Here We Go (Or Not, on the CTA)

Tomorrow is the long-anticipated D-Day for Chicago public transit riders. From the Tribune:

[F]or the duration of the $530 million Brown Line reconstruction project—which runs through late 2009—Red Line service will be reduced to 39 northbound trains during the evening rush, instead of 44, said Jack Hruby, chief of CTA rail operations.CTA personnel and Chicago police will be deployed at rail stations to assist commuters but also to block people from entering stations if platforms become too crowded, officials said.

CTA Chair Carole Brown puts the honus on, well, us, blogging that “none” of the CTA’s plans

will matter if our customers don’t change their commuting patterns — especially between 7:30am and 8:30am, and between 4:45 and 6:00 pm. Kevin at CTA Tattler, who was at the meeting, said “Hell commences Monday,” and I can’t say I disagree. But the sooner we start, the sooner this project will be over, and I want it done.

Tomorrow we Chicagoans are liable to be a grouse a lot, it will take a lot to reach the frustrations that citizens of Santiago, Chile are having with their TranSantiago. Global Voices has details on the crisis and last week’s protests— which will apparently resume on Wednesday. Writing for OhMyNews, so does Alan Mota:

The program upgraded the bus structure, with new and more modern buses and a system of magnetic cards that was supposed to speed the process of paying for it. But a mistake in planning ended up with delays in the upgrading of the buses without keeping the old ones in the streets, which led transportation in Santiago to a halt.

The subway stations became so crowded that sometimes they are forced to close to avoid overloading, which doesn’t help in the transportation problem. And with the union of public transport drivers threatening to strike, the situation might get even worse. The crisis — and the protests — began Feb. 10.


Ninion has photos of the chaos– and invective for the protesters; Jukioo points to protest propaganda, including one piece that incorporates Ecuadorean techno-folklorico phenom El Delfin (background on El Delfin):


As a result, according to the BBC, “Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has sacked four ministers.”

The last few months have seen protests in the capital, Santiago, over the introduction of a new transport system. In a national TV address, Ms Bachelet said her government owed an apology to Santiago’s residents, especially the poor, for the chaos they have faced.

In Chicago, no cabinet shuffling or apologies, yet. (To the contrary, we re-elected our mayor with more than 70% of the vote. )



4 thoughts on “Here We Go (Or Not, on the CTA)

  1. The CTA was surprisingly easy the first day (at least in the morning). And the Second day wasn’t too bad either. We’ll see how bad it gets.

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