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Bits and pieces for holiday weekend

Some random news and notes for the Easter/Passover holiday weekend. Enjoy, everyone!

The Love Bus supplants the Love Train: The Trib's Ray Quintanilla yesterday told us how the #66 Chicago bus has becomes the Love Bus. Toward the end of the piece I reminisce about the Love Train. So, have any of you made love connections on the Chicago bus?

Lakeview bus rerouting: The busy northbound #135, 145 and 146 buses will be rerouted around water main work for the next month.

C-pass debuts at Gay Games: The CTA will introduce the Convention Pass (C Pass) during the Gay Games in July. The Gay Games will pay the CTA $150,000 to provide all participants with the pass. Following the games, CTA staff will analyze C-Pass usage to calculate the market value of all rides taken. The market value of a ride is the regular full fare that would be paid for a comparable ride by a member of the general public during the period of validity. If the market value of the rides taken exceeds $150,000, CGI will pay CTA the difference.  And speaking of the Gay Games, check out my friend's blog - the "Insiders' Guide to Gay Games VII Chicago 2006."

CTA Chair Carole Brown posts - two days in a row! For the first time since June of 2005, CTA Carole Brown actual had posts two days in a row on her Ask Carole blog. I give Carole lots of credit for starting the blog, but she needs to post at least once or twice a week to really have any credibility.

More Brown Line service this weekend: "Brown Line Kimball and Francisco stations will remain open this weekend and CTA will implement a single track shuttle train between Kimball and Western stations from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 15. There will be no weekend bus shuttle service." So says the CTA Web site.


Re: Ask Carole, I understand her point that she has two jobs that need attention, and think that the blog is just an ineffective P.R. device. She rarely goes back to answer any queries in the comments. While Hugh's comments did get CTA to post the appraisals for the past sales of surplus properties to the city for redevelopment on the CTA site, it has mostly been sniping since. I would think that with all the spokeswomen CTA has, it could do a better job of making its case.

The #66 a love bus!?! Only if you love crackheads.

"The #66 a love bus!?! Only if you love crackheads."

Seriously - wasn't it just a few years ago they were trying to tell us the #22 was the "love bus" - what gives?

As an insider, I have to say that Chairman Brown's blog is a helluva lot more info than was given out before. I've even learned some answers to questions I've always had, and I can tell you that cta staff now have to pay attention to what you customers are saying there in a way that never happened before. Remember, we used to not even let people speak at public meetings except for one big cattle call each year.

InsiderX's comments indicate how CTA got into the problems it has today. I don't agree with what most of the activist groups are advocating, but the reason we have them is that, unlike any successful business with satisfied patrons, CTA (at least until very recently) was not "customer oriented." Ask Carole and reaction to the CTA Tattler haved opened it up a bit, but there is a long way to go. (Take, for instance, Kruesi's reaction to the Pace findings that its Intelligent Bus System was showing that on time performance was not what Pace expected, by essentially saying that CTA would have to redefine performance before implementing the system on one route--20 Madison.) Especially now that CTA needs legislative (and ultimately public) support for a tax or fee increase (probably for operating, and definitely for a bond program if it is to obtain state matching funds for its capital budget), it will have to establish to both the riders and taxpayers that it provides an efficient service that meets riders' needs and expectations, by recognizing and fixing service problems, instead of giving canned answers such as that we will ask the supervisor to monitor the line.

i ride the 66 bus at least twice a day, often more, and the only men who have tried to pick me up are the scary old men and the ones who smell like day-old hangovers.
so 66 being the love bus? i think not.

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