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NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye and RedEye
Two CTA bus drivers were attacked last week, reportedly by CTA riders, but the CTA says it has seen fewer incidences of violence against its employees than it did last year. The CTA said it has recorded 11 incidents against CTA employees so far this year. There were 26 last year. "Obviously we'd like the number to be zero. Fortunately, those numbers aren't very high when you think about the volumes of buses and drivers we put out each day," CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. "Two in a week is definitely out of the ordinary.
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NEWS
July 8, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
No pressure, CTA riders, but storms are in the forecast Tuesday and Wednesday. Rain tends to put a damper on commuting, so here are some dews and don'ts of riding out storms on the CTA. Dew ... > > Realize fancy footwear is a mistake. Two words: Commuting shoes. Don't make your trip a feat because you're wearing wedges. > > Take caution when traveling up and down rail station staircases, which may be slippery. Note puddles and point them out to customer service agents at the station or contact the CTA at transitchicago.com/contact.
NEWS
September 30, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
One negative about the new CTA fare payment system: negative balances on Ventra cards. Some CTA riders have complained to Ventra they have garnered negative balances on their cards despite having money on the card or an unlimited pass. Reader Mallory Rush told Going Public she had an active seven-day unlimited pass but received a negative balance after a bus ride. Another rider tweeted, "Wondering how I keep ending up negative on my Ventra card when I only use unlimited passes not cash.
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 penny promotion.
NEWS
June 18, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
CTA riders, it's time to replace those Chicago Cards with new passes—but just for a few days. The CTA announced last week it is partnering with Chicago daily deal site Groupon to offer discounted three-day unlimited travel passes—typically $14—for $9. The deal should be available later this month, the CTA said. CTA president Forrest Claypool said he hopes the deal, which will generate nearly $2 million for the agency, will encourage visitors and infrequent riders to explore the city using trains and buses.
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
May 6, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
A reader emailed Going Public last week with a unique complaint: There was too much CTA service. The reader said his 30-minute Wacker bus commute more than doubled as the CTA ran shuttle buses to replace Brown Line service to and from the Loop, which was suspended until Monday morning while the Chicago Department of Transportation overhauled the Wells Street Bridge. There were too many shuttle buses, which clogged traffic and delayed other bus service, the reader complained. Many of the shuttle buses he spotted carried only a few riders, he said.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Here comes the pain - but not the train. It's finally arrived, CTA riders. The CTA on Sunday will shut down the Red Line between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street for five months to overhaul the track. The agency is offering various alternatives from free shuttle buses to rerouted Red Line trains on Green Line tracks. Avoid the Red-ache. Going Public has your last-minute checklist for surviving the Dread Line. > > Take a test run. Now is the time to practice your commute if you can. Don't get caught Monday without an idea of how to get where you need to go. The CTA has posted a trip planner at transitchicago.com/redsouth.
NEWS
May 27, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, though a quick look at a thermometer may cast doubt on that theory. Nevertheless, summer tourism season means more crowds on the CTA. The uptick in ridership means an increase in the likelihood of spotting these five unsavory character types on buses and trains. Though the weather's a bummer (for now), don't let these CTA riders ruin your summer. > > Fanny Pack Jack: Tourists are easy to spot. Look for the confused stares, the crumpled maps and the duck move.
NEWS
August 27, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
When John Lyons was looking for a place to set up his optical business two years ago, transit access was a top priority. He chose his location in West Lakeview because the Lincoln Avenue bus stops near his business, which is about three blocks from the Paulina Brown Line stop. "We have a very young patient base; they love public transportation," said Lyons, who runs Lyons Family Eye Care at 3250 N. Lincoln Ave. "I'm shocked that Lincoln Avenue, one of the most vibrant streets in Chicago, would be even considered for a stop of [CTA]
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