The issue's cover story, highlights the extent of the problems which could result in the loss of "more than $750 billion in lost worker productivity and excessive fuel consumption if congestion costs were to increase at the same rate during the next 30 years as they have since the 1980s."
A related article in the same issue describes working mom, Nicol Lee, of northwest suburban Algonquin, who used to face a 2 hour commute daily by car to the city for years before deciding to switch to the Metra train for her travel. The mom of two spent 12 years commuting by car.
"Lee spent close to $800 monthly filling up the Pathfinder’s gas tank, about $400 to park and often ate on the run at fast food chains like McDonald’s. And she often ended up getting home too late spend quality time with her son, Keith, 5, and her daughter, Chloe, who is 19 months old," according to the article.
She credits her decision to switch to public transit for adding years to her life and enabling her to spend more time with her two children.
"During the rides, Lee reads, knocks off tasks for work and listens to tunes on her recently purchased MP3 player. More efficient at work, she actually has more time to spend with her family and has taken up yoga with her extra time."
The CTA recently released its own performance report card on May 15 revealing problems the agency is facing due to delays and old equipment. According to a recent Tribune analysis, "the transit agency is failing to meet its goals in reducing train delays, bus-bunching and equipment breakdowns." Rail delay occurrences are also failing to meet monthly goals.
CTA ridership however, especially among seniors, who now receive free service on all buses and trains, is up from last year. Military personnel, as of May 1, also receive free service on the CTA.
(-photo courtesy of A Chicago Sojourn)