CTA 5000-series train cars to begin service on the Pink Line

Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority president Forrest Claypool announced Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at the Midway Orange Line station the beginning of revenue service for the 5000-series train cars – they debuted on the Pink Line Wednesday. They’ll show up later on Green Line, with the Red Line after that.

Here’re CTA’s photos from the event:


CTA President Forrest Claypool speaks at the unveiling of new railcars, joined by RTA Chairman John Gates Jr. (back); Vice President, La Pocatiere-Plattsburgh Business Unit, Bombardier Transportation, North America Marc Boucher and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (far right) next to railcar 5055.


Train operator Joseph Anguiano points out some of the new features of the 5000-series train car.


View of new flooring and two wheelchair positions (bike positions?) on the new cars.

View the full photoset. Check out CTA Tattler and ChicagoBus.org for more information.

There is no typical CTA rider


Javier Perez, trustee of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241, speaks while Gregory P. Longhini, Assistant Secretary of the Board, moderates. 

I’m writing this article just two hours after getting home from the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) second budget hearing. It was held from 6 to 8 PM at its headquarters, 567 W Lake Street. The hearing is where you gain a good understanding of how changes in the way the organization charges for or provides service will affect people.

It’s also where you learn that there is no “average” Chicago transit user. Passengers who use CTA have extremely diverse needs, geographic origins and destinations, jobs, incomes, and beliefs about who should run public transit service and how it should be run.

Not a single person disagreed that it is a necessity to have a “good” transit service in Chicagoland – many speakers stressed the importance of having transit in the region. They showed up because they want the CTA to maintain its current service and even expand service. They showed up because the CTA is important to them. Continue reading There is no typical CTA rider

The state of transit trackers in Chicago


A CTA passenger waits for a train in the snow at Belmont Brown Line station. Photo by Mike Priorie. 

Knowing when your bus or train is about to come can help you make better decisions. “Do I have enough time to get coffee from the shop across the street?” “Can I pack my own lunch today?” “If I miss this bus because I can’t find my good shoes, how long will it be to the next one”? I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves these questions*. The Chicago Transit Authority’s transit tracking services can help with the answers. Continue reading The state of transit trackers in Chicago

Emanuel touts “swat team” CTA station renewal; advocates rally against federal cuts to transit

[flickr]photo:6168877252[/flickr]Rey Colón, Forrest Claypool and Rahm Emanuel

Yesterday was a busy one for transit-related press events in Chicago. In the morning Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Forrest Claypool appeared at the Logan Square Blue Line station, my local stop, to announce their plans to clean and rehab 100 stations within the next year at a cost of $25 million. In the afternoon public transit workers and boosters railed against a Republican proposal to slash more than a third of federal highway and public transportation funding.

I’ve often wondered why the CTA has allowed some of its stations to become so shabby when other systems, like Washington, D.C.’s Metro, have much more appealing facilities. Logan Square was a good example, with crumbling plaster, a dingy, cave-like platform tunnel, and an eternally dripping platform tunnel ceiling. Dismal conditions like these breed discontent from regular customers and discourage potential riders from using transit instead of driving.

Continue reading Emanuel touts “swat team” CTA station renewal; advocates rally against federal cuts to transit