Heavy rains have caused major flooding across much of the Chicago area overnight, especially in the southwest suburbs, where at least two school districts were forced to cancel classes at all its schools.
Pace has decided to “go slow” with plans to increase the number of buses riding the shoulder on I-55.
More buses could be riding the shoulders of I-55 next month.
The CTA and Pace say they’re not aware of any problems with the final changeover to Ventra cards. WBBM’s Bob Roberts spoke with both agencies.
The Regional Transportation Authority may not even be around in a few months, yet it has just signed a 38-month, $5 million advertising contract targeting markets that have eluded the area’s transit agencies.
Pace wants to make it easier this summer for CTA riders to get to the Brookfield Zoo.
More than 200 people lined up at the Jefferson Park branch library to make the switch Thursday. A few elderly customers said they merely waited until CTA came to them, because the trip to CTA headquarters in the West Loop was too much.
CTA officials said 86 percent of its fares are now paid with a Ventra card, and the agency is pushing the last of its riders to make the switch to Ventra. Pace riders have been slower to make the change, with about 60 percent of the suburban bus agency’s fares paid with Ventra cards.
RTA Chairman John Gates said he wants the agency to concentrate on what he considers doable — and said his priority remains finding new money for capital repairs and rehabilitation.
The polar vortex has blown a hole in the CTA and Pace budgets, but neither agency is pushing the panic button yet.
When Ventra was first unveiled in September, there were massive teething problems.
CTA is a lot happier now with the Ventra farecard than it was even a month ago. But CTA President Forrest Claypool said Wednesday that the final phase-out of old fare cards is at least two months off.
Amalgamated Transit Union Division 308 President Robert Kelly said the employees he represents are getting verbal abuse daily.
The agreement kept intact the historic division of the supposedly discretionary funds: 98 percent to the CTA, 2 percent to Pace, while essentially forgiving a $56 million loan to the CTA that CTA has characterized as a grant and offering Metra $2 million for capital projects.
Pace is the first of the area’s transit systems to unveil a proposed 2014 budget, and it holds the line on most fares while promising additional service.
Pace employees will be staged at 14 transit stations in the city during the next two weeks in an effort to inform customers about fare policy changes.
On Monday, Ventra cards will begin replacing the familiar plastic and paper fare cards with magnetic stripes, which CTA and Pace customers have been using for years.
Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed former U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald and former CTA Board chair Carole Brown to a panel tasked with recommending reforms for the Chicago area’s public transit agencies, in the wake of patronage allegations at Metra.
A government watchdog group said Wednesday that the resignations of two Regional Transportation Authority board members this week pointed to larger, troubling issues for the Chicago area’s transit agencies.
Pace is looking to expand its popular Call-n-Ride program.