CTA Announces New, Dynamic Rail Service Schedules to Start Spring ‘24

April 5, 2024

Rail service timetables will be routinely updated between spring and summer as new rail operators join the workforce

*Updated at 2:25p.m. to provide clarification on updating of timetables. 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today outlined its new spring rail service timetables and plans for increasing rail services throughout the spring and summer as new rail operators complete the required training and are added into service.

The initial timetables for the spring rail schedule, which goes into effect Sunday, April 7, will have some immediate improvements, and riders should expect to see gradually increasing service as more operators are added to service in the coming months. The new schedule enables the agency to dynamically add scheduled service to align with the growing rail operator workforce throughout the spring and summer. This is an important step toward CTA achieving its goal of returning scheduled rail services to pre-pandemic levels.

“Our goal is to transparently communicate with our riders throughout the spring and summer on scheduled rail service. We will continue to provide them with estimated service frequencies throughout the day, while also providing enough room to allow us to add in service in the coming months as our workforce grows,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr.

Per the terms of the collective bargaining agreement CTA has with its union representing rail personnel, rail schedules can be picked twice a year. This lack of flexibility is further complicated by CTA’s growing workforce and ever evolving ridership trends in this post-pandemic world.

“Based on the existing limitations and new challenges, CTA is taking a new approach to delivering rail schedules. The timetables that we are releasing on Sunday shows the service we can confidently put out today, while allowing us to regularly update the timetables based on ridership trends and operators entering the workforce throughout the summer,” Carter added.

The initial spring 2024 service timetables are available at the following: transitchicago.com/schedules/, as well as through real-time apps sourcing CTA’s GTFS-data.

CTA has already made significant progress in hiring new bus and rail operators to address workforce shortages and the usual trends of attrition. This year, CTA plans to train up to 200 new operators, which is double the number in 2023.

To achieve the rail service improvements planned as part of the spring 2024 schedule, CTA is anticipating adding upwards of 50 newly trained rail operators to its workforce between now and this summer. So far, 67 are currently in training and are expected to begin qualifying for rail operator status over the next three months. The first class of the year has completed. CTA’s rail operator training courses allow for 20 participants per class with up to three classes in training at a given time.

For the latest information on CTA service changes, riders are encouraged to sign up for  CTA Updates, an email subscription service. CTA will also announce the posting of new timetables via its social media channels.

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