The rest of the Bus Tracker rollout
The expansion of the Bus Tracker program began in April with 13 routes. Since then, 67 of 153 routes can now be tracked at the Bus Tracker site.
The CTA took a mini-vacation on further Bus Tracker rollouts in August, but a spokesperson says the CTA remains on track to complete the rollout in 12 month -- which would take us to April 2009.
I know many of you are interested in how the rollout proceeds, so here are some reminders:
- First, the CTA is retiring older buses that can't be retrofitted with the tracking equipment.
- A factor for adding new routes is the availability of new buses, which arrive regularly.
- To launch bus tracker on a specific route, you have to have more equipped buses available at that garage than you would actually need for that one specific route -- so that you don't have ghost buses going out that don't show up on the system but show up at stops. That's why the CTA has tended to roll out multiple routes at one garage rather than spreading them around.
- There's also the need to train the operators and repairman at each new location so that once the equipment is all in place, you have people who are logging in correctly and know how to troubleshoot if a problem comes up.
- Finally, the CTA does reliability testing before they announce a new route to make sure the new route works as planned.
So folks, it's not as easy as you think. And patience is required.
Slow zones update from the CTA. Ron Huberman Tuesday said an aggressive repair campaign by the CTA has reduced rail slow zones to 10%, from a high of 22% last October. Read the press release for details. But also note new weekend work is slated to start Sept. 5 on the Loop elevated tracks over Lake Street and Wabash Avenue. A signal and train control system will be installed for the two Loop junctions atVan Buren/Wabash (Tower 12) and Lake/Wells (Tower 18).