By Tracy Swartz
The CTA ended 2013 the way it started—with a high number of rail delays, according to a CTA performance report posted in the past week.
The CTA reported 99 rail delays of 10 minutes or longer in December. The agency's monthly target was 78 or fewer of these delays. The CTA blamed the delays on train door and brake problems and slow-zone work on the Red, Blue and Brown lines that caused trains to run on a single track.
"When we believe there is an issue, we take trains out of service as a precaution to inspect and do repairs that are necessary," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said in an email.
The agency also failed to meet its targets last year in January, February, March and May. It met its goals in November, posting only 72 lengthy rail delays.
On the bus side, the CTA saw improvement in December in service gaps and bus bunching. Despite the better performance in the final month of the year, it has not met its monthly target for big gaps in bus service since March 2013.
Also, the agency failed to reach targets for interior bus-cleaning in December.
The agency did, however, exceed its bus-cleaning goal in the months of August, September and October. The target is a score of 85 percent or higher on an internal scale that measures cleanliness.
The agency implemented stricter bus cleaning criteria two years ago.