Shocker! Most tweets about the CTA are negative

Researchers from Purdue University discovered what everyone searching for #cta in TweetDeck already know: That most of the tweets about the CTA are negative in nature.

The line chart below shows positive tweets in blue and negative tweets in red on the morning on July 11, 2011. The word cloud below it was created using words that were tweeted that morning. It turns out that a bunch of trees had fallen on the tracks, causing delays on the Red, Brown and Purple lines. Naturally, people were not happy about that. Lots of negative tweets ensued.

Here's the take-home quote for the CTA and other transit agencies:

"The most interesting thing we found is that transit riders do not give any positive sentiment at a particular time. They only give negative sentiment," he said. Now, this may seem depressing if you work for one of these agencies. "But that’s not very disappointing," Hasan said, "because we found that the lack of negative sentiment is basically what transit authorities should look for. If there’s no negative sentiment at any given time, that means that things are running smoothly."

Also depicted in the gallery is an assortment of negative tweets about the CTA found in one 24-hour period.


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  • There were a couple of apps people on a couple of nights ago saying that Emanuel wants to encourage people sorting the data. So, I guess that this is doing that. Correlating the inverted spikes with certain events seemed interesting. Also, I guess that this assumes that everyone uses #CTA.

    Of course, someone has to tell the people in West Lafayette (the source of the analytic program) or Washington D.C. (the apparent source of the article) that Chicago doesn't have California and Fullerton Streets.

  • Why should the cta expect us to praise decent service? Shouldn't that be something that doesnt stand out?

    *That being said, if an operator goes out of his/ her way to do something, then yes, praise should be awarded.

    Also, if I actually tweeted my cta complaints, it would crash twitter. The Belmont bus has been absolutely disgraceful over the last few weeks. And actually, my issues are equally with the customers as well as bus ops.

    People of Chicago, you do not have personal space on the cta, move to the back of the bus, the odds of being attacked are no higher.

  • Claypool and his minions ought to be required to get one of these daily. Noticeably absent are words like "Stinks", "Smells", "Ass", "Poop", "Pee/piss", "Trash", and "Gross".

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