Some Loop commuters remain hesitant to take public transportation, so the CTA is launching a campaign to regain riders' confidence.
SARAH SCHULTE: Gradually moving up, CTA ridership is making a comeback on its trains and buses. But it remains far from pre-pandemic days. About 1/3 of riders have returned. Some Loop commuters remain hesitant to take public transportation.
ROSEANN SCORPIO: People are saying they are more comfortable to come down and park.
CARLOTTA BATTELLI: Being in a car is a way that you can deal with only trusting yourself versus having to rely on the thought process of strangers.
DEWONA YOUNGBLOOD: It's OK. I'm sure it could be better. I don't know how often they clean the buses.
SARAH SCHULTE: As downtown companies try to get workers back in the office, executives say their employees' biggest concern is taking public transportation. To regain their confidence, the CTA is launching a new public service campaign today called When You Are Ready, We Are Ready.
BRIAN STEELE: CTA is indeed ready to welcome you back to transit, and we've been doing a host of things to make sure that you have a comfortable environment.
SARAH SCHULTE: As stated in the campaign, the CTA says it cleans trains and buses multiple times a day and does regular deep cleanings using E-mist technology. It also uses signage to constantly remind riders of the federally mandated mask mandate for public transportation. Using the agency's own security cameras, the CTA conducted a mask mandate audit. It concluded that 95% of its riders do comply. But the CTA admits, for the remaining 5%, mask enforcement is a challenge.
BRIAN STEELE: It's really difficult to police every single location on every single vehicle.
SARAH SCHULTE: While its campaign launched today, the CTA says in the next few weeks, riders will see more ads and information about what the agency is doing to make people feel more comfortable. In the Loop, Sarah Schulte, "ABC 7 Eyewitness News."