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CTA Dan Ryan line posts first ridership growth

Five months and $425 million later, the southern portion of the Red Line is seeing its first weekday ridership growth since the CTA closed the line to upgrade stations and replace track.

Ridership on the Red Line south of Roosevelt Road was up 6.7 percent in March compared to March 2013, according to a CTA ridership report completed last week. The bump was the first increase in weekday ridership since the CTA reopened the Dan Ryan line in October after a five month, $425 million upgrade.

Eight of the nine Dan Ryan stations, except the Cermak-Chinatown stop, logged a weekday ridership increase in March. The 63rd Red Line station, which became accessible for riders with disabilities during the upgrade project, saw the biggest ridership bump, 13.8 percent.

"It's one month but it was certainly a positive thing," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

The Dan Ryan line has posted ridership losses since the nine-station closure ended Oct. 20. In November, weekday ridership was down 16 percent compared to November 2012.

Riders may have gotten used to the alternate service they used during the shutdown, including buses and the Green Line, the CTA said at the time.

Systemwide, rail ridership was up 3.5 percent January through March compared to the same time last year while bus ridership was down 9.4 percent.

The CTA blamed the bus declines in January and February on record cold temperatures, and a shift in the Chicago Public Schools' spring break schedule for the decline in March.

On the rail side, ridership was up in March in part because of a partial shutdown of the Brown and Purple lines in March 2013 for city construction.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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