CTA Ridership Continues to Climb as Temperatures Rise

May 16, 2024

The CTA delivered more than 6 million rides during the week ending on May 4 -- up 13% year-to-date and marking the highest ridership of 2024

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) provided 6.22 million train and bus rides for the week ending on May 4, as the transit system has seen steady growth in ridership and improved reliability of service-- the highest the CTA has seen in 2024 so far. The increase was up 13 percent year-to-date.

“As part of our unprecedented hiring efforts, we’ve been able to increase service on bus and rail -- a clear sign of progress is that we are continuing to see increases in ridership,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “As we look toward meeting the increasing ridership demands, we will continue to add more scheduled trips as new operators complete their training and begin serving Chicagoland.”

The week of April 28 through May 4 was the second highest ridership week system-wide since the onset of the pandemic, trailing only the week before the 2023 Marathon. That same week was also the largest ridership week of the pandemic for the bus system. In March, the CTA added scheduled bus service on 29 routes, returning service to near pre-pandemic levels.

Following the strong ridership week, a post-pandemic record for highest daily riders was set on Wednesday, May 8, with 1.06 million rides. The CTA anticipates surpassing that record as the weather continues to get warmer. Traditionally, spring ridership is below fall ridership, as such, to see such strong numbers this early in the year is a good indicator that CTA is making significant strides in recovering ridership.

So far in 2024, the CTA has experienced 13 days where ridership has exceeded 1 million.

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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