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Daley: Don't avoid public transit because of flu, despite what Biden says

One expert at saying one thing and meaning another was correcting his counterpart Thursday on whether public transit customers should avoid trains for fear of contracting swine flu.

Yes, it was Mayor Daley calling "balderdash" on Vice President Joe Biden's assertion that people should stay away from subways: "I would not be at this point, if they had another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway."

The White House insists Biden meant that sick people should avoid the subways. But Daley wanted to make sure we use common sense -- and the subway:

"We all have to get to work. I mean, we’d be staying out of our cars. We’d be staying out of subways, out of elevators – how about elevators? No, no, no. You have to remember – we have to … use some common sense.”


Blue and Red Line weekend subway work: The CTA warns of track work in both subways this weekend.

"CTA will suspend rail service in the Blue Line Dearborn subway from Clark/Lake to Western/Milwaukee starting at 10 p.m. Friday, May 1 until 4 a.m. Monday, May 4 due to track replacement work. Bus shuttles will operate as a substitute for rail service making stops at Western/Milwaukee, Damen, Division, Chicago, Grand and Clark/Lake.

Red Line trains will be rerouted from the subway to the elevated structure in one direction only on Friday night and again on Saturday night this weekend. 

Convoluted details here. And check it out if you're planning any nighttime jaunts on either line.

May Day parade Friday to cause intermittent delays. The CTA also is warning that a number of bus lines could experience inermittent delays. "The rally will step-off at 11 a.m. from Union Park at the intersection of Washington/Ashland and will disband at the Dirksen Federal Plaza on Dearborn at Jackson.  The following routes are expected to be detoured to adjacent streets:"

#1 Indiana/Hyde Park

#7 Harrison

#8 Halsted

#9 Ashland

#11 Lincoln/Sedgwick

#14 Jeffery Express

#20 Madison

#X20 Washington/Madison Express

#22 Clark

#24 Wentworth

#26 South Shore Express

#X28 Stony Island Express

#38 Ogden/Taylor

#56 Milwaukee

#60 Blue Island/26th

#62 Archer

#121 Union/Wacker Express

#123 Illinois Center/Union Express

#124 Navy Pier

#125 Water Tower Express

#126 Jackson

#129 West Loop/South Loop

#132 Goose Island Express

#134 Stockton/LaSalle Express

#135 Clarendon/LaSalle Express

#136 Sheridan/LaSalle Express

#144 Marine/Michigan Express

#148 Clarendon/Michigan Express

#151 Sheridan

#156 LaSalle

#157 Streeterville

#173 U of C/Lakeview Express

#192 U of C Hospitals Express

"CTA will have extra personnel available on the system as needed to assist customers with rolling reroutes as the parade makes its ways through the Loop."


Why are we closing the Blue Line again? I thought they replaced all the tracks between Grand and Damen last summer when the line was closed almost every weekend!

So let's see Daley use the subway, L & buses!

Oh, that's right, Daley has never used the subway, L or buses in his life.
He' has a big limo, paid for by the taxpayers of Chicago to go places, that's when he's here of course & not jet setting around the world on vacations paid for by his rich buddies!
And when he's at City Hall, they give him an elevator for his private use!
And I'll bet they now wipe it down with bleach & betadine before he gets on it!

I fully expect His Mayoral Majesty to use CTA to get to work today to set a good example for his subjects. His counterpart in the big city took the opportunity to be photographed not only riding the subway, which Bloomberg always does, but holding on to a pole in a crowded subway car to show he wasn't afraid of any swine flu.

Yes, our mayor could set an equally good example being filmed and photographed boarding the Red Line at Roosevelt but, alas, the stop closest to his office is closed due to the gross incompetence of his apointeees. He could always take the Green Line, I guess, but that would necessitate and extra one block walk. There's always the 146.

Transit is for the little people.

I know! Let's all drive to work in our private cars, and create a massive traffic jam that'll spew so much carbon monoxide into the air that everyone with aesthema gets sick! We could show the world what a *real* public health crisis looks like!

Biden needs to realize that even though VP can be a good, out of the way place to put someone, the eyes and ears on him are now from all over, and not just from little out-of-the-way Delaware.

Biden has to learn that if he's going to make stupid extemporaneous comments, he needs to affect a stutter and bad diction. That way people will take him less seriously. It works well for our darling mayor.

I am so sick and tired of these ridiculous complaints of Daley not taking the CTA. Don't you think that the mayor of Chicago deserves to go to and from work without being hassled by everyone who wants to speak to him? He is sort of a busy person and needs to get things done while in transit. Not to mention, he would need security guards to make sure lunitics, such as those who worship John Kass, do not attempt to kill him. That costs taxpayer money. And it takes up much needed space in trains that are already near capacity.

If Daley were to take the CTA it would be a symbolic gesture used to please a certain constituancy. It would be contrary to what makes sense for him to do. I cannot for the life of me understand why so many people actually want politicians and others to engage in silly unnatural symbolic behavior. When politicians engage in such things it is patronizing and it sends a message that voters are stupid idiots who respond to superficial acts (and the fact that this may be true is no excuse). It is unfortunate that Michael Bloomberg feels the need to go down that route.

Bloomberg rides the subway fairly regularly. While there's no baseline, I think the frequency might just transcend the "silly unnatural symbolic behavior" threshold. The fact is, Daley has no idea what the CTA is like. The argument can be made that he's too busy or too important or that it would be too much of a security risk for him to ride, but it's unlikely that anyone who reports to him is going to tell him the unvarnished truth about the state of the system. How else does one explain Frank Kreusi's 10-year tenure at the helm of CTA? Jane Byrne moving into Cabrini Green, now that was a stupid superficial act!

The complaint isn't so much that Daley doesn't take CTA. The complaint is that he never has. He hasn't always been the mayor. It's just another example of a public official who is out of touch with ordinary citizens. I don't live in the city, though. If the mayor is so bad, why do you guys keep re-electing him?

You're over estimating the possibility of security problems if King Richie rode the CTA.
While governor, Dukakis rode the MBTA all the time to & from work.
Joe Biden took Amtrak to & from Delaware almost every day in DC as a senator.
Apparently Arlen Spector has done the same thing to Pennsylvania & often rode with Biden.

The big limo & 2 tail cars with a security detail of 36 Chicago cops is just the result of an over privileged life & a total disconnect from the people of the city.
Don't forget that Eddie Burke got a death threat 15 years ago & still has a limo & cop detail driving him everywhere.

They're just pigs at the trough slopping up from the public!

Martha and UIC have their point. The only thing Daley knows about the CTA is when his press office has an event, such as to unveil "Top of the Line, 60-foot Buses Bringing Increased Reliability and Comfort." That referred to the NABIs, which Ron Huberman said to the FTA last September were junk. And, simple, if you don't believe that da Mare's press apparatus said that, check out the link to the official press release:


Especially get a load of this quote: " 'With these new buses, express trips between outlying neighborhoods and downtown will be more enjoyable and dependable in any time of year,' Mayor Daley said at a news conference at the CTA bus garage at 1702 E. 103rd St."

If the Mayor is so afraid of security issues riding the CTA, he could have the aforementioned past head of the 911 Center, who was reported having used his cop skills to bust several on the L, ride with him.

If the Mayor were so concerned about the CTA, riding it would also inform him that his handpicked members of the CTA Board aren't doing their jobs. Hell, Carole isn't even blogging any more, but with the fall of Lehman Bros., maybe now she has to work at a real job for a change.

Pat Quinn rode the Green Line to work today.

Pat Quinn almost always rode the L to the state building in the Loop as Lt. Governor, so it doesn't surprise me that he did it today.
The element of surprise is one of the best defenses against ant type of attack.

I'd be willing to bet he took the CTA at some point in his life... I'd take that bet. Any takers?

Also, he wasn't always the mayor, but he was always from a political family. Perhaps you remember his father?

Little Richie has been mayor for 20 years, before that he was a totally incompetent state's attorney, before that he was a state senator.
As a kid he went to De La Salle HS which has its own buses to pick up its students. You don't think that Little Richie was forced to walk all the way from 3536 S. Lowe to the corner & catch the 35th St. bus & take it to Michigan Ave. do you?
Why that's an entire mile on public transit with all of those disgusting people, people the rest of us call taxpayers!
That's at least 40 years since he took the CTA other than the occasional publicity ride, where he doesn't even pay a fare.
This clown hasn't the faintest idea of what a mess the CTA is & everyone he's inflicted on us to run it lies to him about its condition, especially that idiot Kreusi who nearly destroyed the entire rail system & was rewarded with a no work deal sending him to DC to lobby for the city!

Cheryl: Pat Quinn rode the Green Line to work today.

Response: I saw that in the Sun-Times today. But I thought that he lived in the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.

Chris: I'd be willing to bet he took the CTA at some point in his life... I'd take that bet. Any takers?

Response: The sporadic does not disprove the rule. I'll bet that he took the CTA less than Carole Brown and Sheila Gregory admitted, and they admitted they took it darn little. I'll bet that you don't have da Mare's Chicago Card record, but the Tribune did get it on the CTA bigwigs. On the other hand, records did show that Kruesi, Huberman, and Terry Levin did ride the system, although Kruesi must have been in "see no evil" mode, as UIC indicates.

Quinn rode the L today to show people they didn't need to fear public transportation in the midst of the H1N1 pandemic. He's even shown snuggling up to the pole by the door. He proudly waved his transit card around and said that he takes CTA often.

Jack: But I thought that he lived in the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.

When was the last time any governor lived in Springfield? I really do not know.

Cheryl: He had a big press event touting it. But, you know what I think about press events.

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