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By Sabi Reza

One of the benefits of living in such a big city are the various forms of transportation that are available to its residents. The Chicago Transit Authority or CTA  for short, is responsible for the cities bus service and the Chicago “L” that travels throughout the city.

This past week I decided to walk around the city and ask people for their thoughts on how the cities transportation system has been changing to benefit its customers and how accessibility has changed over the years along the way. Here’s what they said:

Adamaris Rodriguez, a student at Back of the Yards College Prep, said she takes the CTA on a regular basis, either to enjoy a day out with friends or head to her classes. On a scale of ten, she rates the CTA a 5, due to the increase in robberies near CTA red lines and to her lack of trust in the Chicago Police. Adamaris was accompanied by a friend who said that at times she feels intimidated when taking the CTA not only because of its safety issues but because she, like quite a few first time users, thinks that taking the CTA is a bit complicated when signs aren’t clear enough and getting lost is always a concern especially at night.

A graduate student who preferred to stay anonymous said he doesn’t take the CTA anymore and instead opted to use ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. He said that a downside of  taking the CTA would be that taking the bus requires exact change and there were quite a few times when he had to walk because of this. He explained further that ride sharing services have their downsides too because getting from point A to point B in a city like Chicago is always a hassle and that when it came to safety he said he was yet to have any problems with ride-sharing services and hopes it continues like that.

When it came to the CTA fare, a total of 12 people said that even if the CTA has modernized its payment system, but taking the CTA is still costly, especially when it comes to people travelling in a group. CPS schools offer student Ventra cards that allow student to pay a reduced fare and Chicago college students qualify for unlimited CTA rides with their U-pass, but only when they are full-time students. Part-time students still have to pay full fare prices.

Elevators in various train stops such as at the Western Orange line are currently in repair to be ready for the summer and bus stops are being remodeled downtown to facilitate travel for its users. Riding the CTA is different for everyone, changes are still in progress but something to keep in mind is that no matter where people decide to travel around the city, being aware of one’s surroundings is the key to being safe this summer.


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