In anticipation of severe storms forecasted for this afternoon, the Chicago Transit Authority has taken precautions to prepare its fleet, facilities and customers.
"Although we can?t predict with certainty what impact the storms might have on our ability to provide service, we know from past experience what problems might occur and we are preparing accordingly," said CTA President Ron Huberman. ?By deploying our resources at key locations, we can speed up our response time and deal with service disruptions as soon as possible."
Because such storms can cause power outages that disrupt rail signals and power to rail stations, the CTA is deploying generators in advance to key locations. In addition, employees who maintain the signal systems will be assigned to critical junctions and electricians will be assigned to respond to power issues. Storms can disrupt rail service when tree limbs and debris block tracks, so crews of trackmen will be stationed at various locations on the rail system to respond and remove debris.
Bus and Rail Operations will have additional operations and supervisory staff on call in case conditions require emergency responses such as the institution of bus shuttles or reroutes.
Extra emergency response teams and tow trucks will be standing by in case of equipment problems with buses or trains. Various trade workers, such as machinists, laborers, elevator and escalator repairmen and janitors will be available to respond to situations as needed.
CTA employees who work in offices have been enlisted as information specialists to help inform customers during the evening rush.
CTA has also taken steps to notify customers in advance. For Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus customers who have provided the CTA with their email addresses, a message was sent out this afternoon alerting them to the storm forecast and advising them to take it into account when planning their evening commutes. The message was also posted on the CTA's web site.# # #