Tag Archives: Advocacy

Fighting for a robust transit system, now and for decades to come 

Nov 13, 2023 | by Active Trans

Our region’s transit system is facing a pivotal moment.  While ridership is on the rebound from pandemic lows, service is not meeting rider needs and the system is heading towards a significant fiscal cliff. If you’re frustrated with transit service now, be warned that it will be far worse if this funding gap is not addressed. If we don’t intervene, our local transit systems will need to make drastic cuts that could be along the lines of: Four out of eight CTA train lines. 90 out of 129 CTA bus routes. 70 out of 210 Pace bus routes. Six out of 11 Metra lines. And we have to keep front and center the reality that if the region’s transit system...

New law requires CDOT to identify contributing factors in fatal crashes

Oct 5, 2023 | by Jim Merrell

The Chicago City Council recently adopted an ordinance outlining strengthened requirements for the city’s reporting on fatal crashes.   Spearheaded by 50th Ward Alderperson Debra Silverstein, the Fatal Crash Legacy Ordinance will require a detailed investigation after a fatal crash to identify contributing factors. The law requires Chicago Department of Transportation to develop a list of recommended safety improvements that can address any identified contributing factors.  This means survivors and advocates will have access to more detailed information as well as actionable steps on how to address underlying unsafe conditions on our roadways.   The ordinance also sets out requirements for citywide reporting on fatal crashes on both a monthly and annual basis.  Active Transportation Alliance was honored to provide expert testimony...

Mayor Johnson’s transition report includes strong vision for walking, biking, and transit 

Jul 12, 2023 | by Jim Merrell

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration has an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of Chicagoans by expanding access to healthy, sustainable, and equitable transportation options. Thoughtful, community-led policies, plans, and projects that make walking, biking, and public transit safer and easier can bring transformational impact to communities across the city. During the 2023 municipal election cycle, Active Trans worked with dozens of civic and community partners to develop a shared vision for transportation equity in Chicago. The Safe Streets for All – Transit that Works platform reflects conversations and listening sessions with dozens of residents from all walks of life, including seniors, young people, expectant mothers, and other populations poorly served by the current transportation system. You can learn more about...

Groundwork begins for an e-bike incentive program

Mar 9, 2023 | by Maya Norris

Electric bicycles could have the potential to encourage more people to hop on two wheels as their primary mode of transportation, but their high costs remain a deterrent for many. That’s why Active Transportation Alliance and Ride Illinois are advocating for an e-bike incentive program in Illinois — the first type of program in the state that would offset the cost of purchasing an e-bike. Such a program could go a long way in harnessing the rising popularity of e-bikes and reaping the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants, reducing traffic congestion, and offering healthy, affordable mobility. Given the growing popularity of e-bikes, right now is a good time for exploring an incentive program: E-bikes outsold cars 2:1...

Better bus service is a crucial election issue

Feb 14, 2023 | by Courtney Cobbs

The Active Transportation Alliance is part of the Safe Streets for All, Transit That Works coalition that is working to educate Chicago voters for the municipal elections on February 28 and April 4. The coalition developed a platform based on concerns and wishes for Chicago’s transportation landscape. While the platform covers a range of topics surrounding sustainable transportation, two of the top concerns of the platform are unreliable bus and rail service and slow bus service. Given the CTA operator shortage, it’s crucial for the CTA to attract and retain new transit operators. The Safe Streets for All, Transit That Works election platform recommends better compensation and schedules that allow for operators to have a healthier work-life balance. Providing restrooms...

RTA’s plan for the future needs more details

Jan 12, 2023 | by David Powe

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) recently released its draft strategic plan, Transit is the Answer, for public comment.   The RTA coordinates the Chicago region’s transit system (CTA, Pace, and Metra), oversees its financing, and coordinates regional planning for public transportation in Northeastern Illinois.  Active Transportation Alliance joined forces with a handful of local nonprofits to send a letter to the RTA on ways to improve the 80-plus page draft plan. Co-signatories were Access Living, Elevated Chicago, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Equiticity,  High Speed Rail Alliance, Illinois Environmental Council, Metropolitan Planning Council. Each of the organizations that signed the letter were involved in the process leading to the publication of this draft plan.  While we offered support for the principles...

Red Line Extension takes major step forward

Dec 15, 2022 | by Active Trans

This week a key hurdle has been cleared to bring high-quality rapid transit to Chicago's far South Side. Chicago City Council’s approval was nearly unanimous for a “transit TIF” that leverages the property value realized from investments already made in places like the South Loop and Chinatown. This local TIF (tax increment financing) funding provides the match funding needed to unlock the investments from federal sources. Once completed, Chicago’s major north-south L line will extend to the southernmost neighborhoods and fulfill a decades-old promise. The 5.6-mile extension will begin at 95th Street and head south to 130th Street, hitting four new stations along the way. There is broad community support for the project, bolstered by the understanding that extending CTA’s...

Commuters Take Action presses CTA to improve unreliable service

Dec 8, 2022 | by Maya Norris

Commuters Take Action has only been around since April 2022. But in that short period of time, the resident-led advocacy organization has made a name for itself, representing a movement of frustrated commuters fed up with the slow and unreliable service of the Chicago Transit Authority’s buses and trains. Micah Fiedler, Olivia Gahan and Fabio Göttlicher co-founded Commuters Take Action after experiencing long waits and service gaps during their own commutes on the CTA’s buses and trains. Active Transportation Alliance recently recognized the vital work that the trio is doing by honoring them with an Advocate of the Year award at our recent annual member meeting. We specifically wanted to recognize their effort to cast spotlight on the problem of...

Bus priority zones needed near the planned casino

Dec 5, 2022 | by David Powe

Bally’s Corporation, an international gambling company, is planning to build a $1.7 billion casino on the southeast corner of Chicago Ave. and Halsted St. The City of Chicago is currently in the process of gathering community feedback on this massive project that promises to dramatically increase vehicular traffic on two of the city's busiest bus routes and along major bike and pedestrian corridors.    Many people in service industries depend on transit to commute to their jobs in this area. Without improvements to bus service in this area, their trips will be delayed by the thousands of visitors to the casino every day.   We are concerned that people taking the bus, using the sidewalk, or biking to the temporary...

Shining a light on outstanding volunteers and advocates

Dec 2, 2022 | by Ted Villaire

Active Transportation Alliance members recently met to reflect on accomplishments in 2022, discuss what lies ahead, and elect a handful of people to the organization’s board of directors. The event, attended by 175 people, also provided an opportunity to recognize the outstanding advocates and volunteers in our midst. For our advocacy awards, we honored four different grassroots groups that are mobilizing people across the city. These groups are actively making our movement stronger with their effective organizing and smart campaigning as we look to 2023. These are the groups that received our Advocate of the Year awards:   Access Living & Better Streets Chicago’s Plow the Sidewalks campaign The Plow the Sidewalks campaign is calling for sidewalk snow removal to...