Citizens Taking Action conducted a study of changes in CTA bus services over the past five years. The results show that 28 bus routes have been eliminated altogether, seven routes were shortened and the hours of service were reduced on 62 routes.
The group has been alarmed that changes in CTA bus routes take place virtually at any given time, with no public hearings, or adequate notice to passengers who use the routes. The study did not look into possible increased headways, or waiting time between trains, on the elevated lines.
At the same time that services were being cut, the basic fare was increased by 25 cents and passes, such as the 1-day, increased from $5 to $10. A 30-day pass increased from $75 to $100.
The basis for the study were a comparison of the CTA schedule issued in April 2008, with that issued in May 20013.
Charles Paidock, secretary, stated “It’s obvious that we’re paying more and getting less transit service for it. Something is definitely not working at the federal, state and local levels, and at RTA and CTA headquarters. On average there are 1-2 cuts in service of some type every month. At this rate, how long will it be before the transit system disappears altogether? The mayor’s response to all this will probably be ‘Let them drive,’ as he said not too long ago. I’m a transit dependent rider, and there are an increasing number of residents in Chicago for whom CTA is their only mode of travel.”
Kevin Peterson said “We keep losing service with no one being held accountable for it. There are no public hearings because they are claiming they are just ‘service adjustments.’ The people only find out about the service cuts usually only when they’re waiting at a bus stop, only if CTA bothers to put up a sign about the service cuts. Usually they only find out the day before, if at that. On occasion they find out about this while they are waiting for a bus and it never comes.
Also, the fares went up for the seniors and disabled from $35 to $50. That is money they would maybe spend on food or medicine. In return, CTA cut the service at off peak times and on weekends when they are most likely to use public transit.”