In this interview with Chicago Transit Authority president Forrest Claypool, I admitted to him and everyone else in the room (three bloggers and three CTA staff) that I rarely ride the CTA. The purpose of my admission was to explain how I gathered up so many questions. A lot of them come from friends and Grid Chicago readers. I always use my Chicago Card Plus to pay for fares because it’s extremely convenient: I never have to worry about having the correct fare and it can be replaced for a nominal $5 fee, protecting your money (the Chicago Card doesn’t have the same benefit because it can’t be registered). Anyway, it also tracks you and you can look up your history. I looked at it to understand just how rarely I use the CTA.

The Chicago Card Plus website shows your data in two ways: the last 5 transactions, and the last 90 days. It turns out that the last 5 transactions were beyond the 90 day period.

  • June 29, train (Blue Line)
  • May 22, bus (56/Milwaukee)
  • March 31, bus (I don’t remember which, but probably the Belmont bus with my mom)
  • March 31, bus

The fifth transaction was loading the card with more money. I think there was one other bus use on March 31, because the most recent two showed as transfer transactions. So I’ve added one more to the list.

  • March 31, bus

Five uses in 98 days, or 1 ride per 19.6 days.