Overall ridership across Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses, Metra commuter trains and Pace buses are down about 70% compared to this time last year.
That’s according to the Regional Transit Authority’s COVID-19 Transit Dashboard, which tracks public transit data since March at the start of Chicago’s COVID-19 outbreak and compares it to last year’s data.
With that dramatic decline in ridership comes lower revenue and strains on operational funding.
The CTA has maintained its service through the pandemic, thanks to more than $800 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act, but CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said next year brings uncertainty without an agreed-upon stimulus plan from Washington.
“CTA got about $817 million out of the allocation to this region and that has allowed us to make sure that we’re good for the rest of the year,” Dorval said. “But next year will be a different picture if we don’t get that additional funding and additional relief from Congress.”
Joining us to provide their insights on public transit amid COVID-19 are Carter, RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden, Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski and Pace Executive Director Rocky Donahue.