Performance Dashboard




Using data from the National Transit Database (NTD), we can see regional ridership results for January through September for each year over a 15-year period.

Cumulative ridership through the third quarter for 2018 was the lowest ridership of the 15 years shown. The 428.6 million trips taken was 0.5% lower compared to 2004, a difference of 2.2 million trips.

Compared to 2017, ridership through the third quarter of 2018 was 2.9% lower, a difference of 12.7 million trips.

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3rd Quarter Ridership Change (RTA System Ridership by Mode)


This chart shows RTA system ridership through September by mode, represented by the blue bars. The orange dot within each bar represents the peer average ridership performance for that mode. Our Service Boards’ performance was favorable to peer averages for three of six modes.

Compared to 2017, CTA bus ridership is down 3.3%, and CTA rail ridership is down 2.4%. Both of these results are favorable to second quarter results.

Each bus peer agency reported ridership losses through September 2018, and for the heavy rail mode, only one agency (SEPTA) saw an increase.

Metra ridership was down 3.2%, about 2 percentage points lower than the peer average.

Pace bus showed a 3.7% ridership decrease compared to 2017, which was about two percentage points worse compared to its peers.

Vanpool experienced a ridership gain of 1.9%, whereas its peer average loss was 4.6%.

ADA Paratransit ridership decreased by 0.6%, compared to a peer average decrease of 2.0%.

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3rd Quarter Peer Region Ridership


This chart shows year-over-year regional ridership through September, using the same peer metropolitan areas that we use in our annual Peer Review.

Each region except Houston recorded ridership losses.

The Chicago region ranks fourth of the ten regions, with a 2.9% ridership decrease versus the average regional peer ridership loss of 3.8%.

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3rd Quarter Regional Performance


On this chart we are looking at a few service and financial measures. Year-to-date performance has some favorable performance for two measures, shown by green arrows, two red arrows showing unfavorable performance, and two black arrows indicating performance roughly equal to the prior year.

Regional operating costs, after being adjusted for inflation, decreased 1.2%. However, ridership was 2.9% lower compared to 2017. The resulting operating cost per passenger trip of $4.61 was 8 cents higher, an unfavorable difference of 1.8%.

Following fare increases at all three Service Boards in the first quarter, each reported improved fare revenues through September. Region-wide, the fare revenue per passenger trip, or average fare, was $1.77, which was 13 cents higher -- a 7.6% improvement compared to 2017.

The fare recovery ratio as shown here reflects the ratio of fare revenue to operating expense, without any credits or exclusions. A recovery ratio of 37.7% is 1.3 percentage points higher compared to 2017.

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