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CTA Ridership At Its Highest Numbers In 22 Years

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 30, 2013 11:00PM

Photo Credit: Mike Travis

The Chicago Transit Authority announced that 545.6 million riders used the agency’s buses and trains in 2012, a 2.4 percent increase over 2011. Looking at the bigger picture, the number is CTA’s highest annual numbers in 22 years. Coupled with a 2.4 increase in ridership in 2011, it marks one of the strongest two-year periods in CTA history.

A deeper look at the numbers shows the highest increase in ridership is on the rail system. The “L” saw 231.1 million rides last year, a 4.2 percent increase over 2011 and the highest numbers in a half century. The Orange Line saw a 7.2 percent ridership increase while Blue Line ridership grew by 6.9 percent. Bus ridership grew by 1.1 percent to 314.4 million, the third-highest total posted by the agency since 1994.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement:

“Public transportation plays a vital economic role in the Chicago region, and this historic growth reflects the need for continued investments across the system. As we continue to heavily invest in the transit system as a whole, these trends will continue, creating jobs throughout Chicago and improving the prospects of Chicagoans from every neighborhood.”

Either this means more riders are happy with taking public transportation in Chicago or they can’t always drive.