After the first four months of 2011, CTA ridership has increased slightly over the same period of 2010, with rail riders accounting for the increase.
Ridership through April was 169 million, almost 1 million rides better than last year, according to the April financial report. Rail ridership rose by 2.7 million rides, while bus rides dropped 1.9 million through April.
Average weekday ridership rose by almost 1% compared to last year, while average Saturday ridership dropped by 0.15%. Sunday riders increased the most this year - almost 2.5%.
So what does it all mean? I'll take a stab, and of course this is just a guess.
The economy is a little better than last year, with more people working, and thus getting to work via the CTA during the week. Not sure what to make of the Saturday and Sunday numbers. Are people staying home Saturday to do chores? And then getting out of the house on Sunday to go to the movies, see friends, go to church?
As for bus vs. rail numbers, it appears the 18% cut in bus service effective in early February 2010 is still haunting the CTA. I really would have thought the bus ride numbers would have stabilized by now.