Tuesday was not a great day for the CTA, news-wise, for a number of reasons.
1. A derailment of track maintenance equipment on the Blue Line caused service interruptions for about 12 hours. The derailment occurred near on the Forest Park branch between Harlem and Forest Park stations. Bus shuttles carried passengers for abotu 11 hours till service was finally restored at about 2:30 p.m.
2. The Tribune reported about a top rail manager issuing a memo for operators "load and go" -- that is, not wait for passengers who might be running up stairs or trying to connect from another soon-to-arrive train. But the CTA said, no, the manager shouldn't have sent that memo. It just made everyone look bad. -- especially top management at the CTA.
3. An intoxicated man fell onto the tracks at Roosevelt elevated platform, but miraculously didn't get hurt. Of course, you have to blame the stumbling drunk for this. But anyone caught on trains that couldn't move while the guy was extricated wouldn't know that, and no doubt would be cursing the CTA for making them late.
4. In a Tuesday story, the Trib reported a 54-year-old convicted thief was caught on camera cutting the pants of a Red Line CTA passenger and stealing his credit card to buy CTA cards. The alleged thief (and probably the victim) is to blame for this, but stories like these just add fuel to the fire that the CTA is unsafe to ride.
Of course, the good news here is a CTA surveillance camera caught the guy red-handed as he sliced and diced he victim's pants. But then the Trib story also noted the thief was found was at least 11 fare cards that he no doubt had lifted from other CTA victims. But at least the guy is a loyal customer, right?
5. Finally, there was some good news. Ridership is up for the first six months of the year over the same time period last year. CTA reports a 4 percent increase in boarding, or about 10.5 million boardings so far this year over last year.
But then, the glass-half-empty guy would say that just give thieves like the fellow featured in Item No. 4 above even more opportunities. But since I'm generally a glass-half-full guy, my spin is it gives more revenue and hopefully reduces the need for a huge fare increase next year.
6. UPDATE:And I missed one, which happened after I first posted Tuesday night. Sun-Times: Pedestrian dies after fall at Forest Park Blue Line station. "It was unclear whether the person was hit by a train or fell from a platform on the electrified third rail, officials said." A tragic way to end a bad day.