The CTA year in the review, Q4: Quinn's ultimatum; state deal avoids fare hikes; Merry Christmas!

October: I started the month explaining why I support Chicago's Olympics bid. Didn't matter. CTA started an ad campaign reminding people not to yell on their cell. CTA develops plan to wipe out almost half of the 2010 $300 deficit. But it's not enough so it announces fare hikes and service cuts. But amid this bad news, Tattler fans enjoyed the CTA Tattler Pub Crawl. We thought maybe the tide was turning in Springfield against free rides for seniors. Apple said they planned to adopt and rehab the North/Clybourn station. Gov. Quinn said no fare hike if you want more state help.

November: T-Mobile users finally got subway service; AT&T users are still waiting.  The "stroller mom" story captivates us for awhile. We learned of a state deal to avoid the fare hikes. Bus crashes into a home, bus wins, home demolished. In a viral video, a Boston train just barely avoided hitting a drunk woman who fell off the platform. We learned that TIF funds were used for the Berwyn station fixup. The CTA Holiday Train rides again! We first reported about iPhone thefts on the Green Line.

December: CTA holds visioning sessions for north end of Red Line and Purple Line. Wirtz lawsuit over booze tax hike holds up CTA capital funds. Bus Tracker was the second-most popular local Google search in 2009. Drivers union fights back on service cuts. Rumors surfaced about Rodriguez's imminent departure as CTA prez. He's still in charge. I reported on some CTA board meeting minutiae, such as a contract for hammers and screwdrivers. Titan got all of the CTA's ad contracts. About 20 Tattler fans got together to ride the Holiday Train. Human error was blamed for the Green Line derailment. At a D.C, hearing, a rusty old screw symbolized the CTA's need for more capital funding.

Yes folks, as usual, the CTA gave me plenty to write about this year. Here's to more CTA fun and games in 2010!

Merry Christmas!

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  • Did you see the self serving letter by Rodriguez in the Tribune.He claims the C.T.A. is doing everything in its power to avert service cuts.He is blaming the union.Did he take a pay cut,like he wants them to do?

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    "Did he take a pay cut,like he wants them to do?"

    Actually, yes, he did take a pay cut. It's only a 7% pay cut, but it's significantly more than he is asking the unions to do. He isn't asking the unions to take a pay cut, but he has asked them to considering foregoing the next 3.5% pay raise they will get next year.

    TO be fair, a think it's overstating to interpret that letter as "blaming the unions", although he is clearly trying to point out that they have the power to lessen the impact on the service cuts, and as a result, the customers.

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    And let's not forget James' suggestion that the CTA sell advertising on the tops of buses, to capture the lucrative market of people looking down from highrises and overpasses--now there's millions of untapped dollars! Sorry, but I fully agree with District299Reader and MK on this one: James' attack was misleading and unfair. And count me in as one of those who has declined to discuss James' suggestions because they have just been too ridiculous.

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