A late slip from the CTA; why this day above all others?

June 15, 2011

This morning, I did my usual, roll-out-of-bed-after-hitting-snooze-three-times-ordeal, and raced to catch the bus at around 8:45. I take the #29 from the South Loop to the WBEZ office at Navy Pier (don't stalk me!), and though it's a straight shot of a ride, the trip takes a surprisingly varied amount of time, considering it's only a little over two miles.

For example, I can get on an 8:30 AM bus, and be at my desk at 9:00. Or, I can get on a 9:15 bus and get to the office at 9:35. What's the difference? Dreaded 9 am traffic, which is about ten times worse any day that it's raining. I've come to expect two 29 buses at one time; instead of the one-every-8-minutes schedule it's supposed to be on, I'll get two buses every 20 minutes. 

I'm not special; this is all part of the usual struggle for those who ride the CTA. But today, I got something a little odd. Full of indifference, my bus driver handed me the slip you see above. This is despite the fact that according to my CTA Bus Tracker app, the bus was right on time (though perhaps not on schedule). It clarified that the bus was delayed because of "traffic delays", which has been true every morning I've taken the bus these last months. 

Curious, I thought maybe these slips were new, a way for the CTA to get in touch with their disgruntled users, but it appears I (and those in the office around me) just haven't been paying attention. According to the customer service representative I talked to, who seemed confused that I wasn't calling to complain, these slips have been being passed out for ages. When pressed as to how long "ages" is, she said, "I don’t know, but they’ve been doing it forever."

A little research proves that you can even request an online or faxed slip if you require proof that it just wasn't your fault that you were late. My confusion: why this day, above all others, CTA?

* I swear, this isn't a post written just to prove to my bosses that I'm not late by my own volition. 

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