CTA service cuts: Fewer buses/trains, longer waits

January 27, 2010 4:30:07 AM PST
CTA cuts that impact service on Chicago's trains and buses will go into effect February 7.The cuts are in response to a sluggish economy, according to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) officials. The agency is planning to lay off more than 1,000 employees- mostly bus and train operators. CTA officials will meet with union representatives Wednesday to try to avoid the layoffs and service reduction, but is warning riders to be prepared to wait.

"The aim was to preserve service and therefore keep people employed. Unfortunately to this date we've been unable to reach an agreement with the unions so service reductions and the corresponding layoffs will go forward on February 7th," said Richard Rodriguez, CTA president.

The head of the union that represents train operators says the layoffs could have been avoided with better management. He says members understand the hardship on riders with such schedule changes.

"Our hearts go out to 'em. We feel it. We see it. We work with these people all day long. A lot of our drivers ride the same route everyday. They see the same person. They hear it. They're not mad at us, they're mad at CTA and rightfully so," said Robert Kelly, amalgamated Transit Union Local 308.

The CTA passed out brochures to riders on Tuesday outlining the changes. (Get the CTA brochure (PDF)

"These reductions will make traveling during rush hour more difficult for the majority of our riders and we regret having to take these actions but by law we are require to operate a balance budget," said Rodriguez.

"We're going to have to wait longer and it's bad - especially in the cold weather," said Catherine harper, CTA rider.

"It's really sad but this is what happens in economic downturns," said Jim Schumacher, CTA rider.

The eliminated express bus routes are:

  • X3 King Drive Express
  • X4 Cottage Grove Express
  • X9 Ashland Express
  • X20 Washington/Madison Express
  • X49 Western Express
  • X54 Cicero Express
  • X55 Garfield Express
  • 53 AL South Pulaski Limited
  • X80 Irving Park Express

    Also, 41 bus routes across the CTA system will reduce hours of operation and more than 100 bus routes will reduce the frequency of buses. Click Here for bus frequency changes

    The changes in train service:

    All eight of the CTA's rail lines will keep the same hours, however, trains will run less frequently on the Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink and Brown lines during the off-peak travel times. Passengers should expect more crowded cars and longer waits. Click Here for train frequency changes

    For general CTA information, visit transitchicago.com or call 1-888-YOUR-CTA