New ridership for old rail: An analysis of changes in the utilization of Chicago's urban rail system, 1990–2008

Marcelo E. Lascano Kežić*, Pablo Luis Durango-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We analyze the evolution of the spatial distribution of ridership in Chicago's Elevated Train over the last two decades, by means of station-level average daily passenger entries and census data to establish links between ridership changes and urban processes. Overall, we observe that 2007–2008 ridership was slightly below 1989–1990 levels, but recovering since the late 1990s. Ridership gains have shown a strong tendency to concentrate within a 10 km radius from the CBD. Outside of this area, losses since 1989–1990 have been steady. The ridership recovery and its spatial distribution appear, therefore, to be related to an acceleration of urban processes, i.e., gentrification, immigration, employment concentration in the CBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
Volume71
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Chicago
  • Downtown
  • Gentrification
  • Immigration
  • Ridership data
  • Urban rail
  • Urban transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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