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Will people go back to using mass transit as much after the pandemic? What Chicagoans say.

Among the answers: It’s better than paying to park downtown. Yes: good for the environment. No, will work remotely more. Yes but will bike when the weather’s nice.

People wait to board a Blue Line train at the CTA’s Clark/Lake station.
The CTA’s Clark/Lake Blue Line station has been far emptier during the pandemic. Will people return to riding the L the way used to?
Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

With ridership on Chicago-area mass transit down so heavily that an influential city planner says drastic measures are necessary to rebuild rider confidence, we asked readers whether they expect to go back to riding public transit as much after the pandemic as they did before.

Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“Pre-pandemic I relied exclusively on the CTA to get to work downtown. But now that I picked up a biking habit this past year, I plan to bike along the lakefront on good weather days — and, during those bad weather days, I’ll take advantage of the time to read/relax that only commuting with public transit affords!” — Víctor Alejandro Jaramillo

“I will have to unless I want to pay over $20 a day to park downtown in the city and deal with the headache of rush-hour traffic.” — Liz Cherco-Selck

Yes, I do because I don’t own a car, and I need to be able get around! I also enjoy riding around while I’m out during the day.” — Mary B. Hopkins

“Yes. It reduces our carbon footprint. Great for the economy as it creates jobs. And it’s affordable for all.” — Tajan Harris

Of course. I’ll carry hand sanitizer with me now.” — Tony Buccini

Yes because I have no choice but to use public transportation.” — Karri Bolling

“No, too many germs. Walking, driving and Uber are the best bets.” — Rosalyn A. Ford

“I will probably not take as much as I did before the pandemic. The rise in crime on CTA makes me uneasy and afraid for my safety.” — Alejandra Rz

“I am fortunate to live walking distance from work and most shopping. It’s amazing how dirty a car gets when it never moves. I only use public transit for the occasional trip to downtown, where parking is nonexistent.” — Mary Jane Tala

“No! Will definitely continue to work remotely as much as I can. Not going back to that craziness!” — Lucia DiNicola Bertrand

“Yes because there is no way I’m driving from Naperville to the Loop.” — Holli Anzalone