Thursday, November 20, 2014

#CTAfail = TWO groups of bunched buses in a row!

MAJOR #CTAfail today. 

TWO Batches of bunched buses resulted in me walking to my meeting, and now complaining on the internet.

I was at first hesitant to write this, as I complain about North Siders being complaining brats at times. But I guess that’s how service works. I am also curious to see if anyone has had the same problem. And if so, let’s unite to hold CTA accountable!
So I was less than a block from the bus stop near 80th & King, going South bound at 8:21am.  I saw a bus sail past my stop. So I walked, thinking, well, maybe another bus will come in a few minutes. Try a few SECONDS. About 45 seconds later (if that), a SECOND bus FLIES by.

I am in utter shock. After s couple of seconds, I try to run to the next stop, which has a stoplight which is turning yellow (and then red). That SHOULD have been enough time for me to catch up. (And an “excuse” for the bus to slow down and NOT bunch up with the first bus). But instead, they GUN IT, and I miss that bus.

I am extremely frustrated, but think, well, maybe there’s another one in a few minutes. SO I text in the info (which has actually been helpful).

Here’s my text log:

8:22am = stop 2249 King& 80th
19 min. & 19 min.
WHAT????? With a 20 minute gap, NO ONE at CTA HQ or the Bus Supervisor SEES this discrepancy?

8:24am = stop 2252 King& 83rd
19 min. and 19 min.
I texted this stop to see if perhaps that 2nd bus that passed me slowed down at all. Clearly not. But 20 minutes between buses??? That 2nd bus couldn’t have slowed down AT ALL???
At this point, I actually stop, and call in to complain.  The customer service person says she can only take the complaint, and can NOT communicate with the bus supervisor, who COULD have stopped that 2nd bus for a couple of minutes.  She says she’ll call me with the ticket number (for my complaint) later, as I have to walk really fast to my destination (a school board meeting – not one I wish be sweaty at).

8:39am = stop 2257 King & 88th
10 min and 10 min.  STILL bunched up. The latter bus COULD have waited at some stops (i.e. major intersections) for 2 minutes, and no one would have noticed.

8:48am = stop 2260 (King at 91st)
Said DUE and 2 min. 

At that point, I was 1 ½ blocks east of stop, WALKING to my destination, and still did not see the bus. 

Basically, I had beat the bus from my home to the near my destination. I was cold in some parts and sweaty & smelly in others. And my sore foot may have gotten worse.

Oh, and remember that complaint I sent in? It’s 3PM and no phone call. There’s a 311 complaint number: 14-02004134

Let’s see if anything happens from that.  Feel free to call 311 with this complaint number and see if you get anything.

MAJOR MAJOR fail, here CTA.  Will you make a change? Call me back?

I will have to look up later Chicago Public Radio’s Curious City story on bunched buses, and to see if South Siders get the shaft more than North side buses.

But please share your stories – and see if we can make this better.

p.s. Unrelated CTA complaint – I asked on their Facebook page if they could post the DATE of when the Red Line Holiday Train will happen. I understand that the TIME is not yet set…but I need to know if I should plan ahead for THAT event or another.  How hard can setting a date be? They've been doing this every year!

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