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November 14, 2011 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
The season of good cheer has almost arrived - just in time to lift some CTA riders' spirits. Readers have been complaining to Going Public about riders who waste space and suck face. GP rounded up the jeer - in order to reveal who's making the "naughty list" this year. Looking for stand-up riders [Last month] I witnessed a very pregnant woman, an elderly lady and a man with a cane who was clearly disabled stand for their entire ride while onlookers who were sitting didn't even offer their spot.
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NEWS
April 16, 2014 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA is closing its sales center Friday as it moves closer to transitioning to Ventra, its new fare payment system. CTA riders have long been able to purchase fare cards at the sales center, which is on the second floor of CTA headquarters at 567 W. Lake St. The CTA is encouraging riders to visit the Ventra customer service center for fare card help, around the corner from headquarters at 165 N. Jefferson St. Riders can still purchase disposable...
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NEWS
April 2, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
There's a Brown Line and a Red Line and now there's a Timeline. The CTA on Friday unveiled its new Facebook timeline, which features photos of the first all-metal rapid transit cars (September 1950) and the last streetcar trip (June 1958), among other transit milestones. In the spirit of the new timeline, Going Public looks forward to the transit-related events that are rapidly approaching. > > Wednesday: Local activists will be gathering at 6 p.m., at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., for Occupy National Day of Action for Public Transportation.
NEWS
April 7, 2014 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
Call it another case of the Blue Line blues. Just days after the CTA restored Blue Line service between the Rosemont and O'Hare stations following a train crash at O'Hare, the agency shut down service between the Damen and Western stations on the O'Hare line for long-planned work to ease slow zones on that branch. Blue Line riders were shuttled between the Damen and Western stops and Clark/Lake and Western stations from Friday night to early Monday morning. During that time, officials also closed North Avenue between Milwaukee and Hoyne avenues, prompting a reroute of the No. 72 North buses.
NEWS
November 29, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and For RedEye
A CTA rider looked like he had gotten his foot stuck in between the train and the platform at the Jackson station in the Loop. Another rider stopped to help the man and then got on the train--without his wallet. The man's foot was never stuck, police said at a recent press conference where they aired CTA footage of the scam to get riders' wallets. Chicago police say they have identified 165 active pickpockets on the CTA. On Thursday, they provided CTA riders with safety tips for the holidays.
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
May 13, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The White Sox are offering a $10 off deal for CTA riders a day after the CTA shuts down the southern portion of the Red Line, including the Sox-35th station. Sox fans can use the "SOXCTA" code to purchase tickets online through Ticketmaster for the Boston Red Sox series May 20-22. The Sox will knock $10 off lower box, outfield reserve and bleacher seats, Sox spokesman Marty Maloney said. The CTA will close the Red Line between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street May 19 to Oct. 19 for track overhaul.
NEWS
June 1, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
Starting this week, the Red Line may become the "Dread Line" for some North Side riders. On Friday, the CTA will close the Granville stop in Edgewater for up to six weeks as part of its program to rehab seven of the most deplorable stations on the North Side Red Line. Granville is the first of seven stations to close, and the CTA is encouraging riders to use the Thorndale stop, which is less than a half mile away, or the Loyola stop, which is about a half mile away. The station closure will likely bring slower trains.
NEWS
May 28, 2013 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
Police officials say they have caught the man responsible for at least four of the recent cellphone robberies on CTA trains this month. Gregory Taylor, 19, of the 5300 block of South Union Avenue has been charged with theft, aggravated robbery and possession of 5 grams of cannabis, in connection with the cell phone robberies. He appeared at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse Tuesday afternoon and was held on $90,000 bond. Police said Taylor was wearing a hoodie and a black and yellow metal rosary when he was arrested--the same clothes the man who...
NEWS
January 3, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
If you ride the train Sunday, you'll need a CTA pass but you won't need pants. The annual No Pants Subway Ride kicks off at noon Sunday at 1210 W. Arthur St. The ride, which is scheduled to last three hours, is the same day as New York's annual No Pants Subway Ride, which began 10 years ago as a prank by an improv group. Chicago's event has been held for more than five years. More than 285 people signed up on Facebook to participate, as of Tuesday afternoon. More than 200 CTA riders took the Red Line last year sans pants,...
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 30, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
It pays to take the CTA on New Year's Eve. CTA riders won't have to pay for their fares from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 4 a.m. Wednesday, thanks to MillerCoors, which is once again picking up the CTA tab as part of a three year, $1.3 million deal. In the past, riders have had to pay a penny to ride on New Year's Eve, but MillerCoors is covering the cost of the penny too. Rail riders need to use main station entrances, not auxiliary turnstiles, to get the special fare. Last year, the CTA said there were about 150,000 rides during the...
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz and RedEye
The CTA has sent questionnaires to riders still using their Chicago Card Plus cards to solicit feedback on why they have not switched to Ventra, the CTA's controversial new fare payment system. The questionnaires, which ask participants if they have received the Ventra card and why they haven't activated it yet, are accompanied by tips on how to activate the cards. "The goal is to solicit ongoing feedback so that based on any number of answers provided, the CTA can then better assist customers with the...
NEWS
October 22, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and For RedEye
The CTA last week began calling Chicago Card users reminding them about the transition to Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system. Customer service representatives have been calling Chicago Card Plus and registered Chicago Card users who have been sent activation information but have not yet activated their Ventra cards. "If they need help with activation, they'll be provided guidance on how to activate their card," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said in an e-mail. "If they need help retrieving their username, they'll get help with that as well.
NEWS
October 16, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The Ventra Web site may be unavailable or have limited functionality in the early-morning hours of three days this week, the CTA said. VentraChicago.com will undergo maintenance from midnight to 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. "VentraChicago.com continues to make improvements and updates," CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said. CTA riders have reported to RedEye troubles with functions on VentraChicago.com including balance transfer. Others said they did not receive e-mails with usernames to log onto...
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
February 18, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
CTA riders, this is not the way to ring in the new year. Chicago police issued two separate alerts last week warning riders about recent cellphone thefts on the Red and Pink lines. Police said a group of men have been snatching electronic devices from riders on trains and platforms between 55th and 95th Streets on the Red Line since early this year. This weekend, police released a photo of a suspect they say has been using a gun to rob riders of their cellphones on the Pink Line since late last month.
NEWS
May 20, 2013 | By Rachel Cromidas, @rachelcromidas and RedEye
Attention, customers: There has been an uptick in theft on the Chicago Transit Authority's trains in the Loop this May. The rash of robberies was the subject of a community alert issued by police officials Monday afternoon. The alert said that in each incident a male offender about 18-29 years old stole iPhones and purses from people riding the trains or waiting for them. The first incident was reported in the 200 block of South State Street on May 17 at about 5:30 p.m. The second took place three hours later in the 100 block of North Wabash Avenue.
NEWS
October 9, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Good news, CTA riders, you can stop worrying about hurrying to transition to Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system. The CTA'a announcement Wednesday that it has brought back options for users of the old fare card system has bought you some time. CTA President Forrest Claypool said Ventra is tripling its customer service call center to 300 workers but that may take "several weeks" because the employees have to be trained. Riders should give the CTA some time to do that before switching to Ventra.
NEWS
October 4, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Monday is the first deadline for the CTA's transition to Ventra, its new fare payment system. Starting Monday, CTA riders will not be able to load money onto their Chicago Cards or buy disposable magnetic cards at rail stations. This is not a deadline for Chicago Card Plus users, though, whose cards will continue to autoload until Nov. 14, the last day that Chicago Card Plus can be used on CTA. The CTA said it has finished mailing Ventra cards to Chicago Card Plus users and riders with registered Chicago Cards who have verified their...
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