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admin 23.12.2014

Robert Bielaski is so passionate about public transit that he went all the way to Budapest for a good suggestion on how to improve CTA rail maps by showing more bus and other transit connections better.
Well, maybe that's not exactly why Bielaski traveled to Budapest recently, but he recognized a good thing when he saw it. This proposed map is chock-full of useful information on all CTA bus, Metra and Pace connections. Potential Objection:  The Proposed Line Map is confusing because too much information is provided. The CTA should take a good, long hard look at this just to avoid lawsuits from people and for the Native Chicagoans who just want to be independent and learn to get around on the CTA by themselves. I have also wondered why (at least other than at the intermodal terminals, such as Howard and Jefferson Park) Mr.
Finally as to the cost of replacement, CTA is going to have to replace the signs October the whateverth. On the Red Line ones, they can't, because they don't reflect the 3 stations being made accessible. On Kevin's general point, the question becomes what is the normal replacement cycle, especially since the system maps will have to be replaced. At several stations downtown, he says that you can change for Metra trains, but doesn't say which Metra trains.
Also, someone unfamiliar with the system would probably want "to Kenosha, Harvard, or Elburn." Or, maybe not, if they are really going to Indian Hill (south Winnetka).
Amsterdam, London, Paris, Barcelona (and many other cities I don't know so well) have a similar system. Speaking of maps, does any know of a decent Android app that provides detailed CTA routes, preferably using the location data?
There are literally dozens of CTA tracker apps that simply provide arrival data, which requires one to know the specific route. In the end though, having full CTA system maps on each train would do the most to clarify these transfers, since you need to know the system to know which bus would best fit your needs. One reason for liking it is that it acknowledges people's need for information while they're actually on the system, not just before or after their trip.

OK, now it remains for the CTA to accept the wisdom of this suggestion and the premises behind it. Given that more and more travelers are carrying smart phones, why not combine the (medium-density) map with a code, or square barcode, for each station that would direct the traveler to a CTA webpage containing high-level details for the stop? That would allow the map to remain relatively clutter-free, while still allowing for details via the smartphone. But what about people who don't carry a smartphone, given that "more and more" isn't the same thing as "all" and may never be? Using the Blue Line as an example, I think it'd be a lot easier and similarly helpful to just have station names and announcements include the cross streets.
I also wouldn't mind seeing the maps -- Blue Line especially -- updated to show that some rush hour trains only run to Jefferson Park and UIC-Halsted.
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A CTA Blue Line train rests atop an escalator after it derailed and hit a platform at O'Hare International Airport. But this is a good idea that's definitely worth consideration by the CTA when it's time for a map refresh.
You don't want to be out longer than necessary on some nights, ie, the full moon, because you know people just won't take their meds when their supposed to.
But given that Bielaski is only talking about the line maps (not the system ones) the objections about lack of space don't seem to hold up. I don't know the answer to that, other than there was the stink when a set of misspelled maps was installed and had to be replaced, eventually.
In addition, they announce it on the screens that are in buses and trains, and on the metro and the regional trains they announce it.
In addition, Google maps' 'transit' option shows 'L' lines, and bus stops, but does not show bus routes. However, if you use Google Maps, choose get directions, click on the bus icon, and insert to and from destinations, it includes lines for the buses and scheduled arrival and trip times.

For example, going from LaSalle and Van Buren to 18th and Halsted, its top pick puts the rider on the Orange Line around the loop to Halsted and Archer, and on to a NB 8 bus. Moreover, it assumes the CTA's responsibility for presenting the information in a way that requires nothing more than a pair of eyes to receive--rather than expecting all passengers to invest in their own expensive state of the art communications equipment or be left uninformed.
The CTA never changed the color coding on the original Jefferson Park and Rosemont end points - back when it ran to Jefferson Park with a bus to O'Hare & the short while it ran to Rosemont with a bus to O'Hare(or was it River Road?) - they are still White lettering on Blue. In fact, someone documented on that the current Jefferson Park reading is where a Green 61st St. I've even given out last year's maps because people and tourists were sooooooooooooooooooooooo lost since there are no conductors to ask at 9 PM at night. Transfer to the Brown Line and the 77 bus at Belmont." It is supposed to be an integrated system.
The CTA route maps are excellent, but don't integrate with a phone's location, so you wind up scrolling around trying to find your location, and they show all routes, rather than the ones near you.
To correctly stand out as short-run trains, they really should be Blue lettering on White, just like UIC already is. You get the college kids going on their first night out drinking with friends and you can tell by how they study and stare at the map, they're lost. And, as far as whether the connection is useful, CTA could put on the LED sign something similar to what they propose for the Jeffery Jump, i.e.
Also, I'm in the Financial District, and I entered a destination of W Chicago Ave and N Kingsbury St. It had options for taking the Brown Line to Chicago and Franklin, but it didn't show the 66 bus from that point west.

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