Chicago Sun-Times

Want to be a CTA "secret shopper"?

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The Trib had a live chat with CTA President Ron Huberman today. One nugget that came out of it is that the CTA may soon start enlisting riders to be part of its "secret shopper" initiative.

Since Huberman took the helm seven months ago, the CTA has been sending employees to ride the system undercover, so to speak, and report back on problems they notice along the way. These findings are then shared with managers, who would ideally make changes as needed.

Huberman said that soon, the CTA will start training riders who want to take part in the program to "be the eyes and ears of the CTA."

Makes a lot of sense, considering how passionate riders get about their commutes. But something tells me the CTA is going to get more than they bargained for...

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5 Comments

If a CTA employee is the mystery shopper, would they not be concerned that any negative reporting, no matter how constructive, might be construed as complaining and place their job or salary, etc., in jeopardy? It seems a third party employee might do a more thorough job. They would not have any relations with CTA and,being employed by an 'other', not concerned as to the longterm effects of any form of reporting.

Yeah, you definately don't want shoppers to have any type of relationship with the people and/or company being evaluated. (Working for the same company, etc.). On Financial Advisor mystery shops, the shopper can only evaluate one interaction with an advisor because of the possibility of the shopper developing a relationship with the advisor and no longer being able to objectively evaluate his/her performance.

Yeah, you definately don't want shoppers to have any type of relationship with the people and/or company being evaluated. (Working for the same company, etc.). On Financial Advisor mystery shops, the shopper can only evaluate one interaction with an advisor because of the possibility of the shopper developing a relationship with the advisor and no longer being able to objectively evaluate his/her performance.

That would be great but not cta employees maybe city employees and any other riders they would not have trouble reporting things like addison buses running three to five at a time or guards sleeping on the blue line or four or five hanging out on the platforms and never getting on a train.

It's probably better to find somebody who doesn't work for the company. An employee would probably turn in a recommendation that says, "I should get a raise, and a bonus," or, "That lady over there won't give me her phone number. I think she sould be banned from the CTA," or, "The donuts in the employee lounge are stale. We need more eclairs and long-johns."

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