Good, bad, indifferent? How did CTA perform during blizzard?

We’ve heard a number of stories from CTA Tattler readers about their commutes to work on Wednesday — everything from “good experience” and “easy commute” to “I took a taxi.” In Rogers Park, a bus blocked Morse Avenue for the better part of the day.

Weather conditions tested three CTA rail lines Wednesday. Yellow Line service was suspended because of blowing snow at grade level. Pink Line service was disrupted between 54th/Cermak and Pulaski. And the Brown Line was shut for a couple of hours.

As the main arteries are finally getting clear, bus service should be getting back to normal on Thursday. CTA President Rich Rodriguez on Wednesday kept reminding riders that the trains were the best bet.

So did the rail system come through for you? How was your bus experience? Leave a comment, and take the click poll.


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  • I guess that Rogers Park bus explains why I waited an hour for a westbound 155 yesterday before giving up and not going to work.

  • In watching various routes on Bustracker, much of the time I looked, from Midnight on to 2PM Wed. Most buses were at either one end of their route or the other. The first look was the 22 at Midnight & there were four buses on it, two in each direction, except all of them were around Belmont!

  • I am surprised that nobody has mentioned a snow-weakness in the articulated bus design.

    The driving wheels are in the rear section. That bent bus blocking the drive could never have gotten out; as the driver gave power, it would simply try to bend the bus further. The only way the driver could have straightened the bus would have been to go in reverse; considering the cars around, THAT was impossible.

  • The CTA is performing horribly Thursday morning getting people back to work. Despite LSD being completely clear southbound, the buses aren't using it. Despite knowing this, the CTA is still letting hundreds of passengers stand around at their bus stop, only to get to the Lake Shore Drive entrance to announce they are diverting two miles out of the way.

    I waited for the 135 this morning, went several stops to Belmont... The bus driver made this announcement. A bus supervisor got on and told the bus driver he was to take Belmont to Halsted then the decidely non-Express Halsted all the way downtown. I'd still be on that "express" bus had I done that. Instead I hopped off the bus, went to my car a block away, cleared it off, and took it in. It was actually quicker today than it ever is.

    The CTA's failure to communicate with its customers this circumstance is a complete failure at the highest level. You can't blame the bus driver, and you can't blame the supervisor. They both thought it was ridiculous as well and encouraged the bus load of irate passengers to call the CTA to complain as it made no sense.

  • The CTA has informed me that it was the Chicago Police Department who issued the order to not use LSD. Who at the CPD can be contacted? It's still a failure on the CTA's part to not communicate this with customers before they invest 10-25 minutes into a bus ride only to be told it's not taking the advertised route.

  • (furthermore, there are no "customer alerts" at the moment on the CTA's page alerting to the reroute under any of the bus #s that are affected)

  • Yeah...that glowing review I posted yesterday about the CTA being the easiest part of my commute...not so much this morning.

    I got to the California Blue Line stop at 8am to see people lined up down the stairs and almost into the station itself. People were leaving as a train pulled in. Up on the platform itself it was stacked 5 deep at its widest points. I waited for five trains to pass before I could squeeze onto one. By that time I couldn't feel my toes or my legs and I'm telling you, I was DECKED OUT in multiple layers of winter gear because no plows have made it into my neighborhood yet, so it's been wading in knee-to-waist-deep snow yesterday and today to get to the station.

    What made it all the more grating was when the operators would say that they had "three immediate followers" when they DID NOT. If you don't, then just don't say anything. But if you pull into California and the next train doesn't come for 15 minutes, and then the next one not for another 10-15 minutes...then that is no longer "immediate," so can it.

    Once I got onto the train, the doors on the inside were broken. So roundabout Clark and Lake, I yell to people that the doors are broken. I used to do theater, so I know how to project; and yet, people down at the other end of the train would not move. I'm like...for real, people? FOR REAL? This morning, after everything we went through, waiting together forever? Effing MOVE!!

    I debarked at Monroe at about 9:40. I still can't feel my toes or parts of my legs.


  • They did a great job. It took me less than an hour to go from Thorndale Redline to Montrose Brown Line via Belmont, including a stop at Potbellys to pick up lunch for 12 of my co-workers.

  • Well I'm technically a foul weather friend of the CTA. Add to that that I arrived at Granville at 4:10am and you can toss my experience as atypical. Anyway...

    Southbound Redline train arrived just after I got to the platform. My middle car had four sleepers spread about the car. I changed seats after kicking some trash at my feet that included a partially full container of some liquid. Nice quick uneventful ride to Jackson. The transition between el and subway was eerily silent, all noise muffled by the snow I guess.

    At Jackson I crossed over to the Blue line for my trip west. The platform seemed more crowded than I was expecting. When the west bound train arrived I could see another arriving back at Lake/Washington (or whatever that stop there is). I was afraid that my train was going to run express after we got out of the subway and I would have to wait in the cold for that following train. Ok that's not that big a hardship, but it didn't run express anyway. My ride to Homan was uneventful except for encountering a fellow traveler from work that I sat with. Arrived at 5:05am which is typical for that commute when I do it.

    My only real comment is that it that even that early it appears that the Blue line was struggling.

  • I took the Red Line to work Wednesday morning. I waited 20 minutes for a southbound train at Berwyn at 7:00 AM. It was crowded when it finally came, but not terrible. Wednesday late afternoon from Chicago & State -- waited 10 minutes for a northbound. Again, crowded but not unbearable. Thursday morning -- planned to take my preferred 147. Got on at Berwyn. Just before Foster, the supervisor told the driver what surface streets he should be taking. Got off at Argyle and transferred to an uncomfortably crowded Red Line. The 147 driver didn't even know he wasn't going on the Drive. I didn't see notice on the CTA website that buses weren't using the Drive. I never would have tried the bus had I known.

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