CTA unveils gift Web site

  • By Amy Lee
  • Transit reporter
  • September 29, 2008 @ 5:00 PM

Retro Chicago transit T-shirts and CTA-themed puzzles and shower curtains are just a few items the Chicago Transit Authority began selling today on its overhauled transit-themed online gift shop.

The new site, www.ctagifts.com, also begins a new CTA partnership with Image Exchange, Inc., a company which also runs the merchandise stores for the New York Transit Museum and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Ctagifts.com replaces the agency’s Gift Express program, but still offers some stalwart items, such as cufflinks created from old CTA tokens and system map umbrellas. New items include retro shoulder bags and T-shirts, as well as books and posters.

“Customers who have a favorite line or route, rail enthusiasts and visitors searching for unique souvenirs will be able to personalize items for one-of-a-kind keepsakes,” CTA President Ron Huberman said in a release posted on the agency’s Web site.

While all train stops are available to create a custom-made item, the agency’s 153 bus routes are not yet represented on the site.

CTA spokeswoman Catherine A, Hosinki says the authority will be paid royalties based on a percentage of sales at www.ctagifts.com. During the first year of operation, the CTA is expected to receive a minimum of 10 percent of all sales, and in subsequent years will receive a minimum of 12 percent of all sales.

"We do not have a sales prediction," Hosinski said in an e-mail to the Chi-Town Daily News.

Amy Lee is a Chicago-based journalist. She covers transit issues for the Daily News.


MICHAEL PITULA, 10-03-2008

Sure, it’s great that CTA is pitching hats, baby bibs, and t-shirts with the CTA logo, but lets get real - How about a CTA logo mask to go over your face to filter out all the noxious diesel soot on CTA buses?

Reports have shown that soot pollution levels inside a transit bus can be over four times higher than outside that bus. And if you’re breathing that on your daily commute, just imagine what bus drivers are breathing all day long.

Recent news reports indicate that Chicago has the most toxic air in the country, but that story didn’t even include toxic diesel exhaust. Yet the cancer risk from sooty diesel exhaust is over SEVEN TIMES greater than the cancer risk from ALL OTHER air toxics tracked by the EPA.

These emissions have a disproportionate impact on people of color, who make up most of the CTA’s bus operators and riders. They also have a significant impact on low income riders, people with disabilities, and seniors who are transit dependent.

New York and Boston cleaned up their bus fleets and eliminated this problem. When is CTA going to join them? How long do we have to wait?

Michael Pitula
Community Organizer – Public Transit
LVEJO - Little Village Environmental Justice Organization