CTA L cars could become more like cattle cars if the transit agency goes ahead with plans to remove seats on some L cars in the next few months to squeeze in all the riders leaving their cars home and turning to mass transit.
That's one idea under consideration to deal with soaring ridership prompted by high gas prices.
The CTA also could make some trains short runs that would cover just the busiest stretches, to accommodate more passengers at rush hour. For instance, a southbound Blue Line run might start at Jefferson Park, instead of O'Hare.
The transit agency -- which said Wednesday it saw a 6.9 percent increase in passengers last month -- is considering removing seats on busy bus routes, too.
The CTA says such steps are being weighed because it can't afford to buy more train cars and buses without a new capital-spending bill from legislators in Springfield.
The CTA attributes most of the increased ridership to fast-rising fuel prices. It also estimates that perhaps one-tenth of the additional riders are seniors who have ridden free, under a new law, since March 17. ......(more)
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