New CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. is the first agency leader with transportation experience since I started this blog in 2004.
That’s a good thing.
And in his first extensive interview with the Tribune’s Jon Hilkevitch, he’s also saying all the things that I like to hear from a transit leader. Here are a few of them:
He will be regular CTA commuter. While he doesn’t currently ride as often as he would like, Dorval said as soon as he gets his family settled into their new home, he will ride the CTA on a regular basis.
Making the CTA an option of choice. Dorval rightly says that those who have to take the CTA daily no doubt will continue to do so. But it’s commuters who have other choices that he wants to convert to regular CTA riders.
Improving bus speeds. The new CTA chief notes that bus ridership is down, while rail ridership is growing. He thinks it has to do with how slow buses run. It should be interesting to see how increases bus speed.
Ashland BRT: a “delicate conversation.” Dorval thinks a bus rapid transit project on Ashland Avenue makes sense because it’s a “relatively small investment for the return you get on that.” But given the opposition the project has faced, Dorval knows “there are tradeoffs that you need to make between vehicular traffic and the bus in order to make it work. We need to have more conversations with the community and figure out how we can do something that will work.”
People talking loudly on cell phones are his biggest annoyance. Hear hear! I couldn’t agree more!
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