News pickup: Samurai stopper wins award

Here’s a roundup of CTA-related news:

Board honors CTA manager for stopping swordsman on tracks. A transportation manager confronts and subdues a samurai-wielding man walking on Orange Line tracks. You gotta read the Chicago Journal story to believe it.

Three muggers nabbed after early morning beat-down at Addison. “Police promptly nabbed a trio of Chicago men who ambushed and beat a man while trying to rob him on a North Side “L” platform early Saturday morning, prosecutors said. The 38-year-old man said he had just popped in his iPod ear buds after a night of drinking with friends when the group pounced on him on the Red Line platform on Addison Street near Wrigley Field.” Read the full story from the Tribune.

CTA financial statements reflect positive steps in efficiency and emissions. A story at Medill Reports Chicago reports that the “Chicago Transit Authority has benefitted both financially and environmentally from the Chicago Climate Action Plan.” Hat tip to Chicagoist.

Hundreds line up for 400 CTA bus operator jobs. The CTA had processed about 700 applications by mid-morning Monday for 400 part-time jobs that will be filled next year when the Red Line south shut downs for track repairs. The jobs will be permanent. See a Tribune video report.


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  • Having read the Chicago Journal article, I don't think Alvarado was a hero, I know he was a fool!
    Highly likely that the loon with the sword would have fallen through the "gaping hole, three-feet wide" & died or tripped & been electrocuted on the trolley rail.
    Absent that, cops would have been at the Roosevelt station & taken him down, either by Taser or gunfire.

    In other words, good riddance!
    After all, I'm a Social Darwinist!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Well, we recognized that a couple of days ago.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    According to the Tribune, you just got your next winner, Scooter.

  • In reply to jack:

    Coincidentally, there have been two instances of people hit & killed by Metra trains in the last week.
    They weren't suicides, they just were totally incompetent at crossing a pair of tracks between marked grade crossings & somehow didn't see or hear the trains.
    The articles I read didn't state whether they were listening on headphones or were drunk at the time.

  • Medill story: They have fallen into the trap that I said existed in 2009--i.e. because of bad fuel hedges, CTA was paying $3.69 a gallon for diesel when the market price was about $1.60. Yet, the "journalists" there attributed it to the Chicago Climate Action plan, but then said it was some parallel CTA initiative. Hence, don't believe everything you read.

    What might have been a more interesting story is why, after claiming to be Clean Air and buying 208 hybrids, the exercised Seattle options to be delivered late this year are 33 hybrids (probably due to the terms of the Durbin grant) and 67 diesels, and the solicitation for 425 buses says diesel 40 footers and alternative prices for 60 foot hybrids or diesels. Probably based on more evidence than Medill had, I can conclude that the hybrids don't pay, in CTA's mind, at least to the extent that they cost $175k to $200k more per bus.

    Maybe what might be a more interesting question is whether Pace converting South division to CNG will pay for itself, given the drop in natural gas prices. That probably will take two years to develop, but, I guess I am ahead of the times again.

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