Maintenance and simple improvements to increase reliability could save Illinois train commuters more than 800,000 hours in delays every year.
The South Suburbs include south suburban Cook County, Will County, as well as Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana.
Get the latest updates on active transportation issues in the South Suburbs below and make sure to join our In Your Community: South Suburbs e-newsletter list. The e-newsletter comes out quarterly and offers a quick read on issues related to bicycling, walking and transit in your area.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the information provided on this page, please feel free to contact Maggie Melin at Maggie@activetrans.org or 312-427-0475.
Local Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs
Bike Walk Every Town webinar schedule
Bike Walk Every Town, Active Transportation Alliance’s new suburban advocacy program, hosts monthly webinars to help advocates dig deeper into advocacy tools and tips to improve biking and walking in the suburbs. In case you missed it, January’s webinar explored election advocacy strategies around engaging elected officials and candidates during election cycles. Register for our next webinar on Feb. 28. It will dive into best practices on developing and sharing your messages and tips when speaking to the media.
Cal-Sag Trail celebration event
At the end of January, bicycle and walking advocates gathered alongside local mayors, planners and government officials to celebrate the Cal-Sag Trail as the Metropolitan Planning Council presented its annual Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning to the Friends of the Cal-Sag Trail and the Cal-Sag Trail Coalition. The Cal-Sag Trail is a 26-mile trail in the south suburbs that stretches from Route 83 in Lemont to the Burnham Greenway near Indiana. The trail’s 13-mile western segment opened in 2015 and the eastern segment is expected to open by 2019.
Get involved with your local advocacy group
Interested in getting involved in a local biking or walking advocacy group, an advisory council, or bike club? We’ve just updated our list of active groups and clubs from around the region. From Blue Island to Joliet to Indiana and anywhere in between, you can find residents and volunteers working to transform the suburbs and make our region a cleaner, safer, healthier place to live. Find the groups nearest to you.
I&M Canal Trail news
The region is taking a big step towards bridging a critical gap in the Chicagoland trail network. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is exploring the feasibility of extending the 80-mile I&M Canal Trail from Willow Springs north through the villages of Justice, Bedford Park and Summit, to connect to the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, Salt Creek Greenway Trail and Chicago. The study will identify and evaluate potential routes and access points for the trail extension.
America Walks offers advocacy training
America Walks is a national nonprofit focused on making communities more walkable and livable. Its 12-week online Walking College offers an interactive experience that connects participants to a network of peer mentors and resources and trains attendees to advocate more effectively in their communities. If you are interested in applying for the 2018 Walking College cohort, applications are due Feb. 28. You can learn more about how two local suburban advocates are using their experiences from the program to transform their communities.
South suburbs complete streets story map
What’s planned for the future of transportation in the south suburbs? A council of 35 communities in Cook and Will Counties called the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) has created an engaging and interactive The map provides information about the benefits of the complete streets concept, zones, typologies, assets map, model ordinances, policy, success stories and how to take action in your community.
Metra and Pace hike fares
Metra and Pace fare hikes are now in effect. Pace’s ticket prices increased by 25 cents on Jan. 1 with a regular bus trip now costing $2. Metra’s fares increased on Feb. 1. The fare increase affects all Metra ticket prices, including one-way tickets (up 25 cents) and monthly passes (up $9 to $12.50 per month depending on the zone). These fare hikes were approved at the end of last year due to public transportation funding cuts in the state budget.
Marquette Greenway trail receives $300,000
The proposed Marquette Greenway is a trail that will extend 58 miles from downtown Chicago along the lakeshore to New Buffalo, Michigan. Currently, 28 miles of the trail have been built or funded, and the 15 communities along the trail as well as the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) are working to find ways to fund the remaining 30 miles of the trail. In February, the Pokagon Fund pledged $300,000 to help fund a segment of the trail from the Michigan-Indiana border to New Buffalo, which will be built by 2020. We will keep you updated as the vision for the Marquette Greenway takes shape.
Local Community Resources
Trails Map: Google Map of planned and completed trails in Northwest Indiana and Will County