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CTA's Thanksgiving weekend work

The weekend comes early this week, and so does the CTA's weekend service change e-alert. Signup for it here.

CTA Weekend Service Changes - November 28 - November 30  

Rail Lines

Visit transitchicago.com for information on the
2008 CTA Holiday Train


Nov 29 – 30
9pm Sat to 5am Sun
Boarding Change, Delays Between Pulaski and Western

How does this affect my trip?
9pm Sat, Nov 29 to 1am Sun, Nov 30
Board/exit all trains on the Forest Park-bound side of the platform at Kedzie-Homan station.

1am to 5am Sun, Nov 30
Board/exit all trains on the Forest Park-bound side of the platform at Kedzie-Homan and Western stations.

Trains in both directions will operate on the same track between Pulaski and Western, resulting in minor delays.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing track maintenance to ensure that trains continue to operate safely along the Blue Line.

Nov 30 – Dec 1
9pm Sun to 4am Mon
Boarding Change, Delays Between Western and Kedzie-Homan

How does this affect my trip?
Board/exit all trains on the O’Hare-bound side of the platform at the Western station.

Trains in both directions will operate on the same track between Western and Kedzie-Homan.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing track maintenance to ensure that trains continue to operate safely along the Blue Line.


Nov 30 – Dec 1
Sun to Mon
11pm nightly to 4am next day
Boarding Change, Delays Between 63rd and Garfield

How does this affect my trip?
Board/exit all trains on the 95th-bound side of the platform at the Garfield station.

Trains in both directions will operate on the same track between 63rd and Garfield, resulting in minor delays.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
We are performing track maintenance to ensure that trains continue to operate safely along the Red Line.

Bus Routes

The bus reroutes listed below are short-term reroutes during this weekend or long-term reroutes beginning this weekend. For updated and ongoing long-term reroutes, please see the Bus Customer Alerts page.

Nov 30 – Dec 1
6am Sun to 6am Mon
#9 Ashland Buses Rerouted

Buses will operate via 18th, Laflin, and 15th, then resume their normal route on Ashland.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is this happening?
Buses are rerouted due to railroad track repairs.

Nov 28 – Dec 1
9am Fri to 6am Mon
#35th Street Temporary Reroute

How does this affect my trip?
Westbound buses will operate via 35th, LaSalle, 33rd, and Wentworth, then resume their normal route on 35th.

Eastbound buses will operate via 35th, Shields, 33rd, and Wentworth, then resume their normal route on 35th.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?
Buses are rerouted due to construction at US Cellular field.


Saw Ron riding the Holiday Train Wednesday afternoon at Harlem on the O'Hare branch.

So is the goal to be able to say by the end of the year that the entire Blue Line is free of slowzones?

Was Ron riding the Holiday Train in an official capacity? Was he was dressed as an elf and handing out candy canes?

I understand it may not be a very Merry Christmas for him and all the rest of the overpaid, err I meant highly paid, non-union staff...Blago has made noises that he'll legislate to block the fare increase unless all the admin staff salaries are frozen....It has to be the first thing that I can ever remember agreeing with the GOV on.



Blago's latest stab at faux populism was motivated only by the Sun-Times article about Pace executives' salaries. If that had never come to light I highly doubt he'd have made a peep. He cares only about appearing sympathetic to his jury. Blago needs to return his salary with interest. What a jackass.

I wonder if anyone here would like to admit that they voted for Blagojevich. If so, I would be curious what in the world made you do such a thing. I've always been truly baffled as to how the sociopath managed to win four elections (two primaries and two general elections). And he generally did so with very wide margins against well-regarded opponents. It is truly mystifying. It was always clear that he is a jerk who cares nothing about the people in the state except for himself. This is not a new revelation. Yet a huge amount of people voted for him. I don't understand it. Hopefully somebody can enlighten me. I had always thought that people, in general, make better judgements than this indicates. I often have pretty strong political views but this is probably the only time when I cannot even see where people are coming from when they vote for a different person than me. The people of the state deserve what they get when they make stupid decisions at the voting booth.

I'll cop to voting for him in the '02 General Election, which I realize in hindsight was cowardly. I think I was just so repulsed by what was going on with the Republican party nationally that I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was more than happy to vote for Judy in the '06 General. What's truly frightening is that the incumbent jackass seems to think he could run again and win. I wonder if poor G Rod even realizes he's close to irrelevant now that Cullerton is Senate President.

I'll cop to the '02 General as well. There's power in that little (D) next to the name :)

I voted for Judy in the '06 election as well.

I find his arrogance that he thinks he has a snowballs chance in hell to win next time.

I predict that one of the next indictments will be his wife and then he'll be next. Maybe he can get a bunk next to Ryan.


I've consistently voted for him. He's my neighbor--you wouldn't believe how fast my street gets plowed.

I'd never do it again though. I wouldn't be able to vote Republican either, so whatever he runs for next if he made it past a primary I would skip voting for that office.

"I think I was just so repulsed by what was going on with the Republican party nationally that I couldn't bring myself to do it."

Yeah, that seems to be something I here a lot with regard to why people voted for Blagojevich. People seem to be transferring their feelings of the party at the national level to local races. I just don't get it. The same thing has happened historically throughout many elections. For example, after Watergate there was a huge changeover in power in many states from Republican legislatures and Governors to Democrats. That just doesn't make logical sense. Watergate was a national scandel. It had nothing to do with state and local politicians. Yet, for some reason, people felt they were doing something worthwhile by punishing local politicians for Watergate. Simularly, in this recent election there was also a strong shift from Republicans to Democrats in state and local elections throughout the country. Obviously, they had nothing to do with causing the real estate bubble that eventually resulted in the implosion of the economy or with the conduct in the Iraq War. Yet these reasons, which probably for legitamate reasons caused huge defeats of Republicans in Washington, for some reason were major factors in people's voting decisions in state and local races as well. This even had an effect on the Stroger-Periocca race two years ago, as if the President of the county board has anything to do with the conduct of the war in Iraq.

I think it is all because of the power of a brand. People are conditioned to believe they need to form strong opinions about a brand as a whole and feel they need to be consistant with this opinion, even in situations that have nothing to do with the reason they formed this opinion. You see this with the change of name from Marshall Field's to Macy's. The store is almost identical to the way it was when it was Marshall Field's. Yet you see all these people protesting and acting as if something huge had been taken away from them. The sales at the former Marshall Field's stores have been decreasing since they made the change. I even overheard a couple of people walking down the street talking about how great the Walnut Room "was" and how much they will miss it. Of course, the Walnut Room still exists. So this is the phenominum that caused people to vote for Blagojevich. Because people in Illinois disliked the Republican Party's positions on the national level they voted against Rupublicans for governor. Never mind that Jim Ryan and Judy Baer Topinka would not have anything to do with these issues. The biggest one of these issues was the Iraq War. Of course, Blagojevich actually voted for it when he was in the house. But that didn't stop people from voting for him because they were angry that the country decided to go to Iraq.

I think what might be a good idea is to start doing nonpartisan elections for state races. Take the D and R away from people's names on the ballot box. State issues are generally not things which one could easilly put a Democratic or Republican label on anyway. Maybe the next time a constitutional convention comes on the ballot people will vote for it and this could be something that is changed. But I guess we will have to wait thirty years.


Non-union CTA staff have not received a cost-of-living wage increase since 2006. Nor do they receive merit-based raises or promotions. Nor can they receive overtime pay... or annual bonuses. Thus, real wages in terms of take-home pay have declined significantly. Job security is mediocre, as the past 3 years have been one wave of layoff after the other, with literally hundreds of job reductions.

You must have some special vendetta against non-union staff to wish all of the above conditions to continue further into 2009.

Boo hoo.

Things are tough all over. I haven't got a COLA in 2 years. I have had to take 4 furlough days (without pay) so far this year and if things don't get any better I'll be taking more and 4 years ago, I had to take furlough days and still work.

I don't get merit-based raises or promotions. I don't get annual bonuses, no overtime either. The only reason I'd get a COLA is if it was tied to union COLAs.

The last time I got a COLA it was 3%, a couple % below the inflation rate.

My office can't get toner cartridges or paper clips. We owe our vendors over 4 Billion and Cisco won't send any more equipment till we pay for the stuff we already have. No backfills of any attrition, so we are doing more work with less people.

So, if I can't have alot of sympathy for them making probably 2-3 times what I do and not getting their pay raises, you know, I don't give a flying rats ***.

How many of those job reductions are at the 100K plus level? Not many. That's where the real savings would be...but all those sacred cows...

Nope, if you are looking for sympathy here, look elsewhere.

The city, state and county employees are taking furlough days to save money, so why aren't the CTA folks? They could have forgone the rate increase (or as much of one) if they just did that simple step and saved a whole bunch of money.

Should I tell you how much my take home pay has declined? How much more I have to pay for my benefits? How I have to pay more towards my pension?

Cry me a river...


Kevin B-

Unless you make only $17,000.00 a year, the average CTA worker is not making 3 times more than you. You think you would be sympathetic considering the same work environment exists at your work as at the CTA. No one understands how hard the people at the CTA work until they start here. You should ask Ron at your next coffee to shadow a regular worker for a day and maybe you will get it too. There is no 40 hour work week at the CTA for most of the non-union staff.

The difference here is that you mentioned that if things don't get better, you will face more furlough days. That's great. You at least have the opportunity for things to get better. Any talent that does exist here and can make a real difference in the rider's experience taking transit is running away as fast as they can. They know all we face is more layoffs with the govenor giving us the option of raising fares with no chances of cost of living increases for the next two years when it has been two years, or not raising fares and taking away any chance of making anymore revenue and possibly getting cost of living increase through that channel.

And if you do only make $17,000.00 a year, don't you think you should look elsewhere?

How many jobs at the CTA pay between 75 and 200K a year? Pretty good number I'll bet.

We see them all the time in the news. If it's a choice between a fare increase and either furlough days or no raise for the non-union folks, I can tell you which I'd pick.

Also, when you can't even fire incompetent workers who misspell "Belmont" then tell me how hard folks work.

I'd be glad to shadow some workers.

I'd like to start with the IT department. I have just a little expertise there. 25+ years of SUN, HP, IBM UNIX experience, networking, security, etc, etc.

You know, the ones, IT guys who can't seem to duplicate the Tattlers CTA alerts system in either the last 5 years or without putting it out to an outside vendor....or maybe that person who's making 180K a year to manage a real estate management company or the 20 or so minions that hang around the meetings.

Should I recount my experience the last time I went to the CTA headquarters to help my elderly mom fix her CTA card that got screwed up? The one where there were 3 people in the almost empty lobby (nice design there BTW), the the 5 more people at tables before you even went into the area that actually had the windows to help people, where only one of the 2 windows was open and helping customers, the other open window seemed to be helping employees.

Exactly how many of those 8 people were "essential to the operation of trains and buses"? My answer would be ZERO. That's 8 jobs, benefits, pensions, health insurance, that could be gone and no trains would stop, no buses would be sitting in the garage, so, no, not alot of sympathy there either.

I'd really like to be a guest columnist after that "bring your cage rattler" to work day.

So, Ron, I'll have some vacation time after the first of the year and probably a few more furlough days, so drop me a line and we can see how I might help you cut some of those costs...I know how to start with $180,000+ benefits right away. Bet I could make a big dent in what you need to stop those fare increases.


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