Chicago Sun-Times

August 2007 Archives

Limited space in today's paper kept me from providing more details about Tuesday's transit rally at the Thompson Center, where Mayor Daley, House Speaker Mike Madigan and several others tried to put pressure on Governor Blagojevich and the General Assembly to pass a funding package for mass transit.

If you've been reading or watching the news at all lately, you know that Mayor Daley and officials from the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace have made almost daily pleas to the legislature to beef up transit funding in order to avoid fare increases and service cuts. You also know that the RTA wants the General Assembly to raise money for transit by passing a bill that would increase the RTA sales tax in Cook and the collar counties by one-quarter of 1 percent and an additional one-quarter percent in the collar counties.

What set Tuesday's rally apart was Madigan standing at the podium, making his first public show of support for the transit funding bill sponsored by State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston).

Stranded at the airport

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In today's Ride, I interviewed a staff member for Travelers Aid at O'Hare Airport. For those of you not familiar with it, Travelers Aid assists people at airports with a variety of services, from referring people to hotels to connecting passengers with their families in other cities or states.

I got the idea after I got stranded at LAX overnight last week while trying to fly back to Atlanta with my neice. We were supposed to take the redeye, but she got bumped from the flight at the last minute, so we both ended up spending the night there. And yes, that was about as much fun as it sounds.

What about you? Have you or someone you know ever been stranded at the airport and needed help? The best tales will be published in an upcoming edition of the Ride.

Chicago Police wrote roughly 13,400 tickets last year to people caught talking on a handheld cell phone while driving--not many when you consider parking citations number in the hundreds of thousands each year.

Do you think police should step up their enforcement of the ban, or would that be a waste of police time and resources?

In the two years since the cell phone ban was passed, has it changed your driving behavior at all, or is it just a nuisance?

It's official. The CTA will cut several bus routes and raise fares on Sept. 16 unless the state legislature comes up with additional funding to plug the agency's budget shortfall.

The plan approved by the CTA board on Wednesday is a less severe version of what was proposed in May. It seems hundreds of rider complaints at the public meetings held in June made CTA officials revise the plan, so that it has a less severe impact on transit-dependent, low-income riders.

Read more about it here.

About 9 percent of Illinois' roughly 8,000 bridges are considered "structurally deficient," the same rating given to the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis.

Basically, that means bridges aren't in imminent danger of collapsing, but they should be repaired sooner rather than later.

Back in 2003, the Sun-Times did an analysis of the state's bridges, showing that 8 percent of Illinois bridges were structurally deficient that year. Read more here.

Pace's board of directors voted to go ahead with a variety of service cuts and fare increases this year, if the agency doesn't get additional money from the state legislature to balance its budget.

But Pace put off the worst of the cuts until January, hoping a solution will be found in Springfield before then.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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