Thursday, October 4, 2007

Unlinked Trip: Transit Funding And The Olympics

Proponents of increased transit funding have often linked the success of their effort to the region's selection to host the 2016 Olympics. In their view, an expanded and improved public transit system is as necessary as an Olympic Village.

Peter Ueberroth, the Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, cut this link between increased public transit funding and the Olympics in a pretty decisive fashion during a recent visit to Chicago. The media generally focused on his assessment that Chicago is running third or fourth behind other cities for the 2016 Olympics. (Here and here.)

That assessment is discouraging enough, but the Sun-Times went on to report this exchange with Ueberroth about the impact of the current public transit funding imbroglio on the region's Olympics prospects:

As for logistics, the USOC chairman insisted that the CTA’s financial crisis—and the possibility of fare hikes and service cuts without a Springfield bailout—would have no impact on Chicago’s chances.

“Any Olympic Games can make the adjustments in its transportation system for a three-week period in order to accommodate the world athletes. There are bigger conventions that come to this town,” he said.

Oooof!

Increased public transit funding and the Olympics may now be an unlinked trip. Certainly paying Laidlaw (now First America) or some other private transit operator for three weeks of premium bus service would be a bit cheaper than the RTA's "Enhance and Expand" option for the next decade.

4 comments:

sabrina d. said...

Huh. Did he actually, like, ... *use* the transit system before saying three weeks would be so easy?

UChicagoDomer said...

the fact that there is no link b/w Olympics and transit doesn't change the main tenor of the argument: Chicago is a second-rate city: strip malls on Roosevelt Road, a tabloid in lieu of a major newspaper, a wretched, wretched transit system that makes Chicago simply a car city. Chicago is aspires to be New York but comes closer to Houston. apologies for the snark, but if you have something positive to add, go ahead.

Anonymous said...

Uchicagodomer--

Something positive to add: A first rate university in Hyde Park?

UChicagoDomer said...

touché