Tag Archives: covid-19

Transportation issues on the city’s Southwest Side during COVID-19

Jul 28, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

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 and two elected officials on the city’s Southwest Side. Though not all-encompassing, here’s a glimpse of what residents on the Southwest Side are experiencing. MOBILITY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES As our mobility in the city adapts to the changing circumstances of the pandemic, people with disabilities have experienced...

Chicago prepares second e-scooter pilot

Jul 27, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

The scooters are coming. Again.  Officials say four companies responded to the city’s request for applications for a second e-scooter sharing pilot this summer. Chicago selected Bird, Lime, and Spin to participate in this year's program, which launches August 12. 2020 PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS  The terms reflect many of the recommendations from Active Trans’ E-Scooter Policy Report, which was released following the 2019 pilot.  The companies can operate a combined 10,000 scooters in a geographic area that includes most of the city.  Scooters are not allowed downtown or on the Lakefront or 606 trails, as Active Trans and our partners recommended.   At least half of the scooters must be docked in low-income areas on the South and West Sides. We spoke with community leaders in these “priority zones” after the initial pilot and...

Additional walking and biking guidance during COVID-19

Jul 17, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

Earlier this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to develop a shareable infographic offering advice on how to stay safe while walking and biking. Now that our state has reached Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which allows for physically-distanced and masked gatherings of up to 100 people in outdoor spaces, many have asked if walking and biking in small groups is considered safe. We consulted with subject matter experts from CCDPH for advice. In general, if you go on a walk or bike ride by yourself or with anyone from within or outside of your household, always take the proper precautions. Public health guidelines still recommend keeping 6-feet of physical...

Further impacts of the transit shutdown in Chicago

Jul 11, 2020 | by Active Trans

The recent CTA shutdown stirred a lot of emotions among residents throughout the city. It also caused lot of discomfort and inconvenience. The shutdown came at a time when widespread social unrest over police-involved killings was happening in Chicago and the nation. Following the abrupt transit shutdown were the calls for accountability for the city officials and mayor. The bus fellows at Active Trans saw an opportunity to capture these concerns and launched a rapid survey response. We wanted to hear from people impacted on the ground by the shutdown and how it disrupted their lives. While speaking with five people who shared their stories, two main points came up often regarding the shutdown: concerns about lack of access to Divvy Bikes and the...

Biking during the pandemic

Jul 7, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

Biking has never been a neutral act. There are a lot of associations with riding a bike on the street and the power that comes with occupying that space. During the past few months, biking has taken on another role because of the pandemic. It is now increasingly being seen as a safe alternative to public transit and other forms of mobility. It has been a conflicting time for me as I process the world unfolding and how movement and our perception of movement shifts. I struggle with how to love biking and not perpetuate beliefs that may harm marginalized communities. As more people take up bikes in my community, many seemingly for recreational purposes, I am adamant not to...

Mobility challenges in the time of COVID-19 on Chicago’s South Side

Jul 6, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

COVID-19 has impacted transportation and mobility in profound ways. To better understand the transportation needs of the people and communities most impacted by the pandemic, Active Trans embarked on a listening tour of over 100 community leaders and public officials. This is part of a series of blog posts sharing what we learned. To learn more about the specific transportation and mobility challenges that people in Chicago face — particularly in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic — we held 11 conversations with community partners and elected officials on Chicago’s South Side. We spoke with two state elected officials, three aldermen, and several community partners and leaders from Bronzeville, Chatham, the East Side, Englewood, Hegewisch, Hyde Park, Riverdale, South Chicago,...

COVID-19 transportation listening tour

Jun 17, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

In May 2020, Active Trans’ advocacy team embarked on a listening tour 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. COVID-19 has impacted transportation and mobility in profound ways and these one-on-one and group conversations via Zoom were a way for our organization to have a more grounded understanding of the effects region-wide. These conversations will allow us to point to transportation priorities that are specific to different parts of the region. As part of this process, we will be sharing what we’ve learned in a series of posts on the Active Trans blog. While our...

How some transit agencies are keeping riders informed

Jun 5, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

The coronavirus pandemic has presented unique challenges for transit agencies across the country. As Chicago and other cities continue to shift into the next phases of reopening, transitioning public transit safely and effectively for riders and operators is a key part of that process. This includes presenting information transparently and consistently, creating user-friendly websites, and using innovative approaches to keeping in touch with riders. The following are some communication strategies and tools that transit agencies across the country have used: Clear information about covid-19 cases: The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System website allows visitors to see the number of confirmed covid-19 cases of frontline employees and the corresponding routes they served. User-friendly website: A key part of helping riders get...

More steps needed for safe, convenient bus service

Jun 3, 2020 | by Jamaine Gooding

Since March, the Active Trans Bus Organizing Fellows 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. This is one of a series of articles sharing the results of these surveys. To keep COVID-19 from spreading among CTA passengers and staff, the transit agency has been changing the way it operates during the pandemic. Buses in particular have some new procedures designed to prevent the spread of the disease. Some of the more visible changes are: Requiring rear door boarding for all riders except...

The challenges of staying safe while using transit

Jun 2, 2020 | by Rylen Clark

Since March, the Active Trans Bus Organizing Fellows 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. This is one of a series of articles sharing the results of these surveys. For people who must rely on transit during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s not an easy task trying to maintain physical distancing and protecting themselves from coronavirus. Among the riders we’ve been surveying, numerous concerns have been brought up about transit agencies’ lack of transparency and lack of steps taken to ensure safety for...