Chicago Sun-Times

What would you do differently?

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If you ran the CTA, Metra or Pace, what changes would you make to improve service?

Yes, running trains on time and keeping them clean are the obvious ones, but what other things would you recommend to make your life easier as a transit rider?

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Information. Informed riders make better choices for all. While I do not fault the CTA for their slowness with real time bus tracking, I do for their website and the way they put the schedules up. Currently they put up
.pdf's of their almost useless schedules.

The truth is that each bus and train has a schedule (even if it is only a suggestion), the information on the internet should not tell you that the busses run every three to five minutes when each and every bus has a schedule that should be accessible online.

And the same with the phone, the last thing you want to be doing while standing at a bus stop at 2:30 AM is fumbling with telephone menus, when all you want to know is when the next bus is due, so you can know whether to start walking or stand at the bus stop like a sitting duck.

The same can be said of placing schedules inside of the bus shelters.

Also do not make it so hard to use the Chicago Cards, many people I know uses the $20 weekly bus passes, why don't they have any Chicago Card options for them? People who have no choice but to ride the bus should have more options when it comes to what they are and are not able to do. Also either begin online card refilling or stop advertising that it is available, it is not.

A dash of common sense would go a few miles as well. For instance, I refill my children's bus passed every other week (it saves me money and time to use the same card). One of the cards started acting up, instead of giving me one replacement card for the $17 on the card, they could either give me $17 worth of half fare cards or I would have to wait two weeks for a check in the mail, but they have no problem taking money, and this at CTA headquarters no less.

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This page contains a single entry by Monifa Thomas published on March 24, 2007 9:59 PM.

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