News pickup: CTA dumps Securitas, restricts ad types

Here are some recent CTA items in the news:

CTA dumps Securitas. The CTA is replacing 450 Securitas private security guards with CTA customer service agents, the Sun-Times reported last week. The switch is part of the labor deal negotiated last year. The new CSAs will perform the same duties as the security guards, plus “do other things, too — like retrieve items dropped on L tracks and help customers who are unfamiliar with ticket machines.”

The Sun-Times also noted that the CTA workers won’t have state security licenses as the Securitas guards do. For its part, the CTA says its workers will get “two days of security training as part of their seven-day training program, including ‘one day spent addressing CTA-specific safety, security and emergency-response procedures’ and ‘one day dedicated to anti-terrorism and security.’ ”

This move makes me happy. I’ve never seen the Securitas guards do anything but lock themselves inside station agent booths. Here’s hoping the CTA customer service agents show how they can help riders.

CTA restricts acceptable advertising. The CTA board last week agreed to change its advertising guidelines to no longer accept political or public issue ads, and to not accept ads for adult/mature rated films, television programs and video games.

The new policy will allow only three categories of advertisements: commercial and promotional; governmental ads; and public service announcements, according to a news release. Public service announcements will be limited to non-profit organizations and the messages must relate to health, welfare or education. The policy change designates CTA as a non-public forum, similar to actions taken by some other U.S. transit agencies in recent years.

This change will cost the CTA about $100,000 in annual revenue.

Combined pass deal from Metra and CTA/Pace for Red Line shutdown. The CTA, Pace and Metra are teaming to offer combined fare deals during the Red Line south reconstruction for $52 to $74 depending on which Metra rail zone you live in. The package will include a CTA/Pace five-day pass and a Metra 10-ride ticket.


Leave a comment
  • As I noted yesterday, #3 is a sham.

  • Was on the NB Green Line today.
    The CTA incompetents have already started using the new announcements, days before the Red Line will be using the old South Side Main Line again.
    After stopping at Indiana, Mr CTA [Lee Crooks] announced: "35th-Bronzeville-IIT, change at 35th for Red Line trains".
    Just brilliant, I wonder if anyone will get screwed up by this.
    The Red Line schedules are also posted on the Garfield station.
    The extra temporary stairway is complete, as is the bus loading/unloading lanes are finished & an instruction bus was there with about 20 drivers.
    But if it's a free transfer from the shuttles at Garfield, why are there regular fare turnstiles at the bottom of the temp stairs?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The turnstiles spin freely. They are used at Garfield to count the number of persons entering the station.

  • Wow, endless bitching.

  • In reply to quaver:

    I don't think you understand.
    The announcement is up too early & might cause a passenger unfamiliar with the lines to get off at a station where the transfer can't occur until Sunday.
    Red Line schedules that are posted on Green Line stations should be covered up until Sunday to avoid confusion.
    If the temp stairs are for a free transfer, why the turnstiles?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I'm not aggrieved by that. At least it looks like CTA is preparing, unlike the impression a retiree thug was posting elsewhere that "it is impossible to reprogram the destination signs with pictures of the roll signs" until he at least admitted that he didn't know how it was done, nor cared, but it was.

    I was told by a supervisor once that bus sign programs have "activation dates." I don't know of the rapid transit car announcement programs do, but it seems what happened was preferable to getting on a train next Tuesday and Mr. CTA saying "This is a Green Line train to Ashland-63." Riders confused for the next couple of days would have been confused nonetheless.

  • In reply to jack:

    "I'm not aggrieved by that. At least it looks like CTA is preparing, unlike the impression a retiree thug was posting elsewhere that "it is impossible to reprogram the destination signs with pictures of the roll signs" until he at least admitted that he didn't know how it was done, nor cared, but it was."

    Seems like that one person sure worries you to no keep misquoting him, complaining when he finds errors in your reports. Maybe you need a real job instead of trollin' on the Internet.

  • In reply to chicagopcc1:

    Maybe you shouldn't be calling people trolls elsewhere, and then complaining "It's well known that when a person has no facts to refute or substantiate their position, they resort to name calling." I guess "hypocrisy" is not in your vernacular, either, David.

    If you are so worried about me misquoting you, than what did you mean when you said to that effect? I think it is a fair summary.

  • In reply to jack:

    "I'm not aggrieved by that. At least it looks like CTA is preparing, unlike the impression a retiree thug was posting elsewhere that "it is impossible to reprogram the destination signs with pictures of the roll signs" "

    And who are you calling a "Thug"?

  • In reply to chicagopcc1:

    1. You.
    2. Apparently you couldn't read:
    a. Something else I called you.
    b. I asked you to say what you meant, not copy what I said. So, I guess you meant what I said.

    Finally, my employment is not your business. However, since you apparently live off the beneficence of the sales tax payers in the RTA region, how you reflect on the past and present employees of the CTA is certainly the taxpayers' business.

    And, if you are so concerned about trolls, why are you following me here. Angered that I blocked you as a flamer on

  • In reply to jack:

    I scolded Scooter last week for name calling, and I scold you two now. We don't need that stuff here. Stop or you will be banned.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Also, on the turnstiles, I bet it is the same situation as the old guy slugging a bus driver when the bus driver demanded to see his free rides for senior pass--i.e. CTA wants the count so it can say that it gave away countless millions in free rides.

    Not that that will help speed boarding.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm sure there is technology that can automatically count the people with some sort of camera.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    There is the 4 laser pinprick device in the door wells of buses, but I suppose that would have required that the CTA think of that and pay something for it, instead of hauling some obsolete equipment out of storage.

    But it does get to the point that somehow approx. $225M in track work and $85M in station work resulted in collateral expenses getting the total up to $425 million (compare the news report today on where the state gas tax money is going).

  • It's never been the job of the Securitas people to provide customer service. Now that we'll have the wonderful CTA people with their wonderful communication skills/training...I don't really see this as an improvement.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    The impression given by prior press releases (and maybe missed by Kevin*) was that the customer assistants were also contract workers, and also will be replaced by employees.

    Apparently the end to contracting out these jobs was the quid pro quo for Claypool being able to announce a settlement short of arbitration, but one wonders if that augments the union's strength, say, if it wants to call a strike in 4 years.

    *His "Securitas agents were in the booths" implies that they were not customer service agents, who are supposed to circulate around the station, including hovering over the transit fare vending machines.

  • Securitas were a joke,iv actually seen them asleep overnight when I have to be at work at 0330,I have never felt like they actually do any security and I can't believe CTA paid them this long,it must have been the Chicago way,some body who is a friend of CTA getting paid big time,how about taking that money and paying for real police

  • I've seen Securitas people do their job. I've even seen them try to be helpful--they'll hold open the gated entrance for people with small children or lots of bags, things like that. That depends more on the individual than on what company they work for.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Hopefully the good ones applied for the new positions with the CTA.

Leave a comment