Top stories of 2011 for the CTA

It was yet another interesting and newsworthy year for the CTA in 2011. Here are my picks for the year’s top stories.

1. No fare hike or service cuts for 2012.

2. CTA steps up security in wake of increased crime.

2a. CTA more than doubles number of security cameras at rail stations.

2b. More police patrol subways, platforms, trains.

3. Forrest Claypool named new CTA president.

4. Train Tracker debuts early in the year.

5. Free rides end for all senior citizens.

6. New Series 5000 rail cars put into service.

7. Flaws found in wheel bearing housings forced the CTA to pull Series 5000 rail cars from service.

8. CTA begins cleanup of 100 rail stations with “renew crews.”

9. Bus Tracker info added to bus shelters.

10. CTA enters the world of social media.

Also, see my detailed CTA year in review by quarter:


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  • Not having a small fare hike is foolish.
    The CTA is going to get into the same mess that Metra brought upon itself by holding off small yearly increases & then being forced into a large one that totally infuriates the riders.

    A 25¢ hike won't be the end of the world for most of us. That's $2.50 a week. I'd prefer to keep that in my pocket, but it's preferable to a $1 raise a year from now.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I agree with you Scooter!

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    You agreed with me!
    Hell has frozen over!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Based on how the last poll was phrased, in terms of a 25 cent increase, that wasn't surprising.

    But I am on the record for $1, and probably in July, 2012.

  • As far as the syntax (sort of like the Jewel ad of "not available at all stores" which appears to mean "not available at any store") "Free rides end for all senior citizens" technically isn't correct, maybe it is "free rides end for 75% of senior citizens" or whatever number the RTA threw out there.

    And Scooter indicates what the big story of July 2012 will be. In fact, it is worse than the Metra situation. CTA will take a double hit, in that (a) the budget recognizes that it won't be getting the $83 million a year from the RTA, but (b) doesn't recognize that since the RTA is not being reimbursed by the state, it has to pay it back, which is that less money to distribute to the CTA this year. Of course, the Lovie Smith of Transit won't blame it on that.

    CTA should have just said, like it intimated in July 2009: "The state didn't keep its end of the bargain, so we can't either." But it didn't, and dug itself into a double hole.

    Meantime, in the "safe transit" category, there was the reported sexual assault over the weekend on a Blue Line train, I guess still classified under 2011 news.

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