I just found this email buried in my inbox from last month. It’s dedicated to the good folks in the customer service department at the CTA. I’ve had a couple good experiences with them and so did Sarah:
I wanted to let you know about a recent experience with the CTA and how they handled it.
Last (month) when we were having the really cold temperatures, I was
going to take the bus South down Damen (from Foster). I think the CTA
Bus tracker for the #50 is sometimes a bit weird so close to the start
of the route. I tracked the #50 on my phone and it showed No Buses. So
I checked a few minutes later…No Buses. Then at about 6 p.m. I hit
Refresh again it the Tracker showed two buses – 6 minutes and 20
I hustled out of the house, down Berwyn, onto Damen and raced to
Foster. I looked East on Foster and here comes the Damen bus. I was
waving my arms and thinking that the driver would miss the light and I
would be able to cross South across Foster. Well, the driver took the
left onto Damen after the light turned red so I raced across the
If you know the intersection the bus stop is really close and about the
length of a bus. I kept running and kept my arm up and got up alongside
the bus trying not to fall on the ice. The driver slowed, don’t know if
he saw me and right about the time I *almost* made it to the door he
pulls away. Ugh. I was so pissed that I fired off an email right then
to CTA Customer Service since I had to wait a good 15 minutes for the
Now, I know…I am spoiled. I expect Bus Tracker to work. It’s a great
invention. But when temps are so cold I also wanted the driver to be
looking out for me. It’s a lot to expect and I did say in my email to
the CTA that I was really ticked off more than anything else.
The CTA emailed me an apology. I also received a phone call from the
Garage Manager apologizing. I know I can’t expect every bus to wait for
me – that would be nuts but on such a cold night, with the wind chill
and all the ice preventing me from walking to my destination, my point
was be aware of people trying to make the bus.
So I really appreciate the CTA following up.