December 15, 1999

More than 39 million rides were taken on CTA buses and trains in October, bringing to 370.4 million the number of rides taken this year, the CTA announced at its December monthly meeting. For the year to date, ridership was 15.2 million over the first 10 months of 1998.

Rail ridership now runs about 510,000 on an average weekday, while bus ridership continues to average just over 1 million per day.

Passes and permits were used to pay for more than 12 million rides in October, a jump of 80.7 percent from a year earlier, which was prior to the introduction of 7 and 30-Day Passes. For the first 10 months of 1999, pass usage was up 75.4 percent on buses and 112.1 percent on trains.

"There can no longer be any doubt that CTA is achieving very positive results in its efforts to attract new customers and encourage others to ride more often," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "Our service enhancements and customer-friendly improvements are clearly paying off."

The number of rides taken with 7-Day passes continued to increase in October, rising 8 percent over September levels to just under 4 million, after a gain of 3 percent between August and September. The sales of 7-Day Passes also showed an increase, rising more than 9 percent from September.

"Our employees deserve a lot of credit for ridership gains through their renewed commitment to customer service," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "They have helped enormously to reverse the15-year ridership decline we were experiencing right up until two years ago. As the CTA continues to rebuild our ridership, we may experience growing pains as we implement new and different ways to better improve service and meet our customers? needs. With increased ridership and demand, come increased challenges that the CTA will meet head on to provide this region with on-time, clean, safe and friendly service."

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