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Pandemic update: Chicago passenger-rail agencies project millions in revenue losses

The Regional Transportation Authority estimated a $551 million loss for CTA.
Photo – CTA Facebook


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Metra have reported ridership drops of over 80 percent, and project they will face millions of dollars in lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Metra ridership is projected to fall 97 percent in April, compared with the same month last year. Meanwhile, CTA ridership is down about 80 percent compared with normal levels, the Tribune reported.

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) — the authority that oversees the Chicago transit agencies’ budgets — estimated a $551 million loss for CTA, and $300 million loss for Metra.

Metra officials told RTA the agency projects losses of more than $500 million in sales tax and ticket revenue through December 2021, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, two West Coast passenger-rail agencies updated their ridership impact estimates:
• Bay Area Rapid Transit in California on April 15 reported a 94 percent drop in ridership compared with the agency’s April ridership projections.
• Sound Transit in Seattle on April 20 will further reduce Link light-rail service due to an 87 percent reduction in systemwide ridership.



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