The CTA felt the effects of the recession and growing unemployment in May, when overall ridership decreased in May by 1.1% compared to May of last year.
CTA President Richard Rodriguez told the CTA board Wednesday:
“The greatest losses in ridership have been during the weekday rush hours, leading us to conclude that there are less people commuting to work due to the recession.”
Rodriguez found a silver lining in the ridership numbers:
“The fact that weekend ridership is up is a good sign that we can attract new customers in some markets.”
Some other news tidbits from the board meeting:
- AT&T wireless customers will soon be able to use their iPhones and other devices in the CTA subways. The board OK’ed the 10-year, $3.1 million deal. They will join Cricket, Verizon and US Cellular customers in annoying us.
- More than 1,200 riders have enrolled in new email service to get bus arrival times. Rodriguez says the CTA is still on target for the summer launch of its “on the go” two-way text messaging feature — text a certain number for a bus stop and you’ll get the estimated arrival times of the next four buses.
- The CTA claims to be making good progress on Blue Line slow zone elimination. Last week “crews removed nearly 14,500 feet of those slow zones.” Phase 1 is about half over.
And from Wednesday’s news: Ex-CTA chief Ron Huberman officially named four top former lieutenants to key Chicago Public Schools jobs.