A little bribery might get your CTA driver to make a detour for you

This came over the email transom from Benjamin. Feel free to send tips and stories to ctatattler@gmail.com

In the spirit of the old “overheard on the CTA” posts:

A northbound 157 bus pulls up to a stop across the street from Ogilvie Transportation Center. A guy at the stop looks in through the open doors. “How come this bus, that I don’t ride, is the only one that’s ever on time?” he says, joshing the driver.

“Well, maybe you should take this bus some day,” the driver replies.

“Hey, would you make a detour for me?” asks the man. “Just this once?”

The driver replies instantly: “How much money you got?”



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  • I'm pretty sure that the gps would be some sort of deterrent, assuming that the supervisors actually look at their version of BusTracker.

    What that guy wants is called "paratransit" or a "taxi." I bet there are plenty of the latter at OTC.

    But maybe it is an indication that CTA is on time, and he isn't. For instance a "Clean Air Hybrid Bus" is always at the same location outside the ABC7 window at 6:26 p.m.

  • In other news, there was a reference in the chicagobus.org news feed, but more of a CTA Tattler topic, to this Chicago Journal article about a "Samurai" captured on the L tracks. Apparently the "anti-Christ" stole a sword in Chinatown, went through the Cermak-Chinatown station, and climbed the ramp up to the Orange Line, where he was confronted by a CTA transportation manager.

    I suppose that Scooter would have recommended to let Social Darwinism take its course and leave the power on and cranking up the controller to 55.

  • Correct!
    But let him fry on the trolley rail instead!
    As much as I'm sick of the weird way a lot of motormen run their trains, having seen a man kill himself by Metra locomotive, I wouldn't wish that on the motorman.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I suppose someone should have told Phil Pagano that.

  • A long time ago I talked a CTA motorman into letting me drive a train. I gave her my Coolatta and got to push the buttons from the Chicago stop to Sedgwick on the Brown Line.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Considering at least the curves in that section, including the one at Oak Street resulting in a wreck due to an operator moving on a red signal without calling the control center, someone should have been reported for that.

    Also, "push the buttons" doesn't do anything unless someone got to touch the controller, as I indicated above.

  • When there are traffic jams due to construction or accidents, do CTA bus drivers have the authority to go "off route" to get around the traffic congestion? Earlier this year I was on the #125 heading to Union Station , traffic on Ontario was at a crawl because of construction at LaSalle. Traffic was backed up to Michigan. There were no stops after State Street on this route so the buses could have been deteroued around the traffic instead of just sitting in it. Why does the CTA insist on sending buses down a street when traffic is moving slower than molases.

  • In reply to Richard S.:

    One would think that is the reason supervisors have BusTracker, but except for posted alerts, most bus drivers posting on these forums say no.

    In fact, one has to wonder how good BusTracker is in that buses disappear from the map screen and the estimated arrival times are messed up when there is a scheduled reroute, such as when south LSD buses were rerouted off LSD at 31st or Oakwood. Again, one wonders whether the supervisors' version has this flaw evident on the public version.

  • In reply to jack:

    I agree that Bus tracker does not work all that well. I have had a need to use it more and more of the past 4 months. There are many glitches with it. In addition to what you have pointed out with buses disappearing, I have noticed that when buses come from the garage to start a run, the bus doesnt show up on BT until the run is programmed. The same thing happens when a bus switches from one assigned route to another.

    From mid June to about Mid July, Bus tracker for Route 123 was all screwed up. All arrival times kept showing 17 minutes for more even though the bus would show up on time. It took the CTA a month to fix it. They claimed it was due to the wacker reroutes, but nothing changed going Soutbound.

  • In reply to Richard S.:

    They had originally claimed that 123 was one of the last to go live, because there were too few time points for the estimator part of the program to work.

    I suppose that even if they fixed that problem, it gives them an excuse not to touch it as a result of the reroute. Even if the route was going inbound, it still has to make the round trip back to the starting point.

  • In reply to Richard S.:

    There was one time I was on a northbound Archer bus, and because there appeared to be a huge traffic jam and a freight train that may have been stalled at 4600 West Archer, so the bus turned around, headed down Cicero to (47th, I think) and rejoined its regular route at Pulaski. I think that's probably not typical, though.

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