Public transit safer than car; CTA communications problems linger
That was some scary stuff that happened Tuesday night on the Blue Line. I'm glad it wasn't me trying to crawl out of that dark tunnel up a six-story ladder.
Since I wasn't there, I don't know what a survivor knows, and might feel, about riding on the El again.
But here's what I do know: Public transit is STILL much safer than driving in a car.
Lightrailnow.org reports that there's almost one death in a car per 100 million passenger miles, compared to 0.55 deaths on rail rapid transit 0.05 on commuter rail and 0.10 deaths on buses.
Again, that doesn't mean it wasn't frightening for those who went through the Tuesday nightmare. It just means that chances are at least twice as high for us to be killed in a car accident than a public transit accident.
CTA communications still a big problem
About 1,000 people on that train were directly affected by the derailment, but thousands and thousands of other riders also were affected, and as usual, the CTA gave little to no information about what exactly was happening.
This is a long-running problem that MUST be fixed.
CTA Alerts subscribers got some information from the CTA, but they were very careful to never mention a fire or derailment.
Let's hope that finding a way to get better information out to all is yet another lesson that the CTA learns from this mess.