No shortage of ideas for fixing CTA

The Chicago Transit Agency is surrounded on all sides by conflict.

The agency faces a $110 million budget gap, riders are complaining about the resulting service cuts, and El tracks and platforms are failing due to a lack of maintenance.

Chicago residents from all walks of life seem to have one thing in common when it comes to the CTA: They've got some ideas on how to improve it. Here are some of their thoughts.

Karen Arredondo, 22, of Wrigleyville: "They need to ... hire people who get to work on time."

Peter Croke, 44, of Uptown: "They waste a lot of money on people and equipment they don't need ... It's so expensive. The thing we have to fix is the condition of the train station. There aren't any elevators, and it's always dirty."

Malika Jilani, 57, Gold Coast: "They need more supervision. The drivers themselves are always playing games, with each other, and they get so pissed off they aren't friendly."

James Connolly, Chicago: "What they need to do is up the use of the GPS technology and the green buses. They've implemented them in some places, but they could do so much more. They've got to replace all the elderly buses and reinvest in their infastructure."

Vito C., Andersonville: "I think they need to improve where they pick people up... There's no where to go to the bathroom, and if you've just spent an hour on a bus... There's no where to sit and wait either. I work all day, then there's no where to sit."

Cindy Wolfe, 52, Jefferson Park: "If you use the suburban buses, they're always on time. They might not be as frequent, but they're always there on time, and they follow their schedule. Here, [bus bunching] happens all the time. I don't know how to fix it, but there has to be technology-- computers or something-- that can fix it.

Rebecca Watkins, 35, Lakeview: "One change I'd make is that if the bus is supposed to stop at a certain time, say 7pm, and it gets to the stop early, it should wait there for people who wanted to catch it at 7pm. It shouldn't move early. All the time, I'm trying to catch a bus that's scheduled for 7, and it gets there at three minutes til... I'm stuck waiting."

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