Bus bunching down 40% since 2007, CTA report says

Ben Meyerson

December 16, 2009 @ 7:00 AM

The CTA’s efforts to eliminate meddlesome bus bunching are paying off, an internal report from the agency says.

“Unscheduled bunching” so far in 2009 is down 40 percent from 2007, according to the mid-November-dated report, distributed at the Regional Transit Authority's Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Committee meeting earlier this month.

Bunching averaged 3.9 percent in 2007, but in 2009’s numbers through September, only 2.3 percent of all buses have been bunched.

The CTA has not responded to requests for comment on the report, which is labeled "draft — internal use only."

However, the decrease coincides with the CTA’s introduction of GPS bus tracking, which the agency has repeatedly trumpeted as a convenient and simple way for agency supervisors to locate buses and address problems.

The numbers may indicate that the GPS investment is paying off.

Riders can also take advantage of the system to see the status of their buses, and are doing so: “CTA Bus Tracker” was the second-most-Googled term in Chicago this year. 

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce also recently installed several Bus Tracker monitors in shops around the intersection of North, Milwaukee and Damen, allowing customers to see if their bus is bunched — and perhaps if they need to order another latte.

Are you a bus rider? Have you seen bus bunching get better (or worse) lately? Let us know in the comments below.

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