(This is a guest post by longtime CTA Tattler reader and commenter C C Writer.)
The one good thing to come out of Thursday's transit fiasco is that I had plenty of time to compose a rant in my head. (A southbound Red Line train derailed near Armitage.)
I give the CTA a D minus for the day. The only reason it's not an F minus is that I did hear the words "shuttle bus" mentioned on the Belmont platform after we were told the train would go no further. But from there, everything went downhill.
The CTA still cannot or will not do an adequate job of communicating with passengers who are on the system when something happens. CTA management apparently hopes to make up for it by pouring money into new tech meant to keep everyone who ISN'T traveling informed about what's happening.
But that only adds insult to injury for anyone who has already paid their fare, is stuck in transit, and really needs to know where the bleep this shuttle bus is going--or if the Red Line is still running at any point. I swear to you, they actually told us to just get on and we would be told later where it was going.
You can guess whether that promise was ever kept, and if you figure that the shuttle bus ended up going on some ridiculously circuitous route, and taking just about all day to do it, you're right on that one too. (I finally escaped, caught a "77 Belmont" which was running southbound at that point, and then a 36 which I would have done better to take in the first place, but the traffic reports before I left were making it sound like things were under control.)
Big epiphany from this experience: I want to know the name of the genius who, when the automated stop announcements were added, came up with the boneheaded idea to eliminate the microphones that used to be on all the buses, so there's no way for the driver to give a bus packed with passengers some badly needed information. That person should be put in stocks in Daley Plaza and pelted in the face with rotten tomatoes.
And after that I want the names of all the other people at the CTA who went along with it, when what they ought to have done is say something like "Yeah, and nothing unexpected will ever happen again, and if it does there will certainly be no need to make announcements about it! Ha-ha, thanks for the entertainment, now come back to us with a plan that makes sense, or you're fired." And all those people should have their heads dunked repeatedly in cold water and then made to pay heavy fines.
Groupthink is the pernicious evil at the root of so many bad CTA decisions. It must be condemned and rooted out. Do you hear me, Mr. Claypool?
C C Writer