Alderman is again trying to bring the CTA to the city council

As the CTA faces continued complaints of unreliable service and safety concerns, Chicago aldermen once again tried to bring the agency’s leaders before the city council.

Their effort was temporarily postponed Wednesday, but about 30 city councilors signed a proposal calling for quarterly hearings on the CTA’s service levels, security and other issues. If CTA Chairman Dorval Carter and agency officials did not attend the hearings, the city council could not consider any action to allocate money to transit unless required by law to do so.

The proposal came after aldermen denounced Carter did not attend the previous city council hearingsdispatching other agency personnel in its place, as a CTA seeking board approval Transit Tax District to fund part of the proposed 5.6-mile extension south of the Red Line to 130th Street.

But two of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s allies, alderman Scott Waguespack and Jason Ervin, have submitted to the rules committee, where legislation often stalls after the CTA hearing proposal was introduced. blocked the proposed CTA public hearing.

CTA has struggled with persistent concerns about safety, unpredictable service and inaccurate trackers as passenger numbers plummeted during the pandemic. Carter and the Chicago Police Department have repeatedly said they are enhancing security and police presence on the system. recently outlined a rough plan addressing complaints involving tracker upgrades, schedule adjustment Take into account the staffing shortages that agencies say are behind most of the service’s challenges.

Still visually express Concerns expressed by several aldermen, North Side Aldo. Andre Vazquez attended a city council meeting on Wednesday wearing a giant cardboard ghost with the CTA logo printed in the center. He said it symbolized being “ghosted” by the transportation system because he tried to garner support from his colleagues.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t stick to my character because I actually showed up on time,” said Vasquez, who is ranked 40th.

Vasquez said he has broad support for his proposal “because everyone feels that way.” And he believes agencies should be held accountable.

“People understand that the transportation system is a public good,” Vazquez said. “When he’s waiting 45 minutes or even more for a bus or train not to come, when he’s worried about getting on the train for safety, they want answers now.”

Asked at a post-council press conference whether the bill was blocked so that aldermen wouldn’t have more say in the CTA, Lightfoot said, “Frankly, it’s It’s a silly proposition,” he laughed.

Commuters board the CTA Red Line train during rush hour at the 95th Street CTA Red Line station in Chicago on August 30, 2022.

“Transportation is absolutely critical in our city,” said Lightfoot. “CTA, like almost every organization I know, has huge challenges recruiting and filling jobs. Yes, of course, I think we need more communication across the board.”

Lightfoot did not directly comment on Vasquez’s proposal, but defended her attempt to reach leadership of the CTA.

“I think communication has to be better,” she said. “I have made it very clear to the chairman of the CTA board about it. Dorval Carter needs to report to the board and make sure the communication is clear.”

Carter did not attend the earlier city council hearings, but CTA spokesman Brian Steele said Wednesday that the CTA will follow the ordinance as it is passed.

“President Carter has always worked with the City Council on a variety of issues related to transit services across the city and maintains an open dialogue,” he said. Alderman is again trying to bring the CTA to the city council

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