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Sustainable Transportation
Each fully-loaded, eight-car CTA train replaces more than 600 cars on regional roadways.

icon Sustainable Transportation

The CTA plays an important role in reducing vehicle emissions in the Chicago region by replacing automobile trips, reducing traffic congestion and enabling compact development. By providing high-quality transit service, we strive to make regional transportation patterns more sustainable.

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icon Transit Ridership

  • In 2012, CTA ridership grew to its highest total in 22 years, rising 2.4 percent to nearly 546 million rides.
  • 2012 CTA rail ridership increased to its highest level in 50 years, increasing 4.2 percent to more than 231 million rides.
  • CTA ridership has increased significantly since 1997:

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icon Emission Reductions

  • The CTA replaces the equivalent of about 400,000 vehicles on regional roads each weekday. A full eight-car CTA train replaces more than 600 cars, and a full 60-foot articulated CTA bus replaces more than 70 cars.

  • Switching from driving to public transit can reduce an individual's carbon emissions by about 4,800 pounds per year.  Household savings can be estimated using the American Public Transit Association's Carbon Savings Calculator.
  • Carbon dioxide emissions in the Chicago region are lowest in areas where transit service has supported higher-density development, resulting in fewer, shorter and more efficient motorized trips.

  • In 2012, CTA launched a pilot to store 18 buses downtown between weekday AM and PM rush periods. This strategy will save an estimated 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, reduce vehicle emissions, and improve service reliability.

 

icon Climate Action

  • The CTA serves as a key partner in the Chicago Climate Action Plan by reducing energy use and carbon emissions from Chicago-area transportation.

  • The CTA has partnered with RTA, Metra, and Pace and other agencies in developing the Chicago Regional Green Transit Plan, which calculates the environmental benefits of transit in the Chicago region.

  • The CTA has contributed to the Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group to promote public transit as a strategy to reduce carbon emissions in Illinois and the Midwest region.

  • The CTA is also represented on the American Public Transportation Association's Climate Change Working Group, which advocates a prominent role for public transit in federal transportation and energy policy.

  • Since 2010, the CTA has been a member of the Climate Registry, which allows CTA to quantify greenhouse gas emissions to increase operational efficiency, identify greenhouse gas risks, and participate in policy discussions relevant to public

  • The CTA is a contributor to Sustainable Chicago 2015, the City of Chicago’s near-term sustainability action agenda designed to complement the long-term Chicago Climate Action Plan.

 

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