They say Paris is for lovers. Apparently, it’s also for Mayor Daley.
Over the years, Daley has made no bones in hiding his affinity for the French capital, and Chicago`s beautification has been influenced as such. Yet for all the mayor`s French inspiration, it`s a shame he hasn’t ridden the Paris Metro system. Platforms and tracks are immaculate; trains run on time, round the clock, and with schedule notifications from digital trip advisers. With the CTA falling apart at the half-century-old crossbeams, maybe it’s time for Daley to take a trip through the Parisian trenches.
Best audience comments: “$1 gas tax with revenues to CTA for massive infrastructure upgrade. Mass transit is the only way forward, cars need to be phased out, make them unnattractive and voila”; “Accept the money from the state”; “Change the state funding formula, at long last!”; “Cleaner trains and stations”; “Common sense: They need someone to actually navigate the system, so they understand that, with all these construction changes, etc, there is confusion — even for those who ride everyday”; “Consider the alternative: Global Warming”; “Cut the number of buses”; “Don`t do construction during rush hour. People get pissed”; “Employ people who actually work, not sit around or sleep on the job”; “fares based on distance like most other cities no more $1.75 rides from 95th/Dan Ryan to O`Hare”; “fix the bumpy tracks”; “Free rides”; “Get rid of the hacks and incompetent lazy workers”; “Give them money to expand service instead of closing it down. If people can`t get to work on time the city as a whole loses money, spend money to make money (economics, you know)”; “Government funding/ everyone who rides donates one dollar once a year/convert buses to run on used cooking oil, also less of the CTA security police following buses. cut them there are lots of cops in chicago. give drivers a direct contact to police for major problems”; “gps technology and automation”; “Increase funding via gas tax”; “Increase Train frequency”; “Invest: Crucial to future of Chicago continuing being the greatest city”; “It`s really unattractive to people `cause most of the buses and nearly all of the trains and train stations are filthy and often scary. Time to fix everything to make them attractive to use: Make all the buses hybrid (they accelerate quicker and are more likely to keep to their time schedules), designate bus lanes only on some of the busiest streets (which would get rid of street parking on main streets: Belmont, Diversey, North Avenue, and more”; “Levy a municipal gas tax (or really any tax) and make it free to ride. Really anything that forces wealthy suburbanites to pay back the urban center they fled from does fine”; “Look at European or South American cities for ideas”; “Look at foreign countries` transit systems like Japan and South Korea. Their trains run fast, smooth, and with little construction. I don`t konw how they`re doing it, but if Chicago looked into it, i`m sure there are MANY things we could mimic”; “Make it a condition of bringing the Olympics to Chicago in 2016: I`m going to write to the IOC and let them know that I live here and I think that any city that can`t support its own mass transit doesn`t deserve the Olympics. Hear me, Dick? I`m not kidding”; “Make the politicians ride it for a month”; “More lines”; “More service!”; “Privatize”; “Raise Gas Taxes”; “Raise rates”; “Reduce payroll. With the ridership in Chicago, there is no reason why they shouldn`t be able to turn a profit. It must be a result of overpaid employees and unneeded positions. Make it work”; “Screw the big-bucks concrete new stations bring back the Coney Island feeling of rickety tracks”; “Smaller bus/more regular service”; “State funding: it`s time Illinois accepted its evil child”; “Tax cars coming into the city”; “Threaten the Olympics: Proposed email and letter barrage to the International Olympic Committee alerting them to the Third World quality of our public transportation system. Nothing would be more likely to garner the Mayor`s attention and intercession”; “Zeppelins.”
Best of Chicago 2007