Mayor Brandon Johnson said a $3.6 billion plan to build 5.6 miles of new train tracks, as well as four stations, would “right a historic wrong” and provide a “critical connection that has been missing for half a century.”
The CTA says in July of 2023, it delivered an average of 88% of scheduled rail service, compared to 71% in August of last year. And it says it delivered 96% of bus service this July, compared to 81% last August.
The CTA touted the lockers as a convenience for customers and a way to reduce congestion and pollution from Amazon’s ubiquitous delivery trucks and vans. The program is a three-year deal, with two options to extend it by a year.
The CTA is still short more than 600 full-time bus and rail operators. As the transit agency tries to reverse service and staffing losses, it’s been putting a big focus on hiring.
The staffing shortfall is one of a plethora of issues plaguing the CTA in recent months. Frustrated riders and alderpeople have slammed agency leadership for late or missing buses and trains, inadequate cleaning, safety issues and not providing social services to unhoused people.
Hiring bonuses, retention bonuses and a raise for new employees are all part of the CTA’s plan to attract and keep bus and train operators and mechanics as the agency claws its way out of a huge staffing shortfall.
A WTTW News analysis of CTA bus and train operator work records from 2015 to 2021 shows a growing number of employees paid for long average workweeks, which experts say raises questions about worker and passenger safety and the agency’s bottom line.
Lightfoot formally introduced a proposal on Wednesday to the Chicago City Council to create a new tax-increment financing district along the southern branch of the CTA Red Line to fund the extension of the train line first envisioned by former Mayor Richard J. Daley in the 1950s.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot initially opposed efforts by members of the City Council to require the heads of the city’s sister agencies to answer questions from the City Council but dropped her objections Wednesday.
The CTA’s Board of Directors approved a $1.8 billion operating budget for 2023, a plan that doesn’t include fare increases for passengers. But with ridership still down from pre-pandemic levels, the budget relies on nearly $400 million in federal stimulus money to make up for lost fare revenue.
The transit agency’s leader talked about what the CTA is doing to address staff shortages, homelessness, crime and more. And alderpeople told him what they’re hearing from constituents and seeing for themselves: long waits, angry riders and a tough road back to regular service.
“It is not a good look for him to have the oxygen and audacity not to show up,” Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward) said.
CTA President Dorval Carter on Thursday outlined a strategic plan to overhaul the transit agency’s service and bolster its role in the Chicago area’s transportation network. The CTA’s new “Meeting the Moment” initiative is aimed at moving the much-used and much-critiqued transit service into a “post-pandemic” future.
In an appearance on “Chicago Tonight,” CTA President Dorval Carter said the agency is working closely with the Chicago Police Department to deploy additional resources to address crime concerns. Recruitment efforts are also underway to help with a worker shortage.
Amid a double-digit uptick in violent crime along Chicago Transit Authority train and bus lines this year, city officials say they’ll be adding additional officers and security guards on trains and buses around the city.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says he’s confident the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill will pass Congress, touting on Friday its bipartisan support and saying both the president and the public are impatient to see the deal finalized.