February 2009 Archives

Tough week for CTA

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(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

As the balmy February Fakeout becomes a distant memory, Chicagoans return to their wintertime habits of scraping ice off of their cars, trudging through slush, and shivering at bus stops. This week in particular has been tough for CTA, with equipment failures, looming fare increases, clerical errors, and violence on and off the tracks.

One of the sixty-foot articulated buses that Hyde Parkers recognize from rush hour on the #6 Jackson Park Express cracked while in use. No passengers were on board, but as a precautionary measure all 226 buses of this model are being pulled from the fleet until they can be inspected for safety.

CTA, Metra, and PACE are all facing nasty budget shortfalls.  Internal budget trimming may not be enough to stave off the dreaded fare hikes and possible service cuts entailed in every CTA doomsday package.

A paperwork slip-up led to the temporary deactivation of all DePaul students' U-Pass farecards. Service is expected to return this weekend.

On Wednesday a woman was sexually assaulted at knife point off the Western Blue Line stop.

A passenger accused of boarding a bus without paying was very forcibly ejected by a Chicago police officer. I'm keeping my eyes peeled to see if brutality charges are pressed. Check out the video taken by a passenger. Trigger warning and foul language.

Signs of the times

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From the Department-of-Truth files: An Illinois House Committee recently introduced legislation to bar state officials from affixing their names to signage paid for with state money. Hardly a week out of the governor's mansion and already Blagojevich's name has been struck from billboards and dedicatory placards everywhere.

How would Chicago's own Richard M. Daley, Mayor, famous for attaching to his name to anything that will sit still long enough for the ink to dry, react if the city enacted a similar measure?