More answers to your questions: Train schedules; more slow zone work
Here's another installment of questions you had for Ron Huberman and the CTA.
Why did (Huberman) take the very consumer-hostile move of doing away with schedules on the train lines, and when will he restore them? (From Bob S.)
We’re not sure what is meant by "doing away with schedules on the train lines." Every station has a posted timetable and there are also brochures with schedules for the whole route for each of the eight rail lines – just like the bus timetable brochures. Earlier this year, the CTA switched to using intervals instead of exact times during times when trains run very frequently, such as rush hour. Now the timetable might say that between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., a train runs every 5-7 minutes, for example. This mirrors what we've long done on the bus and rail route timetable brochures and is basically industry standard.
Now that the Red line subway slow zone project is wrapping up, is there going to be a focus now on eliminating slow zones that exist around the Wilson/Lawrence area (they DO exist but not on slow zone map) and in proximity to the Loyola and Granville stops? (From Ed.)
CTA crews are currently working on two slow zones around Wilson/Lawrence. The slow zones are reflected on the slow zone map as of Oct. 15 on CTA’s web site. CTA is currently looking for the funds to complete slow zone work in 2009 – including around the Loyola and Granville Red Line stations.
Were the crews for the subway project CTA track workers that can now be redeployed or were they contractor workers for that project? (From Ed again.)
They were contracted crews for that project.
Ron mentioned in a few news releases that newly reconstructed tracks would be increased above the 55 mph limit to 65 mph or possibly more. What is the status on the speed increase on the new sections of track such as on the Blue Line from Jefferson Park to O'Hare and in the subways? Are there specific areas identified that will be increased to 65 mph? (Three's the charm for Ed.)
When the Blue Line work is complete later this year, the CTA will conduct testing to determine the top speed for the current cars. In addition, there are new cars on order that are built to be able to operate at higher speeds than the current fleet. The prototype is scheduled to arrive for CTA’s review in 2009.
When will the auxiliary exit open at Sedgwick? The station was done last winter, yet the auxiliary exit has yet to open. The one at Armitage is now open, and it was just finished in June. (From Paul.)
There will be no auxiliary entrance at the Sedgwick Brown Line station. There is still work to be done on the auxiliary stairs that exit at Hudson Street. When the work is complete, those stairs will be for "emergency exit only" and customers will still be directed to exit through the main station house at Sedgwick.