Friday, July 27, 2007

Doubling the RTA Sales Tax

Will any McHenry County legislators vote to double the Regional Transportation Authority tax burden on local residents?

That’s the question I’m asking after reading the latest Daily Herald article by Eric Kroh.

Those voting for it will gain instant “tax hiker” status.

Here is a full-sized bus that pulls out of a subdivision between Crystal Springs Road and Mason Hill Road, takes the McHenry Blacktop to Bull Valley Road, turns right, and goes to Route 31 where it turns right again. This is right before 8 AM.

I have yet to see it stop for a passenger.

That's just the kind of efficiency I want to subsidize more of.

Posted first at McHenry County Blog, where political news continues over the weekend, including the dissent on the $21,000 Oberweis fine, which McHenry County Blog reported six months ago.


Levois 7:19 PM  

Sounds more like an inefficiency and perhaps one of those bus routes that might need a cut.

Huh?,  10:00 PM  

The way to make public transportation work is to some how break the love affair that we have with our automobiles.

We want to go when we want and where we want. We are too impatient to wait for the bus that take a round-about route to go some place that might be near where we want to go. We are too lazy to walk a few blocks to get to a bus stop.

fed up,  11:37 PM  

this is a managment problem some routes are completley useless and dont deserve to be continued rescources need to be used where there are actual riders. METRA needs newer equipment and is heavily used there are some PACE routes that connect to METRA stations that are full most of the time.

Huh?,  9:09 AM  

fed up - This is not a management problem. The problem is a mindset that that we as Americans can go where ever, when ever we want.

If PACE doesn't have a particlar route, how are people going to ever be served by a public transportation system.

I spent 15 years working for IDOT. Too many times at public hearings for highway improvements and was told "There has to be some other way." I can't tell you how many times, I received written comments from people with remarks about making people use public transportation that wasn't available in the area.

40 years ago, I went from River Forest to Wheaton on the West Town Bus line for less than $1.50. West Town had publish schedules and they ran on time. When they were taken over by the RTA, their service were down hill. They were a for profit company that was taken over by a governmental agency.

Anonymous,  9:37 AM  

What about giving the so-called poor vouchers so they can use cabs or van pools that are publicly subsidized, instead of sending around huge empty buses a few times a day.

Let's face it. CTA and RTA aren't run for the benefit of consumers or the public. They are a way to give high paying no-work jobs to patronage employees, individuals who are not competent enough to get jobs on their own, yet have political connectins.

If CTA/RTA were actually to start working for the public, these folks would have to do some work. And they don't want to, nor are they capable.

The taxes we pay for RTA/CTA give us back nothing in skill or value.

Anonymous,  1:16 PM  

"The problem is a mindset that that we as Americans can go where ever, when ever we want."

Yup. The American mindset is the problem. How dare I should want 'Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness...'?

How dare I selfishly want to spend 45 minutes of my day commuting to/from work instead of 90?

Anonymous,  1:55 PM  

I thought part of the RTA tax deal was to provide some money to the collar counties for a non-dedicated pot of money. This money could be used to widen or build new roads as well as support public transit. Seems that this would fly politically better than a new tax to fund little used Pace routes.

Let's face it, other than travel to downtown Chicago, increased transit usage in the collar counties and beyond is going to be very difficult to achieve. Even reverse transit commuting is difficult because the destinations on the suburban end are not necessarily located near the transit stations. I hear the ridership projections on the proposed STAR rail line are abysmal.

If someone wants to eliminate their car usage, it would behoove them to move to the city where transit is available and practical because of its density and compact development, and car transportation is not needed as much (and a hassle in many cases).

Anonymous,  12:12 PM  

Suppose in 1950, the El was extended out to where O'Hare is those day the total boondocks.

Now suppose the El turned south at Ohare and was extended along the Tri-State Tollway when it was built.

How would development along the Park Ridge - Bensenville - Elmhurst corridor look today? What would traffic be like? Where would the residential communites be, where would the office parks be?

Sure, you probably would have lost your shirt in the first 15 years of operations...but as the population grew, then what ???

Anonymous,  7:24 AM  


It would probably look similar to what the neighborhood looks like along the Kennedy between OHare and Cumberland. And with more frequent service, it may have not dried up like the Roarin' Elgin or the North Shore. It would probably have a modest effect on reducing vehicle traffic...however, the Kennedy, Ike and Ryan are still jam packed with a CTA rail line next to it.

Cal Skinner 8:44 PM  

In 1974, I read that it took 3,000 per square mile to make mass transit work.

Try to find that density in the collar counties.

I discovered one square mile in downtown Woodstock and two square miles in downtown Harvard in 1974.

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