- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Transit Authority says an overall ridership decline of nearly 3 percent last year reflects an increasing preference among commuters for rail service.

Data released Friday shows bus ridership declined fell 8 percent, while rail ridership increased by 4 percent.

Transit officials say the numbers are due to better service reliability on trains compared to buses. They say the data also indicated commuters prefer trains over buses in bad weather, which officials believe is because of protective shelters at train stations.

CTA officials say inclement weather, including snow and extreme cold during the “polar vortexes” early last year, may also have contributed to the overall decline in ridership.

But the CTA still managed to provide more than a half-billion rides on bus and rail for the seventh consecutive year.

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