Ridership : the transit culture of Chicagoland : [an honors thesis] (HONRS 499)
The Metropolitan Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs is responsible for moving millions of people each year along its several heavy rail lines. Traveling below ground, at grade, and on elevated lines, commuters embrace this system, locally known as Metra and the CTA, as part of their daily lives. I wish to explore the impact this system has had both historically and in the present day. Inspiration for this project was drawn on years of living in suburban Lake County, Illinois, and as my interests have continued to evolve, I have grown more fascinated with rail transportation. The following pages represent for me an initial look into work that I plan to continue at the University of Illinois at Chicago in transportation planning. I am addressing Chicago's commuter past with history and data, and analyzing the present day situation with observations, current data, and interviews from riders of Metra trains.