It's way safer on the CTA than in your car

Despite two Blue Line accidents in six months that injured more than 60 people, you’re still much safer commuting on the CTA than via automobile.

And Chicago Magazine has crunched the numbers to prove it.

According to a Chicago article by Whet Moser, there were 47 injuries per 100 million passenger miles on the CTA in 2011. That compares to 182 injuries per 100 million vehicle miles traveledĀ in Chicago.

So if the latest Blue Line accident at O’Hare has you worried for your safety, chill.

You’re much safer on the CTA.
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  • As usual, statistics can be juggled. From the graph, a "nonpassenger" has a much greater chance of being killed by a transit bus, commuter train, or heavy truck than by a car. So, one better not walk.

    Also, I'm sure the statistic would be different if the train had landed on the stairway at 2:15 p.m. instead of a.m.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I think you know statistics well enough to know that it would not be different if another 100 people were injured. We're talking about over 2 billion passenger miles traveled by the CTA in 2011.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    1. Given it was O'Hare, I would estimate a couple of thousand people in the vicinity at 2 p.m., and the mayhem if it landed on a full escalator But...

    2. As you point out, these are 2011 statistics, not 2014. While CTA engaged in various "mishaps and unusual occurrences" (as titles the link) before the 1980s resulting in deaths, including two accidents under signal control, it seems like these incidents tailed off, but ramped up lately. The 2006 NTSB report on the subway derailment had the embarrassing disclosure that the track inspectors didn't do their jobs. Now, we have had two inexplicable collisions on the Blue Line involving roughly 27 year old cars. Maybe coincidence, or maybe all the statements about $8 billion to put the system in a state of good repair means that the system now really is unsafe. For instance, the statement was made in connection with the New Blue that these signals had to be replaced. I'll let the NTSB call that one.

    3. Nobody got killed in either incident, so it doesn't add to the death statistic. On the other hand, don't walk on Metra property.

    4. I'm sure that the statistics on a plane to Beijing making a left turn and sinking in the Indian Ocean are very low, but I don't think I want to ride Malaysian Airlines.

  • BTW, Kevin, shouldn't Mr. Gray Line Project of Lisle, Illinois be banned? What about civil discourse?

  • In reply to jack:

    I handled that over there Jack. As I mentioned, you certainly are a master baiter.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Is this now the Daily Beefing :-)?


  • BTW, here's the security camera video of the crash:

    The initial reports indicate that the brakes were applied, but it sure doesn't look like the train slowed as it approached the end of the line.

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