Tag Archives: transit

Rep. Buckner files bill to stop public financing of One Central development

May 10, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The proposed One Central tower and transit hub on Chicago’s South Side is poorly conceived and wouldn’t increase transit access for the city’s highest need residents. Thankfully, State Rep. Kam Buckner has introduced a bill (House Bill 4075) to ensure the project doesn’t receive $6.5 billion in public funds. Buckner, whose district includes the site, says he’s heard from constituents opposed to the project and he’s angry that it was “rammed through without real conversations” with people who represent the area. WHAT IS ONE CENTRAL?  First proposed in 2019, the megadevelopment features a residential and commercial high-rise just west of Soldier Field on 31 acres decked over Lake Shore Drive and the Metra Electric tracks. It also would serve as a transit center with stops for Metra...

Now is the time for a transformative capital plan

Apr 26, 2021 | by Jim Merrell

The just-announced Chicago Works Five Year Capital Plan offers Chicago an extraordinary opportunity to show how walking, biking, and transit can help spark and sustain an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan highlights a number of inspiring and potentially transformational projects, including $159.2 million dedicated to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) in 2021 and 2022 for Complete Streets improvements — like protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes. Unfortunately, the plan also risks missing out on some enormous benefits by taking a business-as-usual approach to transportation. The approach risks letting politically popular projects like car-centric re-paving beat out smart, long-term planning and investment in cleaner, healthier, and safer modes of transportation. The plan lacks details on how Complete Streets investments will...

Suburban Chicagoland transit leaders prepare to change 

Apr 16, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The heads of Metra commuter rail and Pace Suburban Bus agree the pandemic has changed suburban transit forever.   Now they’re preparing to adapt how they deliver service to the meet the new reality.  Metra CEO Jim Derwinski and Pace Executive Director Rocky Donahue spoke with Active Trans Executive Director Amy Rynell in our Transit Justice Forum on the Future of Suburban Transit. Leanne Redden, head of the Regional Transportation Authority that oversees Metra and Pace, presented about the approach the region is taking to this period of change. They were joined by U.S. Rep. Marie Newman to talk about the federal government’s role.  Alfred White also spoke, a suburban warehouse worker who struggles to access his job from his South Side home.  Watch the full recording and see highlights...

Give your advocacy skills a boost with these virtual workshops

Apr 5, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Ever wondered about the best time for advocates to get involved in a new transportation project? Or maybe you’ve been stumped about the most effective way to gather input about transportation projects from a wide range of people in your community? These are just a couple of the thorny questions addressed in a series of workshops held during Active Trans’ Suburban Action Week. The event, which included more than 35 speakers, enabled Active Trans to put together an extensive collection of resources intended to help community members successfully advocate for walking, biking, and transit. Some of the discussions focused on specific advocacy efforts while other presentations focused on walking, biking, and transit projects underway at the county level. Some presentations...

Get the latest on projects underway in your suburban community

Apr 2, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Wondering about walking-, biking-, and transit-related projects currently underway in Chicagoland’s suburban communities? Well, here’s your chance to find out what’s happening. During our recent Suburban Action Week event, we heard directly from county staff in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. Staff from county departments of transportation, councils of mayors, forest preserves, and other agencies shared overviews of current and upcoming walking, biking, and transit projects in each county. Additionally, staff from Pace Bus and Metra Rail each discussed how they’re navigating COVID-19 and what’s in store for the future of suburban transit. Check out recordings of these talks below!   COOK COUNTY Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways staff — Beth Davis, Benet Haller,...

Inspiration and guidance for advocates in suburban communities

Mar 30, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

If you’ve ever considered pursuing a walking, biking, or public transit improvement project in your suburban community, you’ll find this series of videos to be a treasure trove of information. The Active Transportation Alliance recently hosted its first-ever virtual Suburban Action Week, featuring 25 short online talks and workshops with advocates, county staff, and community leaders throughout the region. Ten of the sessions focus on successful suburban campaigns to improve walking, biking and transit – from Elgin to Roseland to Brookfield and beyond. Advocates share advice on how to build relationships within a community, how to work effectively with elected officials, and how individuals can make a difference in their own towns. They describe their on-the-ground strategies for creating slow...

A local champion for transportation justice

Mar 24, 2021 | by Ted Villaire

Active Trans is thrilled to be recognizing US Representative Jesús García for our 35th Anniversary celebration. Known to most people as “Chuy,” Rep. García is receiving Active Trans’ Public Leadership Award for his tireless efforts fighting for better public transportation, walking, and biking. Having served as a Chicago alderman, a Cook County Board member, and a state senator, he now represents Illinois’ fourth district for the US House of Representatives, where he founded the Future of Transportation Caucus. In the past year, Rep. García successfully led the call to include adequate support for public transportation as part of the federal pandemic relief funding. In recent months, he introduced a measure with other members of Congress that would boost transit funding...

Longtime staffer reflects on Active Trans’ achievements over the last 35 years

Mar 18, 2021 | by Maya Norris

2021 marks a historic milestone for the Active Transportation Alliance. The nonprofit celebrates its 35th anniversary this year in leading the charge to create a sustainable transportation landscape in Chicagoland that emphasizes safety and health. Active Trans has come a long way since it was founded in 1985 as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation by a small group of advocates looking for ways to make bicycling safe and easier. Over the next 23 years, CBF grew into one of the largest and most prominent bicycle advocacy organizations in the country. In 2008, the organization took an important step forward by expanding its mission to include pedestrian and transit advocacy. As a result, it changed its name to Active Transportation Alliance. Longtime...

Join us March 24 for a forum on the future of suburban transit

Mar 18, 2021 | by Julia Gerasimenko

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis have reshaped the landscape for public transit in our region’s suburban communities. Dramatic declines in ridership and revenues have forced local agencies to make tough choices about suburban transit service, all while thousands of people throughout the region continue rely on transit to navigate their daily lives. At the same time, opportunities for resilience and innovation are on the horizon. Join Active Transportation Alliance and Warehouse Workers for Justice for a lunchtime conversation on Wednesday, March 24 at noon, when we’ll explore the opportunities and challenges facing suburban transit, what local agencies are doing about it, and how we can advance a more equitable and just vision for transit. We will celebrate the...

Report shows mayor, police drove decisions to shut down transit, raise bridges

Feb 24, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

A new report from Chicago’s Inspector General (IG) finds police and emergency management personnel had outsize influence on decisions to shut down transit and raise bridges during last summer’s protests following George Floyd’s murder. These decisions had major transportation impacts on thousands of city residents, particularly our most vulnerable neighbors such as people with disabilities and low-income essential workers. Yet the report finds the city’s transit leaders who know their systems best often weren’t at the table when these calls were made.  REPORT FINDINGS  On decisions to shut down transit: “CTA personnel expressed doubts as to whether CPD command staff knew the CTA system well enough to know what service changes would achieve the desired crowd control objectives.” (p. 43) On downtown stop closures: “The decision to bypass downtown CTA stops was made by the Mayor’s Office at the...