Weekend news pickup: Union rally, Red Line wheelchair accident

Here's some CTA news you may have missed over the weekend:

Unions rally for CTA funding. CTA operators unions were joined by union colleagues from the city and from around the country Saturday in a rally against the CTA service cuts. Rev. Jesse Jackson of Rainbow PUSH led the rally, calling for more federal funding to avoid further cuts and layoffs. The Feds generally provide capital funding for infrastructure, rather than dollars for day-to-day operations. The unions want the Feds to allow CTA to use their capital funds for operating expenses. The CTA has already shifted almost $100 million this year from capital to the expense budget. I contend we must invest in our crumbling infrastructure before a collapsed viaduct prevents a train from even running.

Person in wheelchair rolls onto tracks. A passenger waiting in a wheechair at the Chicago Red Line station slipped off the platform Saturday afternoon and landed on the tracks. The person did not touch the third rail, and was taken in fair condition to a local hospital, according to a Tribune report. Service was interrupted for about 15 minutes. The cause of the incident as unknown.

60,000 CTA smart fare cards expiring. On Saturday I wrote about a boatload of Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus card expiring this year, starting in April. So be sure and check yours. Also, let me know if you actually have a card that's four years old. None of mine ever made it past its two-year anniversary. Either I'm tough on cards or the cards aren't tough enough. I will compile your card longevity tips in a future post.

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