Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Today’s must-read CTA stories, especially if you’re Gov. Pritzker (Updated)
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Today’s must-read CTA stories, especially if you’re Gov. Pritzker (Updated)

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Block Club Chicago has a very good story about the death of a Chicago Transit Authority bus driver and the fact that it took the CTA an hour to figure out that she’d gone missing

Antia Lyons, a 14-year driver for the United States’ third-largest transit agency, had suffered a medical emergency while she sat behind the wheel at the start of her bus route. The 63-year-old was later pronounced dead from complications with her heart.

A Block Club Chicago investigation into the circumstances around Lyons’ death raises questions about the safety of CTA drivers as the agency is touting improved working conditions in an attempt to bolster its staff.

Block Club’s reporting found Lyons sat in her bus unconscious for nearly an hour before someone eventually sought help. CTA supervisors neglected to check on her even though the bus never moved and subsequently failed to arrive at more than 50 scheduled stops.

The CTA failed to report the incident to the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration despite a state law requiring it. The CTA wouldn’t explain why or answer Block Club’s questions about this incident, saying it was limited by privacy concerns. […]

The CTA also left information of the incident out of public records. For example, the agency provided Block Club with data showing CTA employees who were injured or died on duty over the past six years — but Lyons’ death was not included.

Kilgannon said the data didn’t include Lyons’ death because it didn’t meet the federal definition of “Major Incidents.”

The agency didn’t answer questions about whether it collected data on employee fatalities or injuries that happened due to medical emergencies on the job.

Lyons was also left out of records the CTA provided showing employees with a pension plan who have died in the past five years.

Go read the rest.

* Meanwhile, here’s another CTA story from Block Club Chicago

The CTA’s new rail schedule aims to combat service issues reported by riders across the city — but it doesn’t add trains.

The new “dynamic” rail schedule for the spring and summer went into effect last week with a promise of “gradually increasing” service through the seasons as the agency looks to bring on more rail operators, according to a news release.

The CTA began adding some pre-pandemic bus runs back to its schedule last month, but its new train schedule shows no significant additions, transit advocates and a train operator said. […]

Yonah Freemark, a research director studying transit systems at D.C.-based think tank Urban Institute, said the CTA’s pandemic recovery still trails behind its counterparts in other major U.S. cities, which have increased staff and in some cases expanded rail service. […]

Data shows the CTA’s hiring efforts are being offset by rail operators who choose to quit or transfer to other departments within the agency. One rail operator told Block Club they’re interested in a less demanding role as a supervisor or as a switch or control tower worker.

* And here’s something you may not know…

If Mayor Johnson won’t act, then Gov. Pritzker needs to step up.

…Adding… It’s not quite half. He appoints three of seven members. Still.


  1. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:43 am:

    I’ve been wondering why the existing City Hall establishment has such a blind spot for Dorval Carter, and the only thing I can come up with is they’ve bought into his primary message: That he can’t fix any of the issues without more money. But regular users have seen services plummet over the years and the constant bad press for CTA have been non-stop over the last two years.

    I don’t know how CTA is going to win over friends to get a massive bailout if no one has faith in how they’re currently managing the agency. There needs to be a massive cultural shift in the organization.

  2. - Sox Fan - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:46 am:

    The CTA is a mess with no real signs of improvement. Dorval Carter needs to go. I don’t think Chicagoans are asking for too much to want safe, clean and “mostly” reliable service.

  3. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:47 am:

    horrible story. if they just checked that the bus was not arriving per schedule they might have saved her. horrible.

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:50 am:

    ===horrible story===

    The CTA misspelling her name on her memorial plaque encapsulates its ineptness.

  5. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 11:57 am:

    The CTA recently announced “interviews” with riders to identify problems with the CTA. How could it be possible that the agency doesn’t already know rider complaints?

  6. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:00 pm:

    Misspelling name boy that is low and uncaring.
    Maybe Tony Preckwinkle should straighten it out because if you have to wait for the mayor it my be awhile

  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===How could it be possible that the agency doesn’t already know rider complaints? ===

    That was rhetorical, right?

  8. - Monk - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:02 pm:

    Dorval Carter has needed to go for the last 7-8 years. Someone needs to hold him accountable at some point. The CTA has been a train wreck (some pun intended) for long enough.

  9. - ChicagoBars - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:04 pm:

    The Mayor’s Finance Committee chair and co-floor leader is the big Dorval Carter supporter. CTA apparently delivers a lot of decent jobs for the South & West side. He definitely delivered a half decade of work for the building trades by getting the federally matched Red Line Extension (and related City TIF) through.

    So there’s two powerful blocs fine with the status quo on City side. And by all accounts President Carter is an affable delight in person, so I’m resigned to a slowly crumbling service status quo until we get a tragedy on par with the one that forced the Governor to shake up the Prisoner Review Board.

    It’s what happens when you have a system used by almost nobody who oversees it.

    Your pal on red line car 5674 which is only a little stinky today (hooray)

  10. - JoanP - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:06 pm:

    How is a death not a “major incident”?

  11. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:08 pm:

    I thought Doval Carter was there because he understood how to get federal funding. That seemed to be the rational back in 2017. Times change, and the operations problems are bad now. CTA can find someone else below the President to manage federal money and bring in someone experienced to fix the operations.

  12. - Baseball - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:26 pm:

    Ineptness is a qualification to work at most city agencies.

  13. - Scooter - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:34 pm:

    Theoretically Carter’s connections at the Federal Transit Administration (a former employer of his) should make him a real asset to the CTA, but his increasingly out-of-touch perception of how things are at street level is making him more of a liability than an asset. Have heard some internal communications from him and there seems to be a distinct lack of awareness on how things are outside of his office.

    Legislation addressing the RTA fiscal cliff will (hopefully) result in one seamless new agency absorbing all responsibilities that CTA, Metra and Pace now provide, but for better or worse, none of those three current agency heads would be great candidates for leading that hypothetical super-agency. Would like to see Dorval gone now, but he may only have 1-2 years left anyway.

  14. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:42 pm:

    I think state funding should be tied to outcomes. The state pays for all of transit’s operating budget (by authorizing and collecting the sales tax). The agencies ought to have an incentive (which then can trickle down to ATU which can adjust their agreements accordingly). On-time performance, service hours, frequency of service — hit the benchmarks, get more money. So Pace and CTA and Metra can compete for dollars by providing more service, instead of just getting formula funds and we hope that their internal governance will figure it out and put out more service.

  15. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 12:45 pm:

    Forgot the obvious measurement: ridership. Currently state law has the incentive to jack up fares as much as possible to hit the farebox recovery ratio. That has the outcome of keeping ridership and growth (and arguable costs) lower. But that’s not what helps. The more riders, the better for everybody (especially anybody trying to drive or in a car in backed up traffic), so the incentive should be more money for more riders. That’s not how state transit law works now.

  16. - Sonny - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 1:35 pm:

    Mayor Johnson finding someone closer to God nominating for appointiment Pastor Michael Eaddy to the CTA Board today. Maybe He can help.

  17. - CornAl DoGooder - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 1:41 pm:

    Rep. Buckner has been right on the CTA from the beginning, it needs a total overhaul to restore it to the service Chicago needs and deserves. That starts with removing Dorval Carter, no question

  18. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 2:34 pm:

    I love how the progressives on social media want to tie funding to performance measures for CTA, but the second someone complains about the Chicago school system not meeting standards and they instantly say the schools need more money to better pay teachers.

  19. - One Time - Wednesday, Apr 17, 24 @ 3:13 pm:

    Issue #3432233 MBJ is failing on.

TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* Yes on operations and capital spending, No on revenues to pay for it
* Giannoulias on House floor while bill goes down
* Some budget react
* Governor rebuffs Rep. Crespo’s worries of future fiscal cliff
* Coverage roundup: House sends $53.1 billion FY25 budget to the governor
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Welch: 'No one's ever said the House is boring'
* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...











Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller