Get us in your inbox

Chicago CTA Trains Passing
Photograph: H. Michael Miley/Flickr

2015 was a record year for CTA train ridership

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Ventra be damned, it sounds like we all decided to take the train a bit more often last year. According to figures released by the Tribunemore than 241 million riders took a CTA train in 2015—a new record, up from 238.1 million in 2014. Bus ridership figures didn't fare as well—falling from 276.1 million in 2014 to 274.3 million in 2015.

Rail ridership has been on an upward swing since 1995, which explains why the CTA has been doubling down on its efforts to improve aging stations and infrastructure over the past few years. Between the $492 million Your New Blue project and the $1.9 billion Red and Purple Modernization Project, the organization is attempting to prepare its system to accommodate even more riders in the coming years. That includes making all CTA stations wheelchair accessible within the next two decades.

Still, as development continues to favor transit-oriented projects and millennials elect to live without a car, the CTA seems on course to set new train ridership records for the foreseeable future. Short of putting more trains on the tracks, there's not much the organization can feasibly do to increase the capacity of a system that could start facing overcrowding sooner rather than later. Don't be surprised if the CTA looks to its past to find solutions for the future—perhaps we'll become reacquainted with the old "skip stop" system in the coming years?

Recommended feature

The 101 things to do in chicago See the 101 things to do in chicago

Latest news


    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!