Ridership on CTA's bus and rail system has increased in each of the first five months of 2005. Through May, 2005 ridership is up 3.8 percent over 2004. CTA provided 187.2 million rides in 2005 compared to 181.1 million for the first five months of 2004.
The most recent ridership figures for May 2005 show a system-wide increase in ridership of 4.1 percent (39.1 million rides) compared to May 2004 (36.9 million rides). Weekdays increased 3.3 percent and large gains in weekend ridership, particularly on the train system, continued. Compared to May 2004, Saturdays were up 7.2 percent and Sundays were up 8.2 percent in May 2005.
On an average weekday in May, CTA provided more than 1.5 million rides, with the bus system accounting for nearly one million of those rides, and the rail system providing slightly more than a half million. CTA is the second largest transit agency in the U.S. and operates seven rail lines and 150 bus routes in Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs.
"Through the combined systems of CTA, Metra and Pace, the Chicago area has one of the most extensive public transit networks in the United States and the goal is to preserve it and continue to add service to meet the demand," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Without the growth of 35 million rides on CTA's system since 1997, approximately 5.6 million more hours would be spent by drivers commuting in traffic each year at a cost of $93 million annually to the region."
Earlier this year, the Texas Transportation Institute's 2005 Urban Mobility Report cited the Chicago region as having the second worst traffic congestion in the country. It also stated that the region's congestion is much less than it would be without the transit system.
"Continued investment in public transit will not only help to meet current and future demand for service, but improve the quality of life for everyone in the region by reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and contributing to the economy," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown.# # #Note: All ridership figures are calendar adjusted.