Chicago City Council members question CTA President Dorval Carter about crime, unreliable service

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Alderpeople question CTA president about crime, unreliable service
City council members questioned Dorval Carter about CTA delays and Chicago crime on trains and buses at a meeting on Tuesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is no shortage of complaints from people who have taken the CTA in recent years.

Problems like crime, unreliable service, people experiencing homelessness, dirty buses and trains were all directed at CTA President Dorval Carter on Tuesday.

"Do you think that this is a reflection of leadership at CTA?" asked 25th Ward Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez.

"The commitment of this leadership team has never wavered throughout any of this," Carter responded.

Defending his job as CTA president, Carter testified before the Chicago City Council's transportation committee. It is his first appearance under a new ordinance that requires CTA leadership to testify four times a year.

SEE ALSO | Man charged in sexual assault of 16-year-old girl on CTA Purple Line train

"Where is the outrage? Why haven't we brought this up today?" said 39th Ward Ald. Samantha Nugent.

Nugent was furious that Carter did not proactively bring up the crime issue until she asked about it.

"We work very hard to address the crime issue best as we can, given the size of our system," Carter said.

With a system that includes 1,800 buses, 1,500 trains and 145 CTA stations, Carter told the committee that recovering from the pandemic has been very challenging. But he said the system is starting to turn the corner. Carter said ridership is up by 14% and pre-pandemic service will resume this year.

"It's going to result in more improved service, more frequent service and more reliable service," Carter said.

READ MORE | Man charged for shooting gun on CTA Blue Line Division station platform

But city council members are skeptical. Ald. Andre Vasquez, who represents the 40th Ward, demanded data on how often CTA leadership, including Carter, take the CTA, so they can experience what riders go through on a daily basis.

"I think the more we get the data points, the less and less people can dodge their answers, and we will find it what is being done and what isn't," Vasquez said.

As the new ordinance requires, CTA leadership will return before the Transportation Committee in another three months to give aldermen and women the latest information on the transportation system's progress.