The announcement was made at the introduction of the newly rehabilitated Morse Red Line station, one of seven stations included in the $86 million Red North Interim Improvement project and a component of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Building a New Chicago program, which is updating infrastructure that's critical to the city.
Combined bus and rail ridership is up four percent for the first half of 2012 with nearly 10.5 million more rides than the same time period in 2011. The increase follows a similar ridership jump in 2011, when CTA reached the highest ridership total in 20 years, more than 532 million.
"These numbers demonstrate that a firm commitment to improving our infrastructure will help improve quality of life for all Chicagoans," said Mayor Emanuel. "Our residents are taking the CTA now more than ever and as we improve the stations and the infrastructure of the system as a whole, these trends will continue, creating jobs throughout Chicago and improving the prospects of Chicagoans from every neighborhood."
Ridership has seen some if its sharpest increases this past year. From June 2011 to June 2012, ridership rose 4.3 percent, about 22 million rides, compared to the same time period in 2010-2011.
Impressively, the number of recorded rides on the rail system has seen 51 months of consecutive growth. For the first half of 2012, there were nearly 114 million rides taken on CTA trains, an increase of 6.2 percent.
"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 continued growth in ridership," said CTA President Forest Claypool.