CTA year in review - Q3: Funds for BRT; some well-heeled seniors ride free; security camera leads to groping arrest

CTA Tattler continues its CTA year in review with news and notes from July, August and September.

July: For the first time in many years, July 3 was just another day for the CTA, instead of the busiest day of the year. Chicago fireworks were moved from July 3 to three different sites on July 4. The CTA won federal funding for a Bus Rapid Transit route to connect Union Station and Navy Pier. A motorwoman told a passenger to get his feet off the seat: “The Green Line is no Holiday Inn!” The state finally came through with some funding for CTA capital projects. I shared some helpful tips on how to spot a phone theft in the works. And unfortunately, the big jump in thefts on the CTA continued in the second quarter.

August: Art on Track circled the Loop with some wonderful art installed in eight rail cars. We learned that about a third of free-riding senior citizens earn more than $55,000. The CTA ranks No. 1 in bus collisions, thought it disputes that. The rehab of the Red Line North/Clybourn was finishing up and looking good.

September: Tattler readers said in a survey we should dump free rides for all seniors. A security camera photo at a Blue Line station led to the arrest of a man charged with sexual battery. A business group urged a major transit overhaul.  We issued warnings to beware of the pants-cutting pickpocket. The CTA cut jobs and its fuel bill to save $54 million. Some guy impersonated bus driver and hijacked a bus. A friend took his nephew on a CTA college tour: nine schools in one day. In releasing its 2011 budget, we learned that the CTA planned no new service cuts.

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