Blog

Keep up with the latest news on Active Trans and topics that we care about in the region.

Safe streets are much more than crosswalks and bike lanes

Jun 1, 2020 | by Active Trans

The murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others continue to demonstrate our society’s systemic devaluing of Black lives.

Safe streets mean so much more than crosswalks and bike lanes. We cannot have mobility justice without racial justice.

As we advocate for healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities through walking, biking, and transit, we must be centered around efforts to dismantle white supremacy and structural racism.

Chicago launches Our Streets as part of COVID-19 response

May 29, 2020 | by Active Trans

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new program to create more space for people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Our Streets initiative “invites Chicago neighborhoods to request that local roads be converted into corridors for improved, safe travel and healthy activity.”  

This includes designating some residential streets as “shared streets” by adding traffic barriers and limiting through traffic to allow for physically distanced walking and biking. 

Meet our Bus Organizing Fellows

May 27, 2020 | by Maya Norris

A new group of advocates has joined the Active Transportation Alliance in its quest to push for affordable, speedy, and reliable bus service in Chicago. Armed with a deep commitment to community organizing and public service, Active Trans’ new Bus Organizing Fellows have been working to understand how to improve bus service during the COVID-19 pandemic for essential workers.

Since March, the fellows — LaCreshia Birts, Rylen Clark, and Jamaine Gooding — have been conducting online surveys with essential workers from historically marginalized communities who depend on public transit to get to their jobs.

A few questions for Amy Rynell

May 22, 2020 | by Maya Norris

Amy Rynell joined Active Trans as its new executive director in March. An experienced nonprofit leader with a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, Rynell comes to Active Trans having served in various research and policy roles at Chicago-based Heartland Alliance over the last 22 years, most recently serving as director of research and policy.

Amy shared her thoughts about what it’s been like to lead the organization through the COVID-19 crisis,

Public engagement needed around Metra’s off peak service cuts

May 20, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Metra recently announced a series of cuts to off-peak service on the Heritage Corridor, SouthWest Service, and North Central Service, as well as cuts to Saturday service system-wide.

In response to these cuts and to share thoughts about other pandemic-related Metra policies, Active Trans partnered with Star:Line Chicago in submitting comments to the Metra Board of Directors meeting held this week.

While Metra is experiencing a 97 percent ridership loss due to COVID-19,

The future of sustainable transportation needs you today

May 20, 2020 | by Julie Strand

Today Active Trans is hosting its first-ever Giving Day. If you are able to support Active Trans during this time of great need, you can get a couple of one-of-a-kind perks, including access to our Virtual Fifth Third Bike the Drive, being held this Sunday.

The unexpected cancellation of our annual bike ride on Lakeshore Drive — which accounts for roughly half of our operating revenue — is putting our advocacy work in peril at a time when it’s more vital than ever.

Tips for transit riders during COVID-19

May 20, 2020 | by Active Trans

While the coronavirus has taken an enormous toll on transit ridership across the region and country, there are of hundreds of thousands of people locally who continue to rely on public transit every day to reach jobs and make other essential trips.

CTA, Pace, and Metra together are still serving roughly 340,000 people per weekday during the stay-at-home order. This is more than or equivalent to ridership levels in the metro areas of Atlanta,

Open streets and Chicagoland’s transportation recovery planning

May 6, 2020 | by Jim Merrell

We’ve been listening to feedback from our supporters about open streets and want to respond in order to clarify some important points. We also want to continue to share how we are developing our overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We do not oppose open streets. By raising concerns about potential harms to public health and urging that any initiative be community-informed, we regret that some supporters got the impression we’re against any changes to street design during the pandemic.

Exploring open streets during COVID-19

Apr 30, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

In response to the challenges of COVID-19, many cities around the country opted to close streets to cars or reconfigure traffic lanes to create more dedicated space for walking and biking.

While more information is needed to understand the true impact of these initiatives, many are wondering if this is a viable and safe strategy that could work for all communities in our region.

We believe streets should prioritize people over cars and have long advocated for solutions like open streets,

Active Trans endorses Fair Tax ballot initiative

Apr 29, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

A progressive state income tax would advance our mission to create more healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities in the Chicago region. 

WHAT IS THE FAIR TAX? 

The Fair Tax constitutional amendment would change the state constitution by eliminating the requirement that says the state of Illinois must tax income at a single rate. Passing the Fair Tax amendment would allow for higher taxation rates for higher incomes and lower taxation rates for people with low and moderate incomes,