CTA Chief Expects 'Regular Service' for Evening Commute

By Emily Morris and Ted Cox  on January 6, 2014 6:37am  | Updated on January 6, 2014 4:34pm

 All CTA "L" trains were running with weather-related delays Monday morning.
All CTA "L" trains were running with weather-related delays Monday morning.
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DNAinfo file photos/Tanveer Ali

WEST LOOP — The Chicago Transit Authority expects "regular service for the afternoon rush" on Monday, according to President Forrest Claypool.

Claypool made the remarks at an afternoon news conference at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. He acknowledged "isolated delays" in the morning rush in the bitter cold, but added, "Overall, service is running fairly smoothly."

OEMC Executive Director Gary Schenkel said the temperature had reached 16 degrees below zero, with a wind chill of 38 below as wind is gusting to 35 miles an hour.

Claypool said CTA buses experienced "minor delays" in the morning, but credited Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams with keeping the main streets clear for bus lines.

Claypool said a "train froze up and had to be moved" in the morning, but the system was working as well as could be expected in the cold. He advised commuters to check Twitter, transitchicago.com and the CTA's train and bus tracking systems to avoid delays.

Commuters facing bitterly cold temperatures were also met with Metra delays Monday morning.

The CTA's Purple Line was suspended due to "inclement weather" shortly after 5 a.m. The transit system said it was back up and running with delays just before 7 a.m.

The CTA warned commuters that all "L" lines were running with delays Monday morning due to the weather conditions. Green Line service was restored to normal about 8:30 a.m., according to the CTA.

Metra also warned of delays on several trains in the morning due to switch problems and weather conditions. Check out Metra's website for a full list of delay information.

Amtrak also notified customers that several Chicago train lines won't be running on Monday due to the cold.

"Alternate transportation is not available," according to the notice.

Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said his department had registered an increase in accidents Monday morning, even with diminished traffic. "People are driving too fast," he said.

 Backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CTA President Forrest Claypool announces he expects "regular service for the afternoon rush" Monday.
Backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CTA President Forrest Claypool announces he expects "regular service for the afternoon rush" Monday.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams urged drivers to "drive for the conditions," exercise caution and show patience behind the wheel.

Williams also urged those digging cars out from the snow to shovel to the side of the street and the parkways between the street and sidewalk rather than throw more snow into the middle of the street to be removed.

According to Williams, the department's 287 plows and 26 smaller four-wheel-drive plows had been augmented with "quick hitch" plows attached to garbage trucks, making a fleet of 340 vehicles clearing streets. He said Monday afternoon they had moved from major arteries to begin clearing side streets.

Garbage collection was suspended Monday, in part for that reason, but was expected to resume Tuesday.

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