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Tuesday, March 5

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Andrew / April 5, 2007 12:49 PM well as all the construction on the Blue Line.

Leah / April 5, 2007 12:51 PM

Lucky for me, I switched to the 147 about a year ago and if anything my commute is easier this week. But I think it is only b/c it is CPS spring break and many commuters are out of town with their children. The real test is monday when everyone is back on the road and rails.

But any time I've needed to do something different than my normal commute, I've found a way to get there without passing through the 3 Track.

A few more years of avoiding B/F... looks like it.

kate / April 5, 2007 12:54 PM

Same as always. 8 minute walk to blue line, 30 minutes on train, 1 minute walk to office.

skafiend / April 5, 2007 12:57 PM

Actually better. I more than often ride the 136 to and from work and in their anticipation of a bunch of people defecting to the express buses, the CTA is now sending out more 136 buses than ever. In addition, the 136 bus that I ride to work for some reason is made to skip all of the stops between Foster and Montrose on Marine Drive, further shortening my trip. Finally CTA does something I like.

Dan R / April 5, 2007 1:19 PM

Well, the Blue Line still sucks just as hard as it did last week. So, my commute is unchanged.

Mikey / April 5, 2007 1:28 PM

No different than before, but then as I understand it, it's primarily the outbound commute that is being affected right now, and I'm fortunate enough to leave work at 3:30pm before the main thrust of rush hour begins...

I shudder to think what the commute times will be like when/if they ever get around to the deferred track maintenance. It seems that the entire Red and Brown Line systems are now operating within one massive "slow zone"...

Hal / April 5, 2007 1:57 PM

Didn't seem to make a huge difference the last few mornings - I take the Red from Sheridan to Belmont and then jump to the Brown. It helped that the Purple runs counter-clockwise now (at least it did yesterday), as that gives me that option as well (I get off at Wells, the second Loop stop for the Brown).

I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I decided to try a long-delayed experiment - taking the 151 all the way from my house (Montrose & Sheridan) to work (Sears Tower). That far north, I can snag a seat, so I figured I would be able to sleep most of the way. Not only did that work, the actual trip was only about 45 minutes - about the same as my train time.

However, I don't believe it that there are extra 151s running. I waited for 20 minutes at 7:45am, prime rush hour. Where the hell were the buses? Of course, one finally shows up after I gave up and started hiking to the Sheridan stop, when I'm about 150 yards from the next bus stop. The driver closed the doors just as I ran up and glared at me before she deigned to let me on.

I spent that almost 20 min composing a letter in my head to the CTA, which was really just an exercise to wrap something around the phrase, "Fuck off, Kruesi, you lying bastard."

Jill / April 5, 2007 2:02 PM

I used to alternate my morning commute between the 135 and the Brown Line (because seriously, I can sometimes walk the 15 minutes to the Brown Line before a 135 that I can board comes along). Evenings I'd take the Brown Line home.

Since the switch, I've actually gotten out the door earlier--the 15-30 minute difference puts me in a world where 135's are plentiful, and the commute has been great.

Today I woke up too late for anything but a cab, and I noticed the 135's tooling along were as packed as ever. Guess that "leave early" thing might have some merit to it.

Going home, it's been the 134 or 135, and that just blows due to bad traffic. I dread night Cubs games during the summer because the LSD traffic is unbearable.

Tonight I think I'll tempt fate and take the Brown Line home during rush hour, just to see how bad it is.

Chris / April 5, 2007 2:09 PM

The thing that I think is going to suck is the switch from one line to the other at either Fullerton or Belmont. Thus, I've switched from taking the red line (1/4 block from my office) up to Fullerton and switching to running out of my office door, hauling ass down State to pick up the State/Lake brown line (pre-Merch Mart, less people on?) before 5:00.

So far, it's been OK....been getting home at almost exactly the same time as before. However, one person's comment above about how the lines are less crowded due to spring break might make next week a holy nightmare. Also, I think the relative openness of the trains is also due to people experimenting with "alternate routes." Once they decide they don't like these options, the'll come back, and it could again be a rough 2.5 years.

loadzone / April 5, 2007 2:32 PM

My morning commute on the Brown Line hasn't changed, but I fear the return of the Spring Break commuters. My travel time to work is suprisingly better than average this week.

In trying to avoid the outbound mess, I thought taking a combination of the 135 and 152 (from their starting points) would save time, but my 152 broke down right away and I wound up enduring a 90 minute commute.

Currently: Clogging up the Blue Line from the Loop then hoping to catch the x49 (without much standby) to my street. My first attempt was shorter than my average commute home on the Brown, so that's a good sign. For now.

If the Blue Line experiment fails, I'll try a combination of the 136 and x80.

Conclusion: Lots of guesswork to be done.

jen / April 5, 2007 3:40 PM

Dan R is correct, even if he did pass me by again this morning at the Logan Square platform. ;)

Sometimes I think the train is going faster, but then I think that I'm probably just getting used to the slowness underground. It's actually rather nauseating, going 6mph underground. At least above ground the air is fresher and you have scenery. Bleh.

Dee / April 5, 2007 4:23 PM

I used to take the Purple Line Express to Belmont and then switch over to the northbound Brown Line. Depending on how long I waited at Belmont, it took me anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to get to work.

This week, I decided to try Metra's UPN line. I take the 8:20 from Davis to Ravenswood, and there are plenty of available seats. After 10 minutes on the train, I walk for 20 minutes to get to the office. It's a shorter overall commute, with built-in exercise! However, I don't think I'll be as jolly when there's two feet of snow and subzero windchill.

Another bonus: on two of my trips home, no one punched my ticket (my Metra ticket, you sickies). So it's been cheaper overall as well.

charlie / April 5, 2007 4:28 PM

So far so good!

Oh yeah I work at home.

Tobermory / April 5, 2007 4:34 PM

This might be one of the few times that I'm actually glad I work in the 'burbs and have to drive because there's no convenient public transport (I'd have to go all the way downtown to catch the metra line that would drop me off a mile from where I work). I do take the L on weekends and evenings when I go anywhere in the city so now to avoid the slowdown I'm trying to exclusively use the bus or else I take the Lincoln bus to/from Fullerton and get on or off there thus avoiding the clusterfuck.

skafiend / April 5, 2007 5:03 PM

Altogether now...

Charlie sucks!

just kidding... or am I?!?

h / April 5, 2007 6:32 PM

6 mph on the blue line feels different from one day to the next. i don't know if it's because the train is actually going faster some days and slower other days or if its just me wanting to get to the loop more urgently on those days when it feels really slow.

since i work on the southside and have to transfer to the green or red line downtown, i've started looking at alternate routes that avoid the blue line altogether.

Kim / April 5, 2007 7:06 PM

I'm another 136-er, but I've noticed the bus getting more and more crowded as the week goes on. Traffic has been light, so it hasn't been a big deal. But I'm with everyone who fears next week when CPS are back in session and everyone is doing their normal commute.

Skafiend - thanks for the tip. I get on the bus at the first stop on Marine - now I'm thinking it might be worth my while to walk up to Sheridan and Foster and catch it there.

Mikey / April 5, 2007 11:49 PM

I feel a Gaper's Block commiseration party on the horizon...and spook, feel free to bring your silverback...or just come alone. I think I speak freely when I say we're all eager to meet you...

Jill / April 5, 2007 11:56 PM

Updating my earlier comment....I left work about 6, got to the Quincy stop at 6:15, waited 4 minutes for a Purple Line.

I got off the train at Wellington at 6:40. We paused a for a minute around Armitage, but that was the only hiccup.

Did I leave late enough to get such a smooth ride? Or could it be the impossible: The CTA is not messing up? Holding judgment until Spring Break is over and the Cubs play a night game.

maardvark / April 6, 2007 8:43 AM

The brown line was so slow already that you really can't tell the difference. I guess the intervals between trains have been longer; yesterday I just missed one and the wait seemed twice as long as usual.

My normal boarding point was, 'til December, Addison. When that closed, I started walking to Paulina. Now the Southport people are doing the same, and it's really gotten to be a crowded platform at Paulina.

I'd bet the normal "audience" for the Paulina stop really hates us now.

Also: have you walked past the Addison brown line stop lately? Supposedly it closed December 1 for twelve months. Well, four of those months have passed, and the only progress on the construction visible above ground are three concrete caissons and one big rusted I-beam. It's been like that since February. And if you walk past during work hours, the most you ever see are three or four guys in there, just sort of futzing around. So, CTA, when do you ACTUALLY plan on reopening Addison, hmm?

Pedro / April 6, 2007 9:12 AM

The morning commute has not been affected much. I board the brown line at Diversey at about 7:45AM and haven't noticed any new stops or delays. It does seem that people are relying on the buses more in the morning, because the platforms are not nearly as crowded.

In the evening, I have been taking the #11 (Lincoln/Sedgewick) bus and it puts me at the mercy of traffic and stopping every block. Seems to range in between 35 and 55 minutes to Diversey and Lincoln.

It sounds like the evening trains aren't as bad as originally thought. I may have to try them next week.

miss casual / April 6, 2007 12:18 PM

its lovely. i bike.

skafiend / April 6, 2007 12:37 PM

its lovely. i bike.

OK, go stand over there with Charlie.

Actually I used to bike too, but I busted my chain last year and haven't gotten it fixed yet. It took me about the same amount of time to bike as it did to ride the bus. Course I was a little sweatier than I am when I ride the bus...

eep / April 6, 2007 12:45 PM

I have never been happier to take the blue line in from Oak Park. Though lately I've been noticing slowdowns on that side of the line, too. I wonder if it's spillover from all the other stuff going on with the L.

miss casual / April 6, 2007 2:12 PM

easy there skafiend. its not my fault you cant find the bike shop. get your chain fixed. being sweaty is far superior to being

1. angry
2. polluted by other peoples gross germs
3. late to work
4. obviously bitter about the fact that youre on the bus

and it takes me less than half the time to bike as it does to take the cta.

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