This is a public performance dashboard for the Chicago Transit Authority. We use the data provided via the Customer Alerts API maintained by the CTA to keep an historical record of performance, along with a snapshot of the current system.

As CTA riders, our experience of the system is that it pretty much kicks ass. If you listen to the chatter on the Internets, however, you'd think that the whole thing is a bunk. Third-world level baloney. That no one ever gets anywhere on time and everything is broken.

We knew that wasn't true. And we think people just like to complain-- it's normal. But this urine-soaked system of transit is darn good, as far as we can tell, and now we’ve got the data to prove it.

Beyond the boosterism, we wanted to document into the reasons things go wrong. And the CTA gives us the data to do that.

The other thing to keep in mind is that in a major metropolis like ours, things go wrong. People crash into transit stations, people jump in front of trains, fires start and are extinguished, and people commit crimes. These things happen. And like loosely coupled elements of a technology system, we all have to figure out how to get around this stuff and continue our day. And like a nifty social network, we can all help each other with more info.

The other thing we want to know is why. Why did the shit go down? How can make shit better next time? How can we help each other figure out what we should do, where we should go next. We can do that, together. Let’s roll.

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