How would you describe the CTA in one word?
CTA in one word
Soliciting signatures or donations may be hard, but asking CTA riders to share their opinions about Chicago’s public transportation system is a piece of cake. Everyone has something to say, and sometimes, a little too much.
We wanted them to sum it up so we asked more than 50 red, purple, brown, green, pink and blue line riders to describe the CTA in one word:
Answers ranged from descriptive words like “L” and “transportation” to more controversial ones like “murderers” and “excellent.”
Most words were inevitably followed up by explanations. One passenger expressed anger that the CTA turned the air-conditioning up on the coldest days of winter. Another couldn’t stop talking about how filthy it is, while a third praised its functionality.
Overall, there was a wide range of words. Most were neutral, negative, or critical, with “slow” being the most common.
Grading CTA safety
In response to the recent death of a woman pushed down the Fullerton stop stairs by a man who had just stolen an iPhone, Chicago Loopster also asked CTA riders about safety.
What did the CTA’s report card look like?
About as positive as the word cloud.
Most of the poor grades were given by people who had witnessed a crime or been victims themselves. For the rest, the lack of security cameras and police was often mentioned, with one man saying he could do anything at the time we were interviewing him, and no one would stop him. “Anything” ranged from committing a serious crime to robbing someone or peeing on the train.
All grades include grade variation. For example, “B” includes “B+” and “B-.”
Meanwhile, other CTA riders highlighted the disparity between different lines. They said CTA safety depends on which line you take.
“On the purple line you can take your laptop out and work. You can even doze off and it’s not uncommon. But I would never in a million years think of doing that on the red,” said Andre Walker, a long time CTA rider.