Tag Archives: covid-19

Big threat looms for local transit riders if no action taken

Sep 29, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Without $32 billion in emergency funding needed for public transit, public transportation will be devastated both locally and across the country. A new report released by TransitCenter and Center for Neighborhood Technology details the impact for people in Chicago and 9 other regions. As emergency funding from the CARES Act runs out, transit cuts averaging 40 percent across major U.S. regions would result in more than 3 million people losing access to frequent transit, according to the report. The study finds that in the Chicago region, nearly 210,000 people would lose access to frequent transit near their home, and more than 55,000 would lose access to frequent transit near their workplace. Take action now to send a message to Congress...

Ride the BLT—a socially distanced bike ride!

Sep 21, 2020 | by Kerry Holsinger

Looking for some socially distanced physical activity this fall? From the organization that brings you Fifth Third Bike the Drive,  Trans now brings you the Boulevard Lakefront Tour, the self-led bike ride edition! You choose a route and we'll send the map for you to ride on any date you choose. We have crafted (and tested!) FIVE unique bike routes to explore Chicago on two wheels. Whether it's a 30-mile ride through the North, West or South Sides, a 75-mile adventure through the entire city, or a short 8-mile family friendly bike ride, there is a route for everyone! Since biking is an activity that easily allows for social distancing, you can feel safe keeping six feet away from others!...

Metra must get past serving just white-collar suburban riders

Sep 18, 2020 | by Active Trans

This is a guest post by Scott Presslak, a regional transit advocate who runs the Star:Line Chicago Twitter account. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the only certainty we have these days is uncertainty. 2020 has, without a shred of hyperbole, been the most challenging year that most of us have had to persevere, on multiple fronts. That challenge has come down hard on transit agencies across the U.S. and, locally, Metra has been hit hardest. Metra’s core market historically has been white-collar suburbanites commuting to and from the Loop for 9-to-5 Monday-through-Friday jobs. This market was already shrinking pre-pandemic as more workplaces offered remote work flexibility. Now, many more of these residents have the privilege to work from home...

Join our transit discussion during Cook County Racial Equity Week

Sep 9, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Active Transportation Alliance is excited to co-host a discussion on public transit during Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s second annual Racial Equity Week.  Register for the discussion, which will be held as a virtual event on Thursday, September 17 at 11 a.m.  The event is a roundtable on transportation equity in the time of COVID-19, with a spotlight on Cook County’s Fair Transit project on Chicago’s South Side and South Suburbs. Panelists will discuss the transportation needs of essential workers and how transit issues intersect with racial equity.  Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Amy Rynell will deliver opening remarks. Moderator  Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Government Affairs, Center for Neighborhood Technology   Presenters  Andrea Reed, Co-Chair, Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric ...

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...

The stress and uncertainty surrounding transportation

Sep 2, 2020 | by Active Trans

At Active Trans, there’s been a lot to learn as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day we’re fine-tuning our work so that we can better address the challenges people face while walking, biking, and using public transit during the pandemic. We’ve known that COVID-19 has altered walking, biking, and public transit, but we’ve been struggling to understand how different parts of the region and individual communities have been affected. In order to get a better grasp of the widespread impact of this crisis, we decided to conduct a listening tour of the region. As part of the tour, Active Trans met via Zoom with more than 100 individuals and organizations that are invested in our work. We spoke with...

How to get everyone wearing masks on public transit

Aug 28, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Universal mask wearing on buses and trains is the best way to ensure transit riders and operators stay safe and healthy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While universal compliance is difficult to achieve, leadership from local and state elected officials and local transit agencies is needed to send a clear, direct, and accessible message to transit riders that masks are required on all buses and trains. We do, however, understand that not everyone may have access to masks. To remedy this problem, we're suggesting that CTA install mask dispensers on buses and trains. While the Healthy Kit giveaway program has been a commendable effort on CTA's part, the reach of the program was very limited. Making masks readily available on all...

Mobility in the time of COVID-19 in the north and west suburbs

Aug 20, 2020 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what we perceive and know about mobility and transportation. In recent months, Active Trans met with more than 100 stakeholders who are invested in our work. We spoke with community partners, elected officials, department of transportation and transit agency officials, and residents across the city and suburbs. As part of this process, we held a series of small-group conversations and solo conversations with stakeholders, municipal staff, and elected officials in the north and west suburbs. Though not all encompassing, here is a glimpse of what residents are experiencing. During the course of 14 conversations, we spoke with community members, municipal staff, and elected officials representing Des Plaines, Elgin, Highland Park, Skokie, Waukegan, DuPage...

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....

What transit justice means to Ald. Martin and State Sen. Peters

Aug 3, 2020 | by Active Trans

The Active Trans Bus Organizing Fellows recently sat down with State Senator Robert Peters of the 13th District and 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin to talk about transit justice through times of a pandemic and a corresponding economic crisis. Bus Organizing Fellows Rylen Clark and  Jamaine Alberto Gooding devised questions to ask the elected officials, and they posed questions that came from Chicago residents and audience members. Here’s part one of a summary of how the conversation went. Stay tuned for the second part. You can watch the full recording of the event here.   How do you see public transit as an element for social and economic justice in your district and/or in the state of Illinois?   Senator Peters:...