Tag Archives: Bus

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...

Support bus lanes on South Halsted

Jan 31, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Transit agencies are considering major upgrades to a busy bus route on Chicago’s Far South Side and in the South Suburbs. As part of the project, they're looking for public input -- but you must act by February 9.   Pace and CTA started the South Halsted Bus Corridor Enhancement Project in 2018 with the goal of improving transit along 11 miles of South Halsted Street, between the Pace Harvey Transportation Center and 79th Street. The project also includes segments of 79th and 95th Streets that provide connections to the CTA Red Line's 79th and 95th Street Stations. Pace and CTA are considering three design options that each give priority to buses in varying degrees. Active Trans supports Option #3  because...

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,...

Leaders should get on board with Metra Electric pilot

Sep 19, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Chicago region is on the cusp of a big victory for transportation equity. Now our elected officials must carry it across the finish line. Cook County is working with the City of Chicago and regional transit agencies to reduce fares and increase service on the Metra Electric District line along the South Lakefront. The details are still being worked out, but the County agreed to fund a three-year pilot. The County's proposal also includes reduced fares on the Rock Island line through Southwest Cook County and free transfers from both Metra Electric and Rock Island trains to CTA and Pace bus service. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle both supported upgrading Metra Electric service and...

Tell Mayor Lightfoot to fund busways and safe streets

Aug 26, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

In building the first budget of her administration, Mayor Lightfoot can chart a new course for Chicago’s transportation network. Now you need to make sure she follows through on her campaign promises to make it safer, healthier, and more affordable to get around Chicago. Leading up her budget address on October 16, Mayor Lightfoot is collecting feedback on Chicago’s budget priorities. Four budget town halls are scheduled for September: Sept. 4: 6 to 8 p.m., Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Sept. 14: 9 to 11 a.m., Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave. Sept. 19: 6 to 8 p.m. the Southeast United Methodist Youth and Community Center, 11731 S. Avenue O Sept. 25: 6 to 8 p.m., Lindblom...

Seeking transit rider stories for Fair Fares Chicagoland

May 23, 2019 | by Lynda Lopez

Have you ever faced challenges affording the costs of transit? If so, we want to hear your story. The Active Transportation Alliance recently launched a new campaign to create a discounted fare for low-income transit riders in the Chicagoland region within the Regional Transit Authority. As of 2019, a monthly CTA pass costs $105. If a transit rider makes under $20,000 a year, 6 percent or more of their yearly income would go toward CTA transit costs. To further understand the potential affordability challenges transit riders may face, we will be interviewing riders about their experiences. We plan to release a report on Fair Fares in the fall that will include some of these stories. We are also distributing a...

Lathrop Homes path adds to growing Chicago River Trail

May 13, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Biking, walking and access to the local bus route is about to get easier at Lathrop Homes with the expected completion of a riverfront path this summer. Lathrop Homes, a housing development north and south of Diversey Avenue along the Chicago River's North Branch, includes a new half-mile long trail that runs alongside the housing development on the east side of the Chicago River. The path ducks under the Diversey bridge and features a decked trail in the river south of Diversey (see below). It's exciting to see another section of the river trail opening soon, moving the city closer to a continuous 27-mile Chicago River Trail. A complete Chicago River trail would promote walking and biking and support healthy...