CTA Service Reductions and Layoffs Implemented Today

February 7, 2010

Chicago Transit Authority President Richard L. Rodriguez urged customers to visit CTA’s web site or pick up a brochure for information on the restructured operating schedule for CTA buses and trains as service reductions went into effect with the start of service today.

As of today, service is operating less frequently on 119 bus routes and seven of CTA’s eight rail lines. In addition, 41 bus routes have reduced hours of service – routes either are starting service later, ending service earlier at night or both. Nine weekday express bus routes that have corresponding local service have also been eliminated. 
"Today is the first day that the service reductions are in place," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "Sadly, this also is the day more than 1,000 employees have been laid off. We’re continuing to work with the unions in the hopes of identifying savings so that some service and jobs can be restored."
While the greatest impact will be felt tomorrow with the first work day, riders still will feel the effect of the changes today. As a general guideline, riders can expect an additional two to five minutes between buses during weekday rush periods. 
Rail customers can expect an additional one to two minutes for a train during rush hour, and generally two to five minutes longer during off-peak hours. 
"Although the increments seem minor, there will be a significant difference in the length of a customer’s commute," added Rodriguez. "I strongly urge customers to plan their commutes before tomorrow to ensure they are allowing enough time to reach their destinations. CTA’s Bus Tracker web site is a useful tool for finding the estimated bus arrival times for a customer’s respective routes."
The service reductions are designed to retain as much service as possible while reducing costs and maximizing efficiency. Although the service reductions were designed to minimize the impact on rush hour service, riders should expect to experience longer wait times, particularly in off peak hours, and more crowded buses and trains.
Under current operation there are already numerous rail and bus routes that are at capacity during rush periods. The reduction in service will increase crowding on these routes and lead to longer wait times. Riders who travel on the agency’s highest volume routes may have to wait for multiple buses or trains before boarding. 
The CTA is advising riders to allow for additional travel time.
CTA also has closed Archer Garage, its oldest bus garage, as a result of the service reductions and is taking its oldest buses out of service. Both of these moves will provide operational savings to the agency. 
CTA representatives will continue to be out on the system at key locations to pass out informational brochures to riders. Informational brochures are available to customers at rail stations, on CTA’s web site at ww.transitchicago.com and through CTA’s Customer Service Center via e-mail at feedback@transitchicago.com or by calling 1-888-YOUR CTA (1-888-968-7282). Brochures are available in English, Spanish, Polish and Chinese. Detailed route-by-route information is also available on the CTA’s web site.
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