Since the CTA cut bus service by 18% on Feb. 7, about 1 million fewer passengers boarded buses, while about 600,000 more riders climbed aboard trains, President Rich Rodriguez told the CTA board Wednesday.
Compared to the same period last year, bus ridership was down 4% in the four weeks after Feb. 7, while rail boarding increased 4%.
But these stats really should not be a shock to anyone. After all, bus riders felt the biggest brunt of the cuts, especially with greater intervals and later start and earlier end times.
I've heard anecdotally from friends that if they are doing some late-night partying on the Northwest Side -- say, Bucktown or Logan Square -- they now take the Blue Line to the Red Line downtown because many of their favorites buses to connect with the Red Line on the North Side have stopped running earlier:
- The #70 Division bus now stops at 10:30 pm instead of the old 1:25 am stopping time.
- The #72 North ends at 12:30 am instead of 1:05 am.
The other question is whether the CTA has totally lost those 400,000 rides -- the difference between the 1 million lost on buses and 600,000 gained on trains. Only time will tell.
CTA graphic below.