article is indeed ominous for a mass transit pre-COVID return:
New York’s subway system has regained about two-thirds of its pre-pandemic ridership with about 91 million trips in November, according to the MTA. But that is about 50 million fewer rides than in November 2019. Officials worry usage has stalled out at that level.
In San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, recorded 3.7 million trips in November—a little more than one-third of the ridership before Covid.
Systems in Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston also remain short of their pre-pandemic user numbers, deepening financial strains. In cities such as Dallas and Cincinnati, where public-transit budgets are mostly funded through sales tax revenue and more people commute by car, user declines haven’t hit as hard.
In the U.S. overall, about 883,000 fewer people took public transit in the third quarter of 2022 compared with the same period in 2019, according to federal data gathered by the American Public Transportation Association.
The decline is particularly acute among so-called “choice riders”, people who have access to a vehicle but choose to take mass transit...... This group includes office workers who tend to favor commuter rail over public buses
Another ominous point to note from the article; the more ridership goes down, the more crime goes up.
For myself, I will still use METRA to go to the Loop, and walk to wherever, but personal safety concerns have likely resulted in my final CTA ride - and with that went my $8.50 Senior RT "poor man's way to O'Hare" (two hours each way).