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Cta Holiday Train

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NEWS
November 26, 2013 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
It's the most wonderful train of the year.  The CTA announced the 2013 Holiday Train schedule Tuesday, and the Green Line will be the first route it travels beginning Nov. 29. The CTA notes the decked out train is out on the tracks from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on select weekdays.  ( Click here for the full schedule on the CTAs website.)  The six-car train is decorated inside and out with thousands of lights, and pasted up with colorful seasonal images on the outside.
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NEWS
January 16, 2014 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
A play that showcases real-life CTA stories will celebrate its 100th consecutive Saturday show this weekend. "El Stories," a reenactment of interviews with CTA riders, has been performed every Saturday at the Greenhouse Theater in Lincoln Park since March 2012, play spokesman J.D. Ostergaard said. The show was performed several times before then, but not with the consistency it sees now. There have been nearly 150 total performances of the play, which rotates stories every few months.
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NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
The CTA Holiday Train kicks off its annual run Friday afternoon from Midway Airport, the CTA said. The train will depart the airport station at about 3 p.m. and travel on the Orange and Green lines. On Friday, the train will make one trip from Midway to Harlem/Lake, via downtown, one trip from Harlem/Lake to Cottage Grove and one trip from Cottage Grove to Midway, via downtown, the CTA said. In the annual tradition, the train is festooned with holiday decorations. There is no extra fare to ride the Holiday Train.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Last Sunday was supposed to be the CTA's deadline to transition fully to Ventra, but the agency still continues to work out the kinks of its new fare payment system. One of the longstanding problems is the amount of time it takes for a bus reader to process a Ventra tap. The CTA said this time has improved in the last month: 99.5 percent of all taps on buses from Nov. 19 through last Tuesday have been processed in 2.5 seconds or less, the agency's goal, according to a progress report released Friday.
NEWS
January 16, 2014 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
A play that showcases real-life CTA stories will celebrate its 100th consecutive Saturday show this weekend. "El Stories," a reenactment of interviews with CTA riders, has been performed every Saturday at the Greenhouse Theater in Lincoln Park since March 2012, play spokesman J.D. Ostergaard said. The show was performed several times before then, but not with the consistency it sees now. There have been nearly 150 total performances of the play, which rotates stories every few months.
NEWS
December 19, 2011 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
Change was a hot topic of the CTA this year - and not just because a new debit-credit fare system could reduce coin transactions in the next few years. Other changes announced this year: Longtime politico Forrest Claypool was named CTA president in April, and workers have been sprucing up train stations for the last few months. Meanwhile, some CTA shelters now have Bus Tracker displays, while security cameras have been installed in each CTA station. Elsewhere, Red Line tracks on the South Side are being rehabbed, more Redbox kiosks are being...
NEWS
November 19, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
Every year around this time, the CTA stars in a high-budget film called "Will there be service cuts and fare hikes next year?" This year's theme involves CTA president Forrest Claypool and union leaders negotiating over changes to decades-old work rules that could save at least $80 million. Claypool first discussed the need for these changes more than a year ago, but was able to stave off service cuts and fare hikes this year through some labor savings and increased ridership.
NEWS
December 10, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
What was supposed to be a hearing Monday about proposed CTA fare hikes turned into a last-ditch effort to save the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus. Many of the 190 attendees at the hearing wore yellow shirts asking the CTA board to "Save the #11 bus; it's our lifeline. " The board voted without opposition months ago to cancel the No. 11 service between the Western Brown Line station and the Fullerton Brown Line station as part of service changes to reduce crowding on six train lines and 48 bus routes.
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
When the CTA contacted Jeremy Capp late last month to ask why he had not yet transitioned to Ventra, the Bucktown resident told the CTA he was not planning to activate his Ventra card until the “last possible second.” Capp said he has had his Ventra card for months but has been waiting to switch from his Chicago Card Plus until Ventra vendor Cubic Transportation Systems worked out the glitches. “I was annoyed that they were making me get a new card when the one I had already did exactly what Ventra was going to...
NEWS
December 9, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Call it deja Blue. In what's being billed as the largest Blue Line investment in 30 years, CTA officials announced last week the agency will embark on a four-year, $492 million project to rid parts of the O'Hare branch of slow zones and upgrade 12 stations. Sound familiar? While the station work is new, Blue Liners should be used to promises of slow zone removal. In 2007, the CTA eliminated 22,500 feet of slow zone between Jefferson Park and Harlem, and trains there began to operate up to 55 miles per hour.
NEWS
December 9, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Call it deja Blue. In what's being billed as the largest Blue Line investment in 30 years, CTA officials announced last week the agency will embark on a four-year, $492 million project to rid parts of the O'Hare branch of slow zones and upgrade 12 stations. Sound familiar? While the station work is new, Blue Liners should be used to promises of slow zone removal. In 2007, the CTA eliminated 22,500 feet of slow zone between Jefferson Park and Harlem, and trains there began to operate up to 55 miles per hour.
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
When the CTA contacted Jeremy Capp late last month to ask why he had not yet transitioned to Ventra, the Bucktown resident told the CTA he was not planning to activate his Ventra card until the “last possible second.” Capp said he has had his Ventra card for months but has been waiting to switch from his Chicago Card Plus until Ventra vendor Cubic Transportation Systems worked out the glitches. “I was annoyed that they were making me get a new card when the one I had already did exactly what Ventra was going to...
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
The CTA Holiday Train kicks off its annual run Friday afternoon from Midway Airport, the CTA said. The train will depart the airport station at about 3 p.m. and travel on the Orange and Green lines. On Friday, the train will make one trip from Midway to Harlem/Lake, via downtown, one trip from Harlem/Lake to Cottage Grove and one trip from Cottage Grove to Midway, via downtown, the CTA said. In the annual tradition, the train is festooned with holiday decorations. There is no extra fare to ride the Holiday Train.
NEWS
November 26, 2013 | By Mick Swasko, @swasko and RedEye
It's the most wonderful train of the year.  The CTA announced the 2013 Holiday Train schedule Tuesday, and the Green Line will be the first route it travels beginning Nov. 29. The CTA notes the decked out train is out on the tracks from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on select weekdays.  ( Click here for the full schedule on the CTAs website.)  The six-car train is decorated inside and out with thousands of lights, and pasted up with colorful seasonal images on the outside.
NEWS
December 17, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye and RedEye
CTA riders had mixed reactions about their commute Monday, the first workday since the agency's service cuts and additions took effect. Steffany Amacher of Lakeview typically takes the No. 80-Irving Park bus, the Brown Line and the Red Line to the Loop for work in the morning. On Monday, she noticed the Brown Line was less crowded, the Red Line was still crowded and the Irving Park bus had not changed. "On the Brown Line, there weren't seats, but I didn't feel like a sardine in a can. That's a pretty good improvement," said Amacher, 28. "The Red...
NEWS
December 10, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
What was supposed to be a hearing Monday about proposed CTA fare hikes turned into a last-ditch effort to save the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus. Many of the 190 attendees at the hearing wore yellow shirts asking the CTA board to "Save the #11 bus; it's our lifeline. " The board voted without opposition months ago to cancel the No. 11 service between the Western Brown Line station and the Fullerton Brown Line station as part of service changes to reduce crowding on six train lines and 48 bus routes.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Last Sunday was supposed to be the CTA's deadline to transition fully to Ventra, but the agency still continues to work out the kinks of its new fare payment system. One of the longstanding problems is the amount of time it takes for a bus reader to process a Ventra tap. The CTA said this time has improved in the last month: 99.5 percent of all taps on buses from Nov. 19 through last Tuesday have been processed in 2.5 seconds or less, the agency's goal, according to a progress report released Friday.
NEWS
November 26, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
About a quarter of a million travelers were expected to pass through O'Hare on Sunday as the holiday weekend drew to a close. It's days like those that will be a windfall for the CTA next year - but more expensive for some Chicagoans and their families. The agency last week proposed CTA riders pay $5 to hop on the Blue Line from O'Hare. Riders with 30-day passes and other unlimited cards would be exempt from this surcharge, but passengers who pay per ride, either through Chicago Cards or fare cards preloaded with cash, would have to pony up...
NEWS
November 26, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
About a quarter of a million travelers were expected to pass through O'Hare on Sunday as the holiday weekend drew to a close. It's days like those that will be a windfall for the CTA next year - but more expensive for some Chicagoans and their families. The agency last week proposed CTA riders pay $5 to hop on the Blue Line from O'Hare. Riders with 30-day passes and other unlimited cards would be exempt from this surcharge, but passengers who pay per ride, either through Chicago Cards or fare cards preloaded with cash, would have to pony up the extra $2.75.
NEWS
November 19, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
Every year around this time, the CTA stars in a high-budget film called "Will there be service cuts and fare hikes next year?" This year's theme involves CTA president Forrest Claypool and union leaders negotiating over changes to decades-old work rules that could save at least $80 million. Claypool first discussed the need for these changes more than a year ago, but was able to stave off service cuts and fare hikes this year through some labor savings and increased ridership.
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