CHICAGO — There was a lengthy meeting Thursday at Chicago City Hall as leaders of the Chicago Transit Authority addressed issues and concerns about bus and train services across the city.
The committee on transportation met with CTA President Dorval Carter and spent several hours questioning him on issues, like service reliability and safety, which remains a top concern for many riders.
“I used to ride the trains pretty frequently but now I don’t really ride the train,” Susan Mascio said. “Because there’s too much stuff happening.”
Committee members dug into Carter with concerns about hiring, the morale of staff, issues with the reliability of bus and train service and safety for riders.
Frustration was also directed at Carter himself for not regularly attending meetings amid the serious state of the city’s transit system.
Earlier this year, Carter introduced the ‘Meeting the Moment’ action plan to improve service.
Service delivered has increased more than 5% since August, but Carter recognized there’s a long way to go, noting part of the issue is the retention of employees.
During the meeting, Carter laid out plans to increase hiring for CTA with the hopes of improving the reliability of service for customers.
“We’re now hiring at the same level of people that we were hiring before the pandemic, so we’re up to about a hundred people a month that we’re bringing on board,” Carter said. “The problem is I’ve got to stop the hemorrhaging on the other side.”
Several alderpeople also question the nearly $70 million CTA investment in security guards and K9s.
“What I can’t tell you is, I can’t prove the negative,” Carter said. “I can’t tell you what did not happen because we had a security guard in place.”
Several members of the city council want to improve communication with CTA with more consistent meetings.
Carter expressed he also wanted to improve communication with city leaders to better serve riders in the city.