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Pace831 last won the day on January 11

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  1. CBS explains why CTA is still running a normal schedule. Also notes that rail ridership is down by 87%, and bus by 76% (82% overall). Seven CTA employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Metra reports four employees have tested positive, including a SWS conductor. Pace says a bus operator at North Division has tested positive.
  2. Ordinarily there are two trains and crews based in Manhattan. That's still true, but it seems one of those crews returns home on #807 instead of #825 now. That would make it necessary for #825 to turn around to get its crew back to their base at 179th.
  3. Read the whole discussion of it here.
  4. Upon further reflection, it probably does have to do with crew scheduling. I observed this morning that both northbound trains out of Manhattan had seven cars. #825, which is the one that deadheads north in the PM, has eight. So the equipment and crew cycles have definitely changed, but I’m not sure how other than that one of the two crews based in Manhattan goes back south on #807.
  5. ABC7: Bus crashes onto sidewalk after driver was beaten and robbed.
  6. Since they started the alternate schedule on SWS, I’ve noticed that a train deadheads from 179th to Manhattan just after 9:30 AM. This is probably a continuation of train #807. And after train #825 arrives at Manhattan in the evening, equipment deadheads back north, presumably to 179th. I’m not sure what the purpose of these moves is. Are they trying to rotate equipment to be able to clean more frequently?
  7. Pace Schaumburg Trolley Service is suspended due to the temporary closure of many destinations.
  8. CBS News: CTA union complains of overcrowded buses.
  9. I'm assuming you applied to be a package handler at UPS. UPS hires only part time employees. They have four shifts which are approximately six hours each. You would work the same shift each day Monday-Friday, but the exact start and end times would vary based on demand. There are multiple bus trips to choose from to accommodate the schedule. The work is very physical and you must work quickly. If you stay for a few years, you could get promoted to a tractor-trailer driver or possibly a managerial position. UPS workers are unionized and have good pay and benefits. Amazon shifts are typically 8-12 hours, four days per week which may include any day of the week. I believe they have two shifts per day, with a 2-hour "dynamic shift change" so that not everyone starts and ends at the same time. The catch is that the 360/361 buses only run once for each shift change. If you take the bus, you'll be spending almost 12 hours there no matter how many hours you work. With the 2.5 hour commute, you'd have an 18 hour work day. I wouldn't recommend this option because fatigue can easily cause a workplace accident, especially when safety issues already exist (a common complaint of Amazon workers). The work at Amazon is also very fast-paced and physical, but probably slightly less so than UPS. I'm not sure what promotion opportunities exist here. Amazon is nonunion. Both UPS and Amazon bus routes tend to have relatively high ridership which doesn't seem to have slowed much during the COVID-19 crisis. These companies say they need more workers to keep up with demand, so bus ridership could possibly increase, unlike every other route. Riding these buses may be too risky if, for example, you live with a vulnerable person.
  10. Mass Transit Magazine: Stimulus bill passed by Senate would allocate $25 billion for transit, $1 billion for Amtrak.
  11. CBS News: Two CTA operators test positive for coronavirus.
  12. This is very likely to be a recurring topic, so let's try to consolidate the discussions here. As you are undoubtedly aware, the coronavirus epidemic has caused a sharp decline in transit ridership as people are ordered to stay home and avoid travel except for essential activities such as grocery shopping. CTA ridership is down 68%. Refunds are being offered for Ventra 7 and 30 day passes. Metra ridership is down at least 70%. Reduced service schedules have been implemented, and all cars are opened on all trains so that people can sit as far apart as possible. Refunds on monthly passes are available. Pace ridership is down 53%. Schedules on 54 Metra feeder routes have been altered, Niles Free Bus operates on a weekend schedule every day, and routes 754 and 811 are suspended. The trend is the same at transit agencies across the country. Nearly all have increased efforts to clean vehicles and stations. The longer-term effects on transit remain uncertain. Some, such as Crain's and Streetsblog, have suggested a bailout may be necessary. It will take many months for ridership to recover and transit agencies will have to adjust their financial plans accordingly.
  13. Amazon doesn't employ its own drivers, although there was speculation recently that they may begin doing so. Their truckload freight is hauled by contractors in Amazon-owned trailers. The drivers of the Amazon delivery vans are independent contractors as well, although they have had some seasonal employee drivers for the past two years. The "truck driver shortage" is often misrepresented by popular media. Companies can find enough people to "put butts in the seats", so to speak, but the shortage is of hires who will provide a positive return on investment. As you noted, trucking is a commodity service with tiny profit margins to begin with. A lot of money is spent on recruiting, hiring, and training, but many new hires will quit after a short time, drive unsafely, work inefficiently, et cetera. Workers would be more profitable if hiring and training standards were increased, but employers cannot afford to do this without reducing the applicant pool too much. This feedback loop is commonly simplified as the "driver shortage", and I don't think Uber will necessarily change this. If anything, they will make it harder for other companies to compete and the driver experience will get worse.
  14. ABC7: CTA bus hits car, 15 injured.
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