Support for InfrastructureUSA.org
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,
P.E.

Chicago’s Plans for a High-Speed Airport Link Revived Thanks to Investor Interest

Posted by Content Coordinator on Monday, August 23rd, 2010

THE TRANSPORT POLITIC

Written by Yonah Freemark

Mayor Richard Daley hopes for a fully privately funded project connecting downtown with O’Hare Airport, but the city should be sure not to give away too much in the process. Photo by Ono-Sendai on Flickr

Mayor Richard Daley hopes for a fully privately funded project connecting downtown with O’Hare Airport, but the city should be sure not to give away too much in the process. Photo by Ono-Sendai on Flickr.

Chicago, perhaps like no other city in the United States, has set itself apart as a center of trade, and recently that has been expressed in the growth of its two airports, O’Hare and Midway. With the resurgence of passenger rail promoted by the Obama Administration, it may be able to reassert its dominance in that field; it will sit at the confluence of three upgraded intercity rail lines already at least partially funded: One to St. Louis, another to Detroit, and a third to Milwaukee and Madison.

Now Mayor Richard Daley (D) is promoting a plan to connect the two modes of transportation via an express rail line between the Loop and O’Hare International. This is only the most recent in a long line of proposals designed to establish quick links between the airport and downtown; it is, perhaps fortunately, no more likely of success.

This week, Mr. Daley formed a 17-member exploratory committee to study options, arguing that private investors from around the world had suggested to him that they might be available to help finance the project. The Mayor promised that the municipal government would provide none of the funds for either construction of operation of the program, though he did not rule out the possibility of demanding state or federal dollars to aid in the investment. The new chair of the Regional Transportation Authority is likely on board, being a big supporter of public-private partnerships.

The previous plan for the express rail link, developed earlier this decade, would have included a “superstation” downtown also connected to the local rapid transit network where travelers could drop off bags before boarding trains. The expresses would run along upgraded Blue Line rapid transit tracks; the fast trains would use new bypass tracks to get around the slower-stopping local trains, providing a 25-minute ride between downtown and O’Hare Airport at a cost of between $15 and 20 dollars per rider. Rapid transit currently requires 40 minutes to make the trip. It is likely that any new project would follow similar principles, but the new committee has obviously yet to determine what plans it will advance. If any private investor is involved, changes are likely.

View full article (TheTransportPolitic.com): Chicago’s Plans for a High-Speed Airport Link Revived Thanks to Investor Interest

About The Transport Politic
www.TheTransportPolitic.com

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Receive Infra Update, our email newsletter.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr

CATEGORIES


Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!

Views

What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.

Blog

The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.