CTA campaign launches to regain public transit riders' confidence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- CTA ridership is making a comeback on its trains and buses, but it remains far from pre-pandemic days.

About one-third of riders have returned, but some Loop commuters remain hesitant to take public transportation.

"People are saying they feel more comfortable to come down and park," Roseann Scorpio said.

"Being in a car is a way you can deal with trusting yourself versus having to rely on the thought process of strangers," Carlotta Battelli said.

"It's ok, I'm sure it can be better, I don't know how often they clean buses," said Dewona Youngblood.

RELATED | Metra Chicago ridership rises as more get vaccinated, work downtown

As downtown companies try to get workers back in the office, executives say their employees' biggest concern is taking public transportation.

To regain their confidence, the CTA launched a new public service campaign Friday called "When you are ready, we are ready."

"CTA is indeed ready to welcome back transit riders and we've done a host of things to make sure you have a comfortable ridership," CTA spokesperson Brian Steele said.

As stated in the campaign, the CTA said it cleans trains and buses multiple times a day and does regular deep cleanings using E-mist technology. It also uses signage to constantly remind riders of the federally-mandated mask mandate for public transportation.

Using the agency's own security cameras, the CTA conducted a mask mandate audit that concluded 95% of its riders do comply. But the CTA admits for the remaining 5%, mask enforcement is a challenge.

"It's really difficult to police every single location in every single vehicle," Steele said.

While its campaign launched Friday, the CTA said in the next few weeks, riders will see more ads and information about what the agency is doing to make people feel more comfortable.
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