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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metra posts 20-year ridership record


Chicago's Metra had another banner year in 2000, posting its fifth-straight annual ridership gain and its highest-ever yearly total of commuter trips.

Metra trains recorded more than 81.8 million passenger trips in 2000, up 2.3 million (or 2.9 percent) compared with the previous year, according to figures released Feb. 16 by the commuter-rail agency.

Last year also marked the most annual commuter-rail trips Metra's ever recorded in the 32 years for which historical ridership statistics are available. At 81,856,029, 2000's trip total reflects a 38 percent increase since 1983, the year before Metra took over Chicago-area commuter rail service.

Strong downtown employment, steady suburban population growth, more train-station parking and congested road travel helped drive the commuter-rail ridership increases, according to a Metra prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/19/2001