Vol. 10 No. 54               Dec. 9-15, 2002

Group Promises to
Keep Eye on CTA

A group of  public transportation users are breathing new life into Citizens Taking Action, a mass transit watchdog group.

The orgaization has begun meeting on a monthly basis after nearly two years of inactivity to discuss city and suburban mass transit issues and plan courses of action to get their issues recognized and acted upon.

The recently resurrected organization plans to tackle several mass transit short-comings that affect riders.  One of the most pressing is the phenomenon know as Bus Bunching, which occurs when several CTA buses on the same route arrive at a stop simultaneously, often after long waits.  The high cost of renovating stations and possible future fare increases are also of concern.

Some members of the group would like to see a fare-free transit system.

Previously, many members of the group were active in the campaign to return montly passes to the CTA.  They plan to apply some of the same tactics that they used in that campaign to bring about future changes in the CTA system.

The group plans to use letter writing campaigns to legislatures, tabling at CTA events and testimony at CTA budget hearings to attract more attention to their issues and garner more support.

Citizens Taking Action member Adam Kerman said the transit authority is unresponsive to the public's concerns because the public does not elect them and they have seven-year terms.

"They are insulated from controversy," Kerman said.  "We meet with CTA staffers and testify at budget meetings, but the CTA board is not very responsive to the public, and we have to keep working at getting more political support," he added.

"We deal at the federal, state, and local level because politicians are the deciding officials," said Citizens Taking Action member Charles Paidock.

Kevin Peterson also noted that complaining and being an irritant also has an effect but you've got to be persistent.  "Some people want to give up right away, but sometimes you've got to fight for one or two years," he added.

The group meets on the first Monday of every month at Chicago Temple First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington, (312) 842-5036.

The group encourages CTA riders unhappy about their commuting experience to fill out a complaint form online at their Website: