Mass Transit Redux

There is a working group rethinking Chicago’s mass transit system. Historically, the “El” or “L” was built using private money.  Of course, that is probably impossible today.  Outside of my apartment on Wabash, they have been reconstructing the L for almost 2 years.  The area they are working on encompasses about 3 city blocks.  Construction has been arduous to say the least.

That being said, Chicago does need to upgrade it’s public transportation.  I use it all the time.  Last night when I met a friend for the Cubs World Series game (can’t believe I am typing that), I didn’t bother to even try to use a taxi or ridesharing.  Traffic was gridlocked.  I hopped on the L and walked around a half mile to where I needed to go.  I take the L everywhere, even out to dinner with my wife.  Good, quick, public transport is essential to being an urban dweller.

I am glad someone is thinking boldly.  It would be something to see some new technology and quieter technology put into the public transportation system.  I am envious of places like NYC and Paris.  Their is no need to even own a car there.  The expressways and streets around Chicago seem to be in constant gridlock.  It’s rare to have a quick trip into or out of town.

Better public transit will help attract entrepreneurs.  The less fixed assets they need to buy, like cars, to get around the better it is for them.  When they redo the transit system, they should redo the pension system too.  They will find cost savings.  Another added cost that is hard to figure in Chicago is the amount of patronage that is tacked on to any project.

I agree, I’d like to see the south side get more public transportation.  However, the reason the south side of Chicago is underdeveloped has nothing to do with public transportation.  It has everything to do with public education and other issues.  If the city would embrace school choice, things on the south side would change faster than it would take for them to redo public transportation.