CTA Airs 2016 Propaganda

The CTA is now airing promotional spots for the 2016 bid on our buses!

To complain, call them at 312-664-7200 press 2, then press 4.

We called and the customer service representative told us that these new promos started yesterday and were paid for by the 2016 Committee.

In response to the question “Is this a new ad program – can anyone place audio ads on public transportation now?” We were told a representative of the CTA’s marketing department would call back. [Days later – no call.] Here’s their official e-mail response:

Thank you for your feedback. The CTA is airing messages in support of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games. The messages were produced and paid for by Chicago 2016. Adjustments have been made to decrease the volume of the announcements and ensure they do not preempt stop announcements and other information. If you notice ongoing technical issues, please send us the 4-digit bus number, and we will forward your information to our Bus Maintenance Department for testing and repair.

We appreciate your comments.

Comment at Chicago NowSteve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune is pissed. Chicago Examiner – “Chicago’s CTA plays new role as political messenger.

This is only the latest city agency turned over to the bid. The 2016 visuals are all over the airports. Our public schools were ordered to produce “Olympic Week” events that turned our children into props for the bid. Chicago police were assigned to all the 2016 community meetings – ofter two to four uniformed officers per event. Of course, our parks. lake front and harbors were turned over the 2016 Committee to do with as they please. Now we can’t even ride a bus without being subjected to the bid publicity swill.

From a No Games supporter (Sept 17):

I called and complained to CTA about the bus messages. The woman did tell me they have received many complaints and plan on eliminating the messages. I will also be sending you a check in the mail. You all have done a tremendous job with getting the word out and informing all those that will listen. I have also passed on to others. I support all your/our efforts 100% and ridding the city of this potential disaster, maybe we can rid ourselves of the mayor along the way!!!!


11 responses to “CTA Airs 2016 Propaganda

  1. refuses to be brainwashed

    sent to CTA today:

    I am registering a complaint about the exclusive advertising privilege of Chicago 2016 to broadcast audio ads on CTA buses. It is a nuisance to listen to and is distracting to the visually impaired. It is unfair to give this advantage to a single entity. This is a very controversial issue in this city and a public entity should not be used for blatant political propaganda. Please stop airing these ads. Thanks for your attention.

  2. I was wondering if this was just recent. I heard this the other day on the bus, and it usually causes most people on the bus to look around wondering where the voice is coming from, or why the bus driver would be making this announcement.

    It reminded me a bit of the Pace buses in the suburbs that have those annoying TV’s that never shut up!

  3. I’d say that if you know anyone with a non-profit, have them call and complain and then ask about rates for announcements on specific routes near their non-profit, and give a number for marketing to get in touch. Send an e-mail to NGC if CTA doesn’t call back.

  4. I have had to spend a lot of time on buses this week and have been constantly bombarded with these very loud and intrusive messages. Contrary to the purpose, it just makes me all the more militantly opposed to our hosting the games.

  5. It’s not that bad folks, except for the fact that Chicago has so few big name former Olympic celebrities actually living hear that the only recognizable Olympian I’ve heard so far is Nadia Comaneci…who lives in Oklahoma. I’m sure I’ll hear other silly messages like these, but it doesn’t bother me.

    A few years ago New York cabs blasted special “buckle up” messages from celebrities when you caught a cab from one of the airports–do they still do this? I mean, which celebrity would you rather get a pimped-out public service message from: Bart Conner or Liza Minnelli? Kristi Yama-whatever or Tony Bennett?

  6. These messages are so annoyingly loud, they seep through my noise cancelling headphones. Think the scene in “Clockwork Orange” where Alex is constantly bombarded by brainwashing images while strapped to the chair. That’s how it feels whenever I’m riding the bus these days.

  7. So, the CTA finally stooped to the Pace Bus level monopoly on annoyance by noise. I typically take the bus once a week – to a bar.

    The Pace Bus TVs was one of several reasons I now drive to work. Are there any Pace riders being bombarded with the 2016 bid propaganda? It wouldn’t surprise me if they are. I’ll have to ask at work.

    The reasons I now drive to work:

    Those above mentioned TV sets.

    Baseboard heaters that NEVER fully shut off, bogging down the already inadequate A/C. (untinted windows don’t help. )

    The A/C is disabled from September 15 until it’s re-enabled on May 15.

    Bouncy seats making the ride like a storm chasing plane unless the road is smooth as glass.

    Only half of those sliver openable windows actually open due to the sign and the plumbing as handholds.

    Unmarked bus stops and those marked have no information on first and last bus or even a clue.

    Scheduling more like airlines to overseas cities than a bus system.

    And the last straw was an idiot giving me flak about being first in line to get on, with implied threat of altercation for the “best” of the lousy and few seats. THAT got me to drive.

  8. thanks for the complaint ph#. my suggestion is to keep calling cta’s complaint line for the duration of the bus ride and keep politley askign the rep how to purchase air time on the buses. I’ve got nothign better to due for my 40 min commute and if enoguh peopke call they won’t be able to take their regular calls.

  9. I just called to complain to the CTA. She told me they have had many complaints and the ads/messages will be taken off soon!

  10. Send the money to American Samoa instead of to Chicago.

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