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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

MBTA, MARTA and CTA post monthly passenger-count gains

Three transit agencies posted ridership gains the past few months.

Continuing a seven-month streak of ridership increases, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) carried a record number of passengers in July. Ridership on the agency's subway, commuter-rail, bus and paratransit services totaled 34.7 million, a 10 percent increase compared with July 2007's total.

To meet growing demand, MBTA is adding service on its subway and bus systems. This week, the agency increased capacity 5.5 percent on the Green Line and added three peak-period trains on the Red Line. Beginning Sept. 15, MBTA will operate six-car trains on the Blue Line, increasing capacity by 11 percent.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority registered higher passenger counts in July, too. The agency carried more than 14 million passengers on its rail, bus and paratransit services. Rail ridership increased by 7.8 million boardings, or 12.9 percent, compared with July 2007's total.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Transit Authority registered a 9.5 percent year-over-year ridership gain in August, according to preliminary figures. Rail ridership grew by about 808,000 passengers. Through eight months, ridership rose 5.3 percent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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