Tag Archives: Advocacy

New Uber, Lyft fees should be step toward congestion pricing

Jan 23, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Starting January 6, the fee on solo Uber and Lyft trips citywide increased from 72 cents to $1.25 and the fee on shared trips decreased from 72 cents to 65 cents. Trips that start or end in a new “downtown congestion zone” are charged an additional surcharge ($1.75 for solo trips and 65 cents for shared trips). A portion of the new revenue goes to the city’s Bus Priority Zones initiative that seeks to make bus service faster and more reliable. These new fees championed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot could be a precursor to a broader congestion pricing approach. Active Trans lobbied in favor of the fees because of their potential to reduce driving and spur public transit use...

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2019

Dec 16, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

There were plenty of attention-grabbing developments among the top active transportation stories of 2019. Some of these developments helped make our streets safer and more inviting for people using active transportation, while others were intended to give more people access to better transportation options. Here they are. If we missed an important story, please let us know. 1. State dedicates funds to walking, biking, and public transit. For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding — $50 million annually — for walking and biking projects. The capital bill also includes sustainable funding for public transit for the first time ever. Active Trans championed both initiatives with a bipartisan group of legislators in the Illinois State House...

A new, signature attraction along Chicago River

Nov 25, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

The Chicago River gained an awe-inspiring addition with the recent opening of the Riverview Bridge on the North Branch, now the longest pedestrian and bike bridge in the city. The Riverview Bridge runs for roughly a thousand feet north and south of Addison Street and crosses over the river connecting Clark and California Parks, providing a safe off-street connection with breathtaking urban and natural views. The bridge soars eighteen feet above the Chicago River and is sixteen-feet wide. It ducks under the Addison Bridge, offering people on bike and foot the ultimate low-stress route to bypass heavy traffic unimpeded. It's exciting the city has taken another major step towards a continuous Chicago River Trail. Adding a second major trail in...

Why Chicago needs a Safe Streets Fund

Nov 20, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Every life lost is a tragedy. We can't help but be overwhelmed when we think about the 78 lives lost in Chicago so far this year as a result of traumatic traffic crashes. But we mustn't become numb to these terrible events. For the 2019 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims event, which took place earlier this week, organizers lined up 78 pairs of white shoes in the Thompson Center. The shoes remind us of the people who will not feel the joy of walking down a tree-lined street in their neighborhood on their way home. The shoes represent people who will never again feel the wind on their face while riding their bike to meet up with...

A proposal for a more equitable transit system

Nov 18, 2019 | by Lynda Lopez

Yolanda Cruz lives in the Jeffrey Manor neighborhood on the Far South Side. She works part-time as a health aide in Hyde Park and buys a 7-day pass every week to get to work. Yolanda knows the 7-day pass is more expensive in the long run than the monthly pass, but the upfront cost of the monthly pass is just too much for her. “You can’t buy a monthly pass when you have to think about paying your bills,” said Yolanda, pictured left. Yolanda's story, unfortunately, is not unique. Stories like hers are at the core of our new campaign. This week, we are excited to launch our Fair Fares Chicagoland report detailing our research and list of policy recommendations for...

What Uber and Lyft aren’t saying about new Chicago fees

Nov 12, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (11/26/19): Mayor Lightfoot's budget passed Chicago's City Council, including new fees on Uber and Lyft. There’s so much misinformation flying around about Mayor Lightfoot’s changes to the Uber and Lyft fee structure that it’s easy to lose sight of what’s proposed. HIGHER FEES ON DOWNTOWN TRIPS The Mayor’s proposal targets downtown trips by adding a fee of $1.75 for solo trips and 65 cents for shared trips that start or end in and around the Loop. Data shows nearly half of all Uber and Lyft trips start or end downtown. Thirty two percent of those trips both start and end in the downtown area. These trips are in the most congested part of the city where much more affordable...

Lightfoot increases ride-hailing fees, expands Bus Priority Zones

Oct 18, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (11/26/19): Mayor Lightfoot's budget passed Chicago's City Council, including new fees on Uber and Lyft.  Mayor Lightfoot announced Friday she’ll use a portion of the revenue from new downtown ride-hailing fees to help expand Chicago’s network of bus priority streets. This is good news for anyone who wants better bus service and less congestion on Chicago streets. Chicago residents: tell Mayor Lightfoot and your alderman you support fair fees and better bus service. Active Trans Interim Executive Director Melody Geraci's delivered some remarks at the announcement press conference with the Mayor (see photo left and video). BUS PRIORITY ZONE EXPANSION The Mayor’s plan upgrades bus service on five of the city’s busiest routes: #8 Halsted, #49 Western, #53 Pulaski,...

New section of river trail at Lathrop Homes opens

Oct 17, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Earlier this week, developers, city leaders, advocates, and residents celebrated the official opening of the riverfront path at Lathrop Homes, one of the first local trails built by a public-private partnership. The trail runs for roughly a half mile north and south of Diversey Avenue on the east side of the Chicago River and features new landscaping, benches, trees, and a boat and kayak launch. Because the City of Chicago's design guidelines require developers to build trails, public-private partnerships will play a key role in completing a continuous Chicago River Trail. The new trail at Lathrop provides safe passage under the Diversey Avenue Bridge, and if you follow it south of Diversey, the trail curves out into the river, offering...

How Carol Maher became a cycling advocate

Oct 15, 2019 | by Maya Norris

Carol Maher came to bicycling relatively late in life. But the 58-year-old retired IT project manager has certainly made up for lost time. Since she took up cycling four years ago, Maher has ditched her car in favor of cruising around Chicago on two wheels full-time and has become a sustainable transportation advocate. Maher credits a program called Go Albany Park for sparking her love of cycling in 2015. A collaboration between the Chicago Department of Transportation, Alta Planning and Design, and Active Transportation Alliance, the Go programs encouraged residents of Albany Park, Bronzeville, and other neighborhoods to walk, bike, and ride public transportation more frequently. Maher participated in the program as part of her block club, helping to create...

Chicago should keep e-scooter sharing program

Oct 14, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

During the past four months while the City of Chicago's e-scooter sharing pilot program has been underway, Active Trans has been busy gathering information — online and in-person — from hundreds of Active Trans members, supporters, and residents. Many of the people who provided feedback live or work in the West Side pilot area. We wanted to hear what people thought about the pilot program and their general thoughts about e-scooters. As the pilot program wraps up this week, Active Trans is sharing a set of policy recommendations based on the collected feedback as well as input from other cities and transportation professionals. Overall, we found that the pilot program shows shared electric scooters can help get people out of...