CTA to address ‘ghost buses’ by aligning schedules with actual number of drivers

Chicago Transit Authority
The Chicago Transit Authority announced a plan Monday to start aligning bus schedules for nearly half of its routes with the actual number of drivers they have each day. The result, officials hope, will be fewer "ghost buses." Photo credit Zac Weber

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) riders have been complaining for some time that the CTA’s bus tracker app has so-called “ghost buses” on them, which refers to buses listed as traveling on a route even though they don’t actually exist.

The result has been riders waiting for buses that might not ever arrive.

Monday, the CTA said it is making changes on nearly half of its routes — 52 of them, including some of the most heavily traveled ones — to align scheduled service with the actual number of bus drivers it has.

The change will not affect service hours, CTA officials said in a press release. Rather, the schedule will be changed to reflect each line’s available workforce.

The CTA said that will provide more consistent intervals between buses, making fewer instances of ghost buses and reduce large or inconsistent gaps between buses.

Although the CTA said it hired 400 new workers in 2022, the agency noted it’s still short about 600 bus drivers, which is a problem facing transit agencies nationwide.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Zac Weber