Tag Archives: Equity

Safe streets are much more than crosswalks and bike lanes

Jun 1, 2020 | by Active Trans

The murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others continue to demonstrate our society’s systemic devaluing of Black lives. Safe streets mean so much more than crosswalks and bike lanes. We cannot have mobility justice without racial justice. As we advocate for healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities through walking, biking, and transit, we must be centered around efforts to dismantle white supremacy and structural racism. As a majority-white organization, we know that our actions mean more than our words and we will continue to address racial equity inside and outside our organization. As the public responded to these crimes by exercising their constitutional rights, we were deeply dismayed by images and reports of Chicago...

Chicago launches Our Streets as part of COVID-19 response

May 29, 2020 | by Active Trans

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new program to create more space for people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Our Streets initiative “invites Chicago neighborhoods to request that local roads be converted into corridors for improved, safe travel and healthy activity.”   This includes designating some residential streets as “shared streets” by adding traffic barriers and limiting through traffic to allow for physically distanced walking and biking. The list of streets is still in development, although 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin announced Leland Avenue in his North Side ward will be the city’s first COVID-19 shared street starting Friday.  Shared streets are a first step to help Chicagoans feel safe walking and biking during the pandemic, but much more needs to be done. To date, the city’s plans fail to address the mobility...

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...

Support funding for walking and biking projects in low-income communities

Feb 12, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Last year, Active Trans and hundreds of supporters made our voices heard to ensure that dedicated funding for walking and biking projects would be included in the state's capital bill. As a result, for the first time ever, Illinois' long-term capital plan includes dedicated funding for walking and bicycling projects. Now we need your help to make sure the program is successful. As the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) began moving ahead with the program, it’s become evident that the current language of the legislation lacks clarity on two key points. 1. How often IDOT should set aside the $50 million in new state funds for the walking and biking grant program. What we want: Every year — not every other...

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2019

Dec 16, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

There were plenty of attention-grabbing developments among the top active transportation stories of 2019. Some of these developments helped make our streets safer and more inviting for people using active transportation, while others were intended to give more people access to better transportation options. Here they are. If we missed an important story, please let us know. 1. State dedicates funds to walking, biking, and public transit. For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding — $50 million annually — for walking and biking projects. The capital bill also includes sustainable funding for public transit for the first time ever. Active Trans championed both initiatives with a bipartisan group of legislators in the Illinois State House...

What Uber and Lyft aren’t saying about new Chicago fees

Nov 12, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (11/26/19): Mayor Lightfoot's budget passed Chicago's City Council, including new fees on Uber and Lyft. There’s so much misinformation flying around about Mayor Lightfoot’s changes to the Uber and Lyft fee structure that it’s easy to lose sight of what’s proposed. HIGHER FEES ON DOWNTOWN TRIPS The Mayor’s proposal targets downtown trips by adding a fee of $1.75 for solo trips and 65 cents for shared trips that start or end in and around the Loop. Data shows nearly half of all Uber and Lyft trips start or end downtown. Thirty two percent of those trips both start and end in the downtown area. These trips are in the most congested part of the city where much more affordable...

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,...

Chicago should keep e-scooter sharing program

Oct 14, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (1/29/20): The City of Chicago released an evaluation of the 2019 scooter pilot and announced there will be a second pilot during summer 2020. They're currently working on the terms of the new program. No details about how it will be structured are available at this time. ________________ During the past four months while the City of Chicago's e-scooter sharing pilot program has been underway, Active Trans has been busy gathering information — online and in-person — from hundreds of Active Trans members, supporters, and residents. Many of the people who provided feedback live or work in the West Side pilot area. We wanted to hear what people thought about the pilot program and their general thoughts about e-scooters....

Advocates urge Lightfoot to explore congestion pricing

Jul 2, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

Active Trans joined a coalition of advocates in calling on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make the city’s ride-hailing fee more equitable and analyze possible congestion pricing options. In a letter sent to Mayor Lightfoot and relevant committee chairs, the group argues that changes to the fee structure would encourage more people using sustainable transportation options, such as shared rides, walking, bicycling, and public transit. Transportation is the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the country. In Illinois, more than half of all emissions come from the Chicago area. Also signing the letter was the Metropolitan Planning Council, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Shared-Use Mobility Center, Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, and Via ride-share service. HOW TO REFORM RIDE-HAILING AND...

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...