When you’re riding a bus or train, you don’t want to worry about how safe you are. Millions of people take the bus or train daily in the United States, with over 243 million riders using Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train lines in 2022. Accidents on CTA buses and trains happen every day in Chicago, and if one happens to you or a loved one, our experienced Chicago Transit Authority accident lawyers are here for you.
Our expert team of personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices are also available for accidents involving Pace buses.
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Bus and Train Ridership in Chicago
As of Fall 2017, CTA buses operated 129 routes, serving 10,768 bus stops, and CTA trains (including Metra and the L) operated eight routes, serving 145 stations. Chicago has rail service to O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport, and certain bus routes also provide “Night Owl” service.
According to 2022 data from the CTA, bus ridership increased by 19.3% from 2021, and rail ridership increased by 31.7%. CTA ridership data in 2022 was impacted due to the State of Illinois only fully reopening in June 2021 from COVID-19 shutdowns.
Accidents on Chicago Transit Authority Buses
Minor fender benders are a daily occurrence, but they can be more dangerous when it’s a large vehicle like a bus involved. With so many buses on the road and so many people riding buses in Chicago every day, it raises the risks of bus crashes.
A recent accident involving a CTA bus occurred July 9, 2023, due to a wrong-way SUV driver colliding with a bus. The bus was traveling northbound on South DuSable Lake Shore Drive near E 49th St. A passenger of the SUV died, and twenty others (occupants of both the SUV and the bus) were injured.
Accidents on Chicago Transit Authority Trains
Accidents on CTA trains and rail lines aren’t that common, but they still happen, whether it’s a train derailment or a pedestrian accident. One of the most recent major rail accidents in Chicago occurred in June 2019 when three cars of a CTA Green Line derailed on the elevated tracks on 47th Street. Seven passengers were injured in that accident.
Also, in 2019, a derailment of a Blue Line train occurred as it was approaching the O’Hare Terminal station. That accident was due to a switching problem and resulted in one minor injury. In March 2014, another Blue Line crash occurred at O’Hare when the driver of the train dozed off, causing millions in damages and injuring more than 30 people.
Most Dangerous Public Transportation Routes
Although there haven’t been very many major accidents on CTA bus or rail lines recently, there are certain areas for both buses and trains that are known to have more accidents or be more dangerous overall.
Dangerous CTA Bus Routes
Most CTA bus routes serve the downtown Chicago area, which subsequently has a couple of the top ten most dangerous intersections in Chicago. The two most dangerous downtown Chicago intersections and their corresponding bus lines are:
- East Wacker Dr. and North Columbus Dr.: Bus Routes 124, 135, 134, 136, 4, 6, and 20
- East Wacker Dr. and North Michigan Ave.: Bus Routes 2, 146, 148, 4, 6, and 20
Dangerous CTA Train Routes
There are no train routes through those two previously mentioned intersections; however, most of the CTA rail accidents occur on the Blue or Green lines. When these rail accidents happen, those injured are more likely to be pedestrians waiting at a station rather than passengers on the train.
Top Causes of CTA Crashes
Between heavy traffic in the downtown Chicago area and adverse weather conditions during the winter months, it’s no surprise that CTA buses and trains will have accidents. Some of the main causes of bus accidents are:
- Congested traffic
- Blind spots
- Inadequate training
- Distracted driving
- Poor bus maintenance
Train accidents on CTA lines, when they do occur, are usually due to driver error or mechanical issues, causing derailment and crashes.
What To Do if You’re Injured in a CTA Crash
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash on a CTA bus or train, here are some steps you can take in the immediate aftermath to protect yourself:
- Get to safety: Your safety is most important.
- Call the police: A police report with the details of the crash will help your case.
- Collect evidence: If you can, take pictures or video of the accident scene, gather information from witnesses, and get the names of anyone else involved in the accident.
- Seek medical treatment: If you’ve been in any kind of accident, seeking medical attention is important, and having medical records tied to the crash is invaluable to your case.
- Call an attorney: Getting in touch with an experienced Chicago Transit Authority lawyer at Thomas Law Offices as soon as possible after a crash is the best way to ensure you get the most compensation.
- File paperwork with the CTA: The statute of limitations on filing with the CTA can be as little as 180 days, so it’s a good idea to file as soon as possible, and your Thomas Law Offices attorney can help.
If you can’t do all of these steps, that’s okay. The best thing that you can do to help your case and help yourself is to reach out to an attorney who has experience with Chicago Transit Authority injury cases like yours.
Settlement You Can Get After a Chicago Transit Authority Accident
While there is no real way to know how much compensation you may receive after being injured in a Chicago Transit Authority accident, our office is here to help you get the best settlement owed to you. Dealing with any kind of accident, especially if you’ve been injured, can be devastating and confusing, and no one should have to deal with it on their own.
Our experienced attorneys are just a quick phone call away and are ready to give you a free consultation. Reach out to our office today.