Union Asks CTA for Independent Investigation Into Bus Accident

Public needs to be sure that accidents are investigated objectively, union says

Union officials are asking the CTA to bring in a third-party independent reviewer to look into bus accidents, after the weekend crash that sent more than 30 passengers to the hospital, according to the Sun Times.

The CTA usually investigates its own accidents, but Local 241 of the Amalgamated Transit Union that represents workers in the transportation industry, says the public needs to be sure that accidents are investigated objectively.

A CTA spokesperson says they are continuing their investigation into Saturday’s crash, which happened around 6 p.m. on Lake Shore Drive.

An articulated bus jumped a curb off the southbound lanes of LSD, just south of Interstate 55, and slammed into a tree, injuring 37 people. More than 20 ambulances were dispatched to the scene. The bus, a No. 6 Jackson Park Express, was described as being crowded at the time of the accident.

In order to determine what caused the crash, investigators will review surveillance video and a "black box"device inside the bus, conduct interviews and figure out if the bus was in proper working condition.

CTA bus accidents happen more often than riders would like to think. In fact, the accident rate since 2002 shows that on average, a bus incident in happens in Chicago every day. According to records compiled for the Tribune by the Federal Transit Administration, Since 2008, CTA buses have been involved in more crashes than buses operated by the nine other largest public bus systems in the U.S.

According to ATU officials, last year on Feb. 19, an articulated bus cracked in half on South Lake Shore drive, that bus had more than 150,000 miles and had not had any preventive maintenance performed on it.

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