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CTA logged record rail ridership in 2015


Photo: Chicago Transit Authority

Ridership on the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) rail lines reached a record high of 241.7 million in 2015, marking a 1.6 percent increase from 2014.

The figure topped the previous high-water mark set in 2014 by 3.5 million rides, CTA officials said in a press release.

"A longtime migration by CTA riders to rail from bus transportation continued in 2015, a trend seen nationwide among many agencies," agency officials said, noting that bus ridership fell by 0.6 percent last year.

The largest growth in rail ridership was on the Green Line South between the Garfield Station and the Cermak/McCormick Place Station, which opened in February 2015. The latter station had more than 390,000 station entries in 2015, agency officials said.

Other lines that logged high ridership growth include the Blue Line O'Hare branch, where ridership rose 5.3 percent; the Blue Line subway, 4.6 percent; and the Red Line subway, 4.3 percent.

The uptick in ridership occurred as CTA made "unprecedented" investments in rail modernization over the past five years, agency officials said. Nearly one-third of the agency's rail stations have received or will receive significant improvement work.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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