Top CTA stories to look for in 2012

We’ve covered the top CTA stories of 2011, and reviewed the year by month.

Now it’s time to look ahead to 2012. Here are some key CTA stories to look for in this new year.

CTA union negotiations. The labor contract with CTA unions expired on Dec. 31. Now negotiations are ready to begin for a new contract. President Forrest Claypool has made it clear he thinks some of the union rules are antiquated. And he’s hoping to avoid service cuts and fare hikes on July 1 by getting at least $80 million in union givebacks. Good luck with that, Forrest.

Further safety improvements. What it costs whether you can actually use the CTA directly affect every rider (see above). Following close behind is whether you feel safe while using the CTA. The CTA made some good efforts last year in greatly expanding its video surveillance network at rail stations. And this spring, 50 newly sworn officers will patrol exclusively on the CTA trains and platforms. That should help!

Fate of new CTA rail cars. Just a few weeks after the new Series 5000 rail cars debuted for revenue service on the Pink Line, the CTA pulled them off the rails because of problems with wheel housings. The question is – when will they be back in service 2012, and how far behind will this put the CTA’s rollout of all 700-plus new cars.

New rail stations open. In 2011, the CTA finished a complete rehab of the Grand-State Red Line station, and it looks brand new. But it’s not. However, the Morgan Street station on the Pink and Green Lines will be brand new when it opens the summer. The new Oakton station on the Yellow Line also will open this year.

First Bus Rapid Transit route. The CTA has talked for years about adding Bus Rapid Transit to its system. It looks like 2012 may be the year those dreams come to fruition with a pilot project on Jeffery Boulevard. The main features of BRT are dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal prioritization and special boarding areas where riders pre-pay.

So, that’s what WILL happen in 2012. What do you WISH would happen in 2012?


Leave a comment
  • CTA union negotiations. Remember all the different unions at the CTA don't get the same contract provisions. Myself I got my pants around my ankles with the vasoline nearby.

  • In reply to Master Shake:

    That's what Lovie Claypool wants, but, as I mentioned before, he can't get it unilaterally, and would have to get it through an arbitrator. My bet is that he won't. I also stated yesterday my bet on what the consequence will be. Not sure if Kevin is saying "good luck" sarcastically.

    Of course, some people in other neighborhoods of Chicago Now would be looking forward to what you suggest.

    In the meantime, I'm predicting that there will be the negative of news, including that waste at the CTA won't be investigated, CTA will continue to think it is the sole transit agency in the country, and, sorry Mike, there won't be a Gray Line for the 12th year. You can infer from the above what I would like to see, if that was the question, but we won't.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, I am being totally sarcastic because I don't think Claypool will get those givebacks. If he does, he's a genius.

  • In reply to jack:

    Actually, Mike should know this is about the 43rd year of no Gray Line.
    The original plan after the Dan Ryan Line was built was to move the South Side Main Line [Jackson Park/Englewood Lines] to the IC Mainline out to 115th St.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I was referring more to after having won the 2000 CATS prize, and all that comes with it, i.e. nothing.

    For that matter, it is about the 40th anniversary of the nonbuilding of the Monroe St. distributor subway, and about the 20th anniversary of the nonbuilding of the Monroe St. multimodal transitway.

    Since the latter was mentioned in CTA at 45, it is the 65th year of the CTA as an operating entity, but in another bit of nonnews, Claypool isn't going to be writing a book about that, like a predecessor did 20 years ago. For that matter, it is the 15th anniversary of CTA not having management meeting statutory or basically any qualifications (but it might be longer).

    Happy New Year, folks.

  • In reply to jack:

    What are the statutory requirements?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Whether you want to look at it that way or not - several important parts of the Gray Line are on their way into being:

    The new Metra EMU Highliner II cars are on order (I believe they're paid for), half without washrooms (coincidentally - for financial reasons).

    By Jan. 1st, 2015 - I believe CTA, Metra, and Pace must By Law have a Fare System in place with a Fare Instrument accepted by all; and which integrates fares.

    Starting next month I will be able to generate and distribute thousands of Gray Line color fliers per week:

    The colors attract strong attention from anyone who sees them, and I am sure that distributing thousands of them throughout all of 2012 they will gain a lot of public support.

    Especially when they are distributed at the final South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study meeting (tentatively set for February), and Sen. Durbin's CTA Lakefront Transit Study meetings throughout 2012.

  • fb_avatar

    Please fix bus bunching, it's so bad on Western

  • fb_avatar

    All I want is to get from point A to point B with less than 3 delays. It's ridiculous. Having once worked for the CTA, I know first hand how much time and money is wasted, how many extra workers are put on a job when they are not needed, how many times they put three times as many "flaggers" as necessary, how SLOW these guys work on projects that should take no time at all..... I am not proud to say that I worked for that corrupt "authority." It's a slap in the face of the citizens of Chicago to be paying for this.

Leave a comment