Updated May 14, 2021
As part of ongoing efforts to promote social distancing and provide a safer, healthier travel environment, we’ve created the Ridership Information Dashboards, which are designed to help you better plan trips on our buses and trains to avoid traveling during heavy ridership periods, whenever possible.
Updated weekly, the rail and bus dashboards provide the average ridership trends from the prior two weeks and indicate the likelihood you may encounter crowdedness on your preferred bus route or rail line.
We’ve taken a number of steps to promote social distancing on our system. In coordination with the Chicago Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), we established maximum rider capacity limits for our buses and trains. The maximum rider capacity limits (i.e. total number of standing and seated customers) for a standard 40-foot bus is 25 passengers, and 36 passengers for a 60-foot articulated bus and each railcar.
Crowding data presented in the bus and rail dashboards should be viewed within the context of the established COVID-19 maximum rider capacity limits. Please also note that crowding conditions may vary on portions of each bus route or by train car.
Tip: See below for background information about and how to understand the information provided in these dashboards.
About the bus dashboard
The Bus Ridership Information Dashboard utilizes a color-coding system of Blue, Yellow and Red to depict available space by bus route. You can select your preferred route(s) and direction of travel to see general capacity levels, based on the prior two weeks of ridership, for each hour of the day on either weekdays, Saturdays and/or Sundays.
The displayed space availability is based on the established maximum rider capacity limits (i.e. 25 customers on a standard 40-foot bus, and 36 customers on a 60-foot articulated bus). It is important to note that crowding conditions may vary throughout a route and by bus.
- BLUE (Low Ridership): Periods of time where seats are typically available, with an average of less than 10 customers per standard bus or less than 15 customers for an articulated bus.
- YELLOW (Medium Ridership): Indicates periods of time where there may be limited seats and space available. An average of 10-19 customers per standard bus, and 15-29 customers for an articulated bus.
- RED (High Ridership): Periods of time where seats and space on a bus may not be available. Typically represents an average of 20 or more customers per standard bus and more than 30 customers on an articulated bus. NOTE: If traveling during high ridership hours, you are encouraged to allow for extra time and/or consider alternative routes or travel times, if possible.
- WHITE or GRAY: Indicates there is either no service during that time or the data was unavailable at posting for these routes.
About the rail dashboard
The Rail Ridership Information Dashboard provides the average number of seats taken per railcar at each stop along the rail line. You can select the start and end stations by lines, the desired time of day and day type (Weekday, Saturday, Sunday). The dashboard then displays the crowding levels for all the stations you will travel through on that line.
The average rail car crowding information is visually depicted by the “people icons” and also described in further detail in a “pop-up” window when hovering over each station. You can either tap/click on your station for more detailed information on rail car crowding or simply glance at the number of “people” icons filled in for that station. It is important to note that crowding conditions may vary by rail car.
- Low Ridership: When trains departing a station are typically not crowded with up to 15 seats, or 0-40%, of all seats being occupied per rail car. This is depicted with one of three people icons filled in for a station.
- Medium Ridership: When trains departing a station are typically experiencing some crowding with 15-29 seats, or 40-75%, of all seats occupied per rail car. This is depicted with two of three people icons filled in for a station.
- High Ridership: When trains departing a station are typically experiencing crowding with 30 or more seats, or 75%+, of all seats occupied per rail car. This is depicted with all three people icons filled in for a station.
NOTE: If traveling during high ridership periods, you are encouraged to allow extra travel time and/or consider alternative routes or travel times, if possible.
Each rail car has 40 seats; however, we have several rail car models with the number of seats ranging from 38-46. For simplicity, the percentage of sets taken was determined using 40 seats. Crowding by rail car should be viewed within context of the established COVID-19 vehicle maximum rider capacity limits (36 passengers per railcar).