Neighbors Project Says “Text Your Way to the CTA”

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(Photo: Any minute now. Any minute now… Credit: Looper.)

Last year, a couple of former office colleagues of mine set up the Neighbors Project, an Internet-based movement to celebrate and strengthen cities and the socially conscious “urban generation” that of late has been working to reinvigorate downtowns across the country (just check out their Neighbors Manifesto).

In January, Neighbors Project launched a feature allowing (likely disgruntled) CTA riders to use their email-enabled cell phones to text-message the CTA about their problems and concerns regarding Chicago’s transit system.

Riders write their own, personal message from their cell phones, and then send them to:

cta[insert your zip code here]@npjt.org

For example, if you’re a Blue Line rider irked that your trip today took 45 minutes to get downtown from Logan Square, you might send email to cta60647@npjt.org.

CTA riders in front of their computers aren’t left out. Desk-bound riders can also send email to the CTA from the Neighbors Project website.

According to the Neighbors Project blog, the feature has been pretty popular, with more than 500 messages sent since it debuted in late January, and they’ve gotten lots of local media notices (Crains Chicago Business, CTA Tattler, Time Out Chicago).

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck and stewing on a CTA bus or L train (and you know this means you, and you, and probably you, too), you probably want to figure out your own personal email address (add your ZIP code) and save it to your phone. And next time you’re unexpectedly hanging out for half an hour on a windy street corner waiting for the number 36, you can tell the CTA exactly what you’re thinking.

Just remember, using profanity in email is a federally punishable offense.

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