Keeping the information flowing during emergencies
A Red Line delay on the morning commute last week showed some real improvements in passenger communications. That's a topic I've been harping on for years, and one for which the CTA has been showing some improvement.
First, I noticed all the station turnstyles were out of order and the gate to the platform was open. Then I encountered a semi-crowded platform at Morse -- a rare sight around 7:15 am. Both were good clues something was amiss.
Within a minute or so, the station attendant announced the delay was caused by a sick passenger at Loyola. She also said that those who entered for free could take alternate routes, and those who paid would get a voucher from her.
About two minutes later she announced the emergency was over, and trains would resume shortly. Our southbound train pulled into the station a minute later.
But with all the backed-up trains, delays continued. Fortunately, our motorwoman took the time to thoroughly explain what was happening.
She told us about the medical emergency. Then she mentioned that a Red Line that had been diverted to Track 1 earlier to bypass Loyola now had to move back to Track 2. And another train had door problems to further foul things up.
She also said that anyone who needed late slips should report that Run 815 had a medical emergency and subsequent door problems at Addison and Belmont.
This all resulted in a 35 minute delay on the Red Line south that morning. But at least we knew why.
Postscript: Some passengers complained the "CTA did not have a clear plan of what to do" during at the Blue Line Logan Square station. Clearly there's still work to be done on communications plans.