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CTA ridership almost half a billion in 2005

CTA buses and trains provided nearly half a billion rides in 2005 - 492,405,118 to be exact. That's what the CTA reported today.

That total represents a 3.7% increase over 2004 and the highest ridership since 1992. The bus system accounted for 303.2 million of those rides; 186.8 million on the rails. Interestingly, "the most notable growth on the system for 2005 was on Sundays, a 6.7 percent increase compared to 2004," according to the CTA press release.

Another milestone for the CTA in 2005 was making all of its bus fleet accessible to people with disabilities.


[sarcasm]These numbers must be a lie. The CTA is the worst thing ever. Its so dirty and gross. I gave up riding it years ago and will never go back. I can't believe anyone would ever use that thing. The new Chicago Cards are too hard to use. I hear they are getting longitude seating. There are too many slow zones. The customer assistants are totally lazy. I'm moving to the suburbs and buying three cars.[/sarcasm]

I can’t believe those numbers either, and I wonder if it’s true or just propaganda?

Since January 2nd, with the exception of downtown, I noticed not too many people ride the CTA anymore. Like MC said, I think a lot of people gave up riding.

The graph in the Sun Times indicated that in 1992 there were about 491 million riders, that fell to 420 by 1977 (when the Mosena cuts were made), got up to about 460 in 2001, then the recession hit and it fell again, and now it is about 461 million (or just slightly more than in 2001). It is sort of like mutual funds--if you bought in 2004 you made some money, but it you bought the NASDAQ in 2000, you lost half and haven't recovered. So it is the time perspective.

Note also that the doomsday plan projected that if it were implemented, CTA would have lost 110 million riders. Also, this undoubtedly relies on unlinked trips, which means that each rider that fully used a transfer was counted 3 times. I bet that with the new transfer policy, the number of unlinked trips goes down.

I meant 1997, not 1977.

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