Aldermen frustrated with performance, leadership call for CTA president Dorval Carter to resign

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Aldermen call for CTA president to resign, frustrated with service
Chicago aldermen frustrated with CTA's post-pandemic performance and service are calling on president Dorval Carter to resign or be replaced.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Frustration continues to grow about CTA performance and now there is pressure for change at the top, as aldermen gather signatures for a resolution calling on president Dorval Carter to resign or be replaced by Mayor Brandon Johnson.

CTA continues to struggle to recover ridership that dropped precipitously during the pandemic.

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"It's really all about management, operations and service," said 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez. "And what we're hearing from people across the city and the public is that it's not where it should be. And if you compare it to other cities, we're not bouncing back to the level that other cities are."

Ald. Vasquez is spearheading the resolution calling for Carter to step down or be removed.

"Effectively, it's a vote of no confidence because the city council doesn't have the power to fire," he said.

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

CTA riders we spoke to gave the transit agency a mixed report.

"So I've been riding CTA for like 30-something years, and it's getting progressively worse day by day," said rider Joyce Green.

"I mean, in general, I think efficiency-wise, I don't really think there's much of a problem. I mean, other than like during rush hours, obviously it'll get a little bit delayed," said rider Eric Manrique.

Council members backing the resolution point to reliability and crime concerns, and planned cuts in many of the train lines.

"We've had several years to have opportunities to right the ship, and at this point new leadership is needed," said 47th Ward Ald. Matt Martin.

The resolution is largely symbolic, but it comes on the heels of Governor JB Pritzker calling for a change in CTA leadership as well.

Carter is recognized as a national leader on public transportation, and is credited with helping secure funding for the Red Line Expansion. CTA issued a statement saying the resolution contains misinformation, adding, "The fact is bus and rail services have been added, ridership is trending upward, crime rates are decreasing, and service is more reliable - all evidence that CTA's recent efforts are working."

The resolution requires the support of 26 council members to pass. As of Tuesday, there are 21 signatures, so it is not clear if it will be introduced at next week's city council meeting, or at a later date.