Monday, January 10, 2011

Be on Track to a Safer Commute.

2011 has only just begun, but it is already looking like a great year for many residents of Chicago with the arrival of the CTA’s highly anticipated ‘Train Tracker.’ The Chicago Transit Authority and Mayor Richard Daley made an official announcement Saturday, January 8 that the new application was now available for use. With Chicago’s brutal winter season just beginning, it seems like the announcement of the city’s new ‘Train Tracker’ couldn’t have arrived at a more appropriate time. The new technology covers all eight of Chicago’s L-train lines and 144 train stations. Although this new tool is still in its early stages of development, the application is already available from both residents’ computers and smart-phones.

With Chicago’s L-train system being the third busiest system in the United States with over 650,000 riders each weekday, it is crucial that commuters be prepared for CTA emergencies. This past June, a highly reported track fire ignited on the Red Line just north of the Chicago platform. It left 19 injured and created a standstill with the north and southbound red line trains for approximately three hours. Although CTA mishaps of this size aren’t extremely common, emergencies of all sorts do happen no matter how much the city tries to avoid them. Even today, Monday, January 10, smoke was reported between the Lake and Grand stations of the Red Line. Although it was a false alarm, the report resulted in firefighters investigating the scene and the trains to be rerouted on the elevated tracks for a short period of time.

In order to be as prepared as possible for potential emergencies while commuting, the American Red Cross has teamed up with U.S. Department of Transportation to create helpful information for those who may find themselves in a commuter emergency.

On a Train
• If the train stops, follow the operator’s instructions quickly and calmly.
• In an extreme emergency when you must evacuate the train without the operator’s assistance, follow posted emergency procedures.

On a Station Platform
• Familiarize yourself with all the exits at the stations that you use in case you ever have to take a different exit.
• Listen for announcements and follow instructions quickly and calmly.

The American Red Cross also suggests that commuters purchase a Safety Tube, which can be found on our website. This portable emergency safety tube provides commuters with a water pouch, an individually wrapped mask, a whistle, and a foil wrapped-six-hour light stick.

For more information on commuter safety, please visit our Safety Tips page on
Photo credit to Christopher & AmyCrate on Flickr

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