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CTA to Fund 'FastTracks' with Ride-Hailing Fee
Chicago's new tax on Uber and Lyft will be used to update rail equipment to speed up trains on the CTA's four busiest train lines. "Today the transit agency announced that the projected $16 million raised in 2018, and $21 million generated in 2018, will help pay for a $179 million multiyear, citywide rail, railroad tie, and power upgrade project dubbed 'FastTracks,'" John Greenfield writes for Streetsblog Chicago. The upgrades, the last of which is scheduled to be completed in 2021, will also give the affected passengers a smoother ride.
Thought the CTA has lost ridership overall, these improvements should boost capacity on some of the lines where ridership is growing. "The CTA says electrical power improvements along the Blue Line’s O’Hare branch will allow the agency to run extra trains during high-ridership times like morning rush hours, which will help address crowded trains and reduce the amount of time customers have to wait on platforms," Greenfield reports. This should relieve some crowding in the increasingly dense Wicker Park and Logan Square neighborhoods.