A Brown Line train to North and Clybourn? More confusion from the CTA

Getting aboard a Brown Line train at Grand in the Red Line subway, we heard this announcement from the motorman:

"This is a Brown Line train to North and Clybourn."

Pause. Huh?

"At North and Clybourn, this train will go on the elevated tracks, and bypass Armitage. Then it will make every Brown Line stop to Kimball."

Well, thanks for all the info, and for confusing us at first with the North and Clybourn info.

I guess he gets an A for effort.



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  • fb_avatar

    Is this really news-worthy?

  • In reply to Adam H:

    Adam, have you heard there's been a little confusion the last two days with announcements on the Brown Line?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    The question here is the journalistic use of anecdotes, which all journalists use. It might be one thing if only this guy messed up, but indications are that this has been chaos since Sunday. Throw in a train with brake problems at Armitage this morning holding up both the Red and Brown lines.

    On the other hand, there is no indication of what went right, but if this operator is typical of the untrained on the CTA staff, maybe there aren't.

  • I was just at Lake when the NB Brown line pulled in and the operator announced at a VERY loud level "this is a Brown line train to Fullerton!!!" several times. Lots of confused people wondering if that was the last stop for the train. Then at Fullerton two NB Red Line trains pulled in at the same time for some reason. Talk about utterly confused riders! Can't wait until the bridge project is over.

  • In reply to Matt:

    The other half of the bridge gets done in late April, early May. Will CTA learn something by then?

  • Is the snow going to cause any delays in completing the bridge?

  • All I have to say about that is DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  • It's impossible for the CTA to get every little piece of minutia exactly right, but for me all I can say is that the last three days I've taken the Brown Line from Southport to the Mart (which is fortunately my normal commute), and have had absolutely no issues whatsoever. Train Tracker accurately tells me which train is heading to the Mart, and aside from maybe a little extra standing time at Chicago, the trip has been fine, and that standing time is almost certainly offset by the lack of stops and starts between Armitage and the Mart that I experience pretty much every other day. Evening commutes have been easy as well.

  • It's probably kind of weird for the motormen to be making announcements--that's been done for them for a long time now.

  • fb_avatar

    The most frustrating thing for me about this is the inability of the CTA employees who have been pulled from their regular duty to provide instruction and answer questions about the service changes. I spoke with three different CTA employees, each posted at a different spot near the Clark/Lake el stop - and I got a different answer from each of them about which is the last stop coming south on the Brown line (is it the Mart, or Chicago Ave?) and whether there is a shuttle Brown line train that runs around and around the Loop.
    Don't just throw people into customer service positions without TRAINING them in customer service!!!

  • In reply to Virginia Brown:

    Unfortunately, the service changes on the Loop are so complicated, that yes, it's possible to ask three employees and get three interpretations. That makes the CTA printed handouts that those employees should have for distribution, all that more important. As to your question about "last stop" it depends on the time of day and on the day of the week. On weekdays, including both rush hours, Merchandise Mart is the last stop. On weekdays after 10 pm and all day Saturday and Sunday, Chicago/Franklin is the last stop.

    At any time that Brown line trains are making Merchandise Mart the last stop, THERE IS a Brown line shuttle running completely around the Loop. Thus late at night and on weekends there is NO Brown line shuttle. But on weekends only, there is a Green line shuttle between Adams/Wabash and Clark/Lake. This shuttle is especially important for ADA passengers from the Green line needing to disembark in the Loop, especially at Clark/Lake. The shuttles give more alternatives to making connections, although the savy traveller might also make connections using existing services.


  • In reply to chicagopcc1:

    No wonder the poor CTA workers don't know what to tell people. I realize cost is part of the equation, but they really need to choose one of those alternatives and make that happen 24/7 until this is over.

  • In reply to chicagopcc1:

    Has there been an explanation from CTA as to why the southern Green Line ends on the construction weekends at Adams/Wabash with a shuttle -- also marked as Green -- from there to Clark/Lake, instead of running the southern Green trains all the way to Clark/Lake?

  • In reply to jbredin:

    There is no place to conveniently turn the southern Green line trains other than at Adams/Wabash. The single shuttle then operates in both directions from Adams/Wabash to Clark/Lake on the single northbound track. The two train services can still safely berth at Adams/Wabash. The shuttle allows ADA to exit at an accessible station.


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