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How Rail Snobs Miss Out on Their Cities

How can you fully embrace your city if you reject one of the most important means for getting around in it?

Cincinnati Is Cool, Part 2: The Streetcar Edition

In 2008, I wondered if up-and-coming Cincinnati’s self-destructive strain of casual racism would ever be defeated. This month, that’s exactly what happened.

Daley Off the Rails on O’Hare Fast-Train Idea?

Now that Daley is a lame-duck mayor, should he be proposing an expensive maglev rail link to O’Hare–especially since his last airport-train idea cost $300 million, ruined a Loop ‘L’ station, and still failed?

Are CTA Employees to Blame for Annoying New Warning Announcements on the ‘L’?

The CTA blames bad rider behavior for the annoying, live ‘doors are closing’ announcements now made every time an ‘L’ train leaves a station. But the problem might not exist if train operators didn’t abuse the existing recorded warning in the first place.

How Long Have Riders Been in Danger on the CTA Orange Line?

Last week, the entire CTA Orange Line was placed under a slow zone to prevent trains from crashing into each other–thanks to a newfound fault in the signaling system that may have put ‘L’ riders in danger for 17 years. Sounds like news, right? So why haven’t you read about it in the Tribune or Sun-Times?

CTA Bus Tracker Vs. Union Negotiating Power

When CTA Doomsday eliminated 20% of Chicago bus service in February, labor leaders expected a public outcry from stranded transit riders to help save the jobs of 1,100 bus union workers. Instead, riders took the cutbacks in stride–because any rider with a smart phone can instantly find out exactly when the next bus is coming. Does the rise of transit-tracking smart phone apps spell doomsday for the union’s ability to rile up the ridership?

A Carless Manifesto for Urban America

My blog’s name has long been a misnomer. I choose to lead a carless life, but I rarely write about what that really means. So going forward, I’ve decided to take a deeper look at what living without a car in urban America is all about. Starting with the words I roll by–my Carless Manifesto.

Misery of CTA Riders Has Company: San Franciscans Plagued By Ingrate Transit Union, Too

If you think Chicago is the only place in America where a transit union has angered an entire city, think again. This week, San Franciscans are getting ready to play hardball with their intransigent transit union, too.

In Defense of CTA “Doomsday”

Today, at long last, comes the day Chicagoans have dreaded in one guise or another since the bad old era of the Blagojevich regime: CTA ‘Doomsday’. You might be surprised to learn I welcome it with open arms. Here’s why.