By most accounts, the CTA did pretty well in providing service throughout the Blizzard of 2011. And one thing we can say for certain — it did better than its sister transit agency Metra.
On Thursday, Metra operated a reduced schedule on four of its 11 train lines, and half-hour delays were not uncommon. The CTA had full rail service after clearing the ground-level tracks on Yellow Line and re-establishing service between 54th/Cermak and Pulaski on the Pink Line.
There were some early delays Thursday on the Blue Line, and of course the bus routes were slow-going through some streets that were still snow-clogged. And a switch box fire caused Red Line delays in the late afternoon.
The biggest CTA complaint I heard was the common complaint for the huge transit system — a lack of proper and prompt communication with passengers.
For instance, though Lake Shore Drive was clear Thursday morning, CTA buses avoided it because all lanes were not open. Fine, but operators never mentioned that to customers. And one Tattler reader places the blame at the top:
“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.”
Still, in the CTA Tattler click poll about 75% of respondents said CTA service throughout the blizzard was good.
Now severe cold will try to disrupt CTA service. Let’s hope Mother Nature loses that battle too.