Tag Archives: Bus

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...

Support better transportation in Chicago’s 2021 budget

Sep 8, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Chicago faces many challenges as officials prepare next year’s budget. Among those challenges is the need to improve mobility options while keeping the city's transportation system accessible to everyone. That's why we need to ensure that transportation issues and improvements are part of the city's budget conversation. You can help make sure this happens: If you're a Chicago resident, please take the city’s 2021 budget survey by Sunday, September 13.  As with many other critical public systems, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the underlying inequities in Chicago’s transportation network.  Decades of structural racism and disinvestment have meant that the Black and Latinx communities were already struggling with inadequate transportation options before the pandemic. Then, as COVID-19 hit, these Chicago communities faced even...

Chicago’s budget needs to advance bus and bike lanes

Aug 18, 2020 | by W. Robert Schultz III

Active Trans Campaign Organizer W. Robert Schultz III, a 31st Ward resident, provided testimony at a Chicago City Council hearing on the city's infrastructure needs on August 18. The following is an excerpt of his remarks. I have lived in Belmont Cragin, Logan Square, and Uptown. Over the 30 years that I lived in Chicago, I have worked in nearly every one of its 77 community areas, and my Chicago experiences started as a frequent visitor to Englewood in the 1960s. I chose to make Chicago home because I wanted to live a car free. This means walking to a Chicago Transit Authority bus stop if I am heading out for shopping or work, or recreational-, educational-, or health-related activities....

Take action now to stop public transit and Divvy shutdowns

Aug 14, 2020 | by Active Trans

The following is an organizational statement from Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Amy Rynell. For more on the shutdowns, see Lynda Lopez's blog post, The needless harm done by shutting down public transit. Public transit provides access to opportunities for thousands of working-class Chicagoans. Buses, trains, paratransit, and bike share connect people to their jobs, healthcare appointments, grocery stores, and their families. When it's taken away, riders are cut off from where they need to go or forced to pay much more for a taxi or ride-hailing trip. The repeated evening and overnight shutdowns of CTA, Divvy, and paratransit service in the downtown area sets an alarming precedent. City officials are making this call without providing the public a clear...

State reverses decision to eliminate bus lanes as option for North LSD

Jul 31, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Bus lanes are back on the table for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive, but more work needs to be done to make sure they’re part of the final design.  This week state and local officials said they’ll carry forward the 3+1 bus only lane option to the next stage of the planning process. The transit-friendly design had been eliminated in June, despite opposition from the Chicago Transit Authority. Active Trans and other advocates came out strongly against the decision. More than 700 Chicagoans signed letters to Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, and the project team urging them to reverse course. Several community leaders on the project task force also spoke up. Your strong grassroots response clearly made a difference. It drew attention from decision makers and helped...

Take action to restore Chicago transit and Divvy service

Jun 2, 2020 | by Active Trans

As Chicago grapples with social unrest and an unprecedented global pandemic, we need reliable transportation options more than ever. But CTA service is suspended again Monday evening. And Metra and Divvy remain out of service. Sign a letter to Mayor Lightfoot and your alderman urging them to restore transit service. We appreciate the unprecedented position Chicago’s leaders are in at this moment. Balancing the need to maintain public safety while protecting the rights of residents is a complex task under normal circumstances, let alone during a global pandemic. However, we urge the City of Chicago and transit agencies work to fully restore transit and Divvy service immediately. In the event services need temporary rerouting or temporary suspensions due to safety,...

Meet our Bus Organizing Fellows

May 27, 2020 | by Maya Norris

A new group of advocates has joined the Active Transportation Alliance in its quest to push for affordable, speedy, and reliable bus service in Chicago. Armed with a deep commitment to community organizing and public service, Active Trans’ new Bus Organizing Fellows have been working to understand how to improve bus service during the COVID-19 pandemic for essential workers. Since March, the fellows — LaCreshia Birts, Rylen Clark, and Jamaine Gooding — have been conducting online surveys with essential workers from historically marginalized communities who depend on public transit to get to their jobs. The survey examines the demographics of these workers, the condition of the buses, and the speed and reliability of the routes they take. With that information,...

Tips for transit riders during COVID-19

May 20, 2020 | by Active Trans

While the coronavirus has taken an enormous toll on transit ridership across the region and country, there are of hundreds of thousands of people locally who continue to rely on public transit every day to reach jobs and make other essential trips. CTA, Pace, and Metra together are still serving roughly 340,000 people per weekday during the stay-at-home order. This is more than or equivalent to ridership levels in the metro areas of Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Miami, and Minneapolis in normal times. Our regional transit system is vital to our region — now more than ever. Transit gets essential workers to work so all of us have access to food, healthcare, and other necessities. It ensures that those unable to...

Active Trans endorses Fair Tax ballot initiative

Apr 29, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

A progressive state income tax would advance our mission to create more healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities in the Chicago region.  WHAT IS THE FAIR TAX?  The Fair Tax constitutional amendment would change the state constitution by eliminating the requirement that says the state of Illinois must tax income at a single rate. Passing the Fair Tax amendment would allow for higher taxation rates for higher incomes and lower taxation rates for people with low and moderate incomes, as the federal income tax is structured.  After legislators voted in 2019 to put this question before voters, it will appear on Illinois’ November 2020 general election ballot. A "yes" vote of more than 50 percent of those voting in the election or more than 60 percent of...

Advocates call for transit agencies to prioritize racial equity in COVID-19 response

Apr 16, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

If Chicago’s transit agencies are going to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19, they need to include riders and other Chicagoland residents in their decision making. CTA ridership is down more than 80 percent from typical April ridership. Pace Suburban Bus ridership is down 68 percent. Metra ridership is down 97 percent – combining for an 83 percent decline system wide. Sales tax and gas tax revenues – two of the agencies’ largest sources of operating and capital dollars – are way down and expected to take a long time to recover. The emergency assistance for transit included in the CARES Act will help, but it’s not nearly enough. CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY AND RACIAL EQUITY Active Trans joined seven...