CTA year in review - Q2: New rail cars, "train tracker," subway fire, CTA thefts

My CTA year in review continues with a look at what happened in April, May and June of 2010.

April
: This was a month of new technology introduced on the Chicago Transit Authority. Early in April the CTA rolled out "Train Tracker"
at Brown Line stations. It still hasn't worked out all the kinks and
made Train Tracker more widely available. Later in the month the CTA put its new rail cars to the test,
first on the Red Line. The debate began on the aisle-facing seating
configuration. We also saw a couple of criminals making headlines in
April. A convicted sex offender was arrested for indecent exposure. And an exploded dye pack in a robber's loot bag was blamed for delays on the Red Line.

May: We began the month with my review of the good and the bad about the new Series 5000 rail cars. In May I broke the story that thefts on the CTA had soared in the first three months of the year, as thieves eyed iPhones of unaware passengers. Almost in response, the CTA announced near the end of May that cameras had been installed at every CTA rail stations. And May ended with news that the CTA had pulled the new rail cars out of pilot testing due to a potential braked problem.

June: The CTA gave up the "Go Lane" and buses and relocated the card reader to the farebox. you like that move. We posted a photo of an alleged CTA wanker in attempts to identify and arrest him. We reported on CTA "deep cleans" at rail stations. A Red Line subway fire injured 19 people. I noted how marketers love CTA ads to lure people out of town to place like Montana, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

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  • 1. Not exactly clear why Train Tracker hasn't worked. It theoretically should be easier than Bus Tracker since the trains are in contact with the signaling system, and can't go "off route."

    2. You have to wonder about the connection between the "Go Lane" story and the later revelation that people were using someone else's Seniors Ride Free permit.

    3. The Peeps were real realistic, until I realized that they were more squoosed because, from the window configuration (basically the lack of an ExitDor, as CTA called them), it looks like a D30LF than a D40LF. Obviously, not a hybrid, as they punched through the roof.

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