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How COVID-19 affects transit

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1 hour ago, geneking7320 said:

When did MCTS get those Gilligs?

I haven't been to Milwaukee in some time.

Last spring/summer. They replaced the last of their D40LFs.

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14 hours ago, WCR said:

Last spring/summer. They replaced the last of their D40LFs.

Thanks much! I have ridden Gilligs like that in Minneapolis and thought they were great.

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Cincinnati is going to a modified schedule starting tomorrow 3/29. Most routes will be on a Saturday schedule during the week. Some express routes wont run at all. Sunday service will remain on Sunday schedule. TANK bus in Northern Kentucky has also gone to modified schedule, with most on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. Both have suspended fare collections until further notice.

Cincinnati Metro Adjustments.jpg

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Been noticing alot less buses out there. With no reduction in service it makes me wonder what happened to the runs? Heard a story many CPD officers called off yesterday, so that may be what it is. Saw 4 buses on the #152 and I know that's a little light, more like a sunday or saturday schedule. I think the union coming out has scared off it's members. Still don't understand why there are not mandatory masks or rider restriction to the back 3 quarters of the bus. Operators would be alot safer. Do we need to still collect fares? That should be waived with a modified schedule. It's like with uber with stores closing en mass around 9pm no one is on the street. Do we really need 24 hour service?

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6 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Been noticing alot less buses out there. With no reduction in service it makes me wonder what happened to the runs? Heard a story many CPD officers called off yesterday, so that may be what it is. Saw 4 buses on the #152 and I know that's a little light, more like a sunday or saturday schedule. I think the union coming out has scared off it's members. Still don't understand why there are not mandatory masks or rider restriction to the back 3 quarters of the bus. Operators would be alot safer. Do we need to still collect fares? That should be waived with a modified schedule. It's like with uber with stores closing en mass around 9pm no one is on the street. Do we really need 24 hour service?

I'll answer your last question first.  Yes we need 24 hr service.   People still work overnights at UPS and other shipping companies and warehouses.   

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10 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Been noticing alot less buses out there. With no reduction in service it makes me wonder what happened to the runs? Heard a story many CPD officers called off yesterday, so that may be what it is. Saw 4 buses on the #152 and I know that's a little light, more like a sunday or saturday schedule. I think the union coming out has scared off it's members. Still don't understand why there are not mandatory masks or rider restriction to the back 3 quarters of the bus. Operators would be alot safer. Do we need to still collect fares? That should be waived with a modified schedule. It's like with uber with stores closing en mass around 9pm no one is on the street. Do we really need 24 hour service?

CTA's official response without actually making one is somewhat alarming at this point. I still don't think reductions in bus service should happen en masse without at least saying something, so this news is concerning. The website still says they're operating a normal service schedule 🙃.

3 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I'll answer your last question first.  Yes we need 24 hr service.   People still work overnights at UPS and other shipping companies and warehouses.   

This! Almost all the grocery and warehouse jobs I've applied for want people for overnight shifts and if I lived west of the ryan, I'd apply for more of them.

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10 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

CTA's official response without actually making one is somewhat alarming at this point. I still don't think reductions in bus service should happen en masse without at least saying something, so this news is concerning. The website still says they're operating a normal service schedule 🙃.

You can tell normal service is still running because weekday and peak only routes are still operating. I would chalk up any service reduction to higher than normal call outs from operators. In other industries the workload can be shifted to colleagues when the team is short staffed. I don't think anyone has figured out how to drive two buses at the same time yet.

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1 hour ago, orionbuslover said:

I don't think anyone has figured out how to drive two buses at the same time yet.

Sad. I been doing it for 2 years 🥴

  • Haha 2

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On 4/1/2020 at 7:28 AM, orionbuslover said:

You can tell normal service is still running because weekday and peak only routes are still operating. I would chalk up any service reduction to higher than normal call outs from operators. In other industries the workload can be shifted to colleagues when the team is short staffed. I don't think anyone has figured out how to drive two buses at the same time yet.

I can't imagine the michigan (bar 146) and lasalle express routes are running with more than ~5 passengers...

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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.

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The loop is a ghost town. Was ubering down Washington downtown midday and there were no cars at all. Spotted a #156 with no passengers. Still don't get this. Why expose the operators to this if there are no passengers? If they all get sick, who is going to drive the bus? I heard on the news CTA is exploring rear door boarding. They should do a study on absenteeism. These things have a tendency to still maintain the same effect even if they do nothing. If you don't pull the service your workforce will simply not show up due to sickness or fear, a job that doesn't care about your health, doesn't care about it's employees. Do they really want to send that kind of message to the workforce? I think this could be political. The Mare has stated that they will not pull service and they haven't. You know I heard on the news 64 CPD officers are infected, how long before it's 64 bus operators?

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They definitely know which routes have seen less ridership declines. They really should shift buses from some of the downtown expresses (I can't imagine we need the 134 and the 156 running every few minutes) to the crosstown lines that have been less hard hit. 

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5 hours ago, Tcmetro said:

They definitely know which routes have seen less ridership declines.  

They know and it's important to remember the lost ridership numbers are system totals. I've been away from the home everyday since the stay at home order went into effect. Traffic is lighter but people are still out and about and moving around. From what I've seen grocery stores, WM, and Starbucks are the biggest draw these days. I've seen full seated loads (imo if a bus has a half seated load just forget about social distancing) on the #4, #8, #9, #J14, #79, #87, #352 and #353. Many people in Chicagoland live without cars and can normally easily get around the area. Even those with cars still ride transit to save on wear and tear, miles, gas etc. So comparing what smaller cities and smaller transit agencies are doing to counter COVID 19, is comparing apples to oranges. Even during a world pandemic, Chicago still has more people needing or willing to ride public transit than most cities will ever have. 

If service does get cut, I hope they realize they will need to keep operators and buses on standby to fill in on routes that have higher ridership. The high loads are happening right now and will be more apparent if service is cut officially.

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3 hours ago, orionbuslover said:

They know and it's important to remember the lost ridership numbers are system totals. I've been away from the home everyday since the stay at home order went into effect. Traffic is lighter but people are still out and about and moving around. From what I've seen grocery stores, WM, and Starbucks are the biggest draw these days. I've seen full seated loads (imo if a bus has a half seated load just forget about social distancing) on the #4, #8, #9, #J14, #79, #87, #352 and #353. Many people in Chicagoland live without cars and can normally easily get around the area. Even those with cars still ride transit to save on wear and tear, miles, gas etc. So comparing what smaller cities and smaller transit agencies are doing to counter COVID 19, is comparing apples to oranges. Even during a world pandemic, Chicago still has more people needing or willing to ride public transit than most cities will ever have. 

If service does get cut, I hope they realize they will need to keep operators and buses on standby to fill in on routes that have higher ridership. The high loads are happening right now and will be more apparent if service is cut officially.

WM? And yeah, those routes are consistent with the ones I've been hearing about and the news piece/union complaint that buses are getting full when they enter the south side. I feel like the least that could've been done away with for right now are the totally non-essential routes. I can't imagine the 96 is getting more than 2 passengers a day.

 

12 hours ago, BusHunter said:

The loop is a ghost town. Was ubering down Washington downtown midday and there were no cars at all. Spotted a #156 with no passengers. Still don't get this. Why expose the operators to this if there are no passengers? If they all get sick, who is going to drive the bus? I heard on the news CTA is exploring rear door boarding. They should do a study on absenteeism. These things have a tendency to still maintain the same effect even if they do nothing. If you don't pull the service your workforce will simply not show up due to sickness or fear, a job that doesn't care about your health, doesn't care about it's employees. Do they really want to send that kind of message to the workforce? I think this could be political. The Mare has stated that they will not pull service and they haven't. You know I heard on the news 64 CPD officers are infected, how long before it's 64 bus operators?

Well, if a bus is getting no passengers, the exposure of the driver is minimized drastically, no? I get your point though. However, I don't think its a political statement, my hope is that they are drafting an official response plan for the bus and are keeping service at regular levels in the interim

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Well, I arrived back to Chicago this morning on Amtrak's train 29 from DC, about 30 minutes early (usually anywhere from 1-4hrs late). They reduced the consist from 7 to 4 cars and replaced the lounge car with a regular double-decker cafe car. Maybe ~35 passengers top. Saw a 6 and 147 on my way to the south side, both fairly empty. The 60 had a couple of passengers and the 20 I passed had maybe just enough to not be crowded and still maintain social distancing. Red Line platforms and trains were as empty as I've ever seen them at ~8:30a in the morning. Got off the expressway and passed a 75, which was almost standing room only. Really surreal feeling.

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29 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Well, I arrived back to Chicago this morning on Amtrak's train 29 from DC, about 30 minutes early (usually anywhere from 1-4hrs late). They reduced the consist from 7 to 4 cars and replaced the lounge car with a regular double-decker cafe car. Maybe ~35 passengers top. Saw a 6 and 147 on my way to the south side, both fairly empty. The 60 had a couple of passengers and the 20 I passed had maybe just enough to not be crowded and still maintain social distancing. Red Line platforms and trains were as empty as I've ever seen them at ~8:30a in the morning. Got off the expressway and passed a 75, which was almost standing room only. Really surreal feeling.

I think the most surprising part of this post is an Amtrak train arriving 30 minutes early.   Where's the freight traffic? 

A close 2and would be a heavy ridership on the 75.  I suppose serving the Red Line helps, but the 75 historically isn't a busy route.

I saw the other day there was a clip of an O'Hare bound Blue Line train with standing passengers.   However, passengers weren't allowed in the lead car.  Supposedly that car was closed in the public because vomit was in that car.

 

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4 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I think the most surprising part of this post is an Amtrak train arriving 30 minutes early.   Where's the freight traffic? 

A close 2and would be a heavy ridership on the 75.  I suppose serving the Red Line helps, but the 75 historically isn't a busy route.

I saw the other day there was a clip of an O'Hare bound Blue Line train with standing passengers.   However, passengers weren't allowed in the lead car.  Supposedly that car was closed in the public because vomit was in that car.

 

If it was there, it didn't affect us. I usually ride the Capitol Limited, usually westbound, once a year. The delays usually occur between Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA and we usually make it to Martinsburg, WV without incident. By Cleveland, we can tell when there's a serious delay (once woke up at about 5:30a in Cleveland which is about ~3 hrs behind schedule I think) but we were on time to both Pittsburgh and Cleveland. I was impressed, since this train hasn't been on time WB since I've started taking in in 2010.

I've seen the 75 crowded before, but not packed to the gills, which it wasn't today, I was just surprised since it looked like a normal rush hour trip. This was at 76th/Lafayette and it was a WB bus if that helps.

Was that train a 4-car consist? I can't imagine an 8-car (well, 7) train being full during these times

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Also, I've heard that they're locking the accessible seats in the upright position on buses and not allowing people to sit in the seat behind the driver on Novas, is this the case?

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:20 PM, NewFlyerMCI said:

Also, I've heard that they're locking the accessible seats in the upright position on buses and not allowing people to sit in the seat behind the driver on Novas, is this the case?

So I had to take the 28 and the 75 today, all NFs. The seat behind the driver on the 2 buses I took were chained off. Also, on the 75 I took (bus #1079, I think), the ADA seats on the left hand side were locked in the upright position. Neither route was too crowded, a lot of people going to the grocery stores. The Jewel-Osco on 75th/Stony and the Dollar Tree on 72nd/Stony were almost complete wiped of any cleaning and paper products

Also managed to sort of see inside MED trains at both 71st/Stony and 75th/South Chicago, both seemed about as empty as they usually would be around this time.

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:20 PM, NewFlyerMCI said:

Also, I've heard that they're locking the accessible seats in the upright position on buses and not allowing people to sit in the seat behind the driver on Novas, is this the case?

 

59 minutes ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

So I had to take the 28 and the 75 today, all NFs. The seat behind the driver on the 2 buses I took were chained off. Also, on the 75 I took (bus #1079, I think), the ADA seats on the left hand side were locked in the upright position. Neither route was too crowded, a lot of people going to the grocery stores. The Jewel-Osco on 75th/Stony and the Dollar Tree on 72nd/Stony were almost complete wiped of any cleaning and paper products

Also managed to sort of see inside MED trains at both 71st/Stony and 75th/South Chicago, both seemed about as empty as they usually would be around this time.

Not sure if this would've helped the Detroit bus driver who died recently after a female passenger coughed on his bus without covering her mouth.  He posted a video on social media about the incident  and he died 13 days later.

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1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

 

Not sure if this would've helped the Detroit bus driver who died recently after a female passenger coughed on his bus without covering her mouth.  He posted a video on social media about the incident  and he died 13 days later.

Yeah, they need shields more than blocking off a seat with no direct contact to the bus driver

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From what I heard on the news, the black community is getting hard with the Coronavirus. 68 percent of the deaths are among blacks. With crowding on the south side, CTA needs to send as many artics as they can to the black communities hit hard by this. Operators out there are in a dangerous situation. Be careful ladies and gentlemen, take precautions and wash your hands. 63rd is a busy route how has it been doing? I know there will be places that are hard to run artics like under the "L" pillars on 63rd. Maybe they need some red line shuttles for the busy stations along the red line. They could control how many board there by just taking off and supplementing whats out there. It's an idea anyway. Treat it like a school run with the schools being the red line stations.

Yes I agree, alot of the lakeshore service doesn't need artics anymore on the north side the loop is a ghost town and no longer a draw. Would it be too ridiculous to supply masks to the riders on the bus? This way everyone can be safe. CTA makes alot of money. I'm sure they are getting disaster funding, so why not? 70 percent less riders is how many riders?

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32 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

From what I heard on the news, the black community is getting hard with the Coronavirus. 68 percent of the deaths are among blacks. With crowding on the south side, CTA needs to send as many artics as they can to the black communities hit hard by this. Operators out there are in a dangerous situation. Be careful ladies and gentlemen, take precautions and wash your hands. 63rd is a busy route how has it been doing? I know there will be places that are hard to run artics like under the "L" pillars on 63rd. Maybe they need some red line shuttles for the busy stations along the red line. They could control how many board there by just taking off and supplementing whats out there. It's an idea anyway. Treat it like a school run with the schools being the red line stations.

Yes I agree, alot of the lakeshore service doesn't need artics anymore on the north side the loop is a ghost town and no longer a draw. Would it be too ridiculous to supply masks to the riders on the bus? This way everyone can be safe. CTA makes alot of money. I'm sure they are getting disaster funding, so why not? 70 percent less riders is how many riders?

72% actually. I think we were watching the same newscast lol. Hardest hit areas were South Shore, Auburn-Gresham (is construction still on for that new Metra station?) and Austin on the west side. The 63 seems to be running with the usual number of buses it would at this time anyway, about 9-10, so does that mean it's ridership hasn't seen any serious decline? I'm not so sure the red line needs shuttles, 79th has been a ghost town from what I've seen of it and its the 2nd busiest station on the RLS and the 4th busiest non-SSS station and I can't imagine 95th is as active as it usually is

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