Chicago is Fooling Itself

…or, at least some of its leaders are.

Here’s a nice little tidbit from today’s Chicago Tribune:

“Doug Arnot, Chicago’s bid committee operations chief, briefed Metra’s board on the city’s plans and urged officials to begin preparations, even though the wining bidder won’t be known for months.

“Chicago has the best public transit system of the competing cities, but service enhancements are needed, Arnot said.”

Mr. Arnot does know that his city is competing with Madrid and Tokyo for the 2016 summer Olympics? The former is expanding its subway system at an incredible speed, whereas the latter’s system serves 10 times as many daily riders as Chicago’s L. I like Chicago’s bid, but let’s be clear: its weak point is the city’s transportation network.

I’ll avoid pointing out the embarrasing spelling mistake above in the Tribune’s article.

2 replies on “Chicago is Fooling Itself”

Hey, maybe wining is right. Maybe that’s why our leaders are so deluded — they’ve been wining it up.

There’s also no freaking train service to the places where they want to hold the games.

Actually there is train service – the Green Line goes to Washington Park, where the stadium and swimming facility would be built, and the Metra Electric Line serves most of the other venues and the proposed Olympic Village. The problem is the Metra Electric, tho once operated as a rapid transit line, now runs as a commuter line, with trains only once an hour off-peak.

A South Side community group called SOUL thinks this is the right time to switch the South Chicago branch of the Metra Electric back to rapid transit and to allow CTA transfers, which would essentially bring the El to a group of dense, underserved neighborhoods. The proposal has won a lot of community and political support, but Metra is dragging its feet. Hopefully if Chicago wins the Olympics, this will be one of the positive legacies that the Chicago 2016 Committee has thus far ignored.

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