Survey shows current riders are more likely to be essential workers or minorities, feel transit is safe
April 19, 2021
Although ridership on the Chicago region’s transit system has dramatically declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 500,000 riders are still taking CTA, Metra, and Pace each weekday according to the RTA COVID Transit Dashboard.
Survey results released in April 2021 provide new data and insights into who was most reliant on transit during the pandemic -- essential on-site workers, people who identify as Black and Latino, and riders experiencing low incomes. The survey revealed attitudes about transit, including whether or not riders feel the health precautions taken are enough for them to feel safe. It also confirms research the RTA conducted research in early 2021 to identify likely Transit Critical Need Areas for the year based on census data and other historic sources. See more about how the RTA determined Transit Critical Need Areas in an interactive map.
The survey, which recorded responses from 5,637 current and lapsed riders during two stages, in November 2020 and January 2021, helps the agency understand travel behavior, attitudes, and preferences while planning for the system’s future. Findings show that a significant majority of lapsed riders expect to resume their pre-COVID level of transit use, but increased telecommuting is likely to persist. Read more about the survey in a news release.
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