Monday, December 13, 2010

This Story Made my Heart Grow Three Sizes Today

Jon Hilkevitch at the Chicago Tribune wrote a great article about a CTA bus driver that makes people's days.  Her name is Darlene Coleman and she drives one of those routes that shuttles people from the train station to their offices in the city.  She has been there for 2 1/2 years and loves her job:

"Where else can you work and get paid to tour our wonderful city and meet new people?"

I love people that love their jobs.  Several passengers were quoted complimenting her attitude and extra efforts to make sure people made their scheduled trains.  So while I have never met Darlene Coleman, she just made my day, too.

The interesting thing Hilkevitch did, however, was to use Ms. Coleman's example to higlight the problems the CTA is having in other areas.  Check this out:

"It's a shame the CTA cannot clone her. Especially now, when relations between CTA management and the transit agency's labor unions are at what may be an all-time low. Poor morale at the CTA is reflected by many employees who misdirect their anger through indifference and rudeness toward passengers.

The CTA received 1,241 complaints about rude bus operators in the first 10 months of the year. Over the same period, 826 complaints were filed about bus drivers failing to assist customers — more than the number of such complaints in all of 2009, according to records."

See what he did there?

I live in the suburbs, so I don't use the CTA very often at all.  But I read all the time about the costs associated with commuting and how many cities have rapid transit systems in the red.  And I hear about it from friends and colleagues.  In fact, the last time I was in Washington DC, I was shocked to hear a colleague tell me that Metro had purchased old trains from Chicago to run in its subway system.  So I was happy to see someone writing about the commuter experience.  And God Bless the lady trying every day to make it better for people.

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