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What the beep, bus shelters?

(Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago…)
September 02, 2013|By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye

Every week this summer, CTA riders have been sounding off to Going Public: What the bleep is up with the beeping at some CTA bus shelters?

One Edgewater resident wrote last week, "What is this terrible annoyance? Is someone going to fix it? If you want to seek covered shelter, you have to be subjected to this piercing noise. It's driving me crazy."

The CTA said it finished installing audio components in 258 bus shelters that have digital Bus Tracker signs last month.

The sound, which the agency describes as similar to a hospital heart-rate monitor, is emitted every 2 to 2 1/2 seconds to allow visually impaired riders to identify the location of the audio button on the shelter to hear the estimated bus arrival times, the CTA said.

"We will not turn the beeps off," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase told GP.

Now arriving: Ventra

What's in for fall: Ventra. What's out: Chicago Cards. The CTA announced Friday the drop-dead deadlines for transitioning to Ventra, its new fare payment system that will be available to all CTA and Pace riders Sept. 9.

>>Oct. 7: Riders can no longer add value to Chicago Cards

>>Nov. 15: Chicago Cards will no longer be accepted on the CTA

>>Dec. 15: CTA and Pace will no longer accept any disposable, magnetic stripe cards. Ventra replaces all existing cards.

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Randolph/Wabash

This Loop station is having a tough year. Ridership is down 7.9 percent from January through June—the largest decline of Loop stops. Saturdays have fared the worst for this station—a 9.6 percent drop—which services all but the Red, Blue and Yellow lines. Perhaps it's the state of the station, a magnet for pigeons in the winter that sun themselves under the heat lamps, that has deterred riders. A few coats of paint, especially on the coverings for the stop, would help paint a prettier picture.

Next up: Lawrence Red Line

tswartz@tribune.com

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