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Cta President Forrest Claypool

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NEWS
November 1, 2011 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
The CTA joined the Twitterverse on Tuesday morning. At about 11 a.m., @CTA tweeted: "An official announcement from the CTA: Hello. " The same message was posted to the CTA's new Facebook page. This is the transit agency's first official foray into social media. The CTA said it plans to tweet breaking news updates and connect with riders. "We've long kept up with what people are saying about CTA on blogs and on Twitter, but haven't been a part of that conversation until now," CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a news release Monday.
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NEWS
May 7, 2014 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA has finished retrofitting its older rail cars with security cameras, the agency said today while touting a 26 percent decrease in serious crimes in the first three months of the year. The CTA said it has added security cameras to its 2600- and 3200-series cars, which run on the Red, Purple, Brown, Orange and Blue lines. There are now 23,000 cameras systemwide, the CTA said. Cameras already were installed on its new rail cars, the 5000-series cars that run on the Red, Purple, Pink, Green and Yellow lines.
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NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA today launched its campaign about stroller use on buses, reminding riders that priority seating is intended for the elderly and riders with disabilities. "Open strollers may be parked in this area if these seats are not in use, but must be moved if a customer with a disability or a senior needs the seat," says the placards on CTA buses and trains. Bus operators, who received retraining on the stroller policy, which has been in place for nearly 10 years, will pass out fliers with the policy to riders with strollers when they board the bus. The leaflets are available at rail stations, the CTA...
NEWS
November 22, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system, has seen "improvement in nearly every performance area since Nov. 5," but "much more progress [is] required," according to a progress report the CTA released today, its first since the agency slowed its transition to the controversial system earlier this month. The CTA said an upgrade to rail software helped Ventra readers process train rider taps in 2.5 seconds or less 99.7 percent of the time since Nov. 11. The CTA said it is making similar upgrades on buses, where some riders have reported lengthy boarding times because of slow readers.
NEWS
June 13, 2012 | RedEye
The cash-strapped CTA has found a new way to make some money, and cash-strapped commuters can benefit from it. On Wednesday, the CTA announced a partnership with Groupon that will offer discounted three-day passes for $9 instead of the current price of $14. Groupon is buying 250,000 of the passes for $1.9 million. The CTA gets the money up front. "This is a great way to unite two highly visible and respected brands," CTA President Forrest Claypool said. "This unique offer is an innovative way for the CTA to cultivate new, local customers and tourists in a way we've never done before.
NEWS
June 26, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
CTA riders have four days left to purchase discounted transit fare passes - though the passes may sell out quicker than that. Since Sunday, Groupon has offered three-day unlimited CTA fare cards for $9 instead of the typical $14 price. More than 5,000 of 250,000 cards have been sold so far, according to Groupon's Web site. The deal is available for purchase through the end of the month but could sell out before then. A Groupon spokesman said the company has been "pleased with customer pickup so far. " "Chicagoans rely on the CTA to keep their lives on schedule.
NEWS
July 18, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
In May, the CTA shut down Brown, Purple and Red line train service during rush hour on the North Side so firefighters could battle a blaze at Roy's Furniture near the Fullerton stop. During the shutdown, riders reported conflicting instructions from CTA employees - one example of a few recent communication breakdowns CTA President Forrest Claypool identified as a problem in a sitdown interview with RedEye shortly after the incident. To improve communication with riders, the CTA is moving toward an audio system the agency says will provide clearer announcements at rail...
NEWS
October 9, 2012 | ByTracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
Some Brown and Purple line riders will see relief from slow zones after work begins next year on a $66 million project to repair track between the Merchandise Mart and Armitage, CTA president Forrest Claypool and Mayor Emanuel announced Tuesday. The project coincides with a new labor agreement with iron workers, who will begin the track work in the spring. Construction is expected to last into 2014. Though the Brown Line underwent a major overhaul a few years ago, the work focused on stations and platforms, not track, the CTA said.
NEWS
October 11, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA said Thursday it soon plans to start an informational campaign reminding riders with strollers that priority seating is intended for the elderly and people with disabilities. "It's something we hear repeatedly from our own bus drivers," CTA president Forrest Claypool said after a rider complained to the CTA board about stroller use. There's no start date for the campaign, which would include handouts and more signs. The CTA already denotes priority seating with signs and announcements.
NEWS
February 27, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA is proposing creating a second terminal to connect to the 95th Street Red Line stop. The agency has proposed building a new terminal south of 95th Street that would connect to the current stop by a pedestrian bridge across 95th Street. The CTA will unveil its plans to upgrade the Red Line stop at a public hearing 6 to 8 p.m., March 14, at Harlan High School, 9652 S. Michigan Ave. The proposal also includes an expanded platform, wider bus lanes and increased spacing between bus bays to reduce congestion, wider sidewalks...
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Do pregnant women deserve priority seats on the CTA? CTA rider Erin Fowler says they do. She told the CTA board at last week's meeting the CTA should announce that riders should give up their seats to pregnant women. She suggested expectant mothers wear buttons so other riders will know to yield their seats. "Get on the PA system and say we have an expectant mother, someone please offer their seat," Fowler said. Federal law requires the CTA to designate priority seats for the elderly and riders with disabilities.
NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA will allow Chicago Card riders to add money to their cards and will sell disposable cards in rail stations for "several weeks," reversing a Monday deadline that ceased those operations, CTA president Forrest Claypool said Wednesday. The CTA is also sending 110,000 transition e-mails to Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus users, some of whom said they didn't receive these e-mails and said they had difficulty transitioning to Ventra, CTA's new fare payment system. The CTA is also directing Cubic, the Ventra...
NEWS
October 3, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Chantal Sudbrack moved from Chicago to Cleveland four years ago and now only visits this city to see her family four to five times a year. The next time she comes to Chicago, she'll have a variety of ways to pay for transit. This past weekend, she received 274 Ventra cards in the mail to her Cleveland address. "My postman has been laughing," said Sudbrack, who said she has held onto her Chicago Card for her Chicago visits and verified her address to Ventra. Sudbrack, 38, is one of a few people who told RedEye...
NEWS
July 29, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The chairman of the CTA board - which makes decisions on fare increases, station construction and service cuts, among other CTA matters - rode the CTA 18 times last year. Chairman Terry Peterson, appointed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2009, boarded the CTA eight times this year through June, according to ridership data requested by RedEye through the Freedom of Information Act (click to see the data or scroll to bottom) . Peterson did not respond to a request for comment.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
Ashland Avenue will get a dedicated center bus lane in each direction for express bus service between 95th Street and Irving Park Road, the CTA and Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce today. This is the first step in bringing bus rapid transit, service that typically relies on traffic signal priority and dedicated lanes for buses, to Ashland Avenue. Construction could begin as early as 2015, the CTA said. The city has been studying the possibility of bus rapid transit on Ashland and Western Avenues but decided to prioritize Ashland...
NEWS
April 15, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
What do CTA President Forrest Claypool and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber have in common? They're both track stars who are offering prepaid debit cards. Bieber last week began a video campaign for SpendSmart prepaid debit cards marketed to teenagers. Claypool has been promoting the upcoming Ventra fare payment system. One of the options is a prepaid debit card. Both prepaid cards have been criticized for their fees, which include balance refund check for Ventra ($6) and replacement charge for SpendSmart ($7.95)
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Michael Russell, 38, was serving a prison sentence for selling crack-cocaine when he got a break in 2010: He started working at the CTA through a work-release program. Russell, who lives in Auburn Gresham after being released from prison last year, participated in the CTA's nine-month, ex-offender apprentice program by cleaning rail cars at the O'Hare Blue Line station. Now he's in the process of trying to become a part-time bus driver, the CTA said. "It changed my life," Russell said of the CTA's apprentice program.
NEWS
February 4, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
No final designs have been unveiled, but some already are raising concerns about potential options for express bus service along Ashland and Western avenues. The CTA is evaluating four designs that could remove car traveling lanes, parking lanes, center medians and left turns along Ashland and Western avenues to make way for bus-only lanes that could cut travel time between Fullerton Avenue and 79th Street nearly in half. A preferred design is expected to be presented early this year.
NEWS
April 1, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Here's the gist of Monday's state hearing about CTA's Ventra system: The public transit agency is not doing a good job of educating the public about the details of its new fare collection method, which is scheduled to roll out within months. The CTA said it plans to launch this month an extensive outreach campaign about transitioning to Ventra, which may start as early as "early this summer," CTA President Forrest Claypool said at Monday's hearing, which was attended by CTA, Metra and Pace officials.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
CTA President Forrest Claypool on Wednesday called a proposed cost increase for single-ride rail tickets "a voluntary payment. " The CTA is proposing hiking the cost of single-ride train tickets from $2.25 to $3 when the agency rolls out its Ventra payment system this summer. "No one has to pay a fee. It's only if they choose not to participate in the Ventra system," Claypool said at a press conference announcing an expanded CTA apprentice program. "It's just [for] someone who insists on getting an expensive [paper card]
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