CHICAGO (CBS) — Ridership last year on the CTA was down more than 4 million rides compared with the year before, according to a new report.

The Chicago Transit Authority announced Wednesday that for 2010, the combined bus and ‘L’ train ridership totaled 516.9 million rides. This was down 0.8 percent, or 4.4 million rides, compared with 2009.

But while ridership is down, the CTA points out that the totals for 2010 are higher than expected, given the impact of the Great Recession. The CTA had expected only 512.2 million rides for 2010.

“The fact that CTA has lost very little ground from a ridership standpoint under the most difficult financial circumstances this country has seen in decades is something I feel is reason to look forward to the new year and hope that the economy continues to rebound, even if at a slow pace,” CTA president Richard Rodriguez said in a news release.

Over the past decade, CTA ridership has grown 7.8 percent.

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