Tag Archives: transit

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...

Transparency needed about possible cuts

Dec 16, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

As we continue to fight for emergency federal support for Chicago area public transit, Active Trans joined a coalition of advocates calling for our transit agencies to share more information about what will be targeted in cuts if the federal funding doesn't come through. Following are excerpts from our coalition's letter that was submitted to the boards of RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace during their December budget meetings. ________________________ We are gravely concerned that your proposed budgets ignore the looming transit financial crisis. While we continue to work with you in support of federal funding, it is irresponsible to assume that these funds will become available. Every day brings different news about potential COVID relief legislation, suggesting that the only...

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...

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...

Advocates call for keeping transit running during any post-election protests

Oct 13, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (10/14/20): In response to the petition, Mayor Lightfoot's Office said in a statement to WTTW that they will work with city officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders to “avoid any shutdown of transit options in the future.” A coalition of advocates is calling on Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago-area transit agencies to keep our buses, trains, paratransit, and bike sharing running during future periods of civil unrest in the city.   The group’s petition states that “transit is a public good and a necessity at all times.” It calls for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Pace Suburban Bus, and Divvy to make public commitments to remain in operation during times of protest so people can get where they need to go.  The group says this request is urgent given the potential for unrest following major upcoming...

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...

Pop-up bus lanes coming to Chicago Ave and 79th St. 

Sep 21, 2020 | by Active Trans

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transit Authority are rolling out a new pilot that will implement "pop up essential bus lanes" on two major corridors along two of the highest ridership bus routes in Chicago.  One will be on 79th Street between Cicero and Western, a total of three miles, and the other on Chicago Avenue between Laramie and Ashland, a total of 4.6 miles. The right hand travel lane will be converted into a bus only lane using tape and signage. This initiative is a step in the right direction toward more effective and equitable transportation on the South and West Sides of Chicago. A fast, reliable bus trip is also a safer bus trip during COVID-19. It's encouraging to see this roll out as part of...