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Old 09-25-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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Default What # or % of Chicago residents work in the Loop?

I'm just curious. How much of the people who live in Chicago work in the loop, and how much of the people who live in the suburbs work in the loop?
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:32 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
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I'm not sure there are readily available statistics that are up-to-date.

This page, has statistics that you could make a decent estimate from, however it's from 1990. Downtown has changed a LOT since 1990.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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I live in the city and work in River North, so not technically the loop.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:37 PM
 
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From the Chicago central area action plan as of 2000 (courtesy of a search of the SSC message boards from a very reputable poster):

578,000 workers enter the Central Area
34,000 workers leave the Central Area
50,000 workers both live and work in the Central Area

This includes an area that is larger than strictly the Loop (North to Cermak, Lake to Halsted), but you're looking at roughly 625,000 in that area and I'm guessing 2/3 or more would be working in the Loop proper. No idea what the suburb vs. city resident breakdown would be though.

Last edited by Chicago76; 09-25-2011 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:19 PM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
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If you want a back-of-the napkin estimate, there are probably 375,000 jobs in the Loop proper (more if you include the South Loop, West Loop, Near North, etc).

Of 375,000, approximately 2% walk, 4% ride a bike, both of which we'll assume always come from the City neighborhoods (although I know a few people ride bikes from Evanston, it's not statistically relevant). About 62% take some sort of transit, 25 of those percentage points are Metra commuters. So about 37% arrive via CTA. And about 33% drive.

Most CTA riders live in the city, but not all. There are Purple, Green, Blue and Yellow Line commuters from the near suburbs. And not all Metra riders are from the suburbs. I would guess 95% of CTA arrivals are City residents, and 80% of Metra riders are suburban. For drivers it's harder to say. I'd guess a 70/30 split of suburban vs. city drivers to the Loop.

If those are accurate, we end up with numbers that look like this:

22,500 walk/bike city
131,812 CTA city
18,750 Metra city
37125 city drivers

That would be just over 210,000 Loop workers being City residents, with the remainder of just under 165,000 being suburban residents. That ratio probably holds to be fairly similar for the nearby areas, so if you meant "Central Area" instead of "Loop," we might be talking 322,000 people from the city working in the Central Area vs. 253,000 suburban people. Considering that the suburbs contain 3/4 of the area's population, I think that if the Loop city resident worker number is 56%, the City's doing pretty good.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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In terms of burbs v city residents, from what I can eyeball it sure seems like a hell of a lot more people are walking to the Metra than the L or buses at 5:00pm on any given day. I'm always walking against a huge flow of people no matter what time I leave work.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
In terms of burbs v city residents, from what I can eyeball it sure seems like a hell of a lot more people are walking to the Metra than the L or buses at 5:00pm on any given day. I'm always walking against a huge flow of people no matter what time I leave work.
Really, near my office seems the opposite. It probably depends on where the office is.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
In terms of burbs v city residents, from what I can eyeball it sure seems like a hell of a lot more people are walking to the Metra than the L or buses at 5:00pm on any given day. I'm always walking against a huge flow of people no matter what time I leave work.
One thing to consider there is that the bulk of the Metra transit is focused on a very confined location (Ogilvie and Union), so the concentration of foot traffic walking to those areas is pretty pronounced. CTA commuters are dispersed all over the place.

For a back of the envelope estimate, emathias' estimates are as good as any.

Across businesses, this will vary quite a bit too. In my experience in professional services firms (accounting, legal, financial services, architecture):

20% of the most senior people (generally upper 30s to 60s, comprising 10% of a firm) live in the city
50%-60% of the middle management types live in the city (late 20s, to mid 30s types comprising roughly 20% of the firm)
90% of the staff and administrative level live in the city (the mass of employees.

That's around 75% of all employees for professional services firms. For a corporation, I'd expect that number to be closer to 40%. For all of the service functions (restaurant/bar, cleaners, convenience stores, retail), I'd expect it to be closer to 90%. Put it all together, and the % of the Loop workforce living in the city is probably around 60%.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago - near NW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
In terms of burbs v city residents, from what I can eyeball it sure seems like a hell of a lot more people are walking to the Metra than the L or buses at 5:00pm on any given day. I'm always walking against a huge flow of people no matter what time I leave work.
Metra => infrequent service & higher passenger load & service from primarily a three-block section of the West Loop => more crowds

CTA => frequent service that can be accessed from anywhere in downtown => fewer crowds
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sAutomatic View Post
Metra => infrequent service & higher passenger load & service from primarily a three-block section of the West Loop => more crowds

CTA => frequent service that can be accessed from anywhere in downtown => fewer crowds
Yeah, most Metra commuters try to catch a train between 5pm and 5:30pm, so you get probably half of the downtown metra commuters trying to board a train within a 30-minute timeframe. That exaggerates the feel when they all walk at the same time.

CTA commuters, on the other hand, are much more likely to hang around, grab a beer or dinner in River North or the West Loop, do a little shopping on State Street, and then head home. Much more dispersed movement, especially on top of the much more dispersed CTA stations/bus stops.
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