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CTA to provide riders better communication tools


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently introduced a plan that calls for leveraging existing communication tools and developing new ones to provide customers with access to clear, timely and easy-to-use service information.

Passengers now can sign up to electronically receive service alerts, which outline scheduled service changes for the upcoming weekend or following work week.

During the next year, CTA plans to implement various initiatives and customer communication tools, such as a new tactical communications unit responsible for providing emergency and scheduled service impact information to customers, new digital signage at rail stations to provide up-to-date travel information and estimated train arrival times, and an emergency alerts program that will send emails to subscribers regarding major delays or service disruptions along their selected routes.

CTA already has has produced an updated rail system evacuation video that provides riders an overview of what to expect in case of an emergency. Available on the authority's Web site, the video also identifies safety features already in place on trains and in subway tunnels, including improved lighting, enhanced signage, and emergency intercoms and telephones. CTA plans to soon distribute brochures at rail stations that outlines evacuation procedures during an emergency and establish a hotline to provide service information during emergencies.

The authority also plans to launch an updated Web site later this year that will be easier to navigate and feature the most-needed information — such as maps, schedules, alerts, fare information and the Google Trip Planner — on the home page, CTA said. The new site also will feature a service tracker to provide the current status of all rail and bus lines.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/15/2008