Impact of Weather on Transit Ridership in Chicago, Illinois

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit


Weather conditions, Trips, Travel, Transit, Theoretical studies, Ridership, Rail transit, Public transit, Patronage (Transit ridership), Mode choice, Modal choice, Mass transit, Local transit, Journeys, Intracity bus transportation, Choice of transportation, Chicago (Illinois), Case studies, Bus transit, Adverse conditions


This paper explores the weather–ridership relationship and its potential applications in transit operations and planning. Using the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in Illinois as a case study, the paper investigates the impact of five weather elements (temperature, rain, snow, wind, and fog) on daily bus and rail ridership and variation across modes, day types, and seasons. The resulting relationships are applied to the CTA ridership trend analysis, showing how preliminary findings may change after controlling for weather. The paper emphasizes the importance of having a theoretical framework encompassing weather and travel.