During a Chicago Tribune live video chat yesterday, CTA President Ron Huberman discussed efforts being made to tackle the issue of bus bunching. Huberman stated that the CTA currently has a number of pilot programs in progress to help reduce this phenomenon. While bus bunching is down 5% this month compared to last, there is still a need for significant improvement in this area.
One pilot program is known as terminal management. Rather than have buses follow their given schedule, a timer is reset each time a bus leaves the terminal. The following bus then remains at the terminal until the timer indicates it’s time to leave, thus helping assure buses leave the terminal at evenly-spaced intervals.
Huberman also stated that the sight of supervisors with clipboards will become a thing of the past over the next six months. Leveraging the power of the Bus Tracker GPS system, the CTA will be equipping supervisors with laptop computers and deploying them in a different manner.
Based on the improvements currently being implemented, Huberman feels that by next spring there will be a “very significant decrease” both in bus bunching and in the amount of time customers have to wait for a bus.
In a related topic, Huberman announced that the CTA plans on adding additional routes to the public Bus Tracker Web site starting in February. It was previously revealed that routes served by 77th garage will be the first to go live, with additional routes coming online over the following months.
The full video chat, which also discusses topics ranging from transit funding to an upcoming “secret shopper” program, is available for replay at the Chicago Tribune.