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Bus riders account for more than 20 percent of people using Lake Shore Drive every day while taking up a fraction of the space that cars do.

‘Transit deserts’ report demonstrates need for Transit Future

At its core, public transit is intended to connect people to jobs, boosting economic activity and helping cities thrive. In Cook County, our current system fails to meet this basic need for about one out of every 10 people, according to a new report by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) that's featured in the Chicago Tribune this week.

The report is part of our ongoing Transit Future campaign with CNT that calls for increased regional investment in public transit. The campaign asks the Cook County Board of Commissioners to establish a dedicated revenue stream to help local governments leverage available federal funds to improve and expand rapid transit throughout the region.

Transit deserts are defined as areas that have a high demand for transit but that are more than a half-mile from a rail stop, or at least one quarter of a mile from some form of express bus service or bus route that offers service every 15 minutes or less.

With more than 438,000 Cook County residents living in transit deserts, far too many people lack quality access to the region’s largest job centers in the city and surrounding suburbs. These people are forced into their cars – if they can afford one – and inevitable congestion, or they face a long and challenging commute with multiple transfers and opportunities for further delays.

The Tribune’s coverage features stories like Erin McMillan’s, who takes two trains and two buses to get from his home in Hyde Park to his job in Little Village. If you live in Chicagoland long enough, you inevitably know someone with a similar story.

Sign our petition today to show your support for eliminating transit deserts and increasing investment in public transit. You can also volunteer to join the campaign and help organize transit supporters in your area to contact your local Cook County commissioner.

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