Ventra Cards and Increased Fares May Have Hurt the CTA

The introduction of the new CTA and Pace fare system have have caused a decline in CTA riders.

The graphic shows the total number of CTA riders between the years 2012 through 2019.

Before 2013, Commuters have become accustomed to the fare system of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). A simple plastic Transit card was used to pay the fares for both bus and train transfers. In 2013, CTA and Pace announced it was going to introduce a new electronic fare system called Ventra.

It was considered to be a new convenient way for customers to pay for their train and bus fares. However, according to data from the CTA, the total number of riders slightly declined near the release of the new transit card.

The graphic above showed a major decline from July of 2012 to July of 2013. The possible announcements from the CTA of a new system may have turned away some everyday commuters. However, the CTA regained riders in 2014.

Since 2015, the CTA has reported lesser riders over the years. Possible reasons why may be due to a spike in crimes on CTA trains and buses. Another reason could be due to a big change in the amount of fare for each rider.

CTA increased the fares for both buses and trains at the beginning of January of 2018. The total number of riders has slightly dipped since the 25 cent increase. It has been the first increase in fares since 2009.

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