Sunday, July 25, 2004

Threat of O'Hare flight caps should spur city to back rail

A Sun-Times story describes Mayor Daley lobbying President Bush during his Chicago visit on the subject of a cap on flights to O'Hare. The airport is one of the worst in terms of delays which can clog up the whole country. The City has not really backed one obvious remedy: high speed rail. I am constantly bewildered to see how many flights into O'Hare are from cities less than 200 miles away. Milwaukee, Springfield, Madison, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Indianapolis. Why are we using precious slots at O'Hare for these dinky puddle jumpers to send 20 people to Bloomington when we could be sending 200 to Tokyo? Just imagine the big planes all in a line waiting to take off and these tiny little planes waiting with them. It's not a good use of O'Hare's resources. And with better rail service that connects to O'Hare people can take a train to Springfield after flying in from LA or DC. I don't really know why we don't have the world's best rail service out of Chicago (a city built on railroads), but I do know we should.

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