Chicago Sun-Times
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No end of the line for Chicago L - yet

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As contract talks with the CTA unions get going in earnest this month, it might be worthwhile to reflect on what Chicago L enthusiast and author Greg Borzo says:

The L never seems to be out of danger.

Greg Borzo (Sun-Times Library)

Borzo, author of The Chicago 'L,' points out that Chicago once had the nation's largest cable-car system and then the nation's largest streetcar system. But both are long gone.

"Over eight miles of the traditional structured steel [L] system have been torn down," Borzo says. "We have lost lots of the system. ... So who knows what is going to happen? Every time you hear about a budget crisis ... people start talking about closing the L down. Two years ago the plan was to shut down the Purple Line and the Yellow Line. Once you shut them down it is awfully hard to get them back."

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Although Chicago has good public transportation, it's not really good enough. There are still many destinations in this sprawling city where one needs a car because trains don't run frequently enough or too many transfers make a trip insanely inconvenient or one wonders about safety. We can't do without the L. In fact, it should be improved.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on January 3, 2012 5:51 PM.

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