Tag Archives: Bus

Chicago must advance equity and sustainability with new federal transportation funds

Nov 22, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act (IIJA) provides a historic opportunity for the Chicago area to move beyond car-centric planning and advance racial and environmental justice through transportation investments.  Now we need to make sure regional leaders take advantage of this opportunity. We can’t afford to see these funds go to wasteful roadway projects that only worsen the inequity in our regional transportation system.  This week Active Trans joined a coalition of 12 civic and environmental advocates that is calling for our transportation agencies in the region to develop an inclusive and transparent approach in determining which projects to put forward for newly available federal funds. This inclusive and transparent approach should center the projects' impacts on racial equity and climate change.  Following are excerpts from the letter, which was...

New analysis highlights racial disparities in Chicago area transit access

Jun 17, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

A new tool illustrates how longstanding patterns of segregation and discrimination in public policy have caused transit access for Black and Brown residents to lag behind access for White residents. The Transit Equity Dashboard, produced by the national foundation TransitCenter, maps and quantifies the disparities in transit access caused by segregation and discrimination in land use and transportation policy. TransitCenter helps fund and support local transit advocacy organizations like Active Trans and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). The COVID crisis made racial inequities in public health and economic status very plain. Good transit helps address these disparities by opening up access to jobs, education, medical care, and other necessities. But disparities in transit access linked to race and economic...

Belmont Cragin youth urge CTA board to upgrade bus service  

Feb 16, 2021 | by Active Trans

Two community youth leaders pressed the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) board at the February meeting on service and cleanliness issues, earning commitments from CTA leadership that they would work to address their concerns. Minerva Garcia and Yalinette Rivera are youth organizers from the Belmont Cragin Youth Leadership Council, a part of the Northwest Side Housing Center. Both Minerva and Yalinette testified at CTA’s February board meeting. Minerva is a junior at Northside College Prep and Yalinette is a junior at Lincoln Park High School. They both face long commutes on transit to reach their schools from their homes in Belmont Cragin. Belmont Cragin is a working-class community with a majority Latinx population that includes many immigrants and one of the highest ratios of youth compared to...

Chicago celebrates Transit Equity Day with Reps. Garcia and Kelly

Feb 11, 2021 | by Active Trans

Hundreds of advocates and community leaders joined Congressman Chuy Garcia and Congresswoman Robin Kelly in Chicago’s first celebration of National Transit Equity Day on February 4.  Transit Equity Day serves as a national day of action that commemorates the birthday of Rosa Parks while reminding us that public transit is a civil right. It was started four years ago by a network of transit rider unions, community organizations, environmental advocates, and labor unions.  Chicago’s celebration focused on the challenges Black and Brown communities face with inadequate public transit and how federal funding can help address this problem. Active Trans, Chicago Jobs with Justice, and Metropolitan Planning Council co-hosted the virtual event.  REP. ROBIN KELLY In her speaking segment, Rep. Kelly discussed how decades of structural racism...

Progress on transit equity starts with changing funding formulas

Jan 25, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

To achieve greater equity in the Chicago region, we must fundamentally rethink how we’re spending our limited transportation dollars. This is why the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) — the region’s public transit oversight agency — recent decision to focus federal COVID relief funds in the highest need service areas is so important. The agency chose not to simply pass the money through to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace using a decades-old standard formula, as is traditionally done. Instead, it launched a process to direct funding to the “people and places that need it the most.” This may seem like an obvious move to make, particularly during a once-in-a-century pandemic that’s hitting Black and Brown communities the hardest. But...

Free masks piloted on 20 CTA bus routes

Jan 14, 2021 | by Ted Villaire

The Chicago Transit Authority took an important step forward in keeping riders safe and healthy by starting to offer free, disposable face masks on approximately 200 buses serving 20 bus routes. Kudos to the CTA for making the move, which began at the end of 2020. Making masks readily available on all buses and trains is the best way to ensure universal mask compliance. Active Trans first called for CTA to provide free masks to all riders who need one in July. “This is great news for essential workers who have been riding transit throughout the pandemic and the operators keeping it moving,” said the Active Trans Managing Director of Public Affairs Kyle Whitehead to WTTW. “Both groups are disproportionately...

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2020

Jan 11, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

2020 was a challenging year on many fronts. The coronavirus devastated communities across Chicagoland in 2020 and the transportation impacts will be felt for years to come.  Throughout the year, the Active Transportation Alliance continued to do the important work of fighting for clean and equitable transportation. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking, and transit stories and advocacy victories of the year.  1. COVID changes how Chicagoans get around. From staying at home in March through spending the holidays at home in December, many residents traveled far less in 2020. Car traffic and transit ridership plummeted while walking and biking spiked. Over the summer, Active Trans spoke with more than 100 community leaders in the city and suburbs about...

Forum focuses on need to prevent transit collapse

Dec 18, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

Active Trans recently hosted an online transit justice forum to call attention to the federal budget shortfall for transit agencies. The forum also provided an opportunity to highlight the experiences of local community members and other transit stakeholders. Reverberating throughout the event was the need for federal support to prevent a collapse of public transit. By all accounts, the consequences will be dire — particularly for people in Black and Brown communities — if we neglect to provide the support that transit needs right now. If you haven’t already done so, please join the effort to urge Congress to approve $32 billion of federal relief for public transit. U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García The event’s featured speaker, U.S. Rep. Jesús...

Transparency needed about possible cuts

Dec 16, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

As we continue to fight for emergency federal support for Chicago area public transit, Active Trans joined a coalition of advocates calling for our transit agencies to share more information about what will be targeted in cuts if the federal funding doesn't come through. Following are excerpts from our coalition's letter that was submitted to the boards of RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace during their December budget meetings. ________________________ We are gravely concerned that your proposed budgets ignore the looming transit financial crisis. While we continue to work with you in support of federal funding, it is irresponsible to assume that these funds will become available. Every day brings different news about potential COVID relief legislation, suggesting that the only...

Advocates call for keeping transit running during any post-election protests

Oct 13, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (10/14/20): In response to the petition, Mayor Lightfoot's Office said in a statement to WTTW that they will work with city officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders to “avoid any shutdown of transit options in the future.” A coalition of advocates is calling on Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago-area transit agencies to keep our buses, trains, paratransit, and bike sharing running during future periods of civil unrest in the city.   The group’s petition states that “transit is a public good and a necessity at all times.” It calls for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Pace Suburban Bus, and Divvy to make public commitments to remain in operation during times of protest so people can get where they need to go.  The group says this request is urgent given the potential for unrest following major upcoming...