Agency continues hiring momentum and invests in employee facilities; Rail and bus service see ongoing improvements in service reliability
Service reliability for the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) trains and buses show continued improvement in the month of April with improved delivery of scheduled service—according to the agency’s latest interactive “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan scorecard.
The scorecard also tracks the monthly progress the agency is making to improve overall services, allowing customers to see detailed service results for their bus route or rail line, as well as the progress of key initiatives that address other pressing concerns of riders, including bus and rail operator hiring, safe rides, clean facilities, modern amenities, dynamic customer engagement tools, and more.
Among the results of the April scorecard:
At the heart of the CTA’s efforts to improve service reliability is the strengthening of its workforce.
- Bus Operations: Of the budgeted 3,707 full-time bus operator positions, a total of 3,279 are filled. CTA is now at 43 percent (or 304 full-time hires) of its 2023 goal of 700 new bus operators, which will help fill the shortage of about 600 net bus operator positions. Detailed workforce charts show three straight months of net additions of bus operators after accounting for attrition.
- Rail Operations: Of the budgeted 839 full-time rail positions, a total of 710 were filled through the end of March. A new rail operator class entered service in April and those numbers will be reflected in next month’s scorecard update. Additional graduating classes of rail operators are anticipated to enter service into service in early June and late July.
CTA continues to undertake aggressive recruitment, hiring and retention efforts to address the shortage of transit workers that continues to impact the industry. So far, five hiring events have been held in 2023, with a cumulative attendance of nearly 1,750. CTA will be hosting its next Career Fair on Friday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at CTA Headquarters (567 W. Lake St., 60661).
The CTA’s efforts to reduce long gaps between trains continues to show improvement. Instances of customers experiencing long wait times for trains—intervals that are double and triple the scheduled headways—fell for the seventh straight month:
- Triple headways down to an average of 11 instances each weekday, compared to 29 pre-optimization
- Double headways down to an average of 79 instances each weekday, compared to 158 pre-optimization
For CTA bus riders, efforts are ongoing to reduce the number of big gaps in service. Since introducing new schedules in January, big gaps in bus service – intervals that are double or triple their scheduled times – are at roughly half of what they previous were, from 12.3% in December to 6.6% in April.
April 2023, rail service delivered improved compared to the previous month indicating that our latest schedules are matching better with the actual service we can provide:
- Rail Service Delivered: 89.7% in April 2023, compared to 84.8% in March
- Bus Service Delivered: 94.5% in April 2023, compared to 94.9% in March
While service reliability and delivery continue to improve, there are still significant headwinds that impact CTA’s service. The primary contributor to service challenges is the nationwide shortage of transit-industry frontline workers. Additionally, when last-minute call-offs occur—and backup workers are not available—CTA can’t put out all scheduled train trips customers deserve.
Refresh and Renew
CTA recently completed three out of 29 Refresh & Renew station upgrades planned for this year. Additionally, CTA has also completed improvements at eight out of 18 planned employee facilities and bus turnaround locations as part of continued investments in its workforce and operations infrastructure.
For more information on the “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan, or to view the monthly scorecards, visit, www.transitchicago.com/meetingthemoment/.