Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CTA Can't See the Rail Cars for the Forrest Claypool

According to an October 10, 2005 Crain's Chicago Business article, three companies submitted proposals by the September 15, 2005 deadline: Alstom Transportation Inc., an American subsidiary of French firm Alstom S.A.; Bombardier Inc., the Montreal-based aircraft and railcar manufacturer; and Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese company Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. According to Crain's, the three manufacturers all retained local consultants, many former CTA and city staff and officials, to help them hone their pitches and navigate the Chicago political waters.

There's the trees in this particular Forrest. Care to identify each tree?

Is there a Marilyn Katz Elm? Perhaps a Dave Axelrod Larch? Mayhaps there be a mighty Judson Miner/Allison Davis Redwood, or a Dr. Quentin Young Acorn?

When a Progressive Protected Specimen like Forrest Claypool - one of many mind you ( Sheila Simon, Dawn Clark Netsch, Deborah Shore & etc.) - is placed in a position of authority troubles are many and owned by taxpayers. They always have the stamp of approval of coalitions a-plenty - Transgender Iwo Jima Flag Raisers, Brownies LUV Abortion, Friends of the Alligator Gar and Gator Bradley, Lawyers for Ne'er Do Wells, Miscreants and Scoundrals, Rush Street Cougars for Self Respect, and the I'm a Loser Because of Systemic Everything Task Force.

The "Ain't He/She Great" stamp of approval branded on the bald rumps of Progressive Protected Species is a passport to profitable paydays and munificent pensions. "Ain't He/She Great" signals an association to a politically necessary pile of street money on election day ( a policy PAC or public employee union), armies of community minded activists sporting XXXXL T-shirts in SEIU Purple, ACORN Red, or a Rainbow, or Progressive persons of wealth and influence.

The Ain't He/She great branded lady or gent pops out of nowhere and appears on election petitions in order to eliminate, or punish political rivals. The Ain't He/She Great phantom is generally armed and equiped with a Media columnist or a spot on the mast-head of Huffington Post.

The helots and worker bees in the precincts and Wards ask, "What'd He do? Where She come from?" Matters not; Ain't She Great? He's a Reformer and we're all gonna get a sweet deal.

Under the Ain't He Great rubric, no one is greater than Forrest Claypool. Try and find his salary among City Workers; you can't as he was appointed with an undisclosed salary - n'est-ce pas! You can hear the shouts though, Forrest can run a Mayoral Staff! He Can Run Parks! He Can Run a County Board . . .well, almost! He Can Run the Trains and Buses on Time Without Stopping for a Pee! Forrest can . . .lay blame.

On my birthday, I was delighted to learn that the CTA had purchased a fleet of state of the art train cars -

Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool Unveil New Rail Cars


The 5000-Series Car Scheduled to Make Official In-Service Debut on the Pink Line

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool today unveiled new 5000-series rail cars, marking the first time there has been an addition to the rail fleet since 1992. The first of these new rail cars are entering revenue service on the Pink Line. Emanuel and Claypool were joined for the inaugural run at the Midway station on the Orange Line by representatives from Bombardier Transportation, the manufacturer of the cars.

“The CTA remains the primary mode of transportation for many residents of Chicago, and these new rail cars reflect the Agency’s commitment to its customers and to our city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “In order for Chicago to grow, continue attracting new businesses and increase the quality of life for all Chicagoans we must continue to invest in public transportation, improving transit infrastructure and expanding service.”

After a successful prototype testing period, the first of 706 brand new, full production model cars will debut on the Pink Line. As more cars continue to arrive, they will be tested internally to ensure all components are operating properly before going into service.

“The 5000-series cars provide a more enjoyable ride for customers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “These cars have wider aisles and roomier interiors, electronic destination signs and security cameras in each car for enhanced safety.”

The addition of these new cars to the fleet will allow CTA to retire some of its oldest cars which average between 32 and 41 years old.

Modernizing the fleet is very important and is fiscally prudent because a younger fleet requires less maintenance and allows CTA to keep the trains on the system where they are needed and not in the repair shop,” Claypool said.

The rail cars feature an aisle-facing seating configuration which adds six inches to the narrowest portion of the aisle, allowing more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes. The aisle-facing seating also provides space for an additional wheelchair position, increasing the total to two per car.

The cars also have LED displays with larger text-size that will replace the scrolling destination signs on the exterior of the lead car. The LED signs on the interior will display the next stop, date and time. The same signs can also be used for a text display of the audio announcements made to customers in the rail car. Above the doors, there is a system map with LED lights that indicates the train’s present location as it travels along the route. In addition, the side doors have an opening/closing light in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.

Each rail car has multiple security cameras and will eventually transmit real time video to CTA’s Control Center, the Office of Emergency Management and Communication and the Chicago Police Department. CTA’s Control Center will also have remote access to signs, giving them the ability to make emergency audio and text messages inside the trains if needed.

After a competitive selection process, CTA selected Bombardier Transportation Corporation to manufacture the rail cars. Bombardier is a recognized leader in the manufacturing of mass transit vehicles.

The total cost of the rail cars $1.137 billion which is funded by two CTA bond issuances backed by sales tax receipts. The remainder is paid for by $150 million in federal funds.Link to the gallery:

Ain't He Great! The cars don't work! $1.137 billion less the $ 150 million Federal.

Only days ago, the Bombardier Cars - as painstakingly studied as the swell parking meters sucking in credit and debit cards all our Urbs in Horto - were lifted off the tracks.

The CTA Tattler of Chicago Now snitched -
"Now remember, the first set of 10 cars were delivered in April of 2010. They underwent rigorous testing on every rail line. And the manufacturer is just now discovering this "flaw"?

Interestingly, Claypool says: “This decision demonstrates an abundance of caution on our part as we work with Bombardier to address these issues.” Perhaps. And perhaps more complete testing should have been done in the first place."

Those darn Bombardiers!

Dang! But, Forrest Claypool, perhaps, can detail the oxen on the CTA Rails getting gored for our $1.137 billion less the $ 150 million Federal. Claypool will go on, if he really actually must do so, Chicago Tonight, WTTW doncha know, with Carol Marin tossing some under-hand softballs like,
" Gee, Ain't You Great?"

"Well, shucks Carol, now that you mention this - Yes. . .Yes I am. The Bosses need to go!"

" What about thos rail-cars Forrest? Are they really safe?"

" They sure are Carol! Why, I ran the Parks and that was much tougher than running a great city transportation system, where employees expect to be paid while they take a pee. Not on my watch, Carol. You know, Carol, I am an outsider and a reformer."

" Ain't he great? Tommorrow, I will ask a bus driver exactly how long he expects to be paid while taking a pee and how long that pee might be. The Pee Fee -Our Tax-Dollars Down the Drain - Thank you Forrest Claypool!"

The next time someone tells you so-and-so is great, ask the Ain't She/He Great-er, " Can You find a Chinaman on 22nd Street?" or direct that worthy to find his/her posterior lobes using both hands in one motion.

Epic Fail! Ain't He Great! Great. . .really great . . .really terrific . . .couldn't be better . . .the cat's nuts . . .

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