CTA's door-related delays during Polar Vortex | Going Public Live

By CTA and rider accounts, Monday morning’s commute in subzero temperatures went smoothly—save for a few door-related rail issues.

The CTA reported delays Monday morning on the Green, Purple and Brown lines because of door problems. Door issues tend to occur on the older rail cars as opposed to the new 5000-series cars with aisle-facing seats that appear on the Red, Green and Pink lines, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.
Door areas are routinely cleaned and serviced as part of regular CTA maintenance, Chase said. But in extreme conditions, doors can be affected by sand, snow or ice building up in the door pocket or where the door meets the floor, which can impede a door’s ability to open or close, Chase said.

To minimize delays, a train operator may manually lock the problematic door for the rest of a run so it can be serviced once the train is back in the yard, Chase said.

This month, the Red Line has seen the most door-related delays, followed by the Blue Line, according to information posted on the CTA’s Twitter feed. Those are the only two lines that run 24 hours a day.

On the Blue Line, the CTA retired the last of the line’s 2200-series cars with accordion doors in August. The cars first went into service in 1969. Riders complained that the narrow doors were difficult to navigate for travelers heading to and from O’Hare with luggage and for riders with disabilities.

On the Red Line, the CTA has been replacing older cars with the new cars featuring the aisle-facing seats. The agency estimates the Red, Yellow and Purple lines will have only these cars by mid-2015.

In the meantime, the CTA is in the process of choosing the winning bid to create its 7000-series rail cars. It is too early to say which line would get those cars, Chase said. The earliest the CTA would take delivery of 7000-series would be 2017, Chase said.

Where there’s a Wilson ...
The CTA last week released a draft assessment of the environmental effect of its planned $203 million overhaul of the Wilson Red Line station, which would become a transfer point for the Purple Line and accessible for riders with disabilities. The agency is holding a public hearing to solicit feedback about the project at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at Uplift Community High School, 900 W. Wilson Ave.

Stationary
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Garfield Green Line

It’s been three months since the Garfield Green Line stop was the star of the show thanks to the Red Line South overhaul project that closed nine southern Red Line stops for five months.
The Washington Park station was the drop-off point for buses that shuttled riders from the shuttered stations, and it served as an access point for free CTA rides. The stop’s average weekday ridership jumped from 1,407 riders in August 2012 to 15,716 riders in August 2013, the most recent ridership data available. Now the turnstiles are back, while the nearby bus staging area sits empty and fenced off. The CTA said it plans to convert the bus space to additional parking later this year.

Next up: Ridgeland Green Line

tswartz@tribune.com

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