Chicago Transit Authority Stays the Service-Improvement Course
by Angela Cotey, Associate Editor
Insufficient capital funds, outdated rail cars, fare hikes, budget shortfalls, constrained capacity and a long list of state-of-good-repair needs — those are just a few of the concerns weighing on the minds of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) execs and the more than 600,000 riders who board the agency’s trains daily.
The problems facing CTA aren’t unique; other transit agencies are dealing with many of the same issues, especially in today’s unstable economy. But when you’re operating a more than century-old rail system in one of the country’s largest cities, those problems are magnified. The older the system, the greater the maintenance needs. The greater the maintenance needs, the larger the capital funding requirements. And the more passengers you carry, the more people you’re apt to frustrate, especially when times are tough.