CTA community for ideas, comments lags behind Facebook, Twitter

It’s been just two days since the CTA beefed up its social media presence with accounts on Twitter and Facebook, email and text service updates, and a separate online community where registered users can post comments on the 2012 budgets and other ideas.

At 8 a.m. today, @CTA on Twitter had  around 2,000 followers, and the CTA Facebook page had about 350 users who “liked” it. That’s a good start.

However, the online community for sharing budget thoughts and other ideas had just 12 users and 14 ideas. One user has posted 11 of those 14 ideas. Call him a visionary.

The community is a harder sell since it requires people to post ideas, comment on them and vote on ideas. But I really thought it would do better. And it still might, though we are in the middle of budget hearings now.

So yes, we’re in the middle of the budget hearings. What do you think of the next budget? Get over there, review ideas and submit some of your own. Or go to one of the two remaining public hearings. Both start at 6 p.m.:

Monday, Nov. 7
Chicago Transit Authority Headquarters
567 W. Lake Street

Thursday, Nov. 10
Kennedy-King College
740 W. 63rd Street


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  • Maybe they should tweet something like this:

    Dear Craig, Geoff, and Secretariat:

    My girlfriend hasn't found out yet that I impregnated some girl at the Staples Center. What should I do?

    At least that would get read on the air, unlike what Mike says will happen to the 11 comments one person posted.

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    I put in those 11 ideas - was trying to give the forum some momentum. Was trying to mix in pure money saving ideas with a few investments that might cost some money up front but with increased ridership would make the system eligible for more payments in the future.

  • In reply to Seth Blumenthal:

    Good for you Seth. I still call you a visionary because I don't have that many ideas for the CTA!

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I probably have many more, but until CTA pays me what they pay AECOM (I know that AECOM won't recommend doing away with consultants) or shows any indication that they listen to anyone, no.

    I'm glad you had the free time Seth. Now, as I recommended above, tweet @geofftherobot.

  • If they don't have enough ideas,there were plenty of transit suggestions on the Emannuel budget website.They could always borrow these.Though I see the gray line proposal is already posted.

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    I'll agree with you to this extent ...:
    ... there are innumerable places where ideas were posted, as you note on various Emanuel sites, in the Auditor General's findings, and even going back to Ask Carole. Whether any has had any effect on CTA management is highly questionable. That's the source of my comment to Seth.

    As far as the Gray Line already posted, Mike posted here that he posted there, so I guess it wasn't taken down. However, as Mike also said,he doesn't expect that that will do any good.

  • Temporary use of retail space in C.T.A. stations until it is rented might make sense.
    Some people suggested branch libraries.If these were 24/7 or expanded hour facilities these would make more sense.They would attract users from a larger area because of their convenience.They might attract people that currently rarely use public transit.The additional people coming in off hours could improve safety.Libraries could also make change for cash riders.
    Another use of vacant retail space could be an expanded hour department of revenue payment facility.I know you can pay on line or at currency exchanges,but some people might prefer an official facility.This might bring prompter payment of revenue.
    A bricks and mortar version of the C.T.A. gift store might be a good bet.But they need to have a cheap umbrella to sell during rainstorms.
    Art shows or mini museums in unused retail space might draw more riders to the C.T.A. ALSO.

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    The problems are that (a) if Rahm is cutting the libraries, he isn't going to be adding any, and (b) if CTA is overcrowded now,and reports its deficit on a per passenger basis, it isn't interested in drawing more riders.

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