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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/15/09 in Posts

  1. 18 points
    You're the only one calling her a "model operator." The headline says she "models customer service," and that's exactly what she's doing. Customer service isn't about seniority, it's about being nice to people. If you take a step back and read this thread from a viewpoint of a regular passenger who doesn't know or care anything about seniority, union issues, etc., perhaps you could even see why a lot of bus operators have the reputation of being rude, surly, etc. If you're going to go around with a chip on your shoulder, it gets notice by the riders. And no, they're not going to excuse you just because you spent the first half of your shift dealing with high school students on the #20. You may not think it's fair just because someone with limited seniority gets their picture in the paper. If that really gets you worked up, then you need to find another world to live in, because this world isn't fair. If I had a dollar for every time someone else got recognized for doing something I have done just as well or better, I could probably afford to buy my own paper. But instead of complaining about it, I would just shake their hand, say good for them, and thanks for giving all of us a better name. You say it's not about HATE (your own words), but then you use phrases like "SUCKHOLE," and "suck up" to describe this very operator, which "pisses [you] off" (again, your very own words). If it's not about hate, then what is it? Jealousy?
  2. 13 points
    Wow...such hate for the lady. Give her a break. As one who has driven (albeit commuter routes with motorcoaches) AND being a rider, I can say the following. Certainly driving a bus has its challenges. You are more likely to get better reviews if you have a regular route with decent passengers. I had one route where the passengers LOVED me because I was always on time and got them to and from work quickly and safely. Sometimes I was forced to do another route where the passengers had to get used to me because I was punctual. Their regular driver almost always ran 10 - 15 minutes behind schedule in the P.M. rush, which was okay with the regulars, but if the passengers were dependent on that on a day when I was driving that route, they would still be standing on the curb. I wound up with this route often because, other than the regular driver, no one else would do it (they were some rough people, but they never called in on me either). I was courteous and polite, but I told them I adhere to the schedule and if you want to get home with me, you'd better be on schedule like me. Some of this lady's riders probably have never ridden with her before, so seeing someone so energetic made them take notice. Just last week I witnessed a passenger and a driver going back and forth calling each other's mothers whores and such, because the passenger felt the bus was running 20 minutes late (in the frigid cold)for no reason. She gave it to him and he gave it back. So yes passengers can cause drivers to go off. Good customer service is part of the job, period. "Over the top" customer service is what gets attention and commendations. Based on what I read, she is 'over the top" That is probably her personality (not sucking up). People like her and the old guy that used to drive "the LOVE BUS" are outstanding because they stand out. I would agree that most do a good job and don't get appreciated for it, but I'd bet there are more "surlies" than over the tops which is why there are way more complaints than compliments.
  3. 12 points
  4. 10 points
    Frankly, I could write the exact same response. If an article saying nice things about a bus operator is a problem for you, then don't read it. I have a right to speak my mind when I don't agree with what you say (I don't see why you should have free reign of the board, while I should just "move on"). As for you having a problem with my remarks...well, don't read them. Move on. You have gone out of your way to write offensive things about the bus operator in this article. You never did answer my question about your motives behind calling the operator a "suckhole." It isn't hate, you claim. It isn't jealousy (well, you never said it wasn't, just that you didn't care for the remark). Then, what is it. What could possibly motivate you to write such an offensive remark about someone you have never in your life even met, and about which you have only read a commending article. You say my jealousy remark is "childish." Then, please tell me what kind of a remark "suckhole" is.
  5. 8 points
    Let me start by saying that Dave posted some very nice photos. Thanks for sharing them Next, this charter being discussed was my charter. It was a private charter for my close friends, fellow workers and myself who wanted one more ride on the 2200s thru out the city in a stress free enviroment. More often than not, on public trips / charters, one has to deal with constant noise, arrogant people and simply folks trying to run you over to get a picture that 50 other people are trying to get. Seeing the video and photos from the last cta run of these cars, that fact was evident. Plus on this site you see the constant fight amongst people and for what guys? Its nothing more than a train. 6000s, 2200s, SD70Ms... Who cares! Use this site for what it should be, discussion and information. This is why my charters are small and why these fine folks pay 100 bucks plus just to ride around in peace and quiet. At the end of Sunday, we all felt a little sad that the era of the 2200s had drawn to a close, but we all left with a smile as we all had a GREAT time. Eric
  6. 8 points
    To have so much hate for this lady is just wrong. I mean Customer Service is Key. There are many bus drivers that shows up with the worst attitudes, and Darlene is making up for that. She don't have to be a SUCKHOLE or KISS uP, She is just probably excited to have a job in these hard times. It dosen't matter if she drove for 20 years.....Her Hard work and enthusiasm made her stand out. And no, She's not doing this for camera time, I ride with her alot, and yeah on the 82,145, and even the 151.
  7. 7 points
    Congrats to CTA5750 on finishing the Chicago Marathon. Good Job !!!
  8. 6 points
    GUYS!!! Just caught #8347 on the #76!!!! A rare catch! The 8325s are now in service!
  9. 6 points
    Rumor has it that effective 4/2/17, 98th St Yard will temporarily close due to construction of the 95th St Station and Red South equipment will be stored at 63rd/Ashland Yard and restore some Red trains via Green from Howard to 63rd/Ashland as well as to 95th St. Certain weekend closures of 95th with trains and buses going to 87th St. Could anyone shed some light into this?
  10. 6 points
    It makes me happy because at the end of the day, the CTA can pat themselves on the back knowing they've got 714 new high tech cars at their disposal. And they're on track to completing the job without proper links to Skokie Shops. Impressive!
  11. 6 points
    I am currently riding on 5679 on the Red Line so it looks like the remaining cars are coming to the Red Line.
  12. 6 points
    Hi, I'm from the NW side of Chicago and I was following your discussion about the 6400 series Novas slowly retiring. I just took this pic today on my way home from work. I saw this tow truck towing this bus away from Forest Glen Garage while I was driving on Elston Ave. And as a bonus, I saw 6400 at Forest Glen without its bike rack.
  13. 6 points
    Seriously you really need to chill out for now and see how things unfold because now you're beginning to contradict yourself. First you're saying you bet FG is placed last on the list for 7900s, and now you griping that you don't see them getting any. Which one is it? They're either last on the list for 7900s or they'll get old "beat up" Novas and New Flyers. You can't have it both ways sir. (And with CTA pumping a few hundred million bucks into New Flyer rebuilds, one should hope that none of them better be beat up). They've only been delivering to one garage so far. NONE of us knows who's going to get 7900s next. As Art points out 77th might only have them to shake out any faults given the South Shops heavy maintenance facility is on the same property as the garage. There is in fact a history for this. Some lower numbered Americanas were assigned there before being assigned to Kedzie, and what Americanas were assigned at 103rd had previously been at 77th during the final couple of years of Beverly Garage's existence. Some of the lower 4400s were there before going to North Park and 77th getting upper 4700s and the 4800s. Whatever the case though, you or anyone else can't just assume at this stage with only one garage having 7900s so far that FG isn't going to get any. For all any of us know, Chicago or 74th might not get any. So chill out dude.
  14. 6 points
    CTA bus driver models customer service Chicago Tribune December 12, 2010|By Jon Hilkevitch | Getting Around My link The Chicago Transit Authority manages millions of dollars worth of buses, trains and other financial assets, but there's no way to put a price tag on the value of customer service. There is also no way not to feel your mood brighten when greeted by Darlene Coleman, a CTA bus driver who describes herself as having "a big personality and big hair." Coleman, 43, is right in both cases. The part-time driver, on the job less than 2½ years after working in an office for 18 years, says she loves the CTA. "Where else can you work and get paid to tour our wonderful city and meet new people?" she said. Your Getting Around reporter encountered Coleman on the No. 121 Union Station/Wacker Express route, a short but difficult run because of construction and lane closings on Lower Wacker Drive, rush-hour traffic congestion and the challenge of delivering Metra commuters to work and to their trains on time. Simply, she gets it. She's an enthusiastic, standout performer.The same cannot be said of many CTA drivers, including a driver on the No. 151 Sheridan route who on a recent cold morning drove past me and others waiting at a bus stop, then refused to let us board when we chased him down at a red light a few feet away.But justice was served when I called the CTA to complain about the bus stop pass-up and challenged transit officials to download video from an external bus camera. They did, and the driver was interviewed, charged with a behavioral violation, issued a written warning and a one-day unpaid suspension, said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney. I've ridden Coleman's bus numerous times, and the first impression she created — courteous, service-oriented and upbeat — wasn't a fluke. On more than one occasion when I thought heavy evening traffic downtown would prevent me from making my intended train to the western suburbs, Coleman surprised me. An assertive but not an aggressive driver, she prods other drivers to keep moving along the ramp from Lower to Upper Wacker, and she uses her horn and eye contact to get cooperation from city traffic-control aides who otherwise usually do little more than mimic traffic signals. "One day, I got a standing ovation from the passengers," Coleman said. "Some came up and said they love me. I said, 'I love you more.'" "She's amazing," said Julie Cooper, of Orland Park, a Metra SouthWest Service rider. "I would ride her bus, and only her bus, all the time if I could." Not only has Coleman memorized the Metra schedules, she embodies excellent customer service, and CTA managers have rewarded her efforts with numerous service commendations. It's a shame the CTA cannot clone her. Especially now, when relations between CTA management and the transit agency's labor unions are at what may be an all-time low. Poor morale at the CTA is reflected by many employees who misdirect their anger through indifference and rudeness toward passengers. The CTA received 1,241 complaints about rude bus operators in the first 10 months of the year. Over the same period, 826 complaints were filed about bus drivers failing to assist customers — more than the number of such complaints in all of 2009, according to records. "I enjoy people, and they usually enjoy me back," said Coleman, who offers a big smile, a hello and the wish for a wonderful day to each boarding passenger. She also makes brief but well-timed announcements during many trips, like this one as her bus rounded a curve on Lower Wacker: "This is the CTA roller coaster. Please hold on." "People love the fact that I use the microphone," she said. "It changes the mood on the bus. Most customers didn't know until riding with me that the buses have microphones."
  15. 5 points
    I work there bud and I've been told that no one is allowed to be in that area other than supervision with there certified cars and buses pulling in from runs. You were well passed the entrance based on your position and nearly at the vault lane entrance so you were basically trespassing at that point to get a shot of two proterras. It amazes me that you've been going in areas that don't have much security because the west entrance and south entrances have security personnel posted at all times of the day and to me its clear you've been avoiding those areas based on what you've been posting the last month or so. You can't justify what you've been doing at this juncture because at some point you may get caught or cause an accident depending who's driving through those areas. Not to throw some operators under the bus no pun intended but some drive reckless through the areas you have constantly been in no matter what time of day it is. I don't want you to take what i'm saying personal but i'm just letting you know that I don't want you to get caught up in something that could of easily been prevented. Hell before I got the job as a PTBO I was just like you but I respected the boundaries and policies of the agency itself while being an enthusiast of bus operations. Observing from the street is fine but placing yourself on private property in areas you shouldn't be in is just going to far. Anything can happen whether you think so or not.
  16. 5 points
    It’s an electric bus, not a steam-powered bus. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist)
  17. 5 points
    Perception is everything. Back in 1982 when I was living in New York, the newest buses were brand-new RTS's with hard plastic seats. One day instead we got an elderly 1964 fishbowl that had upholstered seats as it had been a Staten Island Express bus, but had now been degraded to an unassigned "shop spare". Now most people by then in New York had never seen a bus with upholstered seats, and two behind me were saying how nice it was to get a new bus with such nice seats. Most people have no concept as to how old a bus they are getting on is. A more comfortable but much older bus is seen as an improvement.
  18. 5 points
  19. 5 points
    That was coming from one side of the equation though whom we've seen that type of thing from before and not all parties involved, so I think yes there still is an element of confusing the whole discussion with taking the whole thread south, in this case based on one individual's conduct. Telling that individual that their proposed idea causes more problems than are solved and is ultimately unworkable in the form presented is not being uncivil to that individual or committing any kind of personal attack. So again, let's not confuse Mr Payne's excessive passion for his ideas with everyone else stooping to the same level simply because they happened to disagree with his ideas and he himself can't separate disagreement with his ideas from a personal attack.
  20. 5 points
    True it's still a Nova but would you want to be the first guy who scratches or damages one of the new buses after the garage just got them? He would never live that down from the other operators. Lol. Give it some time and they'll get comfortable with operating them a little quicker but still safe.
  21. 5 points
    Great edit bushunter almost had me there ???
  22. 5 points
    #2532 out of service from derailment in howard yard 8/26/2000 according to the retirement list. Still had the red and blue ends at skokie shops all this time.
  23. 5 points
    Attached are a few photos of 8100's that I have been able to photograph. Mel
  24. 5 points
    Now I just need to model O'Hare and I can make a full recreation! --------- Oh, by the way...I did it
  25. 5 points
    Haha!!! This just made my night awesome!!! :D
  26. 5 points
    I don't know the CTA is so slow on building the 130th extension, it may be 2025 before we see that. It would take 4 years at least to construct, that's how long it took the Orange line. Then they have to finance it and they actually seem to be doing better with this Core Capacity finance plan to reconstruct the north main. I see that happening first. Regardless it's going to be hard to make all the lines have either 5 or 7000's. Someone will most likely end up with the incompatible equipment. BTW, a friend passed me a picture of the mixed fleets at midway yard.
  27. 5 points
    No trip this spring was scheduled. If there are still 2400s running this fall, we may consider one then. Last year's 8-car one-of-everything-DC trip was not very well supported by the railfan community, and with the costs of these trips there is a significant element of financial risk. We do need to raise a substantial amount of money if 2400s are to be preserved. Before anyone asks, I've also tried approaching Metra about an excursion on Highliners. So far they are not receptive. Richard Schauer IRM Snowflake Special Committee Chairman
  28. 5 points
    Basically, your idea died 20 years ago. It is clear from those cutbacks that rail service is sustainable only if there is sufficient demand. For instance the N201 bus (substitution for Purple Line) was canceled because there wasn't even enough passenger demand to maintain a vanpool. Instituting night service is even more expensive now, because in the old days, the motorman or conductor would collect the fares, but now all stations would have to have Customer Assistants 24/7. Essentially, you said, bring back all Owl service. Unless you have survey data proving that it would be the most efficient way of serving actual ridership demand in those communities (compared to say, the extension of the N60 bus), or there is some traffic generation center not being served, you have just proposed a meaningless exercise. As I was typing as you posted. That proved that Evanston Hospital was not even an adequate traffic generator. If the route couldn't support two bus drivers, it would not support 1 or 2 L motorman plus 8 CAs. Put in the same category the recent cutback of N20, which no longer serves the Green Line past Austin.
  29. 5 points
    I'll just leave this here.
  30. 4 points
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsjyuwukc If anyone is interested, here is a link to my CTA Flickr album. Admin, if not allowed please delete.
  31. 4 points
    You're insulting your own intelligence. You say you were at FG since 1980 something and there's plenty of PROVEN examples of that go against your "NW side is ignored" facts. 74th had all 6000's as recent as 2006. Red line south was essentially built with crappy trackbed that didnt get addressed till 201e, blue line literally CANT take 5000's so debunk these PROVEN facts with your own credible proof or just give it up. Youre starting to just sound bitter. You can always get a one day and ride south or in Chicago garage territory if not being on a 7900 hurts that much
  32. 4 points
    Just saw one of them on Clinton. Definitely said 54 Cicero to North. Weird.
  33. 4 points
    Saw these cars in the KYD yard (ME) was surprised as these cars look old..... Like some of the cars on the Aurora line.. judging by windows.
  34. 4 points
    The cure for that is you shut the bus off a second. This forces the Mobile Validator to reboot. Takes less than a minute, and most likely it will come up OK. As for fareboxes, there are roughly 3000 farebox bodies out there, ranging from serials 0001 (have seen that one at FG) thru somewhere in the high 2900's, possibly 2999 though I have never seen that one. Normally the canister has same number as farebox body, with spare cannisters being in the 3200's (maybe 50 or so). Remember. all the innards, the bill acceptor, coin counter, motherboard, etc, are fully replaceable, and the only constants are the steel body and the canister.
  35. 4 points
    I was traveling home from a convention in Sandusky, OH and saw two 8200s on the Ohio Turnpike. 821X I think it's 11 and 17.
  36. 4 points
    I think Kedzie got nothing in return because they won't be operating as many routes, so they need fewer buses. Also, maybe the police has served notice to Kedzie and the CTA about parking buses on the street overnight.
  37. 4 points
  38. 4 points
    Thank you Graham Garfield a.ka. The RailFather!
  39. 4 points
    Last Thursday I told everyone that I learned that another triple exit/entrance maneuver occurred up north with our "L" car transfers. Actually, I never went to the I-94 Touhy interchange. A friend, who is well respected among transit followers, Eric Bronsky, had sent an e-mail describing what he thought was a most unusual event. He even made up a name...."The Lost L Car" and I think most here will enjoy his complete story. The abrupt shutdown of the CTA Yellow Line (Skokie Swift) this past May due to the collapse of the embankment immediately west of McCormick Blvd severed the rail link between the CTA Skokie Shops and the remainder of the system. This has led to cars routinely being trucked in and out of the Shops via flatbed trailer - old cars for maintenance & repair, and new 5000-series cars for testing. Well ... early in the morning last Thursday (Aug. 6), I spotted a CTA 3200-series (?) car on a flatbed trailer navigating the I-94 (Edens Expressway) "cloverleaf" interchange at Touhy Ave. Michele and I were heading west on Touhy, changing lanes to enter southbound I-94, when I spotted this car exiting the expressway (red circle on aerial view below). But rather than continue west on Touhy, the driver got right back onto I-94, heading south (dotted line): Huh? I quickly grabbed my camera and managed to take this photo as the car approached the underpass: But then, believe it or not, the driver exited SB I-94 on the Touhy East ramp! Location of the photo below is the blue circle on the aerial view. In the end, this 'L' car actually circumnavigated 3 of the 4 loops of the Touhy interchange! My guess is that the driver, supposedly en route to Skokie Shops, was heading north on I-94 but missed the Touhy East exit. A single 'L' car traversing a cloverleaf expressway interchange in this manner is something you just don't see every day. -- EricOf course I knew what has happening. The e-mailed a response.... I have reported the new CTA intermodal transfers between Skokie and "SKOKIE-SOUTH" at 63rd lower yard since July 22. What you describe is a usual maneuver. The same driver has been used since the project began so the driver was not "lost" or missed his turn. The maneuver results from the trailer needing room to make turns at intersections. Out south a similar situation exists.....after going NB on S. State St. in the city, they turn west on Pershing, go across Dan Ryan and turn south, exit the next exit, recross the expressway, now going north re-enter and continue north. David Harrison Hi David, Thank you! I didn't see your report, and never having driven a truck or bus, this wouldn't have occurred to me. The maneuver does appear whimsical if not odd to the casual observer. But in examining the aerial photo, it's obvious that the turn from the exit ramp to NB Cicero is much sharper. Merging a long vehicle into heavy traffic, though, remains a challenge. -- EricHere are Eric's photos and the map of the interchange. I know garmon757 has mentioned that the "L" transfers can't use the traditional streets and intersections. The transfers to Skokie and 63rd use prescribed routes. I've undertaken a project to photograph the serious driving maneuvers that it takes to transfer the "L" cars over our streets and interstates. Look for it soon.
  40. 4 points
    3361-3362 LED destination signs are updated. Horrible photos I know. I'm 5 floors above the platform.
  41. 4 points
    The old PCC streetcar was fairly standard, but Chicago's Green Hornets were larger than the rest, had three doors on the side & were offset on their trucks so they could pass each other. As to police cars, every city has its own requirements & supposedly the Chicago requirements add about $1000 per car. Such as the various flashing lights, special sirens, klaxons, etc.
  42. 4 points
    Here are some shots of the newer #8000's at 74th. #8090: #8080: #8079: You might wonder why #8080 has no destination number sign in the rear. Tonight that bus was displaying "Go Cubs" on it's destination. I guess they don't have a rear destination sign for that program.
  43. 4 points
    That's a pullout from 74th sometimes they start out as a 79 once they get to 79th and Damen as theyre going to 79th terminal on western.
  44. 4 points
    Never heard or experienced any such stories. The worst high schools I ever had to deal with were Westinghouse (K) and ETHS (NP). As for Taft, I did operate #68 NW Hwy school trippers that would load up starting on Bryn Mawr and Sayre ave via Avondale, Nagle, NW Hwy to Jeff Pk. Taft students I dont recall any incidents on any of my trips. They were a bit loud, but then what high school wasant??? Probably one of the most interesting moments was on the #80 Irv Park picking up Lake View HS. I remember one time seeing two female students making out in the back of the bus!
  45. 4 points
    I'm not going through with this nonsense again,
  46. 4 points
    That is certainly going to tee of certain commenters on various Chicago Now Cubs blogs.You have to wonder about the driver who put up that Public Service message.
  47. 4 points
    Well, it's about time! Said CTA Moses to the South Shops Personnel.... "Let my buses go!"
  48. 4 points
    The crime of it all is all people have to do is look up, the signs above your head will tell you where you are going. Next we'll be using cell phones to tell us how to use the restroom.
  49. 4 points
    When it comes to procuring rail transit cars, it's very difficult to just buy off-the-shelf items. There are far fewer systems that have heavy rail transit than have buses (where you can buy existing designs). Plus, CTA has some constraints (namely the necessity for trains to make it around tight curves) that make CTA's equipment requirements different from virtually every other system out there. There's simply no way for CTA to make use of cars that run in New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, etc. In other words, no matter what, CTA pretty much has to get a custom-designed railcar. Off-the-shelf simply doesn't exist in a way that would satisfy CTA's physical requirements. When you need a customized product that has, essentially, zero market beyond one single customer, it makes no financial sense to just get a small fleet. The manufacturer has to design not only that railcar, but also a production line and testing system for that railcar. That comes at significant cost. If you're only going to commit to a tiny production run, the cost per car is going to be astronomical. The only realistic way to get the order into a reasonable realm of affordability is to commit to a large production run.
  50. 4 points
    619 Update: I had mentioned this earlier in connection with a "nonexistent route" on Webwatch, but someone pointed to me where it was on the website, at which point I noted that it didn't make sense to have a bus terminating in Des Plaines out of NS. Also, since there is nowhere to park at Willow and Sanders, I tried physically tracking the bus at Des Plaines, but it didn't show up, apparently because it wasn't going to make the run empty. Apparently it now has some ridership.
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