The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

CTA Makes Changes, Doesn’t Screw It Up

By Scott Smith in News on Jun 19, 2006 8:28PM

To paraphrase the advertising slogan of a certain local periodical, if you didn’t know the CTA made some major changes to its service today, it’s not their fault.

2006_pigs_fly.gifChicagoist has taken more than its share of pot shots at the CTA. But even we’re impressed with the way the CTA has gotten the word out about the changes. We ride the #9 Ashland bus daily and if we had a nickel for every time we heard an announcement about the Pink Line or the bus route changes, we’d have enough cash to distribute monthly passes to half the West side.

Plus, we saw a handful of CTA employees distributing brochures about the changes on the affected routes. Even more impressive, the CTA learned from its mistakes with the Brown Line announcements and printed the brochures in English, Spanish and Polish.

Well played, CTA. Well played.

If you’ve been out of town or under a rock, here’s a summary:

* Today, the CTA debuted three new express routes and two new local routes (#X9 Ashland Express, #X20, #38 Ogden/Taylor, #X54 Cicero Express and the #127 Roosevelt/Madison Circulator).

* Four existing routes will be extended and four others have been adjusted to better serve customers (the changes to the #7 Harrison’s schedule, in particular, seem to have been undertaken to address some of the complaints over the changes to the 54/Cermak Blue Line).

* Next Monday, changes to rail service go into effect. The Pink Line makes its first official runs from 54/Cermak, heading north from Polk over to the current Ashland stop on the Green Line then into downtown. The 54/Cermark Blue Line will operate direct to downtown to O'Hare only during rush periods. Customers wishing to go to O’Hare from the 54/Cermak branch should take the Pink Line and transfer to the O’Hare Blue Line branch downtown.

We’re still not convinced that the Pink Line changes actually improve service, but we’ll save further comment until after the “180-day trial" period.

In the meantime, bus riders: how was your commute?