Agency continues to make progress on the Action Plan
Both bus and rail service reliability improved in January, with fewer long waits and more scheduled service delivered compared to optimized schedules—according to the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) latest interactive scorecard on the “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan.
The revised scorecard, which tracks the monthly progress the agency is making to improve service, is now fully interactive—allowing customers to see detailed service results for their bus route or rail line.
Among the results of the January scorecard:
The CTA’s efforts to reduce long gaps between trains continues to show improvement. Instances of customers experiencing long wait times for trains—intervals that are double and triple the scheduled headways—fell for the fifth straight month:
- Triple headways down to an average of 14 instances each weekday, down from 29
- Double headways down to an average of 96 instances each weekday, down from 158
January 2023 saw improvements in service delivered compared to December 2022:
- Bus Service Delivered: 92.7% in January 2023, compared to 83.4% in Dec 2022
- Rail Service Delivered: 80.6% in January 2023, compared to 75.4% in Dec 2022
The Orange, Green, Brown, and Pink lines are all providing approximately 90 percent or more of their weekday scheduled service, a significant improvement from the previous schedule. The Red Line achieved 71.5% of scheduled service, while the Blue Line achieved 66.8%.
The primary contributor to service challenges is the nationwide shortage of transit-industry workers. Additionally, when last-minute call-offs occur—and backup workers are not available—CTA can’t put out all scheduled train trips.
The interactive component of the scorecard now shows a year of historical data of service delivery for seven rail lines and 126 bus routes, a major step by the agency to provide transparency to riders and the public.
CTA continues to undertake aggressive recruitment, hiring and retention efforts to address a shortage of transit workers that continues to plague the transit industry. A fall 2022 study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that 96% of agencies surveyed are having workforce challenges, and 84% of agencies reported that staffing shortages are impacting service.
The CTA offers regular training classes for current rail employees to become rail operators, and recent classes have had full enrollment. New operators will be assigned to rail lines after completing extensive and rigorous training. The CTA has a current deficit of about 100 rail operators.
As it relates to bus operations, the CTA hired 452 people into bus operator positions in 2022, the majority of which are full-time operators. CTA continues aggressive recruitment and retention efforts to address a current shortage of about 500 operators. A job fair in late January attracted more than 500 potential applicants to CTA headquarters to learn more about bus operator and mechanic positions. The latest scorecard includes several new 2023 goals for the agency, including the agency’s plans to hire 700 bus operators this year.
Unveiled in August 2022, the “Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future” Action Plan is a multifaceted investment plan to strengthen the rider experience – more consistent and reliable service, safe rides, clean facilities, modern amenities, dynamic customer engagement tools, and a strong CTA workforce.
For more information on the “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan, or to view the monthly scorecards, visit, www.transitchicago.com/meetingthemoment/.