Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thanks, CTA!

We're into day three of the Chicago Transit Authority's service cuts, and let me tell you, the first two days sucked.

Here's the background: the CTA has been losing money since, basically, forever. Because it loses money, it must (a) make more money, or (b) spend less money. Usually, we get (a). Last year, for instance, the CTA raised fares 25 cents across the board, which may not sound like much, but think about this: in what other facet of life are you supposed to accept quietly a 12.5% increase in the price of something which you use twice a day, every day?

Alternatively, instead of charging consumers more, we also regularly get treated to this inane dance between the CTA, the city government and the Illinois government, whereby the CTA starts throwing tantrums, says they're going to cut back services, and then waits for one of the city or the state legislature to fold and give it oodles of money. This happens all the time.

Except this time, nobody stepped in, and the CTA actually cut back services. And they didn't just cut back services, they cut back services in the middle of winter. I never thought commuting could be a near death experience, but the Chicago weather and the longer wait times for the bus now means it's a fairly realistic possibility.

Anyways, Mayor Daley says there's no end in sight to the cuts, which is just great. Thanks, CTA! You're the best.

By the way, if one of our readers would like to be nice and buy me (and the W, don't forget her) a car, now would be a good time. You'd also have to pony up for two parking spots near our place. Let me know if you're up for it.


Naqiya said...

hmmmm....where have i heard this exact same story before??

the mta has been pulling this same crap for months now! they raised prices by .25, but that was AFTER we were "saved" by govt funding. it was supposed to be much worse, and we were supposed to be thankful that it went up only by .25 instead of .50

Ahsan said...

Yeah but the difference is that the MTA didn't make service cuts, as far as I know. I didn't REALLY mind the 25 cents thing; certainly not as much as actually cutting back on buses and trains.

Anonymous said...

Dude you're from Pakistan you should be used to price hikes and 0 public facilities

Zubair Sheikh said...

Ahsan, MTA also made service cuts. So, we in NYC, are as screwed or even more screwed as you are. The eliminated one whole train service in addition to service cuts to many stations. Not to mention the horrible longer waiting times.

Alpha Za said...

It's simple economics, these are all run at a loss, even during the good times. When the budget gets squeezed, as unpopular as it may be, they can't just keep subsidizing the system.

Basically, you got off easy at a 12.5% increase. Transport in KHI goes up every month.

Naqiya said...

yup. plennntttyyy of service cuts. they keep increasing it every day. and they eliminated quite a few bus lines too. so its pretty much a shit show getting to work and back everyday.

AKS said...

Ahsan you should call your buddy Mustafa Kamal, I'm sure he'll sort Chicago out with a rapid bus service plying on two dozen signal free corridors. If you're lucky he may even throw in a circular railway. And in return all you've got to do is let him build him a 125 storey Haq Parast IT tower, on top which will be a humble flat for Altaf bhai (and a parking space in the basement for the Quaid's trusted honda 125), the only luxury he asks for is an old, crappy panasonic speaker phone for the great leader to speak / shout / sing /rap / cry in.

Fair deal, me thinks.

NAA said...


There's nothing Steve Jobs has not or will not solve. Get yourself an iPhone and the CTA bus tracker app.
Will you still encounter ridiculous wait times? Sure. Will you feel slightly better knowing the next bus is 20 mins away? Oh, ok...maybe not.

Ahsan said...

Haan I use the bus tracker thingy before leaving home and school on the computer but obviously mid-commute I cannot do so without a smart phone. Maybe I'll bite the bullet and just get one.

Naqiya said...

oh no!!! ahsan! dont go over to the dark side!!!!

plus then you'll have no right to crib and complain, and then where would we be?

Laila said...

ahsan get the smart phone. I promise you won't regret it. I don't have one myself, but since I live in a similarly cold place I can seriously empathise with the whole "I think I'm going to die from hypothermia very soon" feeling.