CTA 'Why Things Go Wrong' webpage

February 6, 2013 6:14:43 AM PST
The Chicago Transit Authority has launched a webpage to help riders understand more about incidents that can disrupt service.


"Why Things Go Wrong" is part of President Claypool's desire and commitment to better communicate with customers. Since May 2011, when President Claypool was appointed, CTA has taken steps to improve communications with our customers during incidents. These include more informative platform announcements and expanded use of social media.

We have one overriding goal: To keep our buses and trains running safely and on time 24/7/365.

Through planning, infrastructure investment, maintenance and operations, we do everything we can to make passenger trips as timely, convenient and comfortable as possible. We also work hard to prevent incidents in the first place.

However, there are countless reasons why service can be disrupted or delayed. In many cases, the disruption/delay is entirely out of CTA's control --including situations that require us to call on police or fire department personnel, medical emergencies and traffic congestion.

Think about it: Our buses move through the same congestion drivers face ? and there are many times that traffic congestion arises from factors beyond our control.

Another example: If a passenger becomes ill on a train, we must stop the train and, if appropriate, seek medical attention for that passenger, which can lead to delays. While we do everything we can to restore service quickly, we take seriously a person's health and well-being and provide them the care they need.

In some cases, the problem is a result of an equipment issue. Though CTA vehicles are well-maintained by experienced, well-trained staff, mechanical issues still occur-- as with any vehicle that travels hundreds of miles each day.

Regardless of the cause of a problem, there are many things CTA does to address them both during and after an incident.

This narrative is the latest step in those efforts to inform and educate passengers.

Why do Red Line trains sometimes get rerouted via the elevated lines?
If something stops service in the subway, the Red Line has the unique advantage of being able to be rerouted away from the subway via elevated lines. We (and many experienced riders, in fact) refer to this as Red Line trains being rerouted "over the top." It's a way to make sure that people from the North Side and South Side can reach the other, via downtown, without having to exit the system and use shuttle buses in the event something temporarily prevents us from sending trains through the subway, and one of many of what we call "service restoration procedures."

Why do buses bunch?
We know-- bunching is frustrating. It frustrates us too, both as people who are charged with providing service, and people who use that same service to get around town. Bunching is the bane of bus systems around the world and there is no easy fix to it--particularly in places where there's lots of traffic and where frequent bus service is required.

More information at http://www.transitchicago.com.