Did You Know?
Urgent action needed today to stop Illiana Expressway
We were extremely disappointed ALL FOUR of Chicagoland’s transit agencies—Metra, CTA, RTA and Pace—voted against their own riders’ interests by not opposing an expressway project in the deep suburbs.
If approved, the Illiana will directly compete against transit for a billion dollars of transportation funding—while moving fewer people than the buses on Ashland Avenue in Chicago.
The good news is the transit agencies get a second chance to do the right thing tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. And Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the CTA will oppose the Illiana in that vote.
Building the Illiana Expressway could be a train wreck for public transportation in our region.
With precious few funds for transportation projects in Chicagoland, the Illiana jeopardizes a long list of planned improvements to Metra and CTA train lines, and dims the prospect that the crucial Red Line south extension to 135th Street will ever be built.
By not opposing the Illiana, transit agencies voted against their own interests, against transit riders’ interests and against Chicago’s adopted regional plan, which prioritizes multimodal transportation and investment in existing infrastructure in areas where people live.
Why would transit agencies vote against rider’s interests? It appears they were worried that a No vote could jeopardize their state funding, because the state is strongly pushing the Illiana. But remember the recent scandals at Metra and the RTA? The public trust in Chicago’s transit leadership has already been shaken. This is not the time for them to again bow to political pressure.
With the vote tomorrow, this is urgent. We need all the help we can get.
Image courtesty at Metropolitan Planning Council
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