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CTA's Surprise: Ridership Up

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When the CTA began its rail expansion project six weeks ago, it expected growing pains.

Transit officials added extra buses to compensate for fewer trains on the Brown Line. Still, they warned of delays and braced for a possible drop in ridership.

But in the last month and a half, they’ve found the opposite. CTA President Ron Huberman says ridership on both buses and trains is up.

HUBERMAN: This was a great unknown. We did not know how it was going to work. And so laying out the chances of it being negative is what I believe occurred and it seemed to me to be the responsible thing to put out there. The practice of it and the reality of it has shown that it’s worked and it’s worked very well.

Huberman says service through construction areas is timely and smooth enough to add more trains during morning and evening rush hour. The CTA will also adjust bus service to match recent ridership figures.

Construction on the Brown Line is slated to last through the end of 2009.

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