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CTA Bus And Rail Ridership

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Was taking a look at the ridership reports and wow some of these bus routes are really getting hit. a 91.7% loss on the #X98. #169 is like a 55% loss. I thought well maybe that's not fair to single those out so I looked at some main line service. Seems like some of the south side service isn't doing so hot. Now you can say well those riders went to the new red line which may be the case in some cases but what about the 95th st feeders? Both #95E and #95W are averaging a 30 percent loss. #108 has a 39 percent loss and #100 is 34.5 But it's not just there the #86 is a 30 percent loss in fact all routes are in the negative but there is one in the positive the #19. So what is wrong with ridership? Are people stuck on the bus and discouraged from riding it? Or is it just too slow? Now if they could bring back some X service maybe people would get excited again about riding the bus. That might be why rail is doing better cause it's faster.

Now looking at rail they say there are ridership increases but I'm seeing losses but it's below 7 percent which is not bad. Seeing Blue line ridership wasn't bad I was wondering if there is a possible correlation with longitudinal seats and ridership but I don't really see that. Seem riders care more about the speed of the service versus the comfort.

Here's the link to the report I was looking at.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/ridership_reports/2014-01_2.pdf

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Was taking a look at the ridership reports and wow some of these bus routes are really getting hit. a 91.7% loss on the #X98. #169 is like a 55% loss. I thought well maybe that's not fair to single those out so I looked at some main line service. Seems like some of the south side service isn't doing so hot. Now you can say well those riders went to the new red line which may be the case in some cases but what about the 95th st feeders? Both #95E and #95W are averaging a 30 percent loss. #108 has a 39 percent loss and #100 is 34.5 But it's not just there the #86 is a 30 percent loss in fact all routes are in the negative but there is one in the positive the #19. So what is wrong with ridership? Are people stuck on the bus and discouraged from riding it? Or is it just too slow? Now if they could bring back some X service maybe people would get excited again about riding the bus. That might be why rail is doing better cause it's faster.

Now looking at rail they say there are ridership increases but I'm seeing losses but it's below 7 percent which is not bad. Seeing Blue line ridership wasn't bad I was wondering if there is a possible correlation with longitudinal seats and ridership but I don't really see that. Seem riders care more about the speed of the service versus the comfort.

Here's the link to the report I was looking at.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/ridership_reports/2014-01_2.pdf

No, it is all about comfort.

I watch Bustracker to decide which bus I'll take on the 22 or 151, by whether it's a 40ft. New Flyer, a 4300 or one of the godawful 4000s with the sideways seats. When I have the time, I've waited out a couple of runs to get a bus with decent seats. I'll even take the bus all the way downtown to avoid the Red Line now. On the rare occasions I do take the Red Line, I'm thankful when one of the rare 2600s shows up & I can sit like a civilized human being.

I flat out dread the Pink or Green Lines which are all 5000s.

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Purple line with the biggest loss 11 percent would tend to correlate with that notion of slow trains really irk riders. I can't blame them I catch myself riding the Red line over it sometimes as there's no difference in speed/connections. Strange though that the yellow line is 10 percent down as that's one of the quickest lines. The Pink line riders don't mind the #5000's ridership is unchanged there.

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Purple line with the biggest loss 11 percent would tend to correlate with that notion of slow trains really irk riders. I can't blame them I catch myself riding the Red line over it sometimes as there's no difference in speed/connections. Strange though that the yellow line is 10 percent down as that's one of the quickest lines. The Pink line riders don't mind the #5000's ridership is unchanged there.

The report you cited in your original posts is from January, 2014. Chicago had very severe weather in January, which would explain some of the decline. According to the June report, Purple Line ridership is up 1.9% weekdays, 5.7% Saturdays, and 1.9% Sundays. The X98 was down 40.9% in June 2014 vs 2013, but in June 2013 28 people rode that bus everyday while in 2014 16 people rode the bus. One person not taking the X98 each day would account for two fewer rides, which would equate to a nearly 10% drop in ridership.

Here's a link to the June report:

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/ridership_reports/2014-06.pdf

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Purple line with the biggest loss 11 percent would tend to correlate with that notion of slow trains really irk riders. I can't blame them I catch myself riding the Red line over it sometimes as there's no difference in speed/connections. Strange though that the yellow line is 10 percent down as that's one of the quickest lines. The Pink line riders don't mind the #5000's ridership is unchanged there.

It's been my recent experience that a Red Line trip averages about 2 minutes per station [in either direction]. I will try to determine what the time is on the Purple and report back.

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The report you cited in your original posts is from January, 2014. Chicago had very severe weather in January, which would explain some of the decline. According to the June report, Purple Line ridership is up 1.9% weekdays, 5.7% Saturdays, and 1.9% Sundays. The X98 was down 40.9% in June 2014 vs 2013, but in June 2013 28 people rode that bus everyday while in 2014 16 people rode the bus. One person not taking the X98 each day would account for two fewer rides, which would equate to a nearly 10% drop in ridership.

Here's a link to the June report:

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/ridership_reports/2014-06.pdf


This is absolutely correct. Why would BusHunter rely on a a January report, when the latest one was posted for June, 2014? Like with Nova, he has some unstated agenda.

I mentioned to someone who posted the 192 on the CTA Tattler, why bother as U of C pays the full freight, so it doesn't affect its bottom line. Same for X98, except that the few who ride it should use a Pace vanpool, instead.

I was going to mention the faulty nature of the statistics used, but your severe winter one suggests another--since the statistic is based on unlinked trips, not initial fares, people are more likely to have modified travel habits to avoid transfers. Also, I wonder if Ventra readers not working properly affect the count, or if it is purely derived from the Clever Device. BusHunter said he has seen free rides, so the Ventra passenger count would be down by that much.

It's been my recent experience that a Red Line trip averages about 2 minutes per station [in either direction]. I will try to determine what the time is on the Purple and report back.


The complaint about the Purple Line is that is is all slow zoned again between Wilson and Howard, not the dwell time at the station. The number is also affected by "estimated transfers" at Belmont, another dubious statistic,

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Was taking a look at the ridership reports and wow some of these bus routes are really getting hit. a 91.7% loss on the #X98. #169 is like a 55% loss. I thought well maybe that's not fair to single those out so I looked at some main line service. Seems like some of the south side service isn't doing so hot. Now you can say well those riders went to the new red line which may be the case in some cases but what about the 95th st feeders? Both #95E and #95W are averaging a 30 percent loss. #108 has a 39 percent loss and #100 is 34.5 But it's not just there the #86 is a 30 percent loss in fact all routes are in the negative but there is one in the positive the #19. So what is wrong with ridership? Are people stuck on the bus and discouraged from riding it? Or is it just too slow? Now if they could bring back some X service maybe people would get excited again about riding the bus. That might be why rail is doing better cause it's faster.

Now looking at rail they say there are ridership increases but I'm seeing losses but it's below 7 percent which is not bad. Seeing Blue line ridership wasn't bad I was wondering if there is a possible correlation with longitudinal seats and ridership but I don't really see that. Seem riders care more about the speed of the service versus the comfort.

Here's the link to the report I was looking at.

http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/ridership_reports/2014-01_2.pdf

What did you expect? The #X98 only runs when there are Avon shift changes, and no one knows when that happens. Same thing for the #169. As for the #86, there's only one bus approx. every 20-25 minutes, plus it partially runs (and terminates) in Oak Park, being one of two routes to do so (#72).

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This is absolutely correct. Why would BusHunter rely on a a January report, when the latest one was posted for June, 2014? Like with Nova, he has some unstated agenda.

I mentioned to someone who posted the 192 on the CTA Tattler, why bother as U of C pays the full freight, so it doesn't affect its bottom line. Same for X98, except that the few who ride it should use a Pace vanpool, instead.

I was going to mention the faulty nature of the statistics used, but your severe winter one suggests another--since the statistic is based on unlinked trips, not initial fares, people are more likely to have modified travel habits to avoid transfers. Also, I wonder if Ventra readers not working properly affect the count, or if it is purely derived from the Clever Device. BusHunter said he has seen free rides, so the Ventra passenger count would be down by that much.

The complaint about the Purple Line is that is is all slow zoned again between Wilson and Howard, not the dwell time at the station. The number is also affected by "estimated transfers" at Belmont, another dubious statistic,

Why does everything have to be a big conspiracy theory with you. :rolleyes: So who shot JFK? :huh: It really doesn't matter if I'm looking at the January report or the June one, I'm looking at yearly totals which don't have a bearing on whether it snows or not unless we live in Iceland. Since you want me to explain myself, I was looking at a Facebook post by the CTA saying ridership was at a 50 year high on the "L" so I clicked on there link which brought me to January. So maybe we should be asking the computer administrator there why they linked to a January report. But to me it doesn't really matter and constitutes nitpicking in my opinion.

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... I was looking at a Facebook post by the CTA saying ridership was at a 50 year high on the "L" so I clicked on there link which brought me to January. So maybe we should be asking the computer administrator there why they linked to a January report. But to me it doesn't really matter and constitutes nitpicking in my opinion.

Maybe you should quit selling your brain to Facebook (although since the post was from CTA, it would have just been propaganda)..

Even if annual statistics, the way they accounted for the Red Line shutdown and free shuttle bus boardings wasn't horribly transparent, and obviously 95th St. feeders were impacted by that.

The June 2014 has some explanation of the discrepancies in bus ridership:

Bus ridership was 12 percent lower than in June 2013, with a 12.6 percent decline in weekday ridership and 9.3 percent decline on weekends. The Red Line South reconstruction project, which took place from mid-May 2013 through Mid-October 2013, resulted in higher than typical bus ridership due to the operation of free replacement express bus shuttles, supplemental bus service on nearby routes, and discounted fares in the project area. These forces account for a sizable portion of the year-over-year change. In particular, routes connecting the South Side to downtown showed declines that reflected the adjustment of riders this year back to the rail system. This month’s ridership was also impacted by CPS school schedule as there were six fewer school days in June 2014 compared to June 2013, when school makeup days were added to the school calendar because of the 2012 CPS teacher strike.

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What did you expect? The #X98 only runs when there are Avon shift changes, and no one knows when that happens. Same thing for the #169. As for the #86, there's only one bus approx. every 20-25 minutes, plus it partially runs (and terminates) in Oak Park, being one of two routes to do so (#72).

The #X98 in the June report (yearly) has lost 3,700 out of 4,000 riders. But isn't that a subsidized route? So it doesn't matter if it has 1 rider. The #86 service has not changed in years so I don't get the change as is the same with alot of other routes. They say Divvy membership is soaring and bike lanes are popping up everywhere, maybe we are turning into China or Europe, where more people own a bike than a car. There is even a report that says more bikes were sold in the US this year versus cars. :huh:

http://www.rense.com/general67/crdst.html

Making bicycles more friendly in Chicago, I believe we are one of the most friendliest, although may be a double edge sword to the transit community. The article above claims gas prices are to blame, but that doesn't affect transit cause it's fixed pricing.

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Maybe you should quit selling your brain to Facebook (although since the post was from CTA, it would have just been propaganda)..

Even if annual statistics, the way they accounted for the Red Line shutdown and free shuttle bus boardings wasn't horribly transparent, and obviously 95th St. feeders were impacted by that.

The June 2014 has some explanation of the discrepancies in bus ridership:

That still doesn't explain the #86 or countless other routes, although I notice in the new report #57 Laramie ridership has spiked, so what's with that.

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That still doesn't explain the #86 or countless other routes...

School runs mentioned in the quote..

Besides the reason cited, I'm sure ridership was down on days Barbara Byrd Bennett said "you can decide to go to school; no it's closed," at least in Jan. and Feb.

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School runs mentioned in the quote..

Besides the reason cited, I'm sure ridership was down on days Barbara Byrd Bennett said "you can decide to go to school; no it's closed," at least in Jan. and Feb.

Yearly totals should be the same every year unless we now have year round school. I don't know, if they took all the riders off that route for one day or two it shouldn't be a 30 percent decline in yearly ridership.

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Making bicycles more friendly in Chicago, I believe we are one of the most friendliest, although may be a double edge sword to the transit community. The article above claims gas prices are to blame, but that doesn't affect transit cause it's fixed pricing.

There was article today on how few millennials own a car. I'm not surprised. Between their low pay right out of college, unless they went to Harvard Law & got an associate job at a big prestigious firm, they can't afford a car.

This is caused by outsourcing all those manufacturing jobs to China & Mexico. Every manufacturer needs college grads for the engineering jobs, the marketing jobs, but they even outsource much of that.

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The X98 was down 40.9% in June 2014 vs 2013, but in June 2013 28 people rode that bus everyday while in 2014 16 people rode the bus. One person not taking the X98 each day would account for two fewer rides, which would equate to a nearly 10% drop in ridership.

Doesn't the X98 only have one, one-way trip?

Therefore, one person not riding would only be one ride, not two, per day. Doesn't really change much, though, since a route like that doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things but at least it means the bus is carrying 16 passengers, instead of just 8 per trip.

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...It really doesn't matter if I'm looking at the January report or the June one, I'm looking at yearly totals...

The average weekday ridership totals at the route level compare a given month's average ridership in the current year to that of the previous year. To demonstrate, here's a little experiment. According to the March, 2014 report, average weekday ridership on #1 Bronzeville/Union Station was 2,155. The same report indicates year to date ridership was 131,927. The bus runs weekdays only, so it ran 63 days during the period January 1 - March 31. (January 1 is considered a Sunday, so the bus would not run. President's Day and MLK Day are not CTA holidays, so the bus would run). 131,927 divided by 63 is 2,094. Therefore, the average weekday ridership in the year-over-year comparisons are not year-to-date. That's why the number of school days, historically high levels of inclement weather, and holidays falling on the weekend can and do skew the ridership numbers.

...I was looking at a Facebook post by the CTA saying ridership was at a 50 year high on the "L" so I clicked on there link which brought me to January. So maybe we should be asking the computer administrator there why they linked to a January report. But to me it doesn't really matter and constitutes nitpicking in my opinion.

I just looked at CTA's Facebook page and clicked on the Ridership Report link. That link launches the following URL:

http://www.transitchicago.com/ridership

which redirects to:

http://www.transitchicago.com/ridership/default.aspx

That is the general "Ridership Reports" page, which contains links to the PDF versions of ridership reports for the period January 2014 through June 2014, in descending order (e.g., June is at the top). From there, you can click on a link to a particular ridership report. I'm not sure how clicking on a Facebook page would display a January, 2014 report in PDF format. That is one hell of a computer. Or it is possessed.

Doesn't the X98 only have one, one-way trip?

Therefore, one person not riding would only be one ride, not two, per day. Doesn't really change much, though, since a route like that doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things but at least it means the bus is carrying 16 passengers, instead of just 8 per trip.

Indeed, you are correct. Now we know why ridership is declining. How can they get on the bus the next day when they have no way of getting back to work? :D

But seriously, one person leaving the company or sharing a ride every day would cause a 6.25% drop in ridership. That one person would be statistically insignificant on a route like 9-Ashland or even 88-Higgins, for that matter.

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The average weekday ridership totals at the route level compare a given month's average ridership in the current year to that of the previous year. To demonstrate, here's a little experiment. According to the March, 2014 report, average weekday ridership on #1 Bronzeville/Union Station was 2,155. The same report indicates year to date ridership was 131,927. The bus runs weekdays only, so it ran 63 days during the period January 1 - March 31. (January 1 is considered a Sunday, so the bus would not run. President's Day and MLK Day are not CTA holidays, so the bus would run). 131,927 divided by 63 is 2,094. Therefore, the average weekday ridership in the year-over-year comparisons are not year-to-date. That's why the number of school days, historically high levels of inclement weather, and holidays falling on the weekend can and do skew the ridership numbers.

I just looked at CTA's Facebook page and clicked on the Ridership Report link. That link launches the following URL:

http://www.transitchicago.com/ridership

which redirects to:

http://www.transitchicago.com/ridership/default.aspx

That is the general "Ridership Reports" page, which contains links to the PDF versions of ridership reports for the period January 2014 through June 2014, in descending order (e.g., June is at the top). From there, you can click on a link to a particular ridership report. I'm not sure how clicking on a Facebook page would display a January, 2014 report in PDF format. That is one hell of a computer. Or it is possessed.

I don't know what to say but in the computer world things can change rapidly and maybe it was changed. Why would I link to a January report if I had a June one? Between the two I don't see much difference anyway (except the #57 skyrocketed) if in fact you are correct that the numbers are based on the year before which is what I'm interpreting that may be reason for more concern. Because routes like the #108 are showing 30 percent drops 6 months later which means that's a 30 percent drop to the 30 percent drop in January. (really 15 percent if you figure 6 months) so what a 45 percent drop? WTH? I hope CTA doesn't get some draconian thoughts and cut service. There is a way they could avoid the 150 nova bus option but it's controversial and rather than say what it is we can probably figure out where i'm headed in my train of thought. I hope not!!

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....

Indeed, you are correct. Now we know why ridership is declining. How can they get on the bus the next day when they have no way of getting back to work? :D

...

The deal on that one is that whoever the Job Link was that was told to pay by the CTA was only willing to pay for the late shift bus, because Pace 208, 210, and 423 were not available. They figured that on other shifts people could walk 2 blocks to 423 if they wanted to get to the Blue Line.

But, as has been pointed out by BusHunter and me before, it makes no difference to the CTA bottom line so long as the Job Link pays the freight for the bus. Hence, I don't understand why some of you are agonizing about this? Are you also agonizing about 170-172 because U of C decided to cut the frequency when CTA demanded 100% reimbursement instead of 50%?

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... I hope CTA doesn't get some draconian thoughts and cut service. There is a way they could avoid the 150 nova bus option but it's controversial and rather than say what it is we can probably figure out where i'm headed in my train of thought. I hope not!!

What do you think the Crowd Reduction plan was all about? If, in fact, people are not riding the bus (and if these are not statistical anomalies or reflect inadequate data collection methods), then don't run the service.

108 is especially in point. That parallels Pace 352, and for the most part CTA 8A, so if people aren't riding it, it should be cut. I'm surprised it wasn't the last time.

Again, 108 is marginal. I would be more concerned about that frequency on the real 8 has been cut in half past Root and North Branch. Again, I bet they have statistics other than the Ridership Report, such as from the gps counters, that show that the demand isn't there during the rush hour on either side of the short turns.*

__________

*Which shows, since See is here, that again CTA is doing what we discussed a couple of years ago--short turning a bus on both ends of the route to provide service in the peak area; something it didn't do before the Crowd Reduction Plan to any substantial degree.

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I don't mind the route being like it is now but you're absolutely right about the ridership. The problem is that I really don't think there's a reasonable explanation why move it out of Marquette Park. Also, it's highly improbable to have the route split up i.e. certain trips to 74th and other trips to a different destination like Western Orange Line or 63rd/Kedzie for examples.

I was going to say it was like 8, above, but the timetable doesn't reflect that. However, the map on the timetable shows 2 high schools near those points, so that probably is the explanation.

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Despite my analysis of the above, it appears, from a Red Eye story on the home page, that there is some substance to loss of ridership on the bus system, mostly attributed to lousy bus service, according to Tracy Swartz. At least it supports that there are fewer transfers, maybe due to the polar vortex, but also that someone moved in with her boyfriend and the two moved closer to an L station. Cutting the X buses and not providing BRT alternatives is also blamed.

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Despite my analysis of the above, it appears, from a Red Eye story on the home page, that there is some substance to loss of ridership on the bus system, mostly attributed to lousy bus service, according to Tracy Swartz. At least it supports that there are fewer transfers, maybe due to the polar vortex, but also that someone moved in with her boyfriend and the two moved closer to an L station. Cutting the X buses and not providing BRT alternatives is also blamed.

I saw the story this morning, and I was thinking how a lot of this coincides with not just the 2010 cuts that axed the crosstown express buses but also the cuts from Claypool's DeCrowd Plan and the sneak cuts that have been going on since DeCrowd first got implemented. My overall thinking with all the cuts in the past few years is that CTA seems stuck in a catch-22 in a way in the sense that they can't keep service that's not being used but each time they trim service to try to match ridership levels it perpetuates a feeling that riding the bus is inconvenient. Having a bus delayed when the headway is already 20 minutes for example doesn't bring much confidence that riding the bus is a reliable way to get around. Even still though, the overall theme is that for a variety of reasons CTA riders are shifting from the buses to the trains and I'd say that that side of it is fueled by the fact that the southern leg of the Red Line has been rebuilt and trains move along the Dan Ryan much faster than they have been in the last two decades.

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I saw the story this morning, and I was thinking how a lot of this coincides with not just the 2010 cuts that axed the crosstown express buses but also the cuts from Claypool's DeCrowd Plan and the sneak cuts that have been going on since DeCrowd first got implemented. My overall thinking with all the cuts in the past few years is that CTA seems stuck in a catch-22 in a way in the sense that they can't keep service that's not being used but each time they trim service to try to match ridership levels it perpetuates a feeling that riding the bus is inconvenient. Having a bus delayed when the headway is already 20 minutes for example doesn't bring much confidence that riding the bus is a reliable way to get around. Even still though, the overall theme is that for a variety of reasons CTA riders are shifting from the buses to the trains and I'd say that that side of it is fueled by the fact that the southern leg of the Red Line has been rebuilt and trains move along the Dan Ryan much faster than they have been in the last two decades.

Just seems to be the usual case of a company having a downward spiral (like Sears). However, transit is different in that every passenger is considered a 50% loss. Notwithstanding that, and no matter how CTA counts ridership, ridership is down, on a consistent basis since the dawn of CTA history.

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Just seems to be the usual case of a company having a downward spiral (like Sears). However, transit is different in that every passenger is considered a 50% loss. Notwithstanding that, and no matter how CTA counts ridership, ridership is down, on a consistent basis since the dawn of CTA history.

Yes true. Another part of this is that it seems to be a lack of perspective in some cases too in that even though bus ridership is down overall, the total number of rides is still over 300 million rides annually which still seems higher than in years of previous more recent decades.

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Yes true. Another part of this is that it seems to be a lack of perspective in some cases too in that even though bus ridership is down overall, the total number of rides is still over 300 million rides annually which still seems higher than in years of previous more recent decades.

As frequently pointed out, the metric (at least until 1992, the date of Krambles's book) was original boarding fares, not the current of unlinked trips. So, essentially, the statistic is twice what the comparable one was.

The reason, of course, was to start the 10 year (and still continuing) crying that CTA provides 80% of the rides, but gets only 50% of the subsidy. However, since the recovery ratio is 50%, it isn't collecting 80% of the fares. You'll note that when a financial report is posted, the average fare is $1.12 (up from $0.93). but certainly not $2.00.

Hence, the ridership number is relevant only for the reason I mentioned with regard to 108, and how Claypool is using it; if the number goes down, cut service, even though that results in the death spiral. Apparently CTA has no incentive to serve the bus riders, except to float pie in the sky plans and put some artics on routes where the garage manager doesn't complain about them.

Since supposedly RTA sales taxes have recovered (especially since the RTA won the Hartney Oil litigation), the least Claypool could do is reinstitute the X routes. However, undoubtedly Claypool has already bonded out that money.

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