It's the typical good news/bad news story.
School's out, so trains and buses are less crowded during the morning and early afternoon rush hours. This week my Red Line train has been less crowded than the week before, when Chicago Public Schools were still in session.
But then there's the bad news that comes every summer for CTA riders -- the arrival of tourists. As Jon Hilkevitch reported earlier this week, tourists paying cash on buses lengthen boarding times. "Higher summer ridership overall results in 12 percent to 14 percent
more cash-paying customers riding in June and July than during the
winter, according to the CTA planning department."
Not surprisingly, the bus routes with highest percentage of cash-paying passengers "were the No. 10 Museum of Science & Industry and the No. 124 Navy
Pier, both at 15 percent; and the No. 130 Museum Campus, 14 percent,
according to the CTA."
Tourists aren't the only folks causing bus delays. Longer intervals between buses due to service cuts result in crowding at bus stops. We heard there were about 40 people waiting to board the No. 80 Irving Park at the Blue Line stop the other day. If only 10 of those passengers pay cash, at an average 25 seconds per cash transactions, that's almost 5 minutes just for them to board.
What's your experience with boarding buses? Also, is boarding any faster since the CTA moved the Chicago Card "target" to the farebox?