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Riders for Better Transit launches Red Line South Riders’ Bill of Rights

 For immediate Release

CONTACT:
Brenna Conway
Active Transportation Alliance
312-427-3325 x392
Mobile: 414-803-1200
Brenna@activetrans.org

Riders for Better Transit launches Red Line South Riders’ Bill of Rights

CHICAGO, May 9,2013 – Riders for Better Transit and partners across the South Side of Chicago have come together to sign the Red Line South Riders’ Bill of Rights, a statement that asks for accountability from the CTA during the upcoming CTA Red Line closure.

Riders for Better Transit urges South Side Red Line riders to join us for a Bill of Rights Day of Action on Monday, May 20 at the Garfield Green Line station. Learn more and sign on at www.activetrans.org/redline.

The goal of the bill of rights is to say that Red Line South riders have a right to quality public transportation even during the Red Line South reconstruction project. Many great South Side organizations are working hard to improve transit in their neighborhoods.

This Bill of Rights is a chance to bring together transit riders and community groups on the South Side of Chicago in unified voice. Transit is vitally important on the South Side of Chicago (and throughout the city) because it provides an affordable, convenient and healthy way to get around the city. As the backbone of our transit system, the Red Line connects many Chicago communities to schools, jobs and healthcare.

The scheduled five-month Red Line south reconstruction, slated to begin May 19, is necessary to improve our transit system and will result in a faster and more reliable Red Line. But the closure will be an inconvenience for many riders.

“CTA wants our fare, so we want to be treated fairly,” says Shiesha Smith, a resident speaking on behalf of Mercy Housing Tenant Leadership from their Englewood Apartments. “We are encouraged that the Red Line will soon serve us even better, but we have been frustrated and inconvenienced by infrequent, irregular shuttles and confusing timelines on past construction projects. We hope for dependable, fast and responsive service from CTA throughout the Red Line reconstruction. We want to know they’re listening.”

“The time is now to increase our care and attention to public transit matters on the South Side,” says John Paul Jones, president of Sustainable Englewood Initiatives. “The Red Line South Bill of Rights is an important first step.”

“Understanding safe and affordable transportation for all Chicagoans as an issue of justice — for our people, for our communities and for our environment. Bridgeport Alliance is pleased to work with Active Trans, as we uphold these values together, and united, we become more powerful advocates for a safe, accessible and healthier city for all residents, and for generations to come,” said Rev. Tom Gaulke, the pastor of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity and chair of the Bridgeport Alliance.

Chicagoland transit riders are organizing and speaking up about the Red Line service and communication they expect during the construction. On the May 20 Day of Action, Riders for Better Transit will pass out flyers, encourage residents to sign on to the Bill of Rights and share where to look for the most up-to-date Red Line information. For more information about May 20 and other ways to get involved, visit www.activetrans.org/redline.

The Red Line South Bill of Rights:

1. We deserve fast and reliable transit service, even during the Red Line construction.
2. We deserve transparency from the CTA on temporary service performance, the jobs promised and the status of construction.
3. We deserve clear & proactive communication from the CTA that ensures our communities understand the changes to transit service.
4. We deserve stations and amenities that can accommodate the additional passengers along alternative transit routes.
5. We deserve to be listened to during the Red Line closure.

Riders for Better Transit is a project of the Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans). The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.