Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the CTA presents: "THE DOOMSDAY SCENARIO!!1"

I was just thinking how annoying all the little Yahoo flash thingies were getting, and how glad I would be if they would just go away and then I realised that today is Halloween and yes, Virginia, they would be going away soon. You know what that means.

Halloween candy on sale!!!

Some other pals of mine have expressed dissatisfaction with October for a variety of reasons too numerous to get into here. I like fall. It seems like with fall comes the traditional Move To A New Place, whether that's Stevens Point, Boston or London. Fall is a good time to get to know a city: everyone's fairly friendly after the heat of the summer has cooled off and the Christmas caos has yet to set in. In London, it was the best time of the year: the hordes of tourists had gone home, and the rain had finally stopped for a while. (you laugh...) My favourite seasons is summer, high summer, and I'm genuinely frightened about this coming winter. I don't like snow or being cold, and Chicago has both. Getting out may become priority one.

As some of you may have heard, or not, the Chicago Transit Authority ("CTA"), the organisation responsible for the buses and L, will be cutting bus routes and raising fares on November 4th. This means I personally will be paying $84 a month for my CTA Gold Card Plus, which offers unlimited rides. With the fare hike, this card becomes an even BETTER deal, since the train fare is set to rise to $3 for one ticket. So even if I took the train to work and back, 5 times a week, that's, uh...$120 a month. Versus $84 a month for unlimited travel. And there are no zones: I could ride for miles and miles and miles and miles on my $3.

Here's why I hate the CTA (apart from: "not the Tube"). Because this is not the first time something like has happened. They are going to have a budget shortfall, and rather than taking a cold hard look at why their consumers don't want to pay for the services (reasons: crappy slow buses, dirty trains, surly unhelpful employees, waiting out in the rain for hours) and then attempting to fix their problems LIKE ANY NORMAL BUSINESS, they are whinging that the money coming from the state government hasn't kept up with inflation and therefore they are receiving less than their share. Hence the "Doomsday" scenario. I'm not making this up--that's what they're calling it. The "Doomsday" scenario. No, a doomsday scenario is the US government taking back their Katrina trailers, this is just poor planning on the CTA's part. I'm equally po'd at the state legislature for acting like a bunch of drama queens in getting the budget together. Part of the problem is the political quagmire that Illinois, and Chicago particularly, operates under. Part of the problem is no one can make up their minds whether or not the CTA is a publicly-funded service or a private business. If it's a public service, give it more money, fix it and make it go. If it's a business, stop bailing it out and make it accountable for its actions.

Either way, shut up with the whinging. You knew this was going to happen. Anyone with an an ounce of business sense could have seen a shortfall coming. STOP calling it a "Doomsday" scenario, put your big-boy pants on and get it worked out. There are a LOT of people in this city who rely on the CTA--sh!$$y, slow and surly as it is.

1 comment:

Laura said...

since when are businesses held responsible for their failures? I thought we were all for free trade until someone needed a bailout.