COMMUTER RAIL SYSTEM RIDERSHIP TRENDS ... COMMUTER RAIL RIDERSHIP TRENDS April 2011 I. OVERVIEW...

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Transcript of COMMUTER RAIL SYSTEM RIDERSHIP TRENDS ... COMMUTER RAIL RIDERSHIP TRENDS April 2011 I. OVERVIEW...

  • COMMUTER RAIL SYSTEM

    RIDERSHIP TRENDS

    April 2011

    Prepared by the Division of Capital & Strategic Planning June 2011

  • COMMUTER RAIL RIDERSHIP TRENDS April 2011

    I. OVERVIEW Reported system ridership (including free senior and Circuit Permit trips) in April 2011 decreased 0.2% compared to the same time period in 2010. April 2011 had one less weekday, one additional Saturday, and an equal number of Sundays when compared to April 2010. After adjusting for calendar differences, system ridership increased 1.1% when compared to April 2010. Year-to-date ridership was 0.1% lower than the same time period in 2010.

    April 2009 2010 2011 09vs11 10vs11

    Reported 6,463 6,396 6,367 -1.5% -0.5% Free Trips 282 335 352 24.9% 5.0% Total (Reported & Free) 6,745 6,731 6,719 -0.4% -0.2%

    Free Trips & Calendar-Adjusted 6,682 6,667 6,741 0.9% 1.1% February-April (Last 3 months) 20,157 19,825 19,761 -2.0% -0.3% January-April (Year-to-Date) 26,963 26,336 26,309 -2.4% -0.1% Last 12 Months 86,008 81,657 81,342 -5.4% -0.4% P:\RIDE\Rprt_xls\[SYSTRIDE.xls]tables formatted 4 text

    System Ridership Percent Change(in 000s)

    Figure 1 (below) presents system ridership adjusted for calendar differences by month since 2001. The twelve-month rolling average is included to display the underlying trend in passenger use.

    Figure 1: Calendar-Adjusted System Ridership (in thousands)

    5,500

    6,000

    6,500

    7,000

    7,500

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    8,500

    2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

    Calendar-Adjusted 12-Month Rolling Average

    Table 1 and Figure 2 (pg. 2) present calendar-adjusted monthly ridership totals for the Metra system.

  • 2008 2009 2010 2011 08 vs. 09 09 vs. 10 10 vs. 11 January 7,711 6,848 6,649 6,586 -11.2% -2.9% -0.9%

    February 6,293 6,602 6,366 6,344 4.9% -3.6% -0.3% March 6,639 6,848 6,676 6,739 3.2% -2.5% 0.9% April 7,007 6,682 6,667 6,741 -4.6% -0.2% 1.1% May 7,252 6,817 6,811 -6.0% -0.1% June 7,633 7,134 7,182 -6.5% 0.7% July 7,992 7,222 7,143 -9.6% -1.1%

    August 7,577 7,154 7,143 -5.6% -0.1% September 7,374 6,846 6,795 -7.2% -0.8%

    October 7,528 6,999 7,050 -7.0% 0.7% November 6,987 6,765 6,737 -3.2% -0.4% December 6,684 6,337 6,174 -5.2% -2.6%

    Annual Total 86,677 82,254 81,393 26,410 -5.1% -1.0% --

    Table 1 Metra System Passenger Trips by Month

    (Adjusted for free trips & calendar differences)

    Note: On February 1, 2008, Metra raised fares 10 percent. Due to the fact that Ten-Ride tickets are good for a year from date of purchase, in January 2008, many riders purchased multiple Ten-Ride tickets (stockpiled the tickets) in order to defer the fare increase until their pre-purchased tickets were depleted. Rides on Ten-Ride tickets are applied to the month that the ticket was purchased, which creates a marked increase in the month before the fare increase occurs (January 2008), followed by a sharp decline in the following 2-3 months (February - May 2008).

    Passenger Trips (in 000's) Year-to-Year Percent Change

    Figure 2: System Ridership Adjusted for free trips & calendar differences

    5,000

    5,500

    6,000

    6,500

    7,000

    7,500

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    8,500

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    T ho

    us an

    ds

    2008 2009 2010 2011

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  • II. RIDERSHIP INFLUENCES Many different factors influence day-to-day and year-to-year ridership trends. Some factors are within Metra’s control, such as service improvements, new stations, and marketing promotions. However, many more factors (such as weather, gas prices and the economy) that are outside of Metra’s direct control can influence ridership in a positive or negative manner. The following pages detail some of the factors believed to have influenced recent changes in year-to-year Metra ridership levels. Calendar Differences – As shown on the table (below), April 2011 had one less weekday, one additional Saturday, and an equal number of Sundays when compared to April 2010.

    Weekday Saturday Sunday/Holiday All Days 2010 2011 Diff 2010 2011 Diff 2010 2011 Diff 2010 2011 Diff

    Jan 20 21 1 5 4 -1 6 6 0 31 31 0 Feb 20 19 -1 4 4 0 4 5 1 28 28 0 Mar 23 23 0 4 4 0 4 4 0 31 31 0 Apr 22 21 -1 4 5 1 4 4 0 30 30 0

    YEAR-TO-DATE 85 84 -1 17 17 0 18 19 1 120 120 0

    Line Upgrades/Extensions and Service Enhancements

    North Central Service – On February 1, 2010, two station stops (Libertyville and Lake Forest on the MD-N Line) were added to the last NCS inbound run which operates express via the MD-N Line from Grayslake to Union Station. In addition, a stop at Western Avenue was added to a midday outbound train. Service improvements provide an early afternoon outbound train for passengers utilizing the Western Avenue bus connections and increases service to the Libertyville and Lake Forest Stations. Milwaukee District North – On February 1, 2010, two station stops (Libertyville and Lake Forest on the MD-N Line) were added to the last NCS inbound run which operates express via the MD-N Line from Grayslake to Union Station. In addition, one p.m. peak inbound train and four weekend trains (two outbound/two inbound) received minor schedule adjustments. One inbound and one outbound train on both Saturday and Sunday make flag stops at Grayland when the Cubs are playing at home. Service improvements increased the schedule accuracy, added service to two stations and increased service to the Grayland Station for Chicago Cubs home games. BNSF - Major construction to accommodate the Belmont Road Grade Separation project near the Belmont Station in Downers Grove started in July 2010 and requires the BNSF Line to be reduced from three tracks to two tracks near the Belmont Station. On July 12, 2010 the train schedule was adjusted because some express trains will no longer be able to pass local trains in the area, since the third passing track will be unavailable. Additional weekday schedule changes were made to make run times more accurately reflect actual operating conditions, resulting in more reliable service. In addition to the weekday changes, several outbound weekend trains now departed 10 minutes later than the previous schedule, which created a more consistent schedule.

    -3-

  • Union Pacific North - From August 22 to October 2, 2010, a substantially revised schedule was operated on the UP-N Line. This schedule was introduced to accommodate the upcoming bridge-replacement project between the Rogers Park and Clybourn Stations. The new schedule had the same number of trains in both directions, but virtually all trains in the peak periods, and many in off-peak periods and weekends, offered altered arrival and departure times from both terminals and intermediate stations. In addition, the station-stop patterns of many of the trains were changed, which in particular affected riders going to and from intermediate stations. A decision was made to re-evaluate the bridge project, and the line reverted to its original schedule on October 3, 2010. Metra will resume work in April 2011 on the major project to replace 22 aging bridges along the Union Pacific North line on the north side of Chicago, as well as to build a completely new Ravenswood Station. Unlike last summer, when Metra tried to operate inbound and outbound UP North trains on a single track in the construction zone, the new plan calls for maintaining the existing two-track operation. Thus, the current UP North schedule will not be changed.

    Rock Island District -- On April 3, 2011, Metra opened a new station on the Rock Island District Line at 35th Street just east of the Dan Ryan Expressway, serving the Bronzeville neighborhood, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and U.S. Cellular Field. The new 35th St. / “Lou” Jones Station also provides convenient connections with the CTA Red and Green Lines. The opening of the new station required a new timetable, so the opportunity was taken to make some adjustments to the train schedule to better reflect actual operating conditions, resulting in more reliable service. Ten inbound and 20 outbound trains received schedule adjustments of one to five minutes to arrival or departure times at LaSalle Street, while two train times were altered by 10 and 13 minutes. One additional inbound PM reverse-peak train from Blue Island was added to the schedule to allow another train from Joliet to run express from Blue Island and arrive 16 minutes earlier than previously scheduled. Metra also has increased service on game days to accommodate White Sox fans. For weekday afternoon games, an extra outbound train leaves LaSalle Street Station after the final out. For weekday evening games, Train 531 (departing LaSalle St. at 11:15 p.m.) has more cars, and an extra outbound all-stop train operates about 30 minutes after the last out. For weekend games, an inbound extra train arrives at the station about an hour before the first pitch, and an outbound extra operates about 30 minutes after the final out.

    Roadway Construction Projects

    Congress Parkway Bridge Reconstruction Project – In April 2010, the Illinois Department of Transportation began the reconstruction of the Congress Parkway Bridge over the Chicago River. The eastbound section of the bridge was rehabilitated between April 2010 and October 2010, and the westbound section of