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Landowners paying for transit

December 24, 2006

Since public transport makes certain locations more valuable, some transit activists have long insisted that the owners of sites benefitted by transit service ought to pay the cost of it. Now we have a surprisingly obscure report that gum manufacturer Wrigley Co. is doing approximately that. The Chicago Transit Authority’s new route 132 Goose Island is apparently is paid for under a “five-year subsidized agreement with Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.”

No word about the amount of the subsidy, or even the schedule of the service, (update January 10, here‘s the schedule), but as a downtown worker for the past 35 years I can testify that the route does appear justified. Wrigley has their big “Global Innovation Center” on Goose Island, and there are other employers in the vicinity. Direct service from the loop and Metra stations should find a market.  As far as I can tell from their corporate reports, Wrigley owns the site of their facility.

I’m surprised that CTA’s press release doesn’t mention the Wrigley funding, which appears only in a brief powerpointlike presentation (pdf) inflicted on cta’s Board, and I find nothing about it on Wrigley’s site.

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