Press Release March 13, 2013
Transit Group Concerned About Shrinking CTA Service
Citizens Taking Action, an organization of transit dependent riders, is concerned about a decrease in the past several years in the number of bus routes that are available to passengers who rely upon the system as their only available mode of travel. It has been maintaining a list of bus routes that have been eliminated, and el stations closed, since CTA was established on October 1, 1947.
The group regularly reviews maps and lists of bus routes of the CTA system at its monthly meetings. Members took note of the amount of blank, empty white space that grew over time on schedules issued by CTA, which used to be filled with information on existing bus routes.
What particularly concerned the transit advocates was that the list of bus routes had gotten shorter, within just the past few years, by one (1’) foot.
The organization has posted a photograph at its website illustrating the cuts in schedules, as well as its study of routes and stations. (www.CTAriders.org)
The organization has identified 57 bus routes which have been eliminated, and 133 el stations which have been closed since CTA began. The group says that the 12 routes which were recently “adjusted” to “eliminate overcrowding” have yet to be added to their list, since they claim it’s hard to keep up with changes made by CTA.
Charles Paidock, Secretary of the group, stated: "If you compare new and old lists of bus routes, you can see immediately that there is less and less service. On top of this, of the routes remaining, the hours of operation have been cut considerably. Many routes begin later in the morning, and end earlier in the evening. Also, the headways, of time between buses arriving at a stop, has been expanded as well on many routes. We’re currently looking into the number of neighborhoods which don’t have any twenty-four (24) hour service. That can be very important to people who work a second or third shift."
Kevin Peterson, who did a lot of the research, said: "What really makes this task difficult is that CTA doesn’t follow any pattern in making changes, which can happen at any given time. This causes confusion among passengers, who often wait for buses that will never come because the route or schedule has been changed. CTA has never been able to set up an integrated system with seamless connections, but we keep hoping that one day this will happen."