January 18, 2000

The CTA announced at its monthly meeting Tuesday that 17.7 million more trips were taken on CTA buses and trains through November of last year than during the first 11 months of 1998. The 407.2 million rides taken through November 30, 1999, represented a 4.6 percent increase from the earlier period.

Ridership for the month of November increased by 2.5 million, with bus trips up 5.8 percent, to 24.6 million, and 'L' trains serving 12.1 million customers for a gain of 10.9 percent.

"We?ve been achieving steady success in our efforts to encourage more customers to ride our system," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. "The passes we introduced in December, 1998, have gone a long way toward making CTA more convenient to ride, and our employees are meeting the challenges that come with greater demands for service."

The many fare options made available by the CTA's automated farecard system continue to attract new customers and encourage others to ride more often. Sales of 7 and 30-Day Passes have also flourished. This past November, more than 25.1 percent of all CTA rides were paid for with passes, or more than double the number for the year before, while cash was used 24 percent less.

For the first 11 months of 1999, pass usage increased 107.3 percent on buses and 160.6 percent on trains, compared to the same period of 1998.

"Lately we?ve seen a consistent increase in ridership that has reversed the declines that plagued CTA for 15 years," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "Our operating and maintenance people are doing everything they can to keep our service on time, clean, safe and friendly. The new buses and rehabbed 'L' cars that we?ll be bringing on line this year will give our customers even more incentive to ride our system."

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