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Only 0.7 percent of federal transportation funds are spent on improving pedestrian facilities.

The launch of Chicago’s first transit rider organization

PRESS ADVISORY: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4TH
CONTACT: SUSAN HURLEY, 773-412-2386

On Friday, February 4th, 8am, Chicago Jobs with Justice will host a canvassing event and press conference at the Western stop on the Forest Park Blue Line in honor of Transit Equity Day, which is set on Rosa Parks birthday. Speakers from the Amalgamated Transit Union, Warehouse Workers for Justice, Sierra Club of Illinois, and Active Transportation Alliance will highlight the Transit Equity Report released on Feb. 4th, a new Transit for All Coalition and city-wide transit rider organization being created in Chicago.

“The Transit Equity Report released today by the Labor Network for Sustainability, the Alliance for a Just Society and the Transit Center highlights that Black people across the country are more likely than white people to count on buses, trains, and other forms of public transit as their primary transportation option, and are more likely to use public transportation to get to work. Therefore, investments in public transit contribute to economic opportunity for Black and brown working people,” said W. Robert Schultz, III, Active Transportation Alliance and the Transportation Equity Network.

“Our transit workers are on the front lines every day. We are proud of the work we do under difficult circumstances, including this global pandemic. Our transit workforce deserves the very best in safety, pay, benefits and working conditions. And if we provide that as a City we will be able to continue to recruit and retain an outstanding workforce. We must invest in transit workers in order to improve and expand transit,” Keith Hill, ATU Local 241.

“Transit equity is essential in achieving climate justice. Climate change is already disproportionately affecting Black and brown communities. Prioritizing transit helps us mitigate carbon emissions and climate change impacts. Adapting our infrastructure to transition away from carbon-based transportation will both create jobs and ensure access to new and existing jobs,” said Sam Beard, Sierra Club Illinois.

“We must improve and expand our public transit system in a way that is racially and financially equitable, and addresses the needs of low income neighborhoods, essential workers, and people with disabilities, that’s why we’re launching our effort to organize transit riders across Chicago,” Susan Hurley, Chicago Jobs with Justice.

Following the press conference, organizers will canvass transit riders and begin building Chicago’s first Transit Rider Organization.

What: Press Conference and Canvass
When: Friday, February 4th, 8am
Where: 430 S. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
Who: Transit riders, workers, and advocates
Why: Advocates and transit workers are organizing for equitable, safe, reliable, accessible, and affordable public transit for all

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