CTA de-crowding plan pays for service expansion on busy bus and rail lines by cutting services elsewhere

Last week, CTA announced that it will increase service on overcrowded train lines and bus routes that are bursting at the seams as transit ridership continues to grow. That’s the good news. The CTA will pay for it through smart reconfiguration of many routes, but also through eliminating some service altogether. While many transit riders will gain better service, some riders will lose access to transit or their ride will become far less convenient.

We’re glad the CTA is seeking the most efficient use of limited transit resources by updating routes to provide better service. But our region needs to add more trains and buses in addition to existing service levels, not instead of it.

We need to keep an eye on why the CTA is making some of these hard choices. CTA’s plans illustrate just how severe the funding problem is for public transit in the Chicago region, to the point where CTA can only pay for much-needed system expansion by eliminating service somewhere else. Tell CTA how these changes will affect you, whether good or bad, but also be sure to send a message to those who can truly make a difference: our elected officials. With their support, we could give transit the funding it needs and avoid having to make winners and losers out of our fellow transit riders.

Here's how you can help:

'rapid' transit

Transit management inefficiency strikes again. To cover up their mistakes, they are again increasing fares and cutting service. Transit fares are one of the things that have increased most over the years. When I was much younger, there was no CTA, and I was paying half fare of $.08. More recently, I was riding the Howard St El (now called the 'red' line) from Howard to 63rd and Stony Island, and it took either 53 or 57 minutes for the trip. Then, to save money to repair a bridge, they cut off the last stop. Now it takes 40 minutes just to get from Howard down to Lake st. Luckily, I no longer have to make the full trip, because the train no longer goes near my former destination. Currently, it takes me 2 hours to go a net distance of 13 miles, using the Yellow, Red and Green line trains. I wonder who thought that renaming the El lines with colors, instead of their destinations was an improvement. Probably someone who owned stock in a sign company.

Stealth Bus Route Elininations

No where on the CTA's website can I find specific information on what bus routes are to be eliminated and when. The list of future bus routes simply doesn't include those bus route numbers. And that "new" service map is pathetically vague. This is bad public relations. Public transit is more than just rush hour service to and from the loop. The CTA is going to make my travel in Chicago much more difficult than it already is, but the CTA can't even be bothered to name which routes are being eliminated and when. I ride the #9 almost daily. But I am apparently among the 2% of riders that the CTA doesn't care about. The #9 is NOT duplicated by the Brown line. Stating that it is, doesn't make it so. If the powers that be at the CTA actually did their jobs, they would drum up rider support for sufficient public funds to maintain the entire transit system rather than slyly reconfiguring service by eliminating vital neighborhood bus routes. The CTA shouldn't sneak behind riders backs. Instead, the CTA should publicly threaten bus route eliminations, and then we will pressure our representatives to cough up new revenue. But CTA employees have being playing dumb about this pending scheme for months. By the way, when the rush hour riders are "reduced" by 15%, they will still pack themselves aboard their trains and buses. Increasing the number of trains will just mean more operational delays and exasperating express runs. But the CTA Board members who approve these foolish decisions don't realize that, do they? They aren't riding the CTA because the CTA gave up on effective rider convenience years ago.

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