Tag Archives: transit

Chicago’s bike share system should remain public

Mar 15, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

Update [3/26/19]: We recently sent a letter to Chicago City Council enthusiastically supporting the proposed amendment of the City of Chicago’s existing contract for the operation of Divvy, Chicago’s highly successful bike share program. The proposed deal achieves the goal of expanding Divvy citywide, while keeping the system in public hands. Please join us in voicing support for Divvy expansion by contacting your alderman! ---------------- Divvy is two-wheeled public transit. All Chicagoans deserve access to an expanded, well-run bike sharing system that is integrated with other forms of public transit. Active Trans doesn't have any preference when it comes to the system's vendors, but there are important differences between the two proposals from Lyft and Uber that were released this week....

Lynda Lopez, an advocate for transportation equity

Feb 28, 2019 | by Maya Norris

Lynda Lopez is on a mission to prove that transportation is about much more than just getting from point A to point B. She contends that creating safe walking, bicycling and public transit conditions are fundamental to creating thriving, vibrant communities in Chicago. As a reporter for Streetsblog Chicago, Lopez explores how transportation and mobility intersect with social justice and equity, giving voice to the residents and communities that are grappling with these issues. Her insights and advocacy work around transportation equity have earned her Active Transportation Alliance’s Advocate of the Year Award, which she received several months back at Active Trans' annual member meeting. Transportation is access “Transportation seems to be very niche, but it shouldn’t be because it’s...

A Q&A with Jeff Speck

Feb 27, 2019 | by Ted Villaire

Jeff Speck is one of the leading voices in the nation for creating cities that are better places to walk, bike and use transit. He's a city planner and author of several books, including, most recently, "Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places." This book was a followup to his very popular, "Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time." We recently had an opportunity to ask Jeff his take on what's needed to make Chicagoland a better place for biking and walking.   Active Trans: What’s the biggest barrier to walkability in a large North American city like Chicago? Jeff Speck: I will mention an insurmountable barrier and a surmountable one. Insurmountable is the...

Mayoral candidates support upgrading Metra Electric

Feb 21, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Chicago’s leading candidates for mayor recognize the untapped potential of the Metra Electric Line and understand why the next administration must upgrade it. For years Active Trans has worked with community-based partners in the Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric to fight for more service, better coordination and safer stations along the line. Now mayoral candidates are getting on board in response to a candidate questionnaire from Active Transportation NOW, a 501(c)4 affiliate of Active Trans.  Coalition goals for the Metra Electric include: Trains every 10 to 15 minutes An equitable fare structure with easy, low-cost transfer to CTA and Pace Clean, safe, bright, accessible stations We were thrilled to see that all eight candidates who responded to the candidate questionnaire (Daley,...

Report shows Chicago riders leaving transit for Uber, Lyft

Feb 14, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

A new study released this week by TransitCenter shows that Chicago is one of two cities, along with New York, where transit riders say they are shifting a significant share of their transit trips to Uber and Lyft. The report shows that Chicago needs to do more to improve bus service to win back riders given that bus ridership accounts for nearly all the recent transit ridership loss in our city. Take action now to tell your alderman and Chicago’s mayor you want to see a plan for at least 50 miles of new transit priority streets! Buses move many more people than cars while taking up a fraction of the street space, and yet Chicago and other cities continue to...

Stories from the bus

Jan 31, 2019 | by Active Trans

Guest blog by SWOP Organizer Devonta Boston. Southwest Organizing Project is one of our Bus Advocacy Community Partners and mini-grant recipients. SWOP organizer Devonta Boston met with 60 individuals on the Southwest Side to discuss their experiences with bus service in their community:   During the time I spent doing relational meetings centered around bus advocacy, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot and heard varying opinions of local bus service. One thing is for sure, a lot of people rely on CTA to get downtown. But what about getting to all the other destinations in Chicago? Known issues  Among young commuters, reliability is a frequent complaint. Youth that I spoke with were frustrated by some trains randomly becoming...

Connecting Chicago’s suburbs with rapid transit

Jan 31, 2019 | by Ron Burke

Chicago suburbs eager to attract people and companies should start by becoming more walkable and transit-friendly. One place to look for successful ways to accomplish this is Pace’s “bus on shoulder” service. A recent Chicago Tribune article documents the growing ridership on routes between the suburbs and downtown Chicago that use the highway shoulders of I-55 and I-294. The buses can bypass traffic jams created by thousands of drive-alone commuters, allowing bus riders a faster and less stressful commute. Pace says the I-55 service would grow beyond the current 3,000 daily riders if they only had more buses. Most suburbs are designed around the inefficient model of moving one person per car. Highway shoulders are part of that equation. They...

West Side advocates share bus service woes with CTA board

Jan 28, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Getting to jobs on time is difficult for many West Side residents who rely on the bus during off-peak hours. Active Trans joined Charles Perry, Director of Organizing at the West Side Health Authority, in testifying before the CTA board in January. We were calling for the transit agency to develop a plan for 50 miles of transit priority streets for Chicago. As one of our Bus Advocacy Community Partners, the West Side Health Authority used mini-grant funds from Active Trans to collect 70 surveys from Austin residents about the quality of local bus service. We shared their stories and copies of the Bus Friendly Streets Report Cards with the CTA Board, highlighting that the 37th Ward received a D...

Mayoral candidates pledge support for better bus service

Jan 28, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

The leading candidates for mayor of Chicago say they support creating more bus-only lanes and other improvements that would make bus service faster and more reliable. On Tuesday, January 15, nine candidates participated in the Bus Riders Forum organized by the Pilsen Alliance and Active Transportation Now. The forum was moderated by Mary Wisniewski, transportation reporter and columnist at the Chicago Tribune. The Pilsen Alliance is a 20-year-old social justice organization that sees equitable public transportation as crucial to social justice in Chicago. Pilsen Alliance is also one of our Bus Advocacy Community Partners and mini-grant recipients. If you missed the forum, which was held at the Lozano Library Branch in Pilsen, you can watch video of the entire forum here....

Alderman Villegas on board for better bus service

Jan 24, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

After hearing from a group of youth in his ward who are frustrated with the Diversey bus, Alderman Villegas (36th ward) says he’ll work with city agencies to speed up bus service. Active Trans partnered with a group of youth advocates from the Northwest Side Housing Center on a meeting with Alderman Villegas in late 2018. The alderman heard stories from the youth of what slow and unreliable bus service has cost them, such as being late to school and doctor’s appointments. As part of the partnership, the Northwest Side Housing Center received a mini-grant from Active Trans to fight for better bus service in their local community. The group used Active Trans' Bus Friendly Street Report Cards to back up...