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CTA Number 1 In A Bad Way

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Aug 16, 2010 5:25PM

This November 2009 crash in which a CTA bus hit a house on the far South Side hurt four; Still taken from CBS 2 video
It's easy to pick on CTA buses given what can be long waits followed by bunchings and the tendency for buses to occasionally blow through stops without so much as a glance towards waiting would-be passengers. Those numbers are nearly impossible to quantify. Easier to keep track of, though, are the number of wrecks CTA buses are involved with and according to one study, the CTA has the most bus wrecks since 2008 of the top 10 largest transit systems in the country. The Tribune got its hands on a Federal Transportation Authority report and relayed:

Last year, there were 271 "reportable collisions" involving CTA buses, according to records. But those are only the accidents resulting in $25,000 or more in property damage or at least one individual taken to a hospital, which is the criteria set by the Federal Transit Administration. In 2008, CTA buses were involved in 303 reportable collisions.

Problem is, the $25,000 threshold means there are probably scores of accidents and fender benders involving CTA buses that go unreported to the FTA. While the reported rate is at almost one crash a day, with more frequent runs (despite those cuts earlier this year), drivers are putting away more miles between crashes. Still, it's something the CTA is aiming to improve. 521 people were injured in CTA bus-involved accidents last year, according to the Tribune: "including 270 bus passengers, 122 bus drivers, 90 occupants of other vehicles, 29 pedestrians and 10 bicyclists." There was one pedestrian fatality.