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"This is only a test!" Emergency exercise to shut Washington Blue Line stop, nearby bus routes

Do not be alarmed! And for gosh sakes, do not self-evacuate!

As part of a emergency preparedness exercise, the CTA will close the Washington Blue Line station from 9:30 pm Wednesday (May 20) till 5:30 am Thursday. Eight bus routes also will be detoured in the area of the emergency test -- Washington Street between Clark and State, and Dearborn Street between Randolph and Madison. That area also will be shut at the same time to traffic and pedestrians.

Blue Line trains will continue to run through the area, but bypass Washington station during that time.

Certainly the Blue Line tunnel has been the focus of various real CTA emergencies in recent years. But this one will be for "simulation purposes only." We could all use the practice.

Click on the continuation for bus routes affected.

From the CTA Web site release:

Northbound #22 Clark, #24 Wentworth, #36 Broadway and #62 Archer buses will travel over their regular routes along Dearborn to Monroe then will operate via Monroe, State, Randolph to Dearborn and then resume their regular routes. Southbound #22, #24, #36 and #62 buses are not affected and will travel their regular routes.

Eastbound #20 Madison, #56 Milwaukee, #60 Blue Island/26th and #124 Navy Pier buses will operate over their regular routes along Washington to Clark then will travel via Clark, Monroe, State to Washington and then resume their regular routes. Westbound #20, #56, #60 and 124 buses are not affected and will travel their regular routes.


What does this test consist of?

50 multiple choice, 30 true/false, and 4 essay questions.

I don't know where to post this message, but since this story ("This is only a test . . ") is at the top of the page, I guess I'll place it here.

Does anyone know why the southbound Red Line trains are going so slow between Granville and Thorndale? It's a short stretch, to be sure, but it seems to me these tracks were replaced within the past two years so I don't understand the pokey-ness. Has this stretch been added to the slow-zone map? It should be.

Thanks for any info you can provide.


Have you checked the slow zone map? This is available on the the CTA website.

It's on the slow-zone map, with pretty red color for track quality. What the exact issue is I don't know.

The streak is now over. Congratulations to Jon Hilkevitch, who I have generally believed to be the worst reporter in the city, for going several months without writing an article that caught my attention as being inaccurate, severly misleading, purposeless, or increadibly sloppily written. Prior to around December or January, it seemed that almost every article he wrote fit into at least one of those catagories. But he had seemed to improve and I was even beginning to reconsider my opinion that he is the worst journalist in the city.

But now that period of good journalism has concluded, hopefully just briefly. We see that he has written an article, apparently based on PR, that triumphantely declares that CTA complaints have severly decreased. Unfortunely he compares the complaints this past winter with previous quarters instead of year-to-year. It is sort of jounalism 101 that comparing anything quarter-to-quarter is pretty useless. In the case of the CTA, the ridership in the winter includes much fewer tourists and other occasional riders. So one could surmise that there are less people unfamilar with the system who might cause the types of problems that result in employee complaints. In addition, there were fewer track construction or maintanence projects in the querter so this increases service reliablity and decreases the need for people to ask employees question. And there are (I assume) fewer overall riders in the winter compared with the other seasons. So quarter-to-quarter comparisants mean virtually nothing. It is like stating that a retailer is doing terrifically because its sales increased in November and December when compared with September and October. Or that Navy Pier has done a great job of increasing visitors because there is a huge jump in attendence in June and July compared with February and March. I don't know why the article doesn't use year-to-year numbers (it doesn't say). Perhaps they didn't measure this stuff in the first quarter last year. But whether better numbers are available or not, it serves no purpose to compare incomparable statistics.

If Kevin was thinking of mentioning the article in his blog post tomorrow, hopefully he will take what I have to say into heart first.

"50 multiple choice, 30 true/false, and 4 essay questions"

Here are practice questions from each category to help you prepare for the test:


The CTA could be a truly great transit system if it were not beset by patronage hiring the wasteful spending that results from it. T / F

Multiple Choice:

The Washington Red Line station has been temporarily permanently closed because a) cost overruns from Block 37 made it impractical to open it again; b) CTA is mad at Macy's for changing the name from Marshall Fields; c) RonH wanted to make KevinB's life miserable; d) all of the above

Essay Questions. You will have 30 minutes to write on the following topic. Please use a blue or black ballpoint pen for your essay and print legibly.

I think the CTA could be a lot better if only they would....

We hope this practice test has been helpful. Please arrive promptly on test day. Get a good night's sleep and eat a nutritious breakfast. Remember, your city is depending on you to do your best!

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