Tag Archives: transit

Leaders should get on board Metra Electric pilot

Sep 19, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Chicago region is on the cusp of a big victory for transportation equity. Now our elected officials must carry it across the finish line. Cook County is working with the City of Chicago and regional transit agencies to reduce fares and increase service on the Metra Electric District line along the South Lakefront. The details are still being worked out, but the County agreed to fund a three-year pilot. The County's proposal also includes reduced fares on the Rock Island line through Southwest Cook County and free transfers from both Metra Electric and Rock Island trains to CTA and Pace bus service. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle both supported upgrading Metra Electric service and...

Taking the safe streets fight to D.C.

Sep 10, 2019 | by Barb Cornew

While transportation may not be the biggest issue in national politics this year, members of Congress do understand how important it is for their constituents to be able to get where they need to go. Active Trans worked with advocates from across the Chicago region to meet with their members of Congress during the summer recess. We discussed how to work together on a national agenda for safer streets and more reliable public transit. Personal connections and local stories go a long way with elected officials in D.C. Citizens from Park Ridge, Evanston, Des Plaines, Chicago, Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Elgin, Downers Grove and Wheaton met with U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Chuy Garcia, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Mike Quigley, Sean Casten, and Brad...

Hamilton left an indelible mark on Chicago’s transportation scene

Sep 10, 2019 | by Active Trans

When Luann Hamilton joined Chicago’s Public Works Department — the predecessor to the Chicago Department of Transportation — in 1985, cars were the only transportation mode given consideration on our streets. Hamilton (pictured left) knew she would be in for an uphill battle pushing for projects that prioritized walking, biking, and public transit. But that didn’t stop the sustainable transportation advocate. Over the next 34 years, she adeptly navigated the rocky and nuanced terrain of Chicago’s transportation and urban planning sectors. Hamilton and her colleagues successfully transformed the region with seminal walking, biking, and public transit projects that are now synonymous with the city, while she rose through the ranks of the agency, becoming deputy commissioner at CDOT in 2005....

Breaking the cycle of ugly public meetings

Sep 6, 2019 | by Jim Merrell

A proposed project to make a street safer for people walking and biking sparks backlash. A contentious public meeting is held. Arguments based on emotion and anecdotal experience are hurled about. People are frustrated. Rinse. Repeat. Maybe the project moves forward, or gets watered down, or nixed entirely. Who knows? The outcome depends on a completely opaque process and constantly shifting set of criteria. Chicago: This is why we can’t have nice things. The dust up over proposed pedestrian and bicycle improvements to Dickens Avenue in Lincoln Park is just the most recent in a long line of public processes that leave everyone frustrated. To advocates who understand the urgent need to cure our city of its addiction to car...

Pace launches its much-anticipated Pulse service

Sep 3, 2019 | by Maya Norris

A new express bus line has rolled into Niles. Pace, the suburban bus service, recently debuted its Pulse transit service on Milwaukee Avenue, promising frequent, faster, and more reliable transit for one of the most heavily traveled corridors between the northwest suburb and Chicago. Pace launched the Pulse Milwaukee Line on Aug. 11 as the first route in its new Pulse transit system. The Milwaukee Line runs along a 7.6-mile route on Milwaukee Avenue between the Golf Mill Shopping Center in Niles and the Jefferson Park Transit Center in Chicago. It operates every 10 minutes during peak weekday periods, every 15 minutes during off-peak periods and weekends, and every 30 minutes in the late evenings. To further speed up travel...

Tell Mayor Lightfoot to fund busways and safe streets

Aug 26, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

In building the first budget of her administration, Mayor Lightfoot can chart a new course for Chicago’s transportation network. Now you need to make sure she follows through on her campaign promises to make it safer, healthier, and more affordable to get around Chicago. Leading up her budget address on October 16, Mayor Lightfoot is collecting feedback on Chicago’s budget priorities. Four budget town halls are scheduled for September: Sept. 4: 6 to 8 p.m., Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., Sept. 14: 9 to 11 a.m., Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave. Sept. 19: 6 to 8 p.m. the Southeast United Methodist Youth and Community Center, 11731 S. Avenue O Sept. 25: 6 to 8 p.m., Lindblom...

Riding the Irving Park bus with Ald. Gardiner

Aug 20, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

On a warm August morning, Active Trans staff rode the Irving Park Bus with 45th Ward Alderman James Gardiner west from the Six Corners intersection to the Irving Park Blue Line and back. The goal was to get a sense of the daily experience of those 17,000 bus riders on this route. The 45th Ward received a "C" letter grade on our Bus Friendly Streets Report Card for speed and reliability. And the Irving Park #80 Route received a "D" letter grade on our report cards. The stretch of the #80 bus in the ward is the third-slowest segment of the entire #80 bus route. During the ride, Gardiner said he sees the need to improve the speed and reliability...

LaSpata pledges to upgrade bus service in 1st ward

Aug 19, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

To bring attention to the sluggishness of traveling by bus on Chicago’s streets, Active Trans is inviting aldermen on bus rides in their wards. Because, what better way to show elected officials the problems with Chicago bus service than getting them on a bus? That's what we did with 1st Ward Ald. Daniel LaSpata. While we were thrilled to spend some time with this newly elected alderman, he didn't need convincing that the city is desperately in need of faster, more reliable bus service. Indeed, bus ridership in Chicago fell a staggering 21 percent since 2012 and much of this drop happened on the city’s busiest routes, like #49 Western, which cuts through LaSpata's ward. Needless to say, slow and...

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...

Ron Burke to step down as head of Active Trans

Jun 17, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

After nearly nine years with the Active Transportation Alliance, Ron Burke will step down from his role as the organization’s executive director next month. During Burke’s tenure, Active Trans contributed to many victories, from the growth of Chicago’s advanced bike lane network and launch of Divvy bikeshare, to the creation of separate biking and walking trails on the lakefront, introduction of dedicated bus lanes, and expansion of suburban trails. Active Trans also had wins in Springfield during Burke’s tenure, including legislation requiring K-8 public schools to teach biking and walking education and the recent passage of a state capital bill that includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. "Under Ron’s leadership, Active Trans has become a more visible...