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#572 Online Only: Ghost Buses


Laurie Merrell (she/her)
JR Rubin (he/him)

Due to the extreme cold, this event will now be online only at our normal online only time of 7pm.

You’re waiting to catch your bus. The schedule app says it’ll be there in two minutes. You wait, and no bus comes. Now you’re stranded. Should you spring for an expensive rideshare? Should you start walking?

If you’re a regular rider of the CTA, odds are you’ve been “ghosted” by your bus or train. While the pandemic put an understandable strain on transit systems, Chicago residents have commitments that require travel and the CTA has struggled to keep up. Most importantly, the CTA’s official schedules have not reliably represented service levels, leading to confusion, delays, and a general sense of distrust in our city’s public transit.

Ghost Bus is a Chi Hack Night project conducted by volunteer data scientists, engineers, and researchers. The project compares open source real-time bus tracking data to the CTA’s official schedules to identify gaps in service across Chicago’s bus lines.