CTA news bites: More quality problems on new rail cars

Some CTA news stories from the last few days:

Quality problems found on new rail cars. Missing welds on brackets around the corners of the new 5000 Series rail cars caused the CTA to suspend delivery of the rail cars from Bombardier Transportation, according to a Tribune story. Welds were missing welds on brackets along the four corners in the interior of the rail car frame, CTA officials said. The CTA and Bombardier have agreed on how to fix the production errors and regular rail car shipment have resumed. The CTA will get about 20 cars per month. It ordered 706 cars at a price of $1.14 billion; the CTA has received 250 cars. They are running on the Pink, Green and Red lines.

Will Metra use Ventra fare system? Metra may participate in the Ventra fare-payment system, said Metra CEO Alex Clifford. The CTA and Pave this summer will switch to the contactless card payment system. Metra “was an afterthought” during the CTA’s planning for the switch to Ventra with Cubic Transportation Systems, the Tribune reports. This nugget of news was buried at the bottom of the story about Metra considering a contract with a firm to integrate its fare payment system with Ventra. State law requires all three transit systems to adopt the same fare payment technology by 2015.

Quinn names new CTA board member. Frank Zuccarelli, supervisor of Thornton Township, has been named to the CTA’s board by Gov. Pat Quinn. Zuccarelli of South Holland must win Senate approval.



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  • What the hell is Quinn doing appointing a guy from South Holland to the CTA board?
    The CTA doesn't go within 3 miles of South Holland & I'm sure that this guy never rides the world's worst urban mass transit system!

    And I saw a Red Line train of all 2600s going south at Howard today with nothing but destination & side marker signs showing "95th"!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    According to the early days of the CTA Tattler, Ryan appointed one representative from Lansing and another from the NW suburbs. Technically that's o..k., since the CTA statutory area is all of Cook County other than the panhandles (i.e. east of whatever line is 12000 West)..

    The difference was that Ryan's appointments were competent, while Quinn's so far have not been. Take the one who cried that she couldn't figure out how to undo the Lincoln cuts.

  • On the Metra one, besides CTA having first gone alone, no one has yet taken into effect that Metra is an open and a zone based system. Nothing there for Metra to join.

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    In reply to jack:

    Other transit systems seem to handle this just fine. My experience with ORCA in the Seattle area was easy enough. Tap on, tap off. If you forget to tap off, then you get charged the maximum fare for the line.

    Depending on what information is written to the Ventra card/ticket, fare verification by conductors could be done via an NFC equipped handheld, either by reading the tag OR verifying over cellular whether or not the user paid.

  • In reply to Chris Syria:

    There's no way to tap on or off at a number of Metra stations. There's at least one where you can get off & you're on a city street [Northbrook].
    Others, you just walk off the platform anywhere & you're on a street [Edgebrook is one, several Rock Island stations in Beverly are the same].
    It would require a total revamp of of the entire system to change.

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    In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    It doesn't seem that impractical to install stand-alone readers on a post somewhere along that platform. Again stealing from Seattle's example, something like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradandkathy/3847081334/

    I doubt Cubic would have that much trouble designing a stand-alone all-weather Ventra card reader that could be deployed along a platform like this.

    As far as "the entire system needing to change," this seems like a more worthwhile change to comply with the law and make Metra more accessible to infrequent riders than, say, spending millions to get WiFi deployed on their trains.

  • Why put someone from South Holland on the CTA Board?

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Since it is a Thornton Township supervisor and not a person of business experience (as the MTA Act requires, and Ryan appointed), I'm sure it is political payback.

    But since the CT Board is composed of eunuchs, it doesn't make any difference, other than some unnecessary township official gets another $25,000/year.

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