Why the New South Shore Line Tourism Initiative Falls Short

by studenkov | 06/03/2011


A couple of weeks ago, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the public agency that runs the South Shore Line, announced that it will be launching a new website that would promote the line to off-peak riders.

The South Shore Line is a century-old rail service that runs (roughly) along Lake Michigan between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. It is something of an oddity in Midwestern public transit - it provides regular commuter-style service beyond Chicago commuter suburbs, extending into villages and cities that are separated  by miles of woods and cornfields. Another thing that makes it peculiar is that it's electrically powered - something that's common on the East Coast but relatively rare in the Chicago area.

CTA's Least Walkable Train Stations

by crandell | 02/05/2011


Chicago has an incredible train system with 144 stations providing access to many great walkable neighborhoods, and that's not even counting Metra stations. The combination of walking to transit is what allows city residents to be less dependent on their cars. But there are also stations in not-so-walkable areas, surrounded by freeways, vacant lots or suburban-style development. I took a look at the Carfree Chicago Train Stop Guide to find the CTA's ten least walkable stations. The Train Stop Guide lists Walk Scores for each train station, which gives a sense of whether the station has lots of people and activity within convenient walking distance. Below are the least walkable stations listed with Walk Scores.

CTA Red and Purple Line Modernization wants your thoughts today!

by hsmith | 02/18/2011

Today February 18, 2011 is the deadline to submit comments on the CTA Red and Purple line modernization scenarios. Take a look at the page for more information. Email comments to .

Fast trains under attack in Wisconsin

by crandell | 08/17/2010

I've been looking forward to the new train service planned between Chicago and Madison, Wis. So I was disappointed to hear that Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for Governor in Wisconsin, has launched a major attack against passenger trains in Wisconsin. Please ask your friends in Wisconsin to show their support for passenger rail expansion.

Wisconsin was awarded Recovery Act funds to extend the successful Amtrak Hiawatha from Milwaukee to Madison. Walker has promised to stop construction if he is elected.

This week, he held an anti-train rally in Milwaukee and began running TV ads promising to "stop this train." He even set up a special website:

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association has set up an action page where Wisconsin residents can show their support. Please show your support for Amtrak expansion at:

Chicago Gives Pedestrians a Head Start at Select Intersections

by crandell | 01/28/2010


I noticed the other day that CDOT had adjusted traffic lights at a couple intersections on my street to give pedestrians a few seconds head start to begin crossing before cars get a green light. This is called a Leading Pedestrian Interval, or LPI (check out this Streetsblog video about LPIs). This is one of those many progressive things I've read about other cities doing and wished I'd see at home. So I'm happy to see this tool being used in Chicago as the city learns that pedestrians should be the priority on our streets.