(Chicago Tribune)–Gov. Pat Quinn today signed legislation authorizing a pilot program under which commuter buses can use the shoulders of the Stevenson Expressway (Interstate Highway 55) during rush-hour congestion. The “bus-on-shoulder” program, detailed in the Tribune on Feb. 18, will reduce travel times through the busy I-55 corridor, improve the reliability of bus schedules and help the environment by encouraging more motorists to use mass transit. “This innovative transportation pilot program will use existing resources to benefit both drivers and transit riders,” Quinn said in a statement. “By easing congesting and improving public transportation we can increase the quality of life for people throughout the region.” This fall, IDOT, the RTA and Pace will launch a two-year program to allow Pace routes 755 and 855, which connect the southwest suburbs, downtown Chicago and the Illinois Medical District, to operate on the Stevenson Expressway’s inside shoulders between I-355 and Kedzie Avenue during the inbound morning and outbound afternoon commuting times. The costs are covered by a $1.5 million federal grant for projects that improve air quality.
Did the IL do it again or it did the IL do it again? No state has corruption down to an artwork quite like Illinois. I bet other states plead with Illinois to teach them how to swindle the federal government for cash, but that’s like saying to Rembrandt, “teach me to paint like you”. It’s just a gift. Something that all Illinois politicians seem to just have innately. The State just brought home $1.5m in a federal grant that is given to projects that improve air-quality. Well Illinois’ project to improve air quality is…to let buses drive on the shoulder of the Stevenson. Yep, that’s right. The Federal government just signed a check for $1.5m so buses could drive on the shoulder on a small stretch of the I-55 highway, during rush hour, when the speed of traffic is slower than 35mph, no cars are in the break down lane, and as long as it isn’t snowing….which basically means that buses will NEVER be in the breakdown lanes. Sounds like the actual costs of this program are about…oh I don’t know… maybe zero dollars, but thanks for the $1.5m Feds. I mean selling Senate seats is one thing, but this is corruption that would make Warden Norton in Shawshank blush. Its the perfect crime. Who can you convict? All Quinn did was sign a piece of legislation. Governor Quinn and the IL State House basically re-invented the corruption game with this one. Kickbacks on kickbacks like you read about. I wonder whose campaign just got financed.
PS: This sounds like the worst idea ever by the way. I am predicting a minimum 8 bus crashes in the two years this program is supposed to be in existence. Which is unfortunate because the ambulances racing to the scene are probably going get blocked by a bus driving on the shoulder.
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