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News pickup: CTA complaints; passengers falling on tracks

Here's a roundup of interesting CTA stuff in the news recently.

Complaints down; but don't pass us up! The Tribune notes that while overall passenger complaints are down this year, bus drivers who don't stop for passengers accounted for the most common complaint -- 468 of them in the first quarter of the year. (UC in a comment notes that the comparison period was not the same.) On the flip side, the CTA got almost 400 commendations for employees in the same time frame. Detailed performance metrics are here.

Complaints from disabled passengers investigated. A CBS2 probe found 930 complaints from 2005 to 2008  about buses and drivers under the Americans with Disabilities Act. "Four hundred and eighteen of those complaints were about lifts and ramps. There also were 198 complaints of drivers never bothering to stop even when there's plenty of room on the bus." A CTA vice president has "high hopes" for improvement next year.

A rash of passengers falling on tracks. Two passengers fell on tracks at the Red Line and Blue Line in the last two days. Miraculously, neither passenger was killed, especially the guy hit by a train. And it makes me wonder how frequently this happens. I noticed that the goroo.com service alerts I get on the Red Line notified me of the "medical emergency" and rail service suspension not long after the incident.


The Channel 2 report stated that most of the complaints were for the 22, 36 & 151 buses.
All out of North Park.
Based on the time period, most of them involved the now gone TMC buses which had a very complicated lift which was prone to break down more than the simple ramps the replacement low floor buses have.
I was on numerous TMC buses where the lift wouldn't deploy or got jammed & took 5 minutes of back & forth to return to the stair configuration, but the worst problem with a ramp only required the driver to stand on it to make it drop the last 2 inches & lie flat after use.
But if the comments from the passed up are correct, it also indicates a serious problem with the drivers out of North Park & the managers there.

Which then finally gets around to the years of miserable service for everyone on these three routes.
Maybe bad management at NP is the real reason that we've suffered for years with bad bus service here! And why did CTA managers downtown ignore the complaints?

So, has goroo.com replaced the CTA Alerts after it was ruined by people with no lives?

Seriously, same question as TEKKY.
People were super-annoying last week.

"There also were 198 complaints of drivers never bothering to stop even when there's plenty of room on the bus."


"A CTA vice president has "high hopes" for improvement next year."

I keep hearing that song in my head about the ant and the rubber tree plant. Let's give them an E for effort.

UCC, did it occur to you that perhaps the reason why the 22, 36, and 151 have the highest number of complaints by people with disabilities has something to do with the fact that they're among the highest ridership routes in the city? No? Apparently that didn't occur to Channel 2 either.

The appropriate way to measure complaints across the system isn't simply to look at the raw numbers, but complaints per passenger. Otherwise, it's apples to oranges to hold the 151 up against, say, the 64 Foster/Canfield.

I saw a post on another forum about someone who had quite an experience with the Blue Line shuttle bus last weekend. Apparently, the drivers aren't stopping at all the stations in the construction zone.

Re: people falling onto the tracks.

It astonishes me that the blue "traction strip" present on some platforms is not a mandatory, immediate retrofit for all L stations. Many older platforms do not have them (most notably at some very busy stations in the loop.)

Why should the newly renovated Armitage station be functionally safer than the older Randolph station? The CTA needs to go system-wide with its safety features!

The thing of it is, the incidents mentioned in the post both occurred at stations that have the blue traction strip. I do find the blue to be an odd color for these. Most other cities use yellow. In fact, I think that Metra uses yellow traction strips.

Even with the traction strips, people will always be falling on the tracks (either through their own stupidity or accidentally) unless there is some physical barrier put in place.

Yellow is not used for the blue strip because if you are color blind, yellow washes out to grey.

I believe it is an ADA issue.

There are idiots everywhere. I once lived in the Albany Park area, and it's loaded with Koreans. Great for eliminating stray dogs. :) But one night, a person walked onto the Brown Line tracks and urinated on the third rail and got a lethal shocker! I guess the person (Korean or not) was drunk and wanted to "pump bilges" and... whizz.... ZAP! 600 volts can ruin your day quick.

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