The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) was named the "Most Improved Metro" at the second annual Metro Awards – recognizing CTA advancements, improvements and upgrades made across the rail system in 2008.
An international panel of transit agency representatives, transit industry reporters and contractors judged transit agencies from across the globe to award The Metros in a variety of categories.
The Metro Awards recognize the leaders, innovators, creative talents and pioneers in the global Metro Rail industry. Its mission is to identify and reward those individuals, teams and metros who have demonstrated an unparalleled ability to succeed. The Metro Awards ceremony took place as part of the MetroRail Conference – organized by Terrapinn, an international business media company – in London on March 31.
To receive the "Most Improved Metro" award, a transit agency is judged on improvements in service, increased ridership levels and advancements in the overall condition of its system. In addition, agencies are judged on other criteria that identify other improvements and upgrades over the year.
The transit authority achieved a 4.1 percent increase in rail ridership in 2008 compared to 2007. For 2008, the rail system recorded a total of 198.2 million rides – an increase of 7.9 million rides over the previous year. The agency also significantly reduced slow zones in 2008.
Safety improvements made last year were recognized, including upgrades to subway emergency exits. Upgrades included brighter lighting, high visibility signs, improved stairways and an instructional video to help prepare customers for evacuation procedures in case of an emergency. CTA's application also highlighted improvements made in customer communications.