Did You Know?

The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.

What works and what doesn't work with Chicagoland transit governance? Learn more Feb. 25

You may have been following the hearty civic conversation in the news about what’s working and what’s not working with Chicagoland’s transit governance and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). At our upcoming summit on Feb. 25 (register today!), you’ll have a chance to hear civic leaders discuss their diverse perspectives in person.

/The Governance Matters panel will be moderated by Steve Schlickman, executive director of the UIC Urban Transportation Center and former executive director of the RTA. Panelists will include Frank Beal, executive director of Metropolis Strategies; Dan Cronin, chairman of DuPage County; and John Gates, chairman of the RTA.

The RTA is responsible for financial and budget oversight of CTA, Metra and Pace, and regional transit planning issues. It’s a daunting task negotiating between agencies and municipalities with various interests, while overseeing more than $42 billion in assets and more than two million daily transit rides.

In 2008, the Illinois General Assembly passed reforms to the agency, including increasing funding, granting new oversight authority and changing the composition of the board — yet Chicagoland transit continues to face significant challenges.

Metropolis Strategies, which helped draft the 2008 reform legislation, has recently suggested additional reforms, including the possibility of merging the RTA with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, who voted for the 2008 RTA sales tax increase and reforms as a member of the Illinois State Senate, has also raised questions about how sales tax revenues are allocated to the transit agencies.

Should Chicagoland be considering additional reforms? Does the RTA need wholesale change? What’s working and not working in transit governance and what are potential strategies for improving it?

We're currently developing questions for the panelists. What would you ask them? Email Brenna Conway at

Join Riders for Better Transit on Feb. 25 for a summit on Building a 21st Century Transit System: a discussion of public transportation’s future, funding and governance in Chicagoland.

February 25, 2013
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
UBS Tower Conference Center, 1 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL
Registration: $25, or $15 for Active Transportation Alliance members/donors. Includes continental breakfast with coffee.

Visit for summit information! AICP CM credits pending

The conference will also feature:
• Funding Matters, a panel exploring transit funding moderated by Jacky Grimshaw, vice president of policy at the Center for Neighborhood Technology; with panelists Randy Blankenhorn, executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning; Kevin DeGood, deputy policy director of Transportation for America; and Peter Skosey, vice president of the Metropolitan Planning Council.

• Presentations by noted urban policy expert and commentator Carol Coletta and Scott Bernstein, president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.