CTA president blames rash of problems at transit agency on Covid-19

The president of the CTA appeared before a Chicago City Council committee on Thursday where he blamed a rash of problems at the agency on Covid-19.

For months, the CTA has been plagued with complaints of issues like "ghost buses," public safety and unreliable train and bus schedules.

Dorval Carter, Jr.  says those problems are not just an issue in Chicago, but a nationwide effect of the pandemic.


Carter says while ridership is up, and continues to return to pre-pandemic numbers, his staffing is on the reversal.

The transit agency is averaging 15 to 17 callouts every day due to Covid infections.

"That unreliability of my day-to-day attendance also impacts the reliability of my service. If I don’t have an operator to put in that bus, that bus doesn’t run," Carter said.

Carter says the CTA also suffered a mass resignation earlier this year and continues to struggle with recruiting new employees.

More than two dozen aldermen have signed on to a proposal that would require quarterly hearings on the CTA.

Transit authority leaders would have to report on service and security issues. If the CTA refuses to take part in a hearing, City Council could withhold funds to the agency unless required to by law to distribute them.