WBEZ | Las Vegas http://www.wbez.org/tags/las-vegas Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en $7.3 million OKed for downtown ‘bus rapid transit’ http://www.wbez.org/story/story/city-devotes-73-million-downtown-brt-96580 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-21/BRT_Flickr_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Transmilenio" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-20/Transmilenio.jpg" style="margin: 9px 18px 6px 1px; float: left; width: 374px; height: 247px;" title="Bogotá, Colombia, has the world’s most advanced bus-rapid-transit system. (flickr/Oscar Amaya)" />Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s administration has decided to channel more than $7.3&nbsp;million in tax increment financing toward a &ldquo;bus rapid transit&rdquo; line downtown, according to transportation and economic-development officials.</p><p>The money will combine with an announced $24.6&nbsp;million from the Federal Transit Administration to speed up trips between Union Station, the Ogilvie Transportation Center, several Chicago Transit Authority lines, Streeterville and Navy Pier.</p><p>&ldquo;About 50&nbsp;percent of the commuters who come to work every day in Chicago&rsquo;s central business district arrive by bus or train,&rdquo; said Peter Skosey, vice president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, a nonprofit group working on the project. &ldquo;If they&rsquo;re getting off at those Metra stations in the West Loop, it&rsquo;s quite a hike over to North Michigan Avenue or even just to State Street. So this really facilitates the use of transit for downtown Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>Bus rapid transit, known as BRT, delivers many benefits of rail at a fraction of the cost. The most advanced BRT systems have sprung up in Bogotá, Colombia; Guangzhou, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Ahmedabad, India.</p><p>BRT remains largely unknown in the United States. Modest systems are running in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Eugene, Oregon.</p><p>In 2008, Mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s administration said it was moving on a BRT pilot project. But the city bungled an application for $153&nbsp;million in federal funding for it.</p><p>Emanuel&rsquo;s mayoral transition plan last year promised a &ldquo;full bus rapid transit pilot&rdquo; within three years. The pilot, according to the plan, will include &ldquo;dedicated bus lanes, signal preemption, prepaid boarding or on-board fare verification, multiple entry and exits points on the buses, limited stops, and street-level boarding.&rdquo;</p><p>The Chicago Department of Transportation is keeping lips tight about its design of the downtown line, known as both the &ldquo;East-West Transit Corridor&rdquo; and &ldquo;Central Loop BRT.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s not clear the design will include many of the timesavers listed in Emanuel&rsquo;s plan. A CDOT plan announced in 2010 would remove cars from some traffic lanes, rig key stoplights to favor the buses, improve sidewalks, install bicycle lanes and build specially branded bus stops equipped with GPS-powered &ldquo;next bus&rdquo; arrival signs.</p><p>The CTA, meanwhile, has a separate $1.6&nbsp;million federal grant to plan BRT options along a 21-mile stretch of Western Avenue. Another $11&nbsp;million from the feds is funding bus improvements this year along the South Side&rsquo;s Jeffrey Boulevard. That line, though billed as BRT, will lack many features for speeding up trips.</p></p> Tue, 21 Feb 2012 11:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/story/city-devotes-73-million-downtown-brt-96580 New book chronicles the 'High Stakes' of America's gambling addiction http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-18/new-book-chronicles-high-stakes-americas-gambling-addiction-93225 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-18/slot-machines-2_Flickr_Michael-Kapple.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The battle over gambling is not unique to Illinois. In the last two years, at least 37 state legislatures sought to do the same: During the past three decades, legalized gambling has become a $92 billion industry nationwide. Journalist <a href="http://samskolnik.com/" target="_blank">Sam Skolnik</a> said this revenue also has its costs. He chronicled the downside of gambling expansion in his new book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/High-Stakes-Americas-Gambling-Addiction/dp/0807006297" target="_blank"><em>High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction</em></a>. Skolnik told WBEZ’s Steve Edwards that Las Vegas offers a window into the problems that legalized gambling can bring.</p></p> Tue, 18 Oct 2011 13:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-18/new-book-chronicles-high-stakes-americas-gambling-addiction-93225 Rahm vows bus rapid transit, but can he deliver? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-23/rahm-promises-brt-can-he-deliver-90926 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/Transmilenio.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>All this week, WBEZ is looking at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/first-100-rahm-emanuels-first-100-days-chicago-mayor" target="_blank">Rahm Emanuel’s first 100 days as Chicago mayor</a>.</p><p>One of Emanuel’s pledges is to push for the creation of the city’s first bus-rapid-transit line. The idea behind BRT is to deliver the benefits of rail at a fraction of the cost. BRT shortens travel times through dedicated bus lanes, pre-paid boarding that’s level with station platforms, and traffic signals that favor the buses.</p><p>WBEZ’s West Side bureau reporter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/chip-mitchell" target="_blank">Chip Mitchell</a> gives us a progress report on Emanuel’s ambitious plan.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 23 Aug 2011 16:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-23/rahm-promises-brt-can-he-deliver-90926 Vegas 2.0: Podcast interview with one of Sin City's top chefs http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/vegas-20-podcast-interview-one-sin-citys-top-chefs <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 453px; height: 301px;" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-16/2203952194_890ee139f1_z.jpg" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">Paul Bartolotta has had success pretty much everywhere he's ever worked. &nbsp;Starting in Milwaukee (where he and his family continue to run a series of <a href="http://www.bartolottaristorante.com/">popular restaurants</a>) to Chicago's Spiaggia, and for the last several years, as the namesake proprietor of <a href="https://reservations.wynnlasvegas.com/dining?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc">Bartolotta Ristorante Di Mare</a> at The Wynn in Las Vegas. &nbsp;In Chicago last week for some of his beloved Korean kalbi - and to talk about the status of Vegas in the wake of the recession - we sat down for a frank discussion about what business has been like in the desert for the past year.</p></p> Wed, 17 Nov 2010 11:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/vegas-20-podcast-interview-one-sin-citys-top-chefs