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Signs Coordinating Public Transit Organizations Could Save Chicago Money

Daniel Kay Hertz argues that, besides improving service, a little signage could save the city of Chicago billions of dollars in service expansion costs.
January 30, 2017, 2pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Wrigley Field Transit Stop

The city of Chicago recently received over a billion dollars in federal funding to expand service to its North Side Red, Brown and Purple Lines, Daniel Kay Hertz argues that "Making all of Chicago’s rail lines clear and viable options for public transit would be equivalent to spending tens of billions of dollars to expand the L," in an article for Chicago Magazine. Simply making signs that direct commuters on the way to get from one train to another could make a huge difference in how people travel through the city. Most commuters in Chicago are only familiar with the transit system, in part because a CTA map only shows the eight trains the CTA controls. "There are actually 20 rail lines that serve Chicago: eight CTA lines, 11 Metra lines, and the South Shore Line, a commuter railroad that runs into northwest Indiana," Daniel Kay Hertz writes in Chicago Magazine.

Chicago Transit organizations exist under the umbrella organization of the RTA which has begun to work toward this goal. "The RTA has created maps that show travelers all of their transit options, regardless of the agency that provides them, and is placing them at 14 more locations around Chicagoland, after beginning with just four in the last few years," Hertz writes. There's no reason that coordination needs to stop at signs, Hertz suggests that Chicago could follow Toronto's example and make their regional trains (a Metra equivalent) run more frequently so that riders could more easily transfer from the CTA. 

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Published on Thursday, January 26, 2017 in Chicago Magazine
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