CTA Revamps Training for Drivers After Deadly Downtown Bus Crash

About one week after a crash involving a Chicago Transit Authority bus left a woman dead and several others injured, the CTA has announced new training plans for its drivers.

CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. on Friday revealed plans to “customize” training for bus operators.

The changes to the training include additional route-specific instruction for some routes, increased ride-along evaluations by managers and supervisors and an increase in the total number of training days for new bus operators.

Beginning later this month, bus drivers will be trained for six weeks, including classroom instruction and field training.
The CTA also plans to have staff take part in a study to identify the most challenging routes.

“CTA already has a comprehensive, focused training program for all our operators and follows well-established practices similar to those of other transit agencies across the country,” Carter said in a statement. “But we are always looking for ways to better serve our passengers. By strengthening the training our operators receive, the CTA will improve what is already one of the best bus safety records in the country and, at the same time, enhance service to customers.”

The announcement comes just after a CTA bus driver was cited for failing to stop at a red light and failing to exercise due care after the bus he was driving collided with a several cars and hit pedestrians at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street.

The transit agency said Barnes was hired at the beginning of September of last year and has a Commercial Driver's License with air brake and passenger endorsements.

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