Regular users contribute mightily to CTA Alerts
I first conceived CTA Alerts, the wireless notification utility for service interruptions on the Chicago Transit Authority, as a rider-to-rider service in the absence of good top-down communication from the CTA. Since we started, however, the CTA itself has been the top poster of information, and all of it is quality stuff.
Tonight, however, highlights the area where normal riders almost always beat out the CTA: in breaking news alerts. Apparently another person (seems to be a lot lately) has been hit by a train. We got this first alert at 9:59PM:
Power is off on BROWN line in both directions in area of Kedzie due to person under a train. CFD on scene working.
Later, another user chimes in:
As of 10:55pm, CTA website rpts Brown Line still not running past Western. Shuttles running.
Nothing yet from the CTA. I'm actually not complaining, because in a system like this, it doesn't really matter where the info comes from, as long as it's accurate and timely. When everyone contributes what they can. Also, it seems that the second post was from a third party reporting info learned from the CTA, serving as an informal conduit.
The system is working.