets. Households without autos have declined in the study area and especially in the City of Chicago, from 512,402 to 434,427 and from 407,059 to 306,306, respectively. The declining number of zero car

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households in the city implies a shrinking market for transit among those who are most reliant on transit for all of their transportation needs. However, the inner suburban area share of households without autos has grown from 92,049 to 113,057, which implies a greater reliance on transit.

Travel Markets An analysis of regional travel markets was performed, including an analysis of Census journey-to-work trips and 2000-2030 work trip travel markets based on Chicago Area Transportation Study (now part of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) travel model results. Transit to Work Travel Market Work trips by transit were analyzed because they comprise the major component of transit usage. An analysis of Census journey-to work trips was first conducted. The most significant change observed over the 1980-2000 period was the absolute decline in work trips by transit (all modes: bus, rail rapid transit and commuter rail). The loss of 93,441 trips (16.4%) over the 20-year period was most acute in the City of Chicago, where losses of 77,870 trips -- a loss of 20.2% for the City -- constituted 83.3% of the total decline. Of this total, Chicago’s South Side suffered the greatest losses, 59,951; this was 64.2% of the total transit ridership losses and a 35.9% loss for the South Side itself. On the other hand, Chicago Central Area and the Lakefront portion of Chicago North increased their transit ridership to work, in both the 1980-1990 and 1990-2000 periods. There were 1980-2000 losses in work transit trips in Cook County (a mixture of losses and gains in different parts of the county, but a net loss overall); DuPage also had a mixture of losses and gains with a net loss overall. The remaining counties exhibited generally small increases; Will County doubled its transit trips, from 4,909 to 9,832, although it remains a small (2.1%) portion of the region’s total transit work trips.

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With the exception of the increases in the North Lakefront and Central areas of Chicago, growth in regional transit ridership has been scattered. Transit trips concentrations, in general, are within the City of Chicago and along the commuter rail lines, as would be expected. 2000 – 2030 Travel Market Change Daily Person Trip Origins The Chicago Area Transportation Study Trip Origins for NE IL 2000 2030 Growth % Growth travel model was used Total Person Trips 22,948,100 29,302,000 6,353,900 27.70% to analyze the growth Work Person Trips 2,728,400 3,485,000 756,600 27.70% in trip making from 2000 to 2030 in the region. Significant growth (28%) between 2000 and 2030 is projected for total daily person trips and work person trips. Over 6 million more person trips will occur every day by 2030.

The analysis then focused on work trip destinations, because of their strong relation to potential transit travel markets. The townships in the region with the largest projected 2000-2030 growth in total work trip destinations were identified. As seen in the figure on the left below, the fastest growing townships were dispersed throughout the region – including the City of Chicago, southern and northwest Cook, several townships in DuPage and Will, as well as Kane and Lake. The Chicago Central Area is projected to have the greatest growth in total work trips between 2000 and 2030 at nearly 100,000 trips. The general pattern of the work trip flows for these high growth townships was highlighted in the figure on the right below. As seen in this figure, several general corridors emerge based on the work trip flows for the high growth townships. These general corridors include radial northwest and south corridors, a north-south corridor extending from northwestern Cook, western DuPage, and western Will, and a smaller east-west corridor in Will. These general corridors should have future potential for new or improved transit services. 2000-2030 High Growth Townships

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Traffic Congestion Traffic congestion increases the cost of travel by increasing the time required to travel. Road congestion is an important factor in assessing transit’s strategic position in a number of ways. On one hand, as road congestion creates travel delays, people may opt for transit options that provide a faster trip. On the other, buses in the region share the same congested roadways, so when traffic congestion grows, bus travel times grow as well, unless priority treatments, such as bus signal priority or queue bypass lanes are provided for buses. The most referenced data source in measuring congestion is the Urban Mobility Report, produced by the Texas Transportation Institute. This report generates a number of measures that attempt to quantify the cost of traffic congestion. The most recent 2005 report looked at 85 metropolitan areas. The very large metropolitan areas include the 13 largest in terms of population. The Chicago region ranks third in the country in terms of population. The Urban Mobility Report includes comprehensive performance measures regarding traffic congestion and delay. For Chicago, average annual delay totals 58 hours in wasted time (seventh ranked) per peak period traveler, and when quantified in terms of dollars, cost about $1,000 per traveler. With an estimated 4.4 million peak-period travelers, this is a significant cost to the region’s productivity and quality of life. Chicago ranked second in the nation for the travel time index, which measures the ratio of peak-period travel time to travel time during free-flow conditions. This means that for the average metropolitan Chicago traveler, it takes 57% longer during the peak period to travel the same distance as when roads are not congested. Chicago ranked third in travel delay, excess fuel consumed, and congestion cost. The Chicago region experienced 253 million hours of traffic delay, and wasted over 150 million gallons of fuel due to traffic congestion. This equates to over $4 billion attributed to traffic congestion. At the same time public transportation continues to play a significant role in keeping this situation from being even worse. Transit’s assessed annual contribution to savings in delay is 94 million hours, and $1.6 billion in congestion cost savings. Transit users also save the region in other ways with fewer accidents and less air pollution. Another interesting statistic is the estimate of daily transit riders that would be needed to maintain the current level of congestion. Transit ridership in the Chicago region would have to increase on average by 182,000 daily trips every year to maintain current congestion levels, which represents approximately 9 percent of current transit ridership. A Federal Transit Administration working paper on Transit Benefits studied six urban corridors served by high-capacity rail transit, including the I-55/CTA Orange Line corridor. Findings of this study included: •

Public transportation passengers saved 17,400 hours daily over auto travel in the corridors



Road users in the corridors saved 22,000 hours of delay per day due to the absence of vehicles from public transportation users



Travelers on surrounding roads in the corridors saved an additional 20,700 hours per day as spillover congestion was reduced



This delay reduction represents a savings of $225 million annually in the six corridors analyzed

An analysis was then performed to identify congested roads in northeastern Illinois in 2000 and 2030. Travel model runs from the Chicago Area Transportation Study were used to identify those roads that had excess vehicle miles of travel (VMT), which means that the travel model is assigning traffic to the road in excess of its capacity. As seen in the following two figures, those roads that have the most congestion are indicated in red, followed by the roads indicated yellow. In 2000, practically all of Cook, DuPage, and Lake Counties have congested roads.

Southwestern

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McHenry, eastern Kane, and northern Will also have congested roads. The greatest concentration of highly congested roads is the City of Chicago and close-in suburbs. In 2030, almost the entire region, except for the outlying portions of McHenry, Kane, and Will counties, is congested. Highly congested roads are now occurring throughout the region. The City of Chicago and the close-in suburbs remain highly congested. Other general areas of highly congested roads include the Fox River Valley area, the Naperville area, south-central Lake County, and north-central Will County. All of these areas offer opportunities for transit. However, in order to be more competitive with the auto and not get delayed in the same traffic congestion, transit-only and transit-priority treatments are required. This would include exclusive guideways for bus or rail, high occupancy vehicle lanes, shoulderriding treatments on freeways, traffic signal priority for buses, bus-only queue jumps, etc. Year 2000 Congested Roads

Year 2030 Congested Roads

Land Use How communities develop can have a significant impact on transit ridership, and there is a substantial amount of research that documents the influence of development patterns on the choices of transportation modes. Transit can play a significant role in shaping development, and conversely certain forms of development can be more supportive of transit. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) includes moderate to higher density development, located within an easy walk of a major transit stop, generally with a mix of residential, employment and shopping opportunities designed for pedestrians without excluding the auto. TOD can be new construction or redevelopment of one or more buildings whose design and orientation facilitate transit use. TOD is a strategy that has broad potential for Chicago-area communities, given the extensive bus and rail transit system. TOD focuses compact growth around transit stops, thereby capitalizing on transit investments by bringing potential riders closer to transit facilities and increasing the likelihood that they

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will use the transit system. Because of its orientation to pedestrian travel, TOD is typically applied to areas within ¼ to ½ mile of a transit stop or station. TOD can also produce a variety of other local and regional benefits such as compact and/or infill development and improved urban design. A fundamental framework for a successful TOD program in the region is in place. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) 2040 Regional Framework Plan seeks to direct growth toward centers that are supported by infrastructure, including transportation. These centers are connected by corridors, which are transportation and activity links. The plan’s implementation strategies include several that are directly supportive of TOD, including encourage redevelopment, reuse, and infill; achieve a balance between jobs and housing; promote livable communities; promote compact, mixed-use development; and coordinate land use and transportation. With the merger of the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission and the Chicago Area Transportation Study and the resulting creation of CMAP by the Regional Planning Act, the land use and transportation connection is reinforced in the region. The RTA and Service Boards have also been very active in encouraging TOD. The RTA Regional Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) has provided funding to local communities for transit related studies include TOD. There have been 30 TOD related planning studies completed across the region, with another 5 in progress, and 8 programmed to be performed. Each of the Service Boards have TOD or development guidelines that describe TOD and design principles that should be used to provide a transit-friendly environment. Pace also works with the Illinois Department of Transportation and local jurisdictions in reviewing roadway designs as to their consistency with transit development guidelines. Freight Transportation Chicago is the nation’s busiest rail gateway. The region accounts for one-third of the nation’s freight rail traffic, with 1,200 trains each day passing through the region. Freight traffic is forecasted over the next 20 years to nearly double from what it is today. If improvements in the region’s rail infrastructure are not addressed to accommodate this growth in rail freight traffic, then the Chicago region would not achieve 17,000 new jobs and $2 billion in annual economic production. In recognition of the these problems – and to address existing needs, the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, Metra, and the Association of American Railroads (BNSF Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and Union Pacific Railroad) formed an unprecedented partnership with the federal government to address these issues. This effort, called the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, has identified a number of improvements designed to reduce delay and its negative impacts and improve safety, on both rail and road networks. The proposed improvements include 25 new grade separations, 6 new rail overpasses or underpasses to separate passenger and freight train tracks, viaduct improvements, grade crossing safety enhancements, and extensive upgrades of tracks, switches and signal systems. These improvements totaling $1.5 billion will reduce passenger and freight rail conflicts, and provide operational improvements along five key corridors. The federal surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, included an earmark of $100 million for the CREATE program, with additional funding being provided by the other partners. However, to fully implement the program, additional funding is needed. The strategic plan should support additional funding given the benefits in reduction to passenger and freight rail conflicts. Large intermodal facilities are also being developed and expanded at fringes of the region, including the BNSF intermodal facility at the former Joliet Arsenal and the Union Pacific’s Global 3 intermodal facility in New Rochelle. These facilities generate thousands of truck movements a day. These trucks contribute to road congestion (discussed above) and freight rail activity affects Metra’s commuter rail service and the road network at rail/road intersections. The region has 900 rail/road at-grade crossings and 132 rail/rail at-grade intersections. Metra’s FAST Plan indicated the need for over 200 grade separations to improve operations and safety.

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Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Fuel/Power Prices The cost of operating an automobile can have an effect on transit ridership. In particular, fuel prices can influence the decision to use transit. Other automobile operating costs are generally “hidden,” meaning that the traveler doesn’t consider depreciation, insurance, maintenance, or any other non-daily fees in the calculation of travel costs. In addition, transit must also bear the increased fuel costs, resulting in increased operating expenditures. As seen in the graph, the price of gasoline has increased dramatically, nearly doubling, over the past two and half years, from $1.60 per gallon to over $3.00 per gallon. Parking Recent research on parking makes the case that “free” or under-priced parking reduces the cost of travel for automobiles, and if the cost of automobile travel is less than transit, users will choose to drive. Other research has shown that the availability of parking can expand transit ridership. Central business district (CBD) parking rates are higher for a number of reasons. In addition to development demand driving the cost of land higher than what parking can return in revenue, the City of Chicago policy on parking in the CBD prohibits free-standing garages and zoning requirements for parking in new development are less. However, the most recent Central Area Plan (2002) suggests that it may be beneficial to limit the total number of parking spaces in the loop, to further foster the use of alternative modes like transit to access the CBD. Employment centers and/or retail destination occurs in the suburbs are to some extent competitive with the Central Area. At suburban locations, there is a larger supply of land available, making it cheaper to provide free parking. As automobile travel is often viewed as the only viable travel alternative, parking requirements are high, to accommodate the maximum number of users. However, the provision of free parking does not mean it does not have a cost. A 1998 RTA study on parking supply at suburban office locations found that more parking is provide than is actually utilized, determining that even in a fully occupied building, slightly more than 20% of the available parking was not used, and that each free parking space cost $65 to $70 (1998 dollars) per month in capital and operating costs. In addition to the carrying costs for the unused parking spaces, municipalities lose out on the increased revenue that the land, if developed, would generate. In addition to lost revenue, expansive parking requirements usually limit the ability to create enough density and appropriately designed space that would foster transit demand. In 1995, the RTA produced a comprehensive handbook on parking management strategies, noting that free parking is subsidized by all travelers, whether they park or not, and that free parking discourages transit ridership. Even with these studies, little impact on development seems to have occurred, and there is no regional consensus on how to address parking.

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October 5, 2006

6.0

Situation Analysis Interim Report Summary

Conclusion

Northeastern Illinois faces a critical decision in 2007: invest in, modernize, and expand the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) $27 billion transit network, or begin shrinking the transit network and lose the economic and quality of life benefits that accompany it. The RTA system provides the region with at least $12 billion annually in substantial mobility, economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits. The region must now commit to maintaining and continuing to improve the RTA’s extensive system of assets that include 3,830 buses, paratransit vehicles and vans, and 2,300 rail cars and locomotives. The 400 bus routes and 19 rail lines that serve the 3,700-square mile northeastern Illinois region need to be improved and expanded to serve the growing six-county RTA region of 8 million residents and 5 million jobs. The continued growth and changing demographics in our region create more opportunities and needs for the transit system, as well as challenges that go hand-in-hand with the opportunities. The region’s traffic congestion is the third worst in the nation and costs the region over $4 billion in travel delay and excess fuel consumed. This congestion is the result of increased auto and truck use, fueled by the outward movement of low-density residential and non-residential land use, with little transit service. Congestion costs the average peak period traveler $1,000 each year. It is one of the greatest sources of frustration to area residents, and one of the key threats to our quality of life. And congestion is only going to get worse – as the Chicago region adds 2 million more residents by 2030, our transportation system will need to accommodate 6 million more trips every day. With many of our highways already at capacity, our long commutes will keep getting longer. Our current transit system has experienced recent growth, but it has not kept pace with changing demand from regional growth. Our inability to keep up with these demands stems from inadequate investment in the upkeep and enhancement of service. If we intend to maintain northeastern Illinois’ century-long role as America’s Transportation Hub, with a world-class transit network at its center, we need new and bold ideas to prepare us for the 2.3 billion additional annual trips predicted by 2030. Rising fuel, power, construction, healthcare, pension, and security costs have major impacts on our transit service providers. CTA, Metra and Pace are all facing funding shortfalls and are left with little choice but to transfer capital funding to operations. Without a better solution, disinvestment in the system and the downward spiral from unfunded needs will soon result in large service cuts, increased fares, and declining reliability. As evidenced by the RTA, CTA, Metra, And Pace joint statement on the 2007 transit budgets, transit faces a “large operating and capital shortfall, because there has not been any new state capital funding for transit since Illinois FIRST, and because operating funding has not kept pace with 21st century demand.” The system is at a critical crossroads. The region must seize the opportunity to develop a world class transit system – through improved land use and transportation integration, new technologies (smart cards for fare integration and seamless travel, alternative fuel vehicles for improving air quality, bus rapid transit to improve transit speeds, etc.), service to new markets, better schedule and service coordination, and new methods of service delivery for greater efficiencies, including public-private partnerships. Moving Beyond Congestion – the time is now.

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