Great new features increase usefulness of CTA Train Tracker

The CTA has improved on a good thing by adding new features to the workforce app Train Tracker. Here are the new features:

  • “Follow this train” allows you to click or tap on an approaching train on CTA Train Tracker and get estimates of how many minutes it will take to get to each of the upcoming stops. This is a cool one. It’s mesmerizing to watch the trains move through their route. This feature already is available on Bus Tracker.
  • “Stops near melets customers with GPS-enabled devices detect the closest stations to your location. This no doubt will help tourists, but probably will have limited appeal to most veteran CTA riders who already know the system.
  • Station name search will allow you to quickly get station information by typing in just part or all of a station name, instead of having to scroll down a screen to find a stop. This will be a nice time saver. It was annoying to scroll through those long list to get to stops such Washington.
  • Improved schedule-based information will provide more information for customers who travel off-peak or begin their trips at/near terminals. Another great new feature, especially for those who live near terminals.
  • New train location map lets you see where trains are, in near-real-time, on an interactive desktop map. Click on a station and get train arrival information; or, click on a train and find out the estimated number of minutes it will take to get to the next several rail stations. CTA also currently offers this feature on CTA Bus Tracker to allow customers to see where buses are.
  • Updated stop selector on both the desktop and mobile versions— a streamlined interface  that makes it easier to get the train information you need how you want it – by rail line; by your favorite or recent stops; or through the new “Stops near me” function. More good stuff.

Congrats to the CTA for rolling out these great features in what the CTA is calling “Beta 2.”


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  • I'm not sure if the "Stops near me” is the same as the feature in the experimental combined Tracker that showed all nearby bus and L stops and the next vehicle at each. If it is, that would be a useful feature, including to those experienced with the system, such if whether one is debating taking the Red Line or the 147 bus.

  • Does it give out the head car number? So I can avoid riding the 5000s.

  • ibill: I don't think it does give the head car number. So you're stuck being a sardine.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:


  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I'd like to know whether the next train that's coming is the bad kind, and then figure how many more minutes I'd have to wait for one of the good kind!

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Depends on how you define "bad kind."

    iBill has indicated elsewhere that essentially, he doesn't like longitudinal seats, but I suppose that the time is near when one won't have a choice on the Pink and Green Lines, and probably a year and a half on the Red Line.

  • Unless you are really, really in a hurry, it's pretty easy to decide you don't like the train you are on, get off at the next station, and get on the next one. Even if you are extremely picky, you'll get to your destination eventually.

  • An update: I fooled with the map version, but there are obvious data problems on the Yellow Line, including showing only one train, and saying that estimated arrivals at Dempster are every 15 minutes, but departures 30, when no run ends there. Maybe the controller at Howard isn't punching in the train departures, or however a train should be entered into the system.

    And to amend my first comment, apparently this isn't the combined experimental Tracker.

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