CHICAGO – The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) today released its 2014 annual reports on the region’s public transportation system’s performance in a presentation to its Board of Directors.  The RTA is the only unit of local government charged with regional financial oversight, funding, and transit planning for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace Suburban Bus and ADA Paratransit.  The reports are developed collaboratively with the CTA, Metra, and Pace through a performance measurement task force.

“We take seriously our responsibility to monitor and share the performance measure results of the region’s public transportation system,” says Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director.  “We think it is important to look at performance on an annual and five-year trend basis, identify trends and their causes, and then share this information with the public.”   

Highlights of the reports, which evaluated the performance of our region’s transit system for 2014 and for the 2010 - 2014 time period, include:

  • Despite a 2.4% dip in regional ridership in 2014, ridership over the five-year period increased by 0.8%.
  • Trips per resident in the six-county Northeastern Illinois region in 2014 are roughly equal to the number in 2010.
  • The average length of a trip increased 5% over the past 5 years.
  • Operating cost per unit of transit capacity (measured as seating and standing room) has remained stable over the five-year period when adjusted for inflation.
  • 2014 CTA rail ridership of 238 million was its highest ridership in 50 years.
  • 2014 marked the seventh consecutive year in which total CTA ridership (bus and rail) exceeded 500 million passenger trips annually.
  • In 2011, Metra implemented a stricter on-time performance definition and since then has maintained higher on-time performance, averaging 95.2%.
  • Over the past 5 years, Pace bus ridership has increased by 8.2%.
  • Capital investment needs, which have been consistently underfunded, continue to grow and are negatively impacted by the lack of state funding.

View the most recently released Regional and Sub-Regional reports