No grinching the holiday train; Blago orders legislature to convene
Yes, much to the chagrin of some Tattler readers, there IS a CTA Holiday Train this year. Some of you folks have wondered how the CTA could keep the tradition going this year as it struggles for funding. So I asked a CTA spokeswoman about that:
"The Holiday Train runs in regular revenue service so there is no additional cost to operate it," Noelle Gaffney said in an email exchange. "On some of the trips the train has stops where we deliver food baskets to community organizations-- but the food baskets are paid for by donations from CTA employees. A CTA employee serves as Santa - on his own time. There are some minimal costs for the lights and decorations (some are reused from prior years). And although there are some costs, the train generates a significant amount of goodwill."
And in 2004, the CTA jeopardized that goodwill when then President Frank Kruesi derailed the Holiday Train during that year's funding crisis. There was an immediate backlash, and Board Chairwoman Carole Brown overruled him and brought it back.
Here's the schedule. On the day after Thanksgiving, the Holiday Train travels around the Loop El tracks from 4 to 5:15 pm. Check it out. Seriously, it's fun.
Governor calls special CTA session: Gov. Blagojevich has written state legislators to call them to a special session Wednesday, Nov. 28, to "get something done before we face another Doomsday scenario," reports the Tribune.
Hey, good luck with that.