Chicago has roughly 2.8 million people. And last year, 531 million rides were taken on the Chicago Transit Authority — or 189 rides per person in the city.
That’s the highest number of subway and bus rides on the CTA in the past 20 years, according to numbers that came out today. It doesn’t beat the old record of 540 million rides, but if the pace keeps up, there could be a new record set in the near future.
The 2011 number was up 3 percent from 2010. The CTA attributes that to higher gasoline prices, and to improvements in the system, like adding LED signs at bus stops announcing when buses are coming.
CTA numbers show that ridership on the “L” light rail system was up 5.2 percent, while bus ridership rose 1.4 percent. The biggest jump by any transit line was the Blue Line, were the number of rides was up 8 percent. (We know where you can get a Blue Line t-shirt.)