Mayor Emanuel and CTA Launch Train Tracker

May 15, 2013
When will I get there? CTA Train Tracker lets you know
See that train pulling up? Wonder how long it will take to get to your destination? Now CTA Train Tracker can tell you with just a few clicks or taps on your computer or mobile phone.
Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Transit Authority announced several new features to the popular CTA Train Tracker that make it now simpler than ever to get to where you’re going. This includes getting train arrival information at any station more easily and more quickly, to help time-pressed customers to get around more efficiently.
“Increasing Chicago’s use of technology to improve quality of life for all residents is a key priority of my administration, and that goal extends to Chicago’s transportation system,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Creating a world-class transit system includes making it easy for Chicagoans to access information about their daily commutes, and CTA Train Tracker’s newest features are leading the way among transit agencies in offering the latest technology to riders in Chicago.”
There are many exciting features in the new train tracker. For example, customers can in three easy steps figure out what train to take and when they’ll arrive: first, click on or tap the new “Stops near me” function to find the closest station; secondly, on the desired station for upcoming train arrivals; and then click on the desired train and look up the destination station and what time their train will get there.
If the customer plans to transfer to another train at their destination station, they can now click on a train of the new rail line and get the same arrival and destination information – providing customers with a seamless, multi-line real-time train trip planning tool with just a few simple clicks or taps.
“CTA Train Tracker has been very popular with our customers, and we’re pleased to expand the features of this easy-to-use technology to increase its usefulness to passengers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The information available through CTA Train Tracker helps thousands of riders plan and manage their commutes every day, and planning those trips just became easier.”
New CTA Train Tracker features include:


  • “Follow this train” allows you to click or tap on an approaching train on CTA Train Tracker and get estimates of how many minutes it will take to get to each of the upcoming stops.
  • “Stops near melets customers with GPS-enabled devices detect the closest stations to your location.
  • Station name search will allow you to quickly get station information by typing in just part or all of a station name, instead of having to scroll down a screen to find a stop.
  • Improved schedule-based information will provide more information for customers who travel off-peak or begin their trips at/near terminals.
  • New train location map lets you see where trains are, in near-real-time, on an interactive desktop map. Click on a station and get train arrival information; or, click on a train and find out the estimated number of minutes it will take to get to the next several rail stations. CTA also currently offers this feature on CTA Bus Tracker to allow customers to see where buses are.
  • Updated stop selector on both the desktop and mobile versions— a streamlined interface  that makes it easier to get the train information you need how you want it – by rail line; by your favorite or recent stops; or through the new “Stops near me” function.
The CTA Train Tracker was launched in 2011 to provide estimated train arrival times for all 145 rail .stations across CTA’s eight lines. Estimated times are generated through a combination of scheduling information and data generated by software that monitors the signal system to indicate when a portion of track is occupied by a train. Last year CTA Train Tracker was expanded to enable customers to get estimated train arrival times via text messaging.
CTA Train Tracker is available online at transitchicago.com and via mobile phones on CTA’s mobile site, and provides an application program interface (API) to allow third-party developers to tap into the data that powers both CTA Train Tracker and Bus Tracker and produce innovative Web and mobile apps that provide the transit features to users. CTA plans to release an API for “Follow this train” and the train location maps to app developers.
CTA launched the popular CTA Bus Tracker in 2006, providing customers with real-time bus arrival information at CTA’s 140 bus routes and more than 11,000 bus stops.
Both CTA Train Tracker and Bus Tracker are the CTA’s most-popular electronic customer tools, receiving more about 2 million and 8 million web page and data requests each month, respectively. CTA also includes Train Tracker estimated arrival information at dozens of rail stations, and more than 100 bus shelters, a number that will double by year’s end.
Updated stop selector
 New stop selector
Updated mobile stop Selector:
 Mobile stop selector
Train location map:

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