The CTA today announced that 2010 combined bus and rail ridership totaled 516.9 million rides, a decrease of 0.8 percent, or 4.4 million rides, compared to 2009 ridership. Although ridership decreased, total 2010 ridership finished stronger than expected considering the impact the recession has had throughout the year and the reduction of bus and rail service in February. CTA projected 2010 ridership at 512.2 million rides.
“We have worked hard to provide riders with enhancements such as CTA Train TrackerSM and improvements to CTA Bus Tracker to help offset the impact of service reductions. These technology improvements have helped us reach a large number of riders while keeping a tight rein on the bottom line,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “The fact that CTA has lost very little ground from a ridership standpoint under the most difficult financial circumstances this country has seen in decades is something I feel is reason to look forward to the new year and hope that the economy continues to rebound, even if at a slow pace.”
“It would be unreasonable to expect that the growth in ridership CTA has experienced in recent years would sustain itself with so many people unemployed and businesses struggling. The fact that it is less than a 1 percent drop demonstrates the value of public transit as a convenient, cost-effective travel option,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson. “We remain committed to providing as much service as we can within our limited resources and ask that our riders stick with CTA while the economic recovery moves forward.”
Rail ridership was 210.8 million for 2010, an increase of 4.1 percent or 8.3 million rides, compared to 2009. The largest ridership increases were recorded outside of the morning and evening rush periods. Bus ridership in 2010 was 306 million, a 4 percent decrease from 2009, or 12.6 million fewer rides.
Over the past decade, CTA has seen overall ridership grow by 37.3 million rides, or 7.8 percent. Rail ridership has lead the surge with a 19.6 percent increase (34.6 million rides) compared to 2000, and bus ridership increased by 1.3 percent (3.9 million rides) over the same period.
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