Author Archives: Maya Norris

Fare program helps commuters save on public transit costs

Good news for commuters. New legislation will enable more public transportation users to save on their daily commuting costs, making transit more affordable and accessible in metropolitan Chicago.

On July 28, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Transportation Benefits Program Act into law. It expands the Regional Transportation Authority Transit Benefit Fare Program, which allows people to pay for transit and parking using pre-tax dollars. The legislation mandates employers with 50 or more full-time employees and located within 1 mile of a fixed-route transit service,

Chicago’s landmark ETOD ordinance marks one-year anniversary

Chicago is about to get an influx of affordable housing and businesses around mass transit over the next few years with help from the Connected Communities ordinance, which marks its one-year anniversary this month.

Elevated Chicago joined forces with Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara to successfully push for passage of this sweeping legislation that addresses racial inequity by catalyzing economic development near public transportation.

Elevated Chicago, a coalition of community organizations,

Walking and biking top Ald. Matt Martin’s agenda for the 47th Ward and beyond

The 47th Ward in Chicago has made significant progress in advancing pedestrian and bicycling safety over the last few years, thanks to the proactive efforts of Alderman Matt Martin.

And Martin says more is on the way as he continues to champion walking- and cycling-friendly infrastructure and policies that will benefit the constituents of his ward and beyond.

His steadfast commitment to making walking and bicycling safer in Chicago has earned Martin Active Transportation Alliance’s Safe Streets Champion award,

Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson focuses on healthy transportation

Mayor Katrina Thompson has been planting the seeds for sustainable transportation and active, healthy lifestyles in Broadview, Illinois, over the last three years.

As the village improves its walking and biking infrastructure, her efforts clearly have taken root in this west suburban community as more of the people in the community take up walking and cycling.

Because of these successes, Thompson will be receiving the Public Leadership Award from Active Transportation Alliance at the Movers &

Groundwork begins for an e-bike incentive program

Electric bicycles could have the potential to encourage more people to hop on two wheels as their primary mode of transportation, but their high costs remain a deterrent for many.

That’s why Active Transportation Alliance and Ride Illinois are advocating for an e-bike incentive program in Illinois — the first type of program in the state that would offset the cost of purchasing an e-bike.

Such a program could go a long way in harnessing the rising popularity of e-bikes and reaping the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants,

Chicago, Bike Grid Now! pushes for easy-to-implement bicycle infrastructure

Creating bicycle friendly infrastructure can often take years due to a lack of political will, scarcity of funding and frustrating government bureaucracy. But it doesn’t have to be that convoluted, according to Chicago, Bike Grid Now! The bicycle advocacy group is pushing for bicycle friendly, traffic-calmed streets that it says can be achieved sooner rather than later with minimal effort.

Active Transportation Alliance recognized the impact that Chicago Bike Grid Now!

Commuters Take Action presses CTA to improve unreliable service

Commuters Take Action has only been around since April 2022. But in that short period of time, the resident-led advocacy organization has made a name for itself, representing a movement of frustrated commuters fed up with the slow and unreliable service of the Chicago Transit Authority’s buses and trains.

Micah Fiedler, Olivia Gahan and Fabio Göttlicher co-founded Commuters Take Action after experiencing long waits and service gaps during their own commutes on the CTA’s buses and trains.

Making the case for bike rooms 

More people than ever are bicycling around Chicago, thanks to the bicycling boom that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic enticing people to hop on two wheels. But how do we maintain that momentum?

One way to keep people on their bikes is to have secure, accessible, and functional bike rooms in commercial and residential buildings—a key piece of infrastructure that may make the difference as to whether these new riders stick with cycling in the long term.

Brookfield showcases its efforts to improve walking and biking

The residents of the Village of Brookfield and neighboring towns got the chance to learn about the village’s current and future pedestrian and bicycle improvements during a recent walking tour and discussion that Active Transportation Alliance helped organize.

During the tour, village staff, local leaders, and community advocates shared behind-the-scenes stories about planning, funding, and building support for various active transportation initiatives around Brookfield, including the village’s bicycle boulevard — the first in the western suburbs.

Bringing it all together

Violeta Valadka faced a dilemma that many ardent supporters of Bike the Drive face. What to do with all those Bike the Drive T-shirts she has amassed over the years.

Her inventive solution: Create a quilt out of those collectible T-shirts as a lasting memento of one of her favorite bicycling events of the year.

Valadka (pictured left) has been riding in Bike the Drive every year since the event debuted in 2002.