Author Archives: Julia Gerasimenko

Tired of waiting for a CTA train or bus? Take action for more service!

We’ve long championed robust public transit as the backbone of urban sustainability and accessibility.

Unfortunately, recent trends in service by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) present a worrying picture, not just for transit advocates but for every resident relying on public transportation.

A concerning chart below from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) illustrates a stark reality: Overall transit service levels have been on the decline even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Chicago takes steps towards making our streets safer and buses faster

Wednesday, March 15 marked a successful day in the fight for safer streets.

Two important ordinances — the Complete Streets Ordinance and the Safe Streets Pilots Ordinance — were approved by Chicago City Council.

But that’s not all.

The Plow the Sidewalks ordinance was also introduced to city council and will be assigned to a committee as a next step towards a municipal sidewalk snow clearing pilot program.  

Dozens of organizations urge state to rethink priorities with new transportation funding

With an influx of federal funding on its way to Illinois, advocates across the state and across the country are reminding state leadership that the funds must be spent on projects that enhance equity and sustainability.

As part of that effort, Active Trans joined 50 other advocacy groups from across Illinois in sending a letter to Governor Pritzker and Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman that underscores the great need for them to move beyond the status quo in transportation spending.

Transit Equity Day event calls for investment in transit workers & riders

Chicago Jobs with Justice recently launched Chicago’s first-ever transit riders union under its campaign Transit4All.

Active Transportation Alliance joined Chicago Jobs with Justice for the launch of their initiative as did Warehouse Workers for Justice, Sierra Club of Illinois, and local transit advocates. The goal is to foster an independent organization that would improve public transit for both riders and workers.

At a recent event that took place on Transit Equity Day,

Chicago’s first transit riders union launches on Transit Equity Day

As decisions are being made about the future of Chicago’s transit system and how it serves our communities, people who ride transit deserve a seat at the table.

To ensure that riders’ voices are elevated in this conversation, Active Trans is working with a coalition to launch a transit riders union on Transit Equity Day, February 4.

Join Active Transportation Alliance, transit labor groups (Local ATU 241 and 308), SMART IL Transportation Division,

On Earth Day 2021, we are calling for a historic investment in transit

On Earth Day 2021, we joined 23 local organizations to deliver a letter to the Illinois Congressional delegation to push for a historic investment in public transit in the United States.

Dozens of national and local organizations will be delivering similar letters to their local congressional delegations as well as part of the National Campaign for Transit Justice. See below for full text of the letter.

Frequent and reliable public transit is critical to reducing reliance on carbon-emitting cars and trucks,

Join us March 24 for a forum on the future of suburban transit

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis have reshaped the landscape for public transit in our region’s suburban communities.

Dramatic declines in ridership and revenues have forced local agencies to make tough choices about suburban transit service, all while thousands of people throughout the region continue rely on transit to navigate their daily lives. At the same time, opportunities for resilience and innovation are on the horizon.

Join Active Transportation Alliance and Warehouse Workers for Justice for a lunchtime conversation on Wednesday,

Active Trans stands with SE Side residents fighting General Iron permit

Active Trans stands in solidarity with the hunger strikers and Southeast Side residents who are fighting to get Mayor Lightfoot and Public Health Commissioner Arwady to deny the final permit to General Iron, a car crushing and metal recycling facility.

The facility, previously located in Lincoln Park, has a well-documented history of causing health issues in local residents due to the release of particles that cause lung and heart problems.

Looking at the 2020 air quality and health index map produced by the Chicago Department of Public Health,

Join us on Transit Equity Day, Thursday, Feb. 4

For the past four years on February 4, a network of transit rider unions, community organizations, environmental groups, and labor unions have organized Transit Equity Day.

Transit Equity Day serves as a national day of action that commemorates the birthday of Rosa Parks while reminding us that public transit is a civil right.

We hope you can join us for Chicago’s first Transit Equity Day celebration on February 4 at noon.

More information needed about airflow on Chicagoland buses and trains

In order for people to make well-informed choices about safety and transportation, it’s critical for Chicago-area transit agencies to be transparent about how air is flowing through their vehicles. This is especially important given that, according to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads both through larger droplets that fall out of the air rapidly as well as smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended for many minutes or hours.

Providing information about air flow could help the thousands of people still riding and operating transit better understand their level of risk of contracting the virus.