Tag Archives: covid-19

Longtime staffer reflects on Active Trans’ achievements over the last 35 years

Mar 18, 2021 | by Maya Norris

2021 marks a historic milestone for the Active Transportation Alliance. The nonprofit celebrates its 35th anniversary this year in leading the charge to create a sustainable transportation landscape in Chicagoland that emphasizes safety and health. Active Trans has come a long way since it was founded in 1985 as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation by a small group of advocates looking for ways to make bicycling safe and easier. Over the next 23 years, CBF grew into one of the largest and most prominent bicycle advocacy organizations in the country. In 2008, the organization took an important step forward by expanding its mission to include pedestrian and transit advocacy. As a result, it changed its name to Active Transportation Alliance. Longtime...

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...

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...