May 9, 2014

A quick thought on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and local tranist in general.

I like the CTA. I lived in the city until a year ago, and I was a fairly regular user of the bus and rail system (Archer Heights: 62 Bus, Orange Line). I moved to the suburbs in Brookfield, and though I am closer here to the Metra station than I was to the Orange Line station, I use transport much less.  The trains are fewer when I would need them, and they're all locals so it takes forever to get into the city on teh weekend.  The pace bus that runs on Ogden shuts down way too early to be of any use. 

If I were designing the system from scratch, I would scrap the Metra system and have something like a more unified CTA throughout the metro area. It already has trains that go to the Suburbs -- I have a friend who takes the blue line in from Forest Park, and there are no trains for a wide swath of the city.

My favorite story about the efficiency of the CTA is that after the big snow storm in 2011, I was able to make it to work downtown with the CTA. When I got to the Depaul Center in the south loop, the whole city was pretty much closed down, but the CTA ran. For all the horror stories that pass around about Metra delays and the like, you can't beat the fact that the CTA ran.