News and Reaction, Sundry

CTA Fucks Up

Life is not so much fun in Chicago these days, and a lot of the fun is credited to the CTA, for managing to suffer incredible equipment failure, forcing them to close the Purple line south of Howard, and running the Red line at maybe half capacity.

Yesterday, people came to work hours late after having waited in vain on train platforms for forty minutes or more, with each passing train packed full. And of course when a train is packed full, it runs a lot slower too, as at every stop you have people squeezing in and out in slow motion. They’re desperate for equipment, coz after the blizzard the temperatures dropped, and all the El equipment breaks below zero. Yesterday I rode home on a fully packed train in a dusty train car riding next to a door that wouldn’t open more than two inches even if you pulled the emergency handle and had five guys pushing as hard as they could.

/* To be sure, it’s that the snow does a job of shorting out the motors on the 2600 series cars that are used extensively on the Red and Purple lines, and the doors get fucked because ice and snow freezes in their tracks and has to be removed at the shop. */

It was great to ride free on New Years Eve, but when people can’t get their cars out, the CTA suffers a major disaster. The Blue line got closed down on its final leg into O’Hare Airport, requiring shuttle buses. Strong winds and drifting snow caused the tracks to shift. You can’t blame them for something like that, but given the half week’s advance notice we had regarding the coming blizzard, and how well the rest of the city has been doing, you’d think they could have done something proactive against predictable equipment failures.

Or at least have managed things better. Slowly, oh so slowly, have they addressed the troubles. Today I rode on trains down the Red line that normally run on the Brown line. Yes, shifting their motive power around to meet demand – there’s an idea! Tomorrow they’ll have trains that are packed skip stops – express service! There’s an idea. It’s a little different from shutting down their Purple line express service in a crisis.


Meanwhile … well, you can see the sides of my Volksy, it’s still there. but no way in hell it’s going to be moving anywhere in the next few days. It’s snowing a little bit still and will be all week, as another Canadian cold front moves in. I called the house I decided to live in in Urbana and had told them I’d intended to come down on the weekend. Well, assuming I can dig it it, will the car want to start? Then, if it runs, would I want to drive it? We’ll see. Luckily classes aren’t for two weeks.

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