The CTA’s “third world system”

A friend from New York, who’s doing a stint in Chicago this winter, has been calling the our local transit system “third world.” I don’t know what he’s complaining about, he’s only been stuck on an underground train with no electricity for 25 minutes and had to wait a few times for an express bus not packed to the gills. So, it was with a chuckle that I saw that Alderman Joe Moore agreed with him on Thursday. The CTA Tattler has the text of Moore’s proposal for “City Council hearings on the general CTA nonsense.”

From the Sun Times:

“It’s unconscionable that a city as great as Chicago has a third-world transit system. That’s really what the CTA has become,” Moore said

From CTA Chair Carole Brown’s Thursday post announcing the good news:

CTA is also planning extensive community and customer outreach efforts to educate people about alternative service. I welcome your comments and ideas.

There is, naturally, lots of frustration, and some helpful thoughts, in the comment section. Chicagocarless’ Mike Doyle:

In a major highway project, which you keep comparing this to, people are urged to take transit instead, due to the reduced roadway capacity.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the reverse happens when 25 percent of transit capacity gets taken away for two years: people get in their cars.

This is perhaps the worst misstep in CTA history under Frank Kruesi. Telling 17,000 riders to take Metra instead is not how to run a world-class transit agency. If this is the best he and his management team can do, they need to go.

As a CTA rider, I am tired, simply and deeply tired, from having to suffer on a daily basis due to the mistakes of Kruesi and his management team.

There needs to be a better alternative service plan than this. I cannot believe that the CTA Chair would go along with this without a word of criticism about the significant effect this wrong-headed plan will have on riders.

I just wrote the Sun-Times asking Mayor Daley for Kruesi’s dismissal. I suggest others do the same. He cannot be allowed to do further damage to the CTA or inflict further, needless pain on CTA riders.

Enough is really enough.

The Neighbors Project “is supporting a local campaign to improve the Chicago Transit Authority” that encourages and enables us to email, and SMS, our local officials.

(And in DC, they’re getting wi-fi on the Metro. Fare increases as well, if I recall correctly.)

Here’s the Red Eye’s attempt to use YouTube to generate some CTA commentary. It doesn’t quite work, yet– maybe because there’s not sense that anyone is listenting.


3 thoughts on “The CTA’s “third world system”

  1. I do not mean to insult your fair city my fren.. but this morning.. freeeeeezing cold, and I am waiting for the 66 bus at the chicago stop, and after 25 minutes one comes and people have to beat eachother with frozen bagels and stiff red eyes in order to get on the ALREADY overflowing bus.. so like I said, THIRD WORLD

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