Every now and then in my downtown Chicago life, I overhear something so ridiculous that I wonder whether I should blog it. This time, I just can’t help myself.
Now I’ve heard a lot of creative funding schemes before, but I’ve sure never heard of a state lending money to its cities’ transit systems to keep them running, much less yanking the same money back later. Well, unless that state is run by Governor Rod Blagojevich.
According to the recently released National Transportation Safety Board report on last year’s rush-hour Blue Line derailment that injured more than 150 innocent transit riders, under Frank Kruesi’s leadership the CTA falsified most Blue Line track inspections–or simply didn’t bother to do them.
So are we all supposed to get on our knees and thank Governor Blagojevich for riding in at the last minute and potentially saving us innocent Chicagoans from ‘CTA Doomsday?’ Especially since he helped create the Illinois public transit funding emergency in the first place?
In January, the nonprofit Neighbors Project launched a feature allowing CTA riders to use their email-enabled cell phones to text-message the CTA about their problems and concerns regarding Chicago’s transit system. What a great idea to keep the agency accountable–in real time.
Would you like ‘L’ delays and cram? Not during rush hour, Frankie man. I do not like them on the ‘L’. I do not like them very well.
Throughout the CTA’s Brown Line reconstruction project, it’s been no secret that the agency planned to reduce north side service on the Red, Brown, and Purple lines from four tracks to three during construction at the Belmont and Fullerton stations this spring. However, even for the CTA, the ineptitude of today’s announcement and lack of planned service alternatives is, frankly, stunning.
This weekend, Devyn and I took a 35-mile trip through the Chicago suburbs with Zipcar. Using the for-profit car sharing service was a much more pleasant, customer-friendly experience than using the nonprofit I-Go service that my job uses. Here’s why.
It doesn’t take a grad school education to figure out where you want to go before you get there. And to pick up a map, or a phone, or a laptop and figure out, where you’re going. Yes, young St. Louis couple who asked me how to get to Union Station so you could take a train to Wrigley Field, this means you.
Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about the bad props I give the Chicago Transit Authority. Trouble is, as experience shows, time and again when you give the CTA enough rope, they just seem to hang themselves. Like they just did again, by installing 3,000 on-board system maps–without proofreading them first. ‘Bemont’ Avenue, anyone?