Rahm: Chicago public transit needs ongoing federal support


Major investments are being made on the Red, Blue, and Green lines, and several new stations, such as the the McCormick Place station and the Washington and Wabash station, have either come online in recent years or are now under construction.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) teased New York City and Washington, D.C., over their subway woes in an op-ed for The New York Times on Monday while painting a rosy picture of his own city's rail system. Just this year, the decaying system has been been plagued by power outages, flooding, and even falling pieces of station ceilings.

In the op-ed, titled "In Chicago, the Trains Actually Run on Time", Emanuel boasted Chicago's success after emphasizing New York City's subway troubles.

While the blame game was alive and well in New York City with both the mayor and governor avoiding responsibility, Gov. Cuomo finally declared a state of emergency for the subway system and promised $1 billion toward renovation.

He also stated that Chicago's management structure is another reason for the good results, because the mayor is directly responsible for mass transit, as opposed to NY, where it is the governor, or Washington, where it is an agency that includes representatives of two states and the federal government.

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For example, when Emanuel mentions that Chicago's transit system is the "the nation's second most used", he neglects to mention that this is a loooong second. "By 2019, 40 stations will be reconstructed or brand new, and half of our tracks will be new".

"Last year, more than 238 million rides were taken on the system, which, unlike the ones in NY and Washington, has not been troubled by systemic failures, breakdowns and delays", he went on. Our system operates 24 hours per day, while parts of theirs stop running entirely once it gets late.

However, Mayor Emanuel ultimately points to the need for continued federal support to ensure that the public transit systems in major cities improving.

"Modernizing our existing mass transit is one reason Chicago's economy has expanded faster than the economies of NY and Washington, and faster than the national average for the last five years", Emanuel wrote. Lack of long-term infrastructure investment.

"Rather than tweeting about violence in Chicago, President Trump should be looking to Chicago as a model for the infrastructure investments and economic growth he wants to replicate across the country".