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Bus Tracker rollout: Fini

It took about a year, but give the CTA credit -- they finished putting almost 150 bus routes on Bus Tracker, starting next Monday, May 18.

Bus Tracker beganin 2006 with the No. 20 Madison as a pilot project. It took two years for the CTA to learn from that project, get the right equipment in place, and figure out how to roll things out most efficiently by bus garage.

I think you'll agree, it's been worth the wait.

Here are the final routes to be added: 

  • #26 South Shore Express
  • #33 Mag Mile Express
  • #120 Ogilvie/Wacker Express
  • #121 Union/Wacker Express
  • #122 Illinois Center/Ogilvie Express
  • #130 Grant Park Treasures
  • #132 Goose Island Express
  • #134 Stockton/LaSalle Express
  • #168 UIC-Pilsen Express
  • #169 69th/UPS Express
  • #170 U. of Chicago/Midway
  • #171 U. of Chicago/Hyde Park
  • #172 U. of Chicago/Kenwood
  • #173 U. of Chicago/Lakeview Express
  • #174 U. of Chicago/Garfield Stations
  • #192 U. of Chicago Hospitals Express
  • #200 Main Shuttle
  • #201 Central/ Ridge
  • #205 Chicago/ Golf
  • #206 Evanston Circulator


I'm still waiting for this town to blow open like Kevin B. and Unindicted Co-conspirator promised it would once the Clark bus info got out.

Speaking of whom, where has KevinB been lately? Place isn't the same without him, and I don't mean that in an ironic/sarcastic way.

Does anyone else wish "BusTracker" also applied to the train?

No! I love the surprise and subtle mystique of guessing when/if a train will arrive.

I guess all that extra walking due to the WA Red station being shut finally got to him. That or he's bothering Ron at CPS

I know that there are far more Clark buses now than there were 6 months ago!
Exactly why does it run better now than then?
But last Friday, either there was a glitch with Bustracker or there weren't any NB 22 buses for over 40 minutes at 6AM, when there should have been several.
I went on to Bustracker at 5:40 AM & there was one NB bus at Pratt & the next one was at Fullerton.
Meanwhile several SB left Howard & many more were arriving there. I didn't board the NB Clark until 6:20 AM, the one that was at Fullerton 40 minutes earlier.

It's very obvious that CTA management was embarrassed by the wretched performance on Clark St. & was privately using Bustracker to fix the miserable performance.
Now is the time to see how rotten the service is after a Cubs game, when in previous years the service is a mess for 3-4 hours after the game ends!

It's also time to get the city to stop hand controlling the traffic lights on streets going away from Wrigley Field.
Early last week after a game, the incompetent traffic aides were hand controlling the light at Irving Park & Ashland & had northbound traffic backed up to Belmont, just so the idiots that drive there can get home faster. I've watched them do this at Irving Park & Clark & as soon as they left & the lights went into their correct automatic sequence, all the streets ran better than when hand controlled.

I dont know if anyone has seen this before, but it is a project by the TMA and presumably the CTA to equip x49 buses with signal priority.


"That or he's bothering Ron at CPS."

If so, he's waiting in an enormous line. This would explain why he hasn't been able to post to the Tattler.

It's very obvious that CTA management was embarrassed by the wretched performance on Clark St. & was privately using Bustracker to fix the miserable performance.

How many times do we need to go over this?

Bustracker's primary use is as an internal tool. The public web interface is a secondary bonus.

I seriously doubt that more than three people in the general public have spent any time staring at the performance of the 22, and no one at CTA has been publicly embarrassed.

But the folks at CTA *are* using Bustracker to improve service, and they're doing so not because they think anyone is looking over their shoulder on the public web interface. They're using Bustracker to improve service performace because that's the primary purpose for Bustracker in the first place!

But if you need to over-inflate your ego by convincing yourself that they're fixing things because you're watching, go right ahead and continue to delude yourself.

Apparently Rusty's not waiting in line to bother Ron at CPS. :)

Once again Rusty chimes in with his usual ad hominem attack.
Do you actually think I'm the only one watching?
You're the one with the overinflated view of yourself.
They CTA now knows we can view in real time how many buses are assigned to a route & whether they're operating in a timely manner.
The sad fact is that the Clark St. bus was easily one of the five most fucked up CTA bus routes, yet years of complaints got nowhere!
Every one of the streetcorner supervisors knew it, the one who was at Clark/Devon was always ordering buses to short turn around. Even though the supervisors are gone, that doesn't seem to happen much now by radio either.
Everything that was done with BT could have been done earlier just by riding the damn 22 bus, but apparently, management couldn't be bothered!
And since I was out of town for a while, I don't know if this still goes on: all the yuppie scum moms picking up their brats at Parker school & double parking, causing Clark to become a one lane street! They need to be ticketed!

[It's very obvious that CTA management was embarrassed by the wretched performance on Clark St. & was privately using Bustracker to fix the miserable performance.]

But ... this is a good thing, no? Hard to tell with you sometimes.

Is this all of the routes? Is the 150 all of the CTA's bus routes? Or are there still some left off that they aren't ever planning on adding?

It's a good thing that they apparently used bustracker to fix Clark St. operations, it's a bad thing that they won't tell us what they did.
Based on personal observations, it appears that buses have been added to the route, but how many & at what times is unknown.

Exactly why is this a secret?
No one should have to file a freedom of information suit to find this out.

To CK, only four "special events" routes are not on Tracker. Here's what the CTA says:

Four bus routes that have limited operation, are not part of CTA’s regularly scheduled services or run for special events only – the #19 United Center Express, #X98 Avon Express, #128 Soldier Field Express and #154 Wrigley Field Express – will not be added to the Bus Tracker Web site, but will be considered as future additions."

The 22 has never been as consistently bad as UCC says it is/was. Period. Everything's always going to suck for a person who thinks everything sucks. Get proven wrong? Ah, then it means the vast 22 conspiracy has finally come to light and the Star Chamber is now compelled to improve the service it was previously hampering on purpose. Ugh. UCC would bitch about the taxes if he won the lotto.

No, I would not bitch about the taxes if I won Lotto.
And I've been riding the 22 since it was a streetcar!
And they weren't hampering the 22 service on purpose, they weren't doing anything about it due to the general incompetence of the CTA.
You know, that same CTA that sunk $250 million into a station they will never use!
mike, you're an idiot!

Money was spent on Bustracker so they'd have a tool to fix the problems. And they used the tool for that purpose.

They did not spend money on Bustracker, and then get embarassed by what it showed the public. That's just plain silly.

Do you actually think I'm the only one watching?

I don't know. There might be one or two other people who have nothing better to do with their lives. But that number is going to be very, very small, and people who have nothing better to do than watch the 22 on Bustracker is not a demographic that anyone cares about, much less would be embarassed in front of.

They used Bustracker as it was intended to be used: To improve operations.

You're just being an egotistical ass to think that they fixed the 22 because now you can dedicate your life to watching it on the limited public interface that was tacked onto Bustracker as an afterthought. They haven't been publicly embarassed by you (or the possible one or two other people with nothing better to do with their lives.)

Again Rusty still doesn't get it!
The CTA didn't bother to fix the problems on Clark for 50 years.
It wasn't until bustracker that they did.
Not because I see it or anyone sees it in operation, but because we can see it in operation.
One of these days someone will come up with an application to record where & when all the buses on a route are & be able to duplicate what the CTA has.
Then the CTA will really be forced to account on a large number of routes.
Remember, there are other routes just as bad or even worse that don't get mentioned here because most of us are north siders.

No, you're the one who doesn't get it.

The whole idea of Bustracker was to give them the tools to fix the problem. They didn't fix the problem because you or anyone else has access to the public interface of Bustracker. They bought Bustracker so they would have the necessary tools to fix the problems.

They haven't been embarassed into fixing anything because of Bustracker. They bought bustracker so they could fix things. It has NOTHING to do with what you or anyone can see now.

They sure didn't buy Bustracker, and then say, "Oh, gosh. We're so embarassed now. Maybe we should fix something that we could have fixed years ago." No. They bought Bustracker so they could fix these problems, and, thanks to web technologies, they were able to accomplish a secondary course of action in letting you see what you see with the public interface to Bustracker.

Well, at the risk of being agreeable with both UCC and Rusty, The CTA couldn't fix the 22 and 36 Bus Routes with the tools they had.

Those tools would be the managers who oversaw the route and even if it were pointed out to them that there was no bus for almost an hour 1 way, and 3 buses going the other way, that they might take the rocket scientist approach and turn one of the buses around. So, they needed the data that bustracker provided to fix the problems.

So, there, you are both right :) It's like which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Did you all miss me?

No, I was not following Ron H over at the CPS. I'm leaving that to Maxwell.

It would be like picking on the Captain of the Titanic.

I was lurking but nothing piqued my interest enough to comment.

I haven't had a chance to really see what the new guy can do yet, but it's just too easy to pick on him using permutations of his first and last name. There is just no sport in it....


Sadly they still have not figured out how to get the bus tracker to work for the #22 Clark bus north of Touhy to Howard and back to Touhy! Rocket science I swear!

No Rusty, they had supervisors at Clark/Devon, Clark/Foster, Clark/Diversey & the Howard L Terminal.
They had the data, they knew that the 22 was a mess & did nothing about it!
You're the one with the inside sources, so tell us, how many buses were assigned to the 22 during the day, 6AM to 8PM, currently, a year ago, two years ago, three years ago & four years ago?
Don't include buses that were temporarily assigned at the beginning of the three tracking.
Although, that was a time that the service improved, so the added buses should have been able to tell even the most thick brained fool at bus management that that might have been the total solution!

I have been riding Clark street since there were streetcars, I've watched how the CTA has made a mess out of it.

I still remember the couple of years back in the 70s when the geniuses at the Mart decided that only every other bus would go north of Devon to Howard, even though the CTA had promoted that as the best way to get to the L for Rogers Parkers! That meant at least 20 minute waits for a bus for that 1.5 miles when it was running on schedule, which it rarely was.
At the same time, 22 buses were running on seven minute headways in & out of the Howard Terminal on Sunday mornings.
I saw this on numerous Sundays starting as early as 6AM & continuing for hours.
What the hell was going on there?

And enough with the personal attacks already!
I have never said there was a plot against me or anyone else in regard to the incompetent operation of the Clark bus!
Because incompetence and indifference is what is was & apparently nobody gave a damn to find out what was wrong & how to fix it!

I've been using bus tracker text version for months with my Sprint Instinct phone and it worked fine till a couple of weeks ago. Now I can't get the routes past route #76. When clicking on the route it just does nothing.
Of course Sprint tells me it must be a problem with Bustracker
Also the non text version does not work either.

If they invented the bus tracker to improve the service, it worked. :)Now, the embarassing problem of bus bunching can easally be seen online. So, now the managers can try to fix it and improve service overall. It does make planning out a mission a lot easier from home, as you can now fire it up and get departure times like an airport. And the text message version is good for getting departure times away from home too.

The bus tracker is a really good invention. Though I usually drive, I do use the CTA, particularly for a mission to a bar, also if I have to bail out of the car in case of breakdown.

If the management is using the bus tracker for planning, it's a great thing. By making it public-accessible, they can advertise the improvement.

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