Tag Archives: covid-19

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...

Second stimulus is big win, but more work to do to save Chicago transit

Jan 11, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The money coming to Chicago-area transit agencies from the second federal COVID relief bill should help avoid major additional service cuts in 2021, but the fight is far from over. The COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill, passed by Congress in late December, includes approximately $486 million in emergency support for Chicago transit. The regional transit budget shortfall for 2021 was about $500 million prior to this assistance. Thank you to the hundreds of advocates across the region who took action urging our Congressional leaders to fight for transit. Over the last few months, our supporters generated more than 2,300 emails, phone calls, and Tweets to Congressional offices. Our Transit Justice Forum with Rep. Chuy Garcia helped further shine a light on the local need and...

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...

Town hall discussion on food access and transit on Dec. 15

Dec 4, 2020 | by Active Trans

COVID-19 has added to the challenges many people face in their day-to-day lives. A lack of access to food is one of those problems that has grown for many people because the of pandemic. On Tuesday, December 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., we will be exploring this topic through an online discussion with local elected officials and community leaders. We also will be sharing results of our recent food access and public transportation survey. Join Active Trans for a conversation hosted and moderated by Active Trans Bus Organizing Fellow Rylen Clark. Guests will include:  State Senator Mattie Hunter of the 3rd District  State Representative Delia Ramirez of the 4th District Jan Deckenbach, Director of the Hyde Park Kenwood Food Pantry Ruth Rosas, Community Programs Coordinator at CLOCC Cosmos...

Petition: CTA budget cut would harm vulnerable Chicagoans

Nov 18, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Active Transportation Alliance, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, Chicago Jobs with Justice, Elevated Chicago, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Equiticity, Illinois Environmental Council, Metropolitan Planning Council, Respiratory Health Association, Shared-Use Mobility Center, Sierra Club Chicago Group, and Union of Concerned Scientists launched the following petition against Mayor Lightfoot's proposed cut to CTA's budget. Take action now to show your support. If you're part of an organization that would like to sign on, email [email protected] _________________________ Mayor Lightfoot should reconsider her proposal to stop directing $16 million in fee revenue from ride-hailing companies to CTA in Chicago’s 2021 budget.  With fare and tax revenue plummeting during the COVID-19 pandemic, CTA’s budget is already in crisis. If approved, this cut increases...

More information needed about airflow on Chicagoland buses and trains

Nov 10, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

In order for people to make well-informed choices about safety and transportation, it’s critical for Chicago-area transit agencies to be transparent about how air is flowing through their vehicles. This is especially important given that, according to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads both through larger droplets that fall out of the air rapidly as well as smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended for many minutes or hours. Providing information about air flow could help the thousands of people still riding and operating transit better understand their level of risk of contracting the virus. If the information in Chicago is as encouraging as it’s been in other cities, it could also help restore public confidence in riding transit and bring...

Metra rolls out bike car, eases bike restrictions during COVID

Nov 6, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of Ride Illinois and Active Trans, Metra is introducing its first-ever bike car on the Milwaukee District North Line and temporarily relaxing bike restrictions across all 11 lines.  The commuter rail agency, which  announced the changes Thursday, was able to make this move because ridership remains down by more than 90 percent during the pandemic and excess capacity exists on all trains.  “We’re committed to being part of a regional transportation network, which includes supporting the cycling community by making Metra an accessible part of their trip,” said Metra CEO Jim Derwinski.  The bike car will carry 15 bicycles instead of the usual five on ADA accessible cars. It will run as a pilot program Monday through Saturday on the MD-N line into Spring 2021 with potential...

Virtual town hall: Advancing walking and biking projects during COVID-19

Nov 6, 2020 | by Active Trans

Join Active Transportation Alliance on Wednesday, November 11, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., for a virtual town hall with State Representative Theresa Mah (2nd District) and Alderman Andre Vasquez (40th Ward). You can register for the free event today. Rep. Mah and Ald. Vasquez will discuss how they have been working with residents in their districts to advance walking and biking projects during COVID-19. Also joining the conversation will be leaders from local community groups who are addressing these issues. As with many other critical public systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the underlying inequities in Chicago’s transportation network. Structural racism and white supremacy have led to stark racial and economic segregation in the Chicago region. Years of disinvestment mean...

Take our survey on food access and transportation

Nov 2, 2020 | by Active Trans

In the era of COVID-19, social justice is more important than ever. Yet, during the pandemic, some social justice issues that were once a priority have been sidelined or, in some cases, have gotten lost in the cracks. The Active Transportation Alliance is picking up one of those subjects that seems to have gotten lost in the cracks: food insecurity and it’s relation to public transit.  Active Trans will be working with local food pantries to explore this issue. To better inform this work — and better inform the people who have the power to change policy — we also want to hear from you.  When considering food insecurity and transit, a few important questions we plan to ask people...