Tag Archives: transit

Illinois must seize opportunity to move beyond car-centric transportation system

Jun 8, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

Thanks to an unprecedented level of federal and state transportation funding, Illinois’ next governor and general assembly will have the ability to transform streets and trails in communities across the state.  If they are willing to confront the failing status quo, the next governor and general assembly will have the opportunity to re-orient the state’s transportation system around safety, sustainability, and racial equity.  Active Transportation Alliance's 2022 Illinois Sustainable Transportation Platform provides a roadmap for state leaders to dramatically improve mobility over the next five years. The platform features specific action items on three core goals:  Elevate sustainability and racial equity in transportation decision making. Strengthen funding and regulations to support public transit. Make state roads safer for walking and...

Action alert! Tell Chicago to make climate action plan stronger on transportation

Mar 28, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

Chicago is working on a climate action plan featuring ambitious goals to reduce driving and get more people walking, biking, and riding public transit. But the current draft lacks firm commitments to redesign city streets and invest in the hard infrastructure needed to support this shift to non-car alternatives. Without these commitments, Chicagoans will not be able track progress on the plan and hold city officials accountable. Now we need your help to improve the plan. Review the draft plan on the city’s website and submit a comment by Monday, April 4. The sections most relevant to walking, biking, and transit fall under Pillar 3: Enable Personal Mobility and Improve Air Quality: Strategy 1 to grow CTA ridership Strategy 4...

Illinois is missing a big part of the long-term solution to high gas prices

Mar 23, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With gas prices surging, Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker need to step up and make it safer and easier for people to walk, bike, and ride public transit. The media is saturated with stories of outrage about the cost of gasoline and official proposals to lower prices. This way of looking at the issue inevitably ignores how the intentional development of our car-centric, sprawling region contributed to this problem – and how alternative forms of transportation can be part of the solution. It’s on all of us as transportation equity and sustainability advocates to demand a better approach.  WHAT’S HAPPENING  The average price of gas in metro Chicago is heading toward $5 per gallon and is expected to continue to...

Congressional leaders urge state to consider climate and equity impacts

Mar 16, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

A group of eight Chicago area Congressional leaders sent a strong message to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) about how to spend newly available federal funds: factor climate change and racial equity into all of your funding decisions. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García led the effort behind the letter delivered to Gov. Pritzker and IDOT. It was co-signed by Reps. Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Marie Newman, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush, Jan Schakowsky, and Brad Schneider. Active Trans and seven other regional advocacy groups provided support to the letter. All of these leaders worked hard to develop and pass last year's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law. Now they want to make sure their legislation has the intended impact...

Dozens of organizations urge state to rethink priorities with new transportation funding

Feb 25, 2022 | by Julia Gerasimenko

With an influx of federal funding on its way to Illinois, advocates across the state and across the country are reminding state leadership that the funds must be spent on projects that enhance equity and sustainability. As part of that effort, Active Trans joined 50 other advocacy groups from across Illinois in sending a letter to Governor Pritzker and Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman that underscores the great need for them to move beyond the status quo in transportation spending. This means investing in projects that create a transportation system that is more equitable, sustainable, economically productive, safe, accessible, and affordable. State departments of transportation, in our case the Illinois Department of Transportation, have outsized control of how...

Advocates call on RTA to step up engagement on strategic plan

Feb 22, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With the Chicago area's public transit system in crisis, advocates say the Regional Transportation Authority's (RTA) ongoing strategic planning process has thus far failed to meet the needs of this historic moment. Active Trans joined six other regional advocacy groups in sending a letter to the RTA Board of Directors highlighting how the plan is falling short and what's needed to get the transit system through this crisis and, ultimately, help it grow and thrive. Center for Neighborhood Technology Vice President of Government Affairs and longtime Active Trans partner Jacky Grimshaw read the letter into the record at Thursday's board meeting. Following are excerpts from the letter: We are writing to express our strong concern with the Regional Transportation Authority’s...

Transit Equity Day event calls for investment in transit workers & riders

Feb 14, 2022 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Chicago Jobs with Justice recently launched Chicago’s first-ever transit riders union under its campaign Transit4All. Active Transportation Alliance joined Chicago Jobs with Justice for the launch of their initiative as did Warehouse Workers for Justice, Sierra Club of Illinois, and local transit advocates. The goal is to foster an independent organization that would improve public transit for both riders and workers. At a recent event that took place on Transit Equity Day, February 3, announcing the initiative, speakers from the organizations called for: System-wide transit station accessibility Equitable investments in the transit workforce Increasing the frequency of transit service, especially during off-peak hours and in the outlying areas of the city and suburbs Full electrification of our buses and trains...

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2021

Dec 16, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

In year two of the coronavirus pandemic, Chicago area residents continued to adapt to a changing world and adjusted their transportation habits and expectations for this new reality. Through it all, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with our community partners and legislative allies to fight for more residents to have access to safe, convenient, affordable, and sustainable transportation options. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking, and transit stories and advocacy victories of the year. 1. FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE BILL DELIVERS BILLIONS TO CHICAGO AREA In November President Biden signed into law a historic national infrastructure bill that includes unprecedented levels of funding for public transit, walking, and biking. While the bill was being developed, Active Trans and...

Chicago must advance equity and sustainability with new federal transportation funds

Nov 22, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act (IIJA) provides a historic opportunity for the Chicago area to move beyond car-centric planning and advance racial and environmental justice through transportation investments.  Now we need to make sure regional leaders take advantage of this opportunity. We can’t afford to see these funds go to wasteful roadway projects that only worsen the inequity in our regional transportation system.  This week Active Trans joined a coalition of 12 civic and environmental advocates that is calling for our transportation agencies in the region to develop an inclusive and transparent approach in determining which projects to put forward for newly available federal funds. This inclusive and transparent approach should center the projects' impacts on racial equity and climate change.  Following are excerpts from the letter, which was...

CTA proposes making fare discounts permanent, but more is needed

Nov 5, 2021 | by Active Trans

Relief funding from the federal government has enabled the Chicago Transit Authority to take some steps that make transit service more accessible and welcoming to people with low incomes. The biggest change is making its recently piloted discounted passes program permanent.   While we commend CTA for moving forward with the discounted passes and free transfers in its 2022 budget proposal, we would have liked to see other new initiatives moving forward that would improve service and accessibility.    A WIN FOR FAIR FARES  According to CTA, the one/three/seven-day discounted passes, launched as a pilot on Memorial Day 2021, generated more than 10 million rides over the summer months. This enormous number of rides made it clear that there's a great need...