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Roughly every three days, one person biking or walking is killed by someone driving a car in the Chicago region.

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, Chicago Jobs with Justice, Sierra Club Illinois, and the Transportation Equity Network to celebrate this launch. 



Join us at the Western Blue Line station on the Forest Park branch at 8 a.m. on Friday, February 4, to build transit rider power and launch Chicago’s own transit riders union!

Riders and workers will call for:

  • Systemwide transit station accessibility
  • Equitable investments in the transit workforce
  • Increasing the frequency of transit service, especially during off-peak hours and in the outlying areas of the city and suburbs,
  • Full electrification of our buses and trains to lessen air pollution and climate change.

Chicago has recently received an infusion of federal funding that can be used for public transit improvements, and we want to hear from community members on what they’d like to see done with that new funding. Maybe it’s a bus stop added at a particular location, or a shelter fixed, or free fares for youth.

We encourage you to share your ideas with us on social media (there will be prizes!) and come show your support during our press conference on February 4.

Where: Western Blue Line stop (Forest Park branch), 430 S. Western Ave.

When: Friday, February 4, 2022, 8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

What: Press conference and riders union launch canvassing for Transit Equity Day 2022

Coffee will be provided by Dark Matter Coffee.

Can’t make it? Join us on social media by tagging @activetrans @transit4a #KeepTransitRolling #Transit4All #TransitEquityDay and letting us know how your transit experience can be improved.

Let’s join together to advocate for how best to spend the additional federal funding! There will be a raffle with prizes for everyone who tweets or posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the tags above. We will reach out to winners via their social media handles.

Want to get involved with the Transit Riders Union? Text “Transit4All” to (773) 261–8899 to get involved.



Transit Equity Day was started four years ago by the Labor Network for Sustainability, a network of transit rider unions, community organizations, environmental groups, and labor unions. February 4 is Rosa Parks’ birthday and the date was chosen to commemorate this iconic figure of the civil rights era who took direct action in protesting segregation on Montgomery, Alabama’s public transit system.

Transportation justice is inextricably tied to racial justice. We believe public transit is a civil right and we look to Rosa Parks’ example to highlight the right of all people to have access to frequent, affordable, accessible, reliable, and electrified public transit. This right requires transit operators and workers to be fairly compensated for their essential labor. Justice for riders requires justice for workers.

Unlike peer cities, Chicago has never had a transit riders union and this new coalition is working to change that.