CTA Hits Average Weekday Ridership of 1 Million in May

June 12, 2024

This is the first time CTA has hit this milestone since the start of the pandemic.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) provided 27.7 million train and bus rides in May, bringing the weekday ridership average up to 1 million for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

"This report of 1 million weekday rides indicates that the promising trends in our public transit system have tangible results," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "Transit continues to have a substantial economic impact on our city and region, and we remain dedicated to ensuring it is safe and accessible for all."  

Ridership on bus routes that received additional scheduled service was up 10% on weekdays in May compared to March, while the other bus routes also saw gains of 3%. The additional service has also led to a noticeable decrease in average wait times.

“This milestone shows that CTA is on track and providing the services that our customers deserve and need! Thanks to our ongoing, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, our bus and rail services are more reliable and we’re also providing more services,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “As planned, we will continue to deliver on our promise of providing pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, and I am optimistic that we will be consistently averaging 1 million rides in just a few months.”

So far in 2024, the CTA has experienced 22 days where ridership has exceeded 1 million—12 of which were in May. Over the course of 2023, the CTA saw 27 days where ridership exceeded 1 million rides per day.

The final Friday in May, May 31, was the highest ridership Friday since the start of the pandemic with a little over 1 million rides. Friday ridership is typically 5% lower than other weekday ridership.

The CTA has made significant progress in hiring new bus and rail operators to address workforce shortages and the usual trends of attrition. CTA plans to train up to 200 new operators, double the number in 2023. On the bus side, CTA hired 1,000 new bus operators in 2023 and is close to reaching its optimal staffing levels.

CTA ridership info can be found at transitchicago.com/performance/#kpis


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