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CTA planning gradual expansion of GPS bus tracking GPS

The CTA will expand the GPS bus-tracking system one bus garage at a time starting this spring, says CTA spokesperson Noelle Gaffney.

Staff is currently determining which bus garage would go first, and the subsequent sequencing of bringing other garages online with the system. The idea is to have all bus routes out of a garage totally equipped with the necessary tracking hardware, but the sequencing has not yet been finalized.

"The sequence is tied to fleet management issues," says Gaffney. "We are replacing older buses (16-17 years old) with new buses and obviously don't want  to go to the expense of installing the tracker technology on buses that are soon to be retired."

GPS is already on the buses, but additional communications equipment, such as a modem and router, also would have to be installed, Gaffney said. "In order to implement at a garage, all the buses at that garage have to have the system."

The CTA has been testing the bus tracker system since August 2006 on the No. 20 Madison bus line. An expansion of that test was originally promised for last summer but never happened. So it's good to see this is finally happening.

Comments

This is a very forward-thinking idea. I think it would benefit the CTA to go one or two steps better.

How about SMS updates when buses we use are running late or bunched up? Better still would be access to the raw GPS data so that the burden of developing new services and applications could be shifted away from costly private companies (and taxpayer dollars) and placed in the hands of open-source developers?

Bryan, that last idea is pure brilliance. That, however, is why nothing like that is likely to happen. Ugh, its like trying to teach my cat to type to get the CTA to move ahead with any due speed on even the smallest of improvements which would have major impacts on its riders!

Bryan said:
"Better still would be access to the raw GPS data so that the burden of developing new services and applications could be shifted away from costly private companies (and taxpayer dollars) and placed in the hands of open-source developers?"

HERE HERE!! I was thinking the exact same thing. Maybe implement the data with Google Maps for up-to-date tracking.

"An expansion of that test was originally promised for last summer but never happened. So it's good to see this is finally happening."

So, not to be a dick, but what makes us so sure that it will actually happen this time?

>>
This is a very forward-thinking idea.
<<

No it's not.

At best they're playing catch-up. There are big city transit systems that have been doing this for over a decade already.

And by the time CTA catches-up to where the others were in 1998, they're going to be woefully behind the state-of-the-art as well.

On the other hand, they could save money buying used equipment from the systems that are already moving on to the next generation. (If we were talking about personal tech, this would be the equivelent of you or I deciding to go out and buy our first Pentium I machine, or our first cell phone that actually would fit in our pocket.)

And let's see... They're not announcing that they've caught up to 1998. They're not announcing that they're implimenting the actions needed to catch-up to 1998. They're announcing that they're still planning to catch-up to 1998, and some day they might even give it a shot, but they just don't know when.

All this announcement does is underscore how far behind they really are, and how long it's going to take them to catch-up to where they should have been years ago.

I think I'll hold off on the celebration. But maybe I'll plan to gradually plan a celebration some day.

Rusty> Ok, so it's not exactly cutting edge, but within the the context of our consistently behind-the-times, underfunded public transit system, this is a glimmer of hope.

Ed> Google Maps already has a public transportation layer for Chicago. If you zoom in far enough, you'll get icons for bus and El stops. Clicking on the icons will bring up the next *scheduled* arrivals at that stop. Incorporating live GPS data with this existing layer would be huge.

Bryan's comment notwithstanding, I was wondering what the point of installing GPS on buses is all about when I heard this. If there it doesn't result in regular, scheduled bus arrivals to stops, it's just some new doodad. So they can look at a map and tell that buses are late or bunched up while they sit in the warmth of a bus terminal... big whoop. Will they look at this map and instruct bus A to skip the next three stops because bus B is right behind it? and having an electronic sign on the bus stop telling me the bus is late when I'm standing there freezing and KNOW the bus is late is adding insult to injury. I mean, what good does it do for me to know that my bus is running late?I still have to stand there and wait... So maybe I'm missing it (and not to play Grinch) but how does this benefit the riders? how will the CTA exactly use this info to get buses closer to a real schedule. Cause if it's just to see where the problem is without being able to directly fix it, what's the point?

But if it helps, great.

Oh, and since they've been testing this on the Madison line since 2006, where are the test results/statistics that show that it has improved service on that line? Or are the buses still running late, etc.?

Dude> You could be notified when the bus you take is a half mile from the stop you pick it up at. This minimizes the time you're out standing in the cold and waiting. Trend data provided by the GPS system could help bus bunching in the future.

They already have GPS on all the buses.
That's how the next stop announcements work.
They just don't want the public or the media to see just how rotten the service on some routes really is.

Bryan....

Yeah, I know the POTENTIAL for what the GPS could do, but speaking as a CTA rider for about 30-plus years, I always take a "wait and see" attitude to the agency. There have been lots of promises and schemes with regards to schedules, etc. (the old A and B Red Line Trains comes immediately to mind) And despite the promises that GPS holds for CTA schedules, the CTA human factor, like always, make me doubtful that it would make any real benefits. But I am hopeful...

No money. Remember why the CTA has all its problems? NO FARGING MONEY!!!! Do they have money now? OPERATING money. Not CAPITAL money. This is CAPITAL money. Quit griping you buncha whingers.

For those curious, they're not implementing a half-assed solution or using old tech. It's state-of-the-art stuff developed by a company that is a leader in this sort of thing (as far as I can tell).

Enjoy:

http://www.cleverdevices.com/pdf/Clever%20Devices%20Bustime%20Bus%20Arrival%20Prediction%2006.pdf

I'm excited. It'll let me know just when I should go outside for the bus, and allow me to reclaim that time that might otherwise have been spent standing on a street corner.

I echo dude's observation... the CTA's always ready to puff up about every accomplishment. If we haven't heard stories about Madison buses running better, less bunched, more on time, or whatever, maybe this would be a good time to come through?

Yep. The money for this is capital money. And all the US systems that have already made the investment did so mostly with Federal grants. Had CTA bothered, they could have been closer to the front of the line. Instead, other cities jumpped ahead.

The data gathered by the equipment can be used to lower operating costs. So by waiting an extra decade, CTA passed up chances to get some worthwhile capital funding, and increased its operating costs.

Imagine what 10 years worth of trending data could do when creating realistic schedules? Data that's already formatted to be crunched. Rooms full of people manually crunching inadequate data replaced by a handful of people simply reviewing already crunched data for reasonablness, and just tweaking a few assumptions here and there.

And as a by-product, riders could find out how close buses are to any given stop at any given moment. Imagine being able to stay inside until your bus was approaching!

Want to see what it can do? Take a look at http://www.trimet.org/arrivals/index.htm Trimet in Portland has been doing that for many, many years. And before it was feasable on the Web, they were doing it with an automated phone system (which they still do, and is very helpful for people with a cell phone, but no easy Internet access at the moment.)

But we're many, many years away from CTA reaching this level. They started too late. CTA could have jumpped ahead of many other cities looking for Federal capital funding. But they didn't. And now customers are suffering, and operating costs are still rising.

And now they're announcing their plans as if we're a bunch of sheltered yokles who don't know what goes on in the rest of the world. As if we're Third-World residents who are facinated by the prospect of getting a basic sewage system.

We can't turn back the clock. They missed the boat, and the best thing they can do now is swim as hard and fast as they can. But right now they're just announcing that they intend to swim once they have a few more committee meetings to decide which way they're going to swim.

For goodness sake, just do it. Don't tell us you're thinking of doing it, and expect pats on the back. Get it done. Get it done fast. And then make your proud announcement.

Tony (and a few others): All of this stuff about being able to look at your.... whatever and know where the buses are is great, but if having a ... whatever is required to benefit from this GPS stuff, then it's a waste. I know a bunch of old folks on Sheridan Road who won't be checking their Blackberries to see where the bus it... Mostly because they don't OWN Blackberries and such gadgets and probaby wouldn't know how to use them. And I personally don't want one more thing (bus position notifications) to tie me to my cell phone. Bottom line, if this GPS stuff doesn't result in as close to a reliable bus schedule as possible and buses can still get bunched up and late, then what's the f*cking point? Gee, my cell phone tells me the bus is late. Great. But the freaking bus is still late! So what if I get to stand inside the warmth a few second longer. I still get to work late. Rack up a few more of those and I can stay at home in the warmth all I want.

Oh, and comparing the bus services and ridership of Portland and Chicago (with regards to GPS) is like comparing the crime trends of Chicago and Mayberry with regards to blue light cameras in each city.

if you look at other CTA related websites (such as Chicagobus.org) you would have ALREADY KNOWN that the CTA was planning to launch bustracker in the spring. it was supposed to debut in february but complications sprung up in the process. they have been testing mainly the routes operating out of the southside garages for many many weeks if not months.

in fact if you look at bustracker, you will see that the routes that they are currently testing are outlined in different colors, and it has been like that for many weeks now.

Oh and another comment,

Stop beating a dead horse!

we all know that the CTA has missed opportunities in the past to improve the system.

we know that they have mismanaged.

SO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PAST! especially when the CTA is trying to correct it. It is irritating to hear the same people spout their mouth over and over again about how the CTA has screwed up in the past. If the CTA is going to correct some of its mistakes, it has to start somewhere, right?

then stop being grumpy every time the CTA even mentions something positive.

Announcing that they're thinking about doing something positive is not the same as doing something positive. Especially when they're already 10 years late.

GPS - great, so?
If they intend to actually use it to direct buses that would be great - but they could do things NOW that don't require GPS to deal with, say, bus bunching.
Every driver has a radio, yes? Every supervisor is linked to his/her drivers on that radio, yes? Why can't they coordinate over the radio to say "Bus 10X, we're sending you express from Location A to Location B. Bus 20X, you'll be picking up any of 10X's passengers who disembark at Location A" - Bus10X and 20X have presumably reported their location and how full they are so why can't they just send it express to catch up? Why do they need GPS. Don't get me wrong - GPS is great (and as one person said - it ain't nuthin' NEW to Transportation Planning, let me tell ya!) but...well...its like hiking. You can buy all the high tech equipment you want - but if you can't walk 10 steps without tripping over your own feet - you'll never get anywhere no matter how many altimeters you own!

What's "positive" about a multi-million dollar system that tells you that the bus will be late? So what they are installing GPS? The whole idea is to get buses to a semblance of timeliness, right? So what if I get a message on my phone that the bus will be late? Great, CTA, thanks, but I'M STILL GOING TO BE LATE THANKS TO THE BUS!!! Who are these people patting the CTA on the back for doing this? I realize there are so many factors to getting a bus to run on time (semi-unpredictable traffic, less-than-efficient drivers, dawdling passengers, etc.) so I don't expect the agency to be able to provide 100 percent reliability, or even 80 percent. But don't expect me to rejoice at the announcement of millions of dollars being spent to tell me that I won't be getting to work on time. If the system has already been tested for several years now, where are the results showing that it has improved service on those lines? That's the "past" I want to see.

You want forward? Have the CTA share the GPS data with google. Google already has a developing project to show the location of taxi's within Chicago. Add CTA information and you would be very informed about the state of transportation within the city.

http://labs.google.com/ridefinder?z=8&near=Chicago%2C%20IL&src=1

In response to the sentiment that knowing where a late bus is still makes you late: You have to start somewhere. Let's collect this data and maybe by the time the Olympics would be in town, we could have a better CTA.

In order for innovation to occur, the data needs to be freely available for application developers to work with.

Ok guys enough with the whole "glad there gonna tell me I'm gonna be late" comments. When you are about 25 to 30 minutes from leaving you check it. If your bus is running late than catch the one bofore it. It gives data of how far away it is and how far the other busses are too. So if you catch one bus regularly and you know it is running late say in rogers park you can plan accordingly.

Offering the riders the ability to see where the buses are is a SECONDARY benefit of the technology. Precisely tracking the positions of the buses at various times on various days, and having that data in a format that can be easily analyzed, and used in simulation models for the purpose of creating realistic schedules is the primary purpose.

If CTA had taken the lead, rather than sat out of the game for the last decade, they'd have saved a ton of operating and administrative costs. Would it have prevented Doomsday? Not quite. But it would have gone a long ways in that regard.

If you can't see how this kind of data can help, well, that means you could have had a top administrative job at CTA for the last decade. You could have wasted money just as well as the brain trust that was in charge.

Actually doing this would be a huge leap forward for CTA. It would bring them almost to the 21st Century! Telling us that they're considering taking that leap just underscores how "thinking ahead" at CTA is done after reading trade journals from 10 years ago for ideas.

Perhaps they fell behind when those trade journals started their online editions, and it's only been recently that CTA brass has discovered those websites, and started reading the back issues for ideas.

But seriously, this is not about letting people know the bus is late. This is about knowing where the buses are, and creating realistic scheduling models with the data. It's about saving money. Allowing customers to see some real-time data to help plan their trips is just a parlor-trick. Focusing on that parlor-trick as if it was the whole purpose is really uninformed.

Bluebum, a lot can change in half an hour. Assuming you're bluebummer on CTA Alerts, the last alert you posted was that no 22 Clark bus had arrived at Clark and Ridge in the last 25 minutes. How would this system have helped you then?

You know what *would* be useful? And it's perfectly feasible? Take the farebox data and send it along with the GPS data. Tell me there's a packed 22 Clark bus arriving in five minutes, but if I'm willing to wait another five minutes, the one behind it is much emptier. (Or, more likely, tell me which of the three 22 Clarks approaching my stop simultaneously is the least overcrowded.) There's absolutely no reason not to do this. The fareboxes are going to be tied to the router as well to transmit that data. A couple of Perl scripts and it's up and running.

"You know what *would* be useful? And it's perfectly feasible? Take the farebox data and send it along with the GPS data. Tell me there's a packed 22 Clark bus arriving in five minutes, but if I'm willing to wait another five minutes, the one behind it is much emptier."

Umm, that scenerio just does not occur. There are no circumstances in which a #22 bus (or any bus) would not be packed if it is five minutes behind a packed bus. The world just does not work that way. If it is at a time of day in which the earlier bus was packed then any bus will be very crowded unless there are at least three busses that come at the same time.

Farebox data only counts people getting on not people getting off. You might get a message telling you 500 people were on a bus.

mk, I don't understand why you're focusing on that particular scenario. (And FWIW, I've had 22 Clark buses with just a few people pull up to a stop only moments after deciding not to get on one that *was* packed. So yes, it does happen, cynicism aside.)

Painhertz, yes, but that doesn't mean the information has no value. By seeing the number of boarders on each bus, you know how crowded each bus is compared to the others.

"When you are about 25 to 30 minutes from leaving you check it. If your bus is running late than catch the one bofore it."

If your bus is running late, catch the one before it???? What does that mean? Who stands there and waits for "their" bus and lets other buses on their route go by? "Well, I always catch the 8:15 bus, that's MY bus, so I'll skip this bus going by at 8:05." You catch the bus that shows up when you're there. Period. And considering the very fluid schedules of the CTA, that could be ANY bus. A schedule is not some vague, fluctuating thing. It's a SCHEDULE, a specific timetable. So if your bus is not there at 8:10 EVERY SINGLE MORNING then it's not the 8:10 bus, no matter what you or the CTA calls it!!! It's just A bus. There is no "before bus" or "after bus". A bus that shows up "around" 8:00 is not the 8:00 bus.

As far as checking every morning to see where your bus is, who wants to do that? Most people leave the house at a certain time in the morning and get to the bus stop at the same general time each morning. I personally don't want to log on to the computer a half hour before I leave home, surf to the bus tracker site, put in the route number of MY bus, locate MY bus, realize that it's running late but there's another bus about two minutes away, rush out the door like a madman only to see that bus pull away and have to stand there anyway and wait for "my" bus.


Like I said, if this GPS stuff helps the buses run on a regular schedule that we can rely on (or as close to it), great. I'm all for it. I think the CTA, for all its problems, is remarkably usable. But I'm still waiting for someone to point me to the info that shows that the test system on the Madison bus has resulted in the buses on that line running closer to on time than ever before. It's been since 2006. Isn't there some conclusive date SOMEWHERE? As someone else here said, it's not about knowing that a bus is late, it's about installing a system that will increase the unlikelyhood that a bus is late.

Dude: We get it, you live in the mid-20th century and don't like gadgets. You probably still don't see what all the fuss about "touchtone" phones is, since your rotary phone works just fine.

But the rest of us want to know when the bus is coming, because the reality is that most of us do have cell phones and don't want to just go out to the bus stop and wait and wait if it turns out the next bus isn't coming for 23 minutes. And many of us look at these newfangled things called computers from time to time, and having one tell you that there's a gap in bus arrival times is useful because it lets you decide whether you want to hustle and get a bus on the early end of that gap or wait and then catch a bus at the later end of that gap.

Here's a splash of reality: BUS BUNCHING IS FOREVER.

Yes, there's a chance that having improved data and analysis may lead to moderate reductions in bus bunching. But unless the city starts dedicating whole street lanes as dedicated bus guideways and giving buses some pretty substantial signal priority at every intersection, buses are going to get screwed up by traffic. Even having buses skip stops to put space between bunched buses has it's limits since, again, buses can't just drive past all the other vehicles on the road but rather must sit in... traffic.

So, the choices are basically: (1) eliminate the unpredictability caused by bus bunching (i.e., tell people where the buses are so they can plan accordingly); or (2) rail about the CTA's failure to abolish the phenomenon of traffic on city streets.

"Rotary customers, please stay on the line."

Oh, but that's not to say that the CTA is anything other than incompetent for not having implemented bus tracker years ago.

I share the sentiments of others: it's hard to get excited by the CTA's grudging acknowledgment that it is still planning to do something that it's been planning to do for years and which they told us they would do last summer but then didn't. And they never so much as issued a press release saying that the program was delayed - let alone offering an explanation or apology for that.

Good for the CTA. One of the coldest winters in a while, and they're going to slowly start implementing bus tracker as soon as it gets warm. Brilliant.

I just think it'd be cool if a light on the bus stop sign (triggered by GPS) flashed when the bus was a certain distance away (2 blocks). And if your light's not flashing but the one two blocks away is, then you know the bus is about a half-mile away. Anything eles is a pipe dream -- right up there with trams, bus lanes and HOV-2 on LSD. Great ideas that will never be considered by the dimwits we elect.

But unless the city starts dedicating whole street lanes as dedicated bus guideways and giving buses some pretty substantial signal priority at every intersection

This. I want this. When can we have this?

Rusty,
How exactly is CTA so late in this implementation? How many other large, old transit properties that would be comparable to CTA (i.e. not Tri-met, how about MBTA, NYMTA, LACMTA, SEPTA, etc.) have implemented anything on this magnitude? Exactly.

Also, giving customers real-time arrival estimates is shown to reduce their perceived wait time which is otherwise consistently overestimated (usually about 2x their actual wait time). Combine this with money value of time, and their reduced perceived wait time has a quantifiable effect on increasing the customer's perceived value from the trip. This increase in customer value occurs regardless of whether the technology is used to actually "unbunch" buses or whatever.

Then again, I don't expect such arguments to be too meaningful to the all-star crack team of tattler commenters... it's much easier for you all to just label the people who've spends years in school and devoted their life to transit as "incompetent."

"Dude: We get it, you live in the mid-20th century and don't like gadgets. You probably still don't see what all the fuss about "touchtone" phones is, since your rotary phone works just fine."

who said I didn't like gadgets? i just don't like using gadgets for something as mundane as trying to catch a freaking bus. But if the idea of one more reason to fiddle with your blackberry excites you, go for it.

I'm with you, Dude. Why go through the extra bother of fiddling with your computer every morning when you're already rushing around?
Besides, it would do no good for your transfer, if you have one, to check the travel times online before leaving the house.

I have no intention of getting a crackberry, either. That's not a good enough reason to shell out the cash, even if they can get the system up & running, which I have grave doubts about. Besides, the cost can be prohibitive for those things.


PS--my grandmother still has her rotary phone & it works better than any of the family's cordless or cell phones. "Why change?" she says, & she's probably right.

Actually, for your daily dose of irony, wasn't it Kreusi that "devoted [his] life to transit"?

Anon 12:37,

The CTA said it would implement bus tracker system-wide last summer. It completely blew that deadline, without any explanation. And it didn't miss the deadline by a few days or weeks; assuming that the CTA's latest claims are true, they will have missed the deadline by well over a year when all is said and done.

That is incompetence. The fact that it was a bunch of very experienced people who utterly failed to do what they said makes it worse, not better.

>>
it's much easier for you all to just label the people who've spends years in school and devoted their life to transit as "incompetent."
<<

Spending years in school, and devoting your life to something doesn't automatically make you competent.

I don't care how many years they spent in school or not, and I don't care what they've devoted their lives to, if they're incompetent, they're incompentent. And there certainly is plenty of evidence of incompetence.

I can also tell you as an employer who's hired (and fired) many people over the years, credentials are not the same as competence in any field.

Guys, CTA already analyzes all that data....if the solution were so simple it would have been implemented already.

Here's an article from today from London's Guardian, which hopefully will give you some perspective on what CTA has accomplished, years ahead of its peers:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/feb/28/research.transport
Things aren't perfectly peachy at CTA. But of comparable agencies (those serving a mega-metropolis with 100+ years of operational legacy), it has been first with modernizing fare collection equipment (particularly in implementation the Chicago Card Plus), and it will be first with systemwide real-time bus tracking.

Rusty is right that credentials are not the same as competence, but again, if it's so easy to fix a transit system, why don't you get those obviously meaningless credentials and devote your career to fixing it? The less you know about something, the easier it looks.

The fact that the above jobs are basically being put out there in an open casting call tells me almost all I need to know about why the two years worth of data hasn't produced tangible results that have gone into effect.

Lots of organizations HAVE to post jobs even when they plan to fill them internally or are actively in the process of recruiting someone. I'd guess that the CTA follows this procedure.

Mike...gotcha

Except that the crucial data about the GPS buses was being generated in 2006 when they started them on the Madison bus line (and where the still operate). Wouldn't it have made sense to have someone in place to read and interpret that date then? Or did they have someone and he quit and took the data with them. Even after one year, there should have been enough data gathered and someone there to interpret it, right? If they're just now PLANNING to find someone to read all of that info, seems a little late to me. But maybe I'm wrong... again.

Dude,
Actually the data go back to c. 2004 when the anunciation system was installed. The #20 Madison pilot was only a test of the real-time hardware/application, e.g. cell modem, prediction algorithm, etc. I'm pretty sure the roll-out of bus tracker systemwide has been delayed by a variety of things, a major one being the decision to complete all options of the new NewFlyer bus order and retire all of the old 1991 buses scattered throughout the sytem. Of course, launching bustrack with less than 100% coverage along a route is pointless, and so is installing bustracker hardware on a bus that will be retired in less than a year. That's not even getting into bugs in the software.

The vehicle location data from the anunciation system are analyzed for scheduling and metrics purposes.

And many organizations post jobs even when they don't plan on hiring (even if just to get resumes).

Keep in mind that the number of people needed to analyze is far fewer than the number of people needed to manually gather, crunch, and then analyze what little data they have now from all the other routes.

As for who's doing it for the one pilot test route, those jobs, because they were tied to a pilot test, were likely funded differently, and the positions likely expire when the test is over.

As a public agency, CTA must post their openings, even if you're talking about permanent jobs that are likely to be filled by people already in coresponding temporary jobs.

And I should also mention that I'm not saying the schedulers are incompetent. I'm saying the POLICY MAKERS at CTA are incompetent. And I'm judging them based on their results, which I can do even if I'm not able to perform the duties myself.

If we were only allowed to criticize people doing jobs that we are able to do ourselves, then 99% of the population shouldn't ever vote in an election.

Or to look at it another way, when the steering wheel of a brand new car comes off in my hand, just because I'm not a mechanic or an engineer doesn't mean I can't call mechanics or engineers who built the car incompetent.

In other words, "oh, yeah - let's see you do better" is not a valid response to criticism of poor work. The issue isn't whether I could have done better. The issue is they should have done better -- especially if they had credentials that suggest they were capable of doing better.

Rusty,
That's all well and good, but the question is whether -any- transit manager would have been capable of doing better given the financial and above all, political constraints placed on their decision-making ability at CTA. I'm not sure the answer to that is as obvious as you think it is. The decision-making process at US government agencies is hardly ever based on a technically-proficient, rational process. It's the nature of the beast, and of course it's that much worse with agencies that depend on subsidy for larger portions of their funding, and that much worse still when the public agency is tacked with a "public service/welfare" role rather than "essential public utility" role, as transit plays in European and Asian countries.

I think your transit passion is great, but you're blaming the wrong people for CTA's failings. And for those tempted to blame Kruesi, while his 10-year tenure was certainly not perfect, he undertook many important and difficult initatives that are now taken for granted (the Chicago Card system, federally-funded Pink/Brown line renovations, the bus GPS system including bus tracker his baby, etc.). CTA's problems are nothing new, and not dependent solely upon whatever management team is at the helm in any given year.

Anon 5:49pm:

They also told us it would take, like, a decade to address the slow zones on the red and blue lines. But with more competent management, suddenly now it's only going to take 18 months or so.

Competence matters. Credentials and longevity are not substitutes for competence.

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