CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - Cubs fans traveling to the World Series parade and rally last week set record ridership numbers for CTA and Metra trains.
The new CTA single-day high rail mark of 1,146,349 riders beat the one set just a week earlier during Game 3 of the World Series, when 918,723 fans rode trains to Wrigley Field, the agency said Friday.
A total of 1,945,250 people took buses and trains on Nov. 5, making it the second-highest ridership in history, officials said. It trails only to the 2 million who rode the CTA to the downtown Fourth of July celebration in 2008, and just eked out the 1,938,738 riders for Barack Obama’s presidential acceptance speech the same year.
The average weekday sees about 1.6 million rides, with more than a third of those coming on the train. Seven of the 10 highest rail ridership days have come during the Cubs’ playoff runs over the last two years.
“The last few weeks have been historic, as all of Chicago has come together to celebrate a sports championship that’s touched every corner of the city,” CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. said in a statement. “We’re pleased to be able to work together with all the city agencies to help Chicago celebrate such an historic occasion.”
The Cubs celebration also brought a record number of riders to Metra trains, with an estimate of more than 460,000 riders Nov. 4, according to a statement from Metra. That beat the previous record of 430,488 passengers on July 3, 2007, for the Taste of Chicago and fireworks, as well as the 425,241 passengers for the June 28, 2013, Blackhawks rally.
Ridership for the Cubs rally was 61 percent higher than the first Friday of November last year, when Metra trains carried 285,078 passengers, Metra said.
“I’m proud of the way our train crews and staff at the stations directed the crowds and delivered fans and daily commuters to their destinations safely,” Metra Executive Director Don Orseno said in a statement. “I am also grateful to all of our customers for their patience during this extraordinary event.”