Details on added CTA rail service; 2 electric buses added to fleet

As part of its 2015 budget announcement, the CTA noted it was adding trains to rush hour service on some lines. Here are the details. Some extra service already has been added in the last month. On September 29, additional rush-period service was added on the Red, Brown and Purple Lines: Red Line: 2 AM... Read more »

No fare increase, more rush hour trains - CTA 2015 budget

The CTA today released a proposed budget for 2015 that holds the line on fares and adds trains at rush hour on four of the agency’s eight rail lines. Under the $1.44 billion budget, the CTA is expecting rail ridership to grow by more than 2 million rides over this year. And it will add... Read more »

Poll: How do you feel about cops searching CTA riders for bombs in bags?

Chicago police plan to begin randomly testing bags of CTA rail riders for explosives starting Nov. 3. Up to six Chicago police officers will set up outside the turnstiles at select Chicago rail stations – usually downtown – and ask riders to submit to a screening. Police will swab the exterior of the bag with... Read more »

WBEZ tries to explain CTA bus bunching - a mysterious phenomenon

Since the first bus rolled down the streets of ancient Rome, transportation experts have struggled to explain the mysterious phenomenon called bus bunching. And now WBEZ Radio has taken a shot at it. Since WBEZ’s story was posted last week, a number of friends have emailed it or posted it on their Facebook wall. Here... Read more »

Five-year ridership trend grows for RTA; capital funding biggest challenge

The RTA is reporting positive trends from 2009-2013 in most performance areas – except capital funding. That’s according to the recently released Regional Report Card. Here are some key takeaways:  Over the five-year period of 2009-2013, CTA rail ridership has grown by 13 percent. Despite a five-year trend of reduced service, the overall trend for... Read more »

CTA news pickup: Ventra smartphone tickets; Damen station closes for 9 weeks

Here are top CTA news items from the past week. Ventra mobile tickets coming next year. The CTA is investing $1.7 million to develop a smartphone app that also could be used on Metra and Pace. But this pay choice would not fulfill the state requirement of a universal fare system for the three Chicago-area transit... Read more »

To the CTA: Raise fares to fund rail expansion, major rehab

The CTA should raise fares by a quarter next year – and keep doing it till they have funded all their capital needs. Just as Metra is doing. As long as we continue to have a paralyzed, do-nothing federal government, it will be impossible to get the kind of funding from the Feds that the... Read more »

CTA should allow anonymous reports of groping, other harassment

In reading a story about “The creepiest man in New York: A gross portrait of a subway molester,” I learned that New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority has a page on its website for victims of improper sexual conduct to anonymously report such incidents. In light of the recent stories and arrest of a... Read more »

Ashland Green Line artwork shows off vintage look of CTA station

A Chicago artist who features the CTA in much of his work has new pieces mounted on the railings of the Ashland Green Line station for the month of October. Nick Fury uses white-out tape on paper to create his stark, distinctive pieces. For this series, Fury juxtaposes vintage and modern. The station, built in 1892,... Read more »

Want half off your CTA fare? Reach for your Amex Softcard

CTA commuters can dump their Ventra cards and ride for half fare through Dec. 31 by using the American Express Softcard mobile wallet app. You will need an American Express Serve account in Softcard – essentially another prepaid account. You download the mobile app to tap the farebox with your smartphone. You can use the... Read more »