Today’s Headlines

  • CTA Says It Saved $10 Million by Cracking Down on Absenteeism (RedEye)
  • Transit Agencies Announce Schedule for Ventra Rollout (NBC)
  • 4-Year-Old Boy Killed After Riding Bike Onto Hellish Suburban Road (Sun-Times)
  • 911 Call Recording Reveals Last Words of Man Who Drove SUV into Pond (Sun-Times)
  • Rapper Chief Keef Pays $531 Ticket for Driving 110 on the Edens (Sun-Times)
  • Some CTA Board Members Apparently Almost Never Ride the CTA (RedEye)
  • Metra Chair Received $22K for Trustee Post, Despite Law Against Double Dipping (Tribune)
  • Survey: South Shore Line Riders Want Bike Access (Post-Tribune)
  • “League of Awesome Possibilities” Looks at Lawrence Streetscape (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Take those board member ridership numbers with a grain of salt. I recall the trib doing a expose about the same issue a number of years ago and when they tracked down a board member who only had a handful of rides, it was because that board member (in very un-chicago-entitled fashion) only used his pass when going to board meetings. Turned out the guy rode CTA pretty much daily, just not for free. While it’s likely that some/most of those with low ridership numbers really don’t ride often (and should get their butts kicked off the board), it’s probably not all of them.

  • Here’s a Google Maps link to all the places that you can bike safely from the mobile home park where the child was struck: http://goo.gl/maps/bKG5a

    Zoom out. Then zoom out again, and you might start seeing some green on the “bicycling” layer.

    Why do we let our local governments design transportation networks like this again?

  • CL

    The story about the man who drove into a pond is horrifying. A couple of weeks ago, I read this article in the Washington Post about what to do if you drive into the water by accident. I think everyone in should memorize these instructions just in case: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-22/local/40719444_1_seat-belt-sinking-car-window

    Even if you don’t have a car, and you’re thinking, “If I biked into the water, I would just swim away,” it’s better to be prepared for anything — you could be a passenger in a vehicle that veers off the road into the river, especially if you’re one of those non-car owners who hits their car-owning friends up for rides every time there’s an event in a distant neighborhood or late at night (like my friends, for example. Not that I’m likely to drive into the river, but still).

  • Well that’s the excuse the board members have given, “Oh, I pay for my own rides,” but did the Trib actually verify that the guy rode regularly? If so, why didn’t he use his free pass?

  • A streetview of the steep, short driveway shows how it would be easy for a kid to accidentally roll into the highway: http://goo.gl/maps/xdOzn

  • Anonymous

    IIRC, yes. And you’d rather he acted like your typical entitled cloutican?

  • Well, if you’ve got a free pass in your pocket, isn’t it wasteful not to use it? It also seems wise to have proof of your ridership, since this isn’t the first time the Trib has busted CTA board members for apparently not riding.

  • Wow, that’s good info to know. It’s counter-intuitive that you should open the window and let the car fill up with with water before opening the door, but that’s a good survival tip. I wonder if this would have save some of the victims of the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

  • Anonymous

    So you’d rather he use the free pass instead of adding revenue to the system?!? I find your stance puzzling. I thought it was refreshing that the guy thought it was only fair to use the free ride when it was for CTA business.

  • Here’s the 2007 Trib article I believe you were referring to: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2007-03-05/news/0703050031_1_cta-ridership-transit-agency

    It doesn’t sound like the Trib actually did anything to verify claims that the board members rode the CTA without using their free passes, so there’s no reason to believe some of the people who gave that excuse weren’t lying. On the other hand, the article does provide some other reasons board members might not choose to wear their badges for free entry, such as their desire to be incognito to inspect the system, so that bus drivers don’t put on their best behavior for their benefit, or because they don’t feel like fielding complaints from riders.

  • Fred

    Is the pass issued as a free CTA benefit, or “For Official Use Only”? Sort of like the transit discount benefits are _supposed_ to be only used for commuting, except this guy is actually following the rules. If the passes are only intended for Official Use then this guy should be commended for actually following the rules.

  • CL

    Yes, that’s another good point — the probability of driving into the water might be tiny, but it has probably increased a tick over the past decade since we’re not fixing structurally deficient bridges.

  • BlueFairlane

    It’s possible, though I suspect that most of the 13 killed either died as a result of the impact after falling 100 feet, or by being crushed by debris. The Wikipedia article on the bridge collapse says only a few cars were submerged, and most of those injured were treated for blunt trauma.

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