Category: Bus Tracker

CTA Bus Tracker yields a "modest" increase in ridership

Photo by John Bracken
New research is showing that providing real-time bus arrival information to transit riders will increase ridership for that transit agency – though just modestly – by about 2 percent. Researchers in the June issue of Transportation Research Part C looked at CTA ridership numbers for select routes after the introduction of Bus Tracker and concluded... Read more »

CTA Bus Tracker offline late tonight for software upgrades

OK all you late Friday-night partiers: Prepare now to survive without CTA Bus Tracker to guide you home tonight after 11 p.m. Bus Tracker will be offline from 11 p.m. tonight till about 5 a.m. Saturday for software upgrades. “CTA is making the upgrades in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated arrival information... Read more »

Next-bus arrival screens to enlighten riders at 1% of bus stops

There may be fewer craned necks hanging over sidewalks at 160 CTA bus stops, as they will soon have digital screens displaying next-bus arrival times to consult. The 160 stops represent just over 1% of the CTA’s nearly 12,000 bus stops. Digital signs like this one at the University of Illinois will be installed at... Read more »

Waiting for the CTA bus: frustrations bubbling up in animation

Here’s an animated video created by Matt, a CTA Tattler reader: “I have often been incredulous at the inconsistency of the CTA fleet of buses,” Matt wrote “I have lived here for a year, and would like to SOLVE problems. But until I do…. I made an animation that makes light of the problem here.”... Read more »

Why doesn't CTA use domain name?

If you want to access the CTA’s Bus Tracker website, you just navigate to So you might think you would go to to use Train Tracker. Wrong. That’s because Michael Goldstein of Buffalo Grove owns that domain name. No doubt he would love to sell it to the CTA. For a price. Goldstein... Read more »

Some CTA Train Tracker details and basics

CTA’s Train Tracker has been live for about two days now. (Link for smartphone users.)  I’ve had a chance to use it on two different rail lines. And I’ve been reading details about it on the Chicago Transit Authority website. Here are some tips and details I’ve gathered. How it works. “This system looks at... Read more »

Next Bus Tracker iteration - Congestion Tracker

My friend Bruce has a great idea. He thinks the CTA should extend its successful and popular Bus Tracker application to Congestion Tracker. That way, you could not only see when the next bus would arrive, but also whether it would be too crowded to board. That would save more minutes and exposure to extreme... Read more »

News catchup: Text Tracker info at every bus stop; Bus Tracker is finalist for innovation award

Here’s a roundup of some recent CTA news: Bus stop signs have feature Bus Tracker info. Every CTA bus stop sign now has the information you need to text the CTA about when the next bus is scheduled to arrive. That’s great news for folks without Web access on their phones. Now you just need... Read more »

Bus Tracker useful on South Side, but danger lurks when it fails

Here’s a guest post from WoodlawnWonder, a fellow ChicagoNow blogger over at I Hate my Developer. The CTA Bus Tracker has made my commuting much easier since its inception.  Waiting too long in soggy, snowy, windy or wet weather is a thing of the past.  Yet all is not perfect for those of us who... Read more »

Great example of government-private cooperation: Harper Reed wins award for CTA's Bus Tracker API

Guest post from my brother Dan. X. O’Neil: This is a feel-good story about loose, effective collaboration between a private citizen and a government agency that bears real fruit for minimal money. Even da Mayor knows Harper Reed is a cool dude. Tonight Harper Reed, the creator of the “CTA Bus Tracker “API”, is going... Read more »