CHICAGO — The CTA has some good news. After years of long wait times and skipped schedules, they’ve announced it’s once again hitting goals for service. The beleaguered transit authority credited this year's successes to setting the goal to at least one train and one bus per day.
“When we put together our ‘Meeting the Moment’ action plan, we knew that committing to running at least one train and bus a day was an ambitious goal,” said Dorval Carter, CTA president. “Some recommended we try to just run one bus or train. But with the help of our thoroughly exhausted staff, we blew past our goal like a 49 bus past a stop!”
The ‘Meeting the Moment’ action plan was started in 2023 as a push to rebuild the CTA in line with the goals of the new mayoral administration. Some even suggested that the previous administration had been ambivalent on the issue, and that Mayor Lightfoot usually needed to be reminded that the city had public transportation.
“We chose the name ‘Meeting the Moment’ because Mayor Johnson told me I had three months to turn the CTA around or he was going ‘Arwady my ass.’” said Carter. “We also considered ‘Operation Please Stop Yelling At Us.’”
With wait times still far above pre-pandemic levels on most routes and scheduled departures still ghosting passengers, some critics are suggesting that the CTA is setting its goals too low.
“This is typical of the CTA under Dorval Carter,” said Alice Dupaige, a vocal critic of the CTA who runs the “L taking Ls” social media account. “This ‘Meeting the Moment’ campaign is no different than last year’s ‘The Trains are Supposed to Smell Like Piss, That’s How You Know They’re Working’ campaign.”
While riders of CTA have reported a decrease in antisocial behavior and an increase in on-time departures, most agree that the CTA still has room for improvement.
“I take a bus and a train to get to work every morning,” said Wanda Love, 47, a hairdresser who works in the West Loop. “I guess it’s better? I mean, technically a seventeen minute wait is less than a twenty minute wait. I wouldn’t throw myself a parade for saving folks three minutes, but it does seem like the CTA folks need a win. They all got the saddest eyes. Probably because I yell at them so much!”
As the “Meeting the Moment” campaign winds down, Carter says the CTA will remain committed to increasing staff and departures, as well as eliminating all tracking information on transit apps so as it's impossible to get ghosted if you have zero expectations.