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Advocates urge the state of Illinois to enhance support for public transportation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:

Ted Villaire
Active Transportation Alliance
(312) 563-1118
ted@activetrans.org

 

Press conference alert

State legislators are holding a Joint Transportation and Public Safety/Infrastructure Appropriations Subject Matter Committee Hearing on Tues., March 14 at 11 a.m. at the Bilandic building, 160 N. La Salle St., Chicago. Hearing will focus on the successes and challenges of public transit in the RTA service area as it relates to funding, safety, accessibility, affordability, livability, environmental impact, economic impact, and equity.

Prior to the hearing, a media conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Bilandic building, urging the state to find bold solutions to improve service reliability and secure the financial viability of our region’s transit system.

Speakers:

  • Robert Schultz, III, J.D., Active Transportation Alliance and Transportation Equity Network
  • Morgan Madderom, Organizer, Commuters Take Action
  • Amber Smock, Director of Advocacy, Access Living

 

News release

Advocates urge the state of Illinois to enhance support for public transportation
In advance of Illinois Senate hearings on Wed., a spotlight shines on how the state can help relieve Chicago’s transit challenges

 

In response to a hearing on public transit being held by the Illinois Senate, advocates urge the state to get serious about supporting public transit during a time of great need.

As most transit riders in Chicago know, our transit system has serious reliability problems. There is little transparency and accountability from the Chicago Transit Authority and making matters worse is a faulty bus and train tracking system.

Another challenge facing the system is the CTA’s difficulty in hiring people to fill hundreds of vacant positions.

The effects of unreliable and poor service and staffing issues are being disproportionately felt by the Black and Brown riders who are the core users of the transit system.

To help address these chronic issues, bold solutions are needed to improve service reliability and secure the financial viability of our region’s transit system.

This includes the State of Illinois taking action and modernizing how the state supports governance and funding of public transportation.

“We are eager to work with the legislature to advance crucial action on transit system funding, governance, coordinated regional service, and other factors.,” said W. Robert Schultz III, a campaign manager with the Active Transportation Alliance. “This added support can help to increase frequency and reliability of service, and overall help meet the needs of the average rider.”

A well-functioning public transit system is an essential service that allows people to access employment and educational opportunities, as well as healthcare appointments and grocery shopping.

Efficient, safe, affordable, and accessible public transportation not only promotes economic productivity and creates jobs but can increase access to life-shaping opportunities that enable people to improve their living conditions and escape poverty.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, the Chicago Transit Authority’s service has deteriorated significantly and thousands of commuters are victims to ghost buses and late rides every day,” said Morgan Madderom, an organizer with Commuters take Action. “We are sympathetic to CTA’s struggles to find bus and train operators, but the agency needs to inform their riders better about how much their essential transportation has been affected.”

 

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About the Active Transportation Alliance

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that advocates for walking, bicycling and public transit to create healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. The organization works to build a movement around active transportation, encourage physical activity, increase safety, and build a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance has more than 20,0000 members and supporters in the Chicago region. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.