CTA news pickup: Rahm backs Claypool; Holiday Train rides Orange-Brown lines

Here are some CTA news items you may have missed, plus this week's Holiday Train schedule.

Full vote of confidence from Rahm for CTA Prez Claypool. "Forrest has more than my full confidence," quoth Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a DNAinfo Chicago report. That's despite the less-than-smooth rollout of the new Ventra fare payment system.

Emanuel said that he does not hold Claypool responsible, "because Cubic is responsible for delivering a better service. Forrest always will have and does have my full confidence." Emanuel pointed to the success of the summerlong Red Line reconstruction project, completed on deadline and on budget, and said Claypool has been concentrating on the Ventra issues, adding, "He's holding Cubic's feet to the fire."

I know the following may not make me very popular with many of my readers - but I happen to agree Claypool doesn't deserve to lose his job over this mess. But he does need to keep the pressure on and heat turned up high to make Cubic solve the problems with the card.

Santa goes Orange and Brown on Holiday Train. Look for Santa Claus and the volunteer CTA employee elves this week riding the Orange and Brown lines via the Holiday Train. View the schedule for Wednesday through Saturday. Make special note of the two Santa photo opps at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Midway, and 2:15 p.m. Saturday at Kimball.

CTA contractor cited for employee's death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Aldridge Electric, a Libertyville electric contractor, for not following federal workplace safety laws after a 36-year-old employee died of heat stroke while working on the Dan Ryan branch of the CTA's Red Line project this past summer, write the Grayslake Patch. Aldridge Electric faces a $7,000 fine because it did not have "an adequate and effective heat stress program," and failed to make sure a new employee "was acclimatized to effects of heat and physical exertion," according to the Lake County News Sun.

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  • In other news, Frank Oz has complete confidence in Grover and Fozzie Bear, Craig Ferguson has complete confidence in Little Drew Carey and Sid the Cussing Rabbit, and Josh Robert Thompson has complete confidence in Little Morgan Freeman and Geoffrey Peterson.

    But didn't Brizard get a similar vote of confidence before the strike hit and he was gone?

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, it's all about semantics. Rahm said Forrest had "more than my full confidence."

    Not so with Brizard.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Semantics mean nothing, especially when you have a gobbledegooker like Claypool, put into place by Emanuel--not a CT Board. Do you believe another puppet's (Peterson"s) statements that "he listened?"

    So, the vote of confidence was much greater than the one given Brizard according to the Tribune?

    The only thing that counts is that Claypool, who is not legally qualified to serve, is there now and whether he will be there in a year.

    And, I see that you didn't dispute the point Brizard made after leaving about the analogy to Link Hogthrob and his other Muppet friends. Craig Ferguson says he is amused by puppets; apparently Emanuel also is.

    On the merits, let's see how much he does hold Cubic's feet to the fire, especially since the promised weekly report was based on Cubic metrics, not an independent CTA audit, and, of course, CTA's continual use of misleading statistics, including in the so called "President's Budget Recommendations." Cubic says 100% of the cards to CC and CCP users were mailed out; do you believe that, or just that 100% of the cards that Cubic intended to mail were?

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Also, Brizard "after," including not only the micromanaging part, but also "MRE was always ‘on’ and a master at managing media..." You just got managed.

  • How touching.

  • So what exactly is Claypool's job then? Does he have any responsibilities? Whose feet was he holding before Cubic made a mess of things? What happened to the notion of management and oversight of your vendors?

    If he doesn't deserve to be fired, don't we (in lieu of an option to take our business elsewhere) at least deserve to know who at the CTA end dropped the ball and why and how?

    I'm about ready to withdraw my cream pie offer and order up extra servings of rotten vegetables for the both of them. Last chance to come clean, guys.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Figurehead. Someone has to carry the mayor's water that the funding formula is unfair.

    I really doubt that Claypool was the one who fired up the project management software and determined that either the Dan Ryan project or Ventra was meeting objectives and milestones.

    But, if Brizard is any indication, instead of cream pies, Claypool will get a severance, even though he is "to hold office during the pleasure of the Board" (70 ILCS 3605/27).

  • If he won't fire Claypool we need to fire Emanuel.

  • "I know the following may not make me very popular with many of my readers - but I happen to agree Claypool doesn't deserve to lose his job over this mess. "

    No he needs to lose his job over those god awful Claypool Cattle Cars he ordered and the continuing hideous customer service culture of the CTA in general, and then add the Ventra mess.

  • In reply to Gunga Dean:

    As I pointed out, the cattle cars were ordered under the Kruesi regime. Put the blame where it royally belongs.

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