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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Chicago Transit Authority posts 16 consecutive months of ridership growth


Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) ridership grew 4.3 percent during the first six months of 2012, with June marking the 16th consecutive month of increases.

Recorded rides on the agency’s rail system rose 6.2 percent during the first half compared with the same period a year ago, CTA officials and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced yesterday. Through June, CTA rail ridership had increased for 51 straight months.

Combined rail and bus ridership was up 4 percent in the first half, with nearly 10.5 million more rides than in the same 2011 period.

The ridership announcement was made during the introduction of the recently rehabilitated Morse Red Line Station, one of seven stations included in the $86 million Red North Interim improvement project and a component in Emanuel’s “Building a New Chicago” infrastructure program.

“These numbers demonstrate that a firm commitment to improving our infrastructure will help improve the life of Chicagoans,” Emanuel said. “Our residents are taking CTA now more than ever and as we improve the stations and infrastructure of the system as a whole, these trends will continue.”

Since the summer of 2011, CTA has begun or announced several large capital investment projects and system upgrades.

“While we cannot attribute one particular factor to changes we’re seeing in ridership trends, it is clear that the investments we’ve made to improve both the bus and rail system over the past year have contributed to our growth in ridership,” said CTA President Forest Claypool.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/15/2012