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Let's invade CTA chair's blog!

Carole_brownThe competition is mounting! CTA Chair Carole Brown now has her own blog, as Tony from Save Chicago Transit and a commenter here have noted this week.  She invites questions and comments, so we should take her up on it!

Her post about the Progress in Springfield contained this interesting note:

"CTA's fares have increased over 95% since 1983, faster than the rate of inflation. Metra fares have increased just 20%. If CTA had received sufficient funding to hold fares to a 20% increase, today's fare would be just $1.10, and ridership would be 70 million trips higher."

We'll keep an eye on her and report interesting stuff she utters. Meanwhile, we should be asking her some of the questions that the CTA Insider answers.


If you want to ask Carol a question ("Dear Carol, how many times a month do you ride the CTA?") and you don't want to sign up for a Blogger account, use these:

username: unmikely
password: bloggo

Thanks for that tip, m!

Hey! I posted at Carole Brown's blog. And she deleted my comment! Here it is (you tell me if it desreved deletion):
La la la -- keep up the bad work, Carole! The CTA has, after all, had more than 100 years to get it right and they still fail miserably.

Promises broken: ah, the Brown (no relation)line, which epitomizes the ineptitude the CTA has become LEGENDARY for. "Uh, well, we did the math wrong." And, as such, THOUSANDS of passengers will be inconvenienced and hundreds of small businesses are threatened.

Here's an idea, Carole: take your team back to the drawing board and FIND A WAY to make it work. Find a way to keep your original promise.

Oh, you can't? Or won't? Methinks you won't, because that would reveal your threats against the city and state to be just what they are: empty bullying.

Perhaps, if the CTA had been providing a service worthy of supporting, the public would be more sympathetic.

Yes, Carol, when WAS the last time you took the CTA? You know those slum lords who are made to live in their own buildings? I wish the same fate upon you and Frank Kruesi. I wish you a year's travel, to and fro, for all your travel needs, on the CTA. The two of you deserve it. I wish you the Red Line, darling.

a - I think you could have made your point with a little more tact and maturity without it being deleted. It comes across as being really a$$holish.

censorship is censorship. and it sucks.

i asked how often she rides the CTA and she actually (allegedly) wrote back:

Carole Brown said...

RE: "how many times a month do you ride CTA?"

Thanks for asking, xlprq. Depending on my professional travel schedule, I take the bus several times a month, the #3 or #4 to work, and any number of Michigan Avenue routes for errands.

This not-riding the CTA thing by Carole Brown is ridiculous. 3-4 times a MONTH??? How do you think it would go over if Daley lived in Naperville and came into Chicago 3-4 times a month, to do errands. Come on, Carole!! Open your eyes.


There's a line between making a point forcefully and baiting. You crossed it. I don't have a problem with that being deleted.

Hey, I never take the CTA for errands, that's actually pretty good. I bet she takes CTA more than the Mayor.

I found this clueless quote from Carol. Apparently she was named one of Crains Chicago Business' 40 most important Chicagoans under 40 years of age:

It took her only a few weeks on the job to recognize the CTA's importance to area residents. "A lot of us just know it is there, but we don't think about how many people rely on it or the impact it has on people's lives," she says.

Uh, yea, maybe only clueless elites like Carol can't get that the CTA affects peoples lives!!

Full Story:


Thanks for asking, xlprq. Depending on
my professional travel schedule, I take
the bus several times a month, the #3 or #4
to work, and any number of Michigan Avenue
routes for errands.

I read this and see several times a month for business in addition to daily for work and a few more times for shopping...not sure if that's the right interpretation or not.

Re: "I read this and see several times a month for business in addition to daily for work and a few more times for shopping...not sure if that's the right interpretation or not."

I can't seem to find it, but I read - in the Tribune, I believe, within the last year - that Carole Brown seldom takes the CTA to work because it is too slow and does not meet her cleanliness standards. Can anyone verify this? I believe the article noted that she often takes cabs to work.

It was a February Neil Steinberg article from the Sun Times that mentions a report in Crains:


Crain's Chicago Business has an amusing feature on commutes in the Feb. 7 issue. The highlight is Carole Brown, chairwoman of the Chicago Transit Authority, saying she usually takes a taxi to work, only "occasionally" subjecting herself to the tortoise crawl of a CTA bus.

"If I'm on the bus, the commute is probably about 20 to 25 minutes," she said. "In a cab, it's fast."

Not quite done, she goes on to talk about being "very sensitive to the cleanliness of the buses."

End Quote

Funny - the Google search that led me to find this lost gem was: "carole brown" cleanliness

Any employee of the CTA who takes cabs should lose their job. Sorry, but as far as I am concerned this is akin to a city employee with a residency requiremsnt living in the suburbs. If we can endure it Carol, so can you. Your employment contract should ban you from being "choice" riders.

If she's very sensitive to the cleanliness of the buses, then maybe she should make sure they're cleaned between runs.

The Tattler was mentioned this morning in the story on WMAQ about Carol's blog. They specifically mentioned a's entry that was deleted over there but you can see above.

WBBM, I mena. WMAQ no longer exists.

Maybe the legislature could find some money for research into advanced methods of transportation, that would solve both the speed and cleanliness issues.
Maybe then the CTA could stand for, "Chicago Teleportation Authority."

I would like to thank unmikely for opening up Carole's blog to the public. After a couple of weeks, we learned that the only two answers Carol has to posted questions is that if there is a service complaint, give the stop and time and your identifying information, and a supervisor will look into it, and the plastic on the Chicago Card is cheap. Also, there is a myth going around that Metra is undercutting CTA fares. However, she won't answer other questions, including about CTA land deals. There may be a dialog among posters, but not with Carole.
I was really surprised that she posted excerpts from a report which said:

"Chicago itself, when you include the police force expenses, gets almost exactly the transit that is paid for in Chicago ($654M vs. $656M).

Suburban Cook County pays $103 million that it does not receive."

This seems to negate all the previous bellyaching that because CTA provides service in 43 suburbs (all within Cook County) those suburbs should be further taxed.

I also noted a debate (on another forum) about whether CTA was asking the suburbs to subsidize patronage. While that debate went no where, I see you have an item on "The proliferation of CTA managers." Maybe this is the answer to that question. Hence, CTA should make sure it is run efficiently before asking the taxpayers to cough up more.

Dear Ms. Brown:

I was wondering if the CTA has or will be taking bids for the use of Homeland Security Funds. If so, who would be the
point of contact. If they are already
awarded, who has won the bids?

Thank you.

Dear Ms. Brown:

I read that the CTA is in a precarious position due to the decreased Federal Funding and yet required to implement
additional security since 9/11.

New York MTA has received over $40 million
in funding from Homeland funds. What about
Chicago's own CTA?

Can you expand on this situation? Are these the facts?


Do the people writing to Carole here realize this is not her blog? It's here:


Vespine Gallery
Pilsen Art Walk, Sept. 26-28 and Artist's Reception, Oct. 10
Sound installation with video accompaniment of Brown Line el and recorded cell phone conversations, called C(el)L by installation artist Leah Mayers.
Vespine Gallery, 1907 S. Halsted.

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