Check it out! Bus rapid transit is getting a lot of attention all over the country. This article in The Fast Lane, a blog by US. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, discusses the new bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Austin, Texas, as well as BRT systems in Colorado and San Jose, California.
The article describes what makes bus rapid transit so great--namely giving the bus a dedicated lane where it doesn’t have to compete with cars.
This and other improvements to the route and stations allow bus service to operate efficiently and predictably, providing an experience that is more like riding the train.
Riders for Better Transit is working to bring BRT to Chicago. We’re excited about the potential new plans for BRT in the Loop, as well as along the Western/Ashland corridor. Stick with us for all the latest updates on the project!
Image courtesy of the CTA.
On Thursday, April 12, Riders for Better Transit held a second Day of Action to garner support for Transit Fast Forward—state legislation that will provide better funding for public transportation.
The evening started with passing out action alert flyers at Union Station. Then we headed to Boston Blackies restaurant for a few beers to celebrate our hard work!
Thanks to the help of our dedicated volunteers, around 12,000 flyers have been distributed in the past two months! Our goal is to increase the visibility of the bill and tell our elected officials that transit is important and should be well funded so that we can have a faster, more reliable transit system.
And a special thanks to Active Trans board member Steve Schlickman who encouraged his University of Illinois Chicago students to come help us out!
To volunteer or learn more, please contact Brenna Conway at email@example.com.
Our last Day of Action was a great success! Over 30 volunteers came to help us pass out flyers and get the word out about Transit Fast Forward!
Time is running out to make this bill a priority for our state legislators!
Come help Riders for Better Transit spread the word about important transit legislation.
We’ll start the evening by passing out action alert flyers at a few downtown train stations, and then we’ll head to Boston Blackies restaurant for a few beers (cash bar) to celebrate our hard work!
Thursday, April 12th
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Meet at Union Station
To volunteer, please RSVP to Brenna Conway, Brenna@activetrans.org
Riders for Better Transit had an exciting Transit Day of Action yesterday as we introduced new state legislation that would improve and expand Chicagoland transit service. Check out news coverage in Crain’s, the Daily Herald, the Chicago Tribune and Grid Chicago.
|Photo courtesy of Grid Chicago.|
“Congressional leaders in D.C. may be talking about cutting dedicated federal funding for transit, but in the Chicago region we know that the conversation needs to be about moving transportation forward, not backward,” says Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Trans.
Have you already asked your state legislators to support Transit Fast Forward? Please take action today! This will be a difficult battle, so we need to add every voice we can!
Transit Fast Forward (SB 3236) invests in faster, more reliable, more frequent and expanded transit service through a new, dedicated source of funding that will grow over time.
Better transit means a better quality of life.
Thank you to all of the supporters who came out to help with the Riders for Better Transit Day of Action today.
We had nearly 30 volunteers passing out flyers featuring our current action alert, which demands better transit through investment by state government. With their help, we passed out over 6,000 flyers.
This is just the beginning. We have much more to do. These next few weeks are critical for the Transit Fast Forward bill as we build support in the state legislature.
As we continue to reach even more people, we could use your help as a volunteer:
Volunteer for Riders for Better Transit!
Be a Volunteer for a Transit Day of Action. For seven mornings in coming weeks, we'll be canvassing downtown Chicago train stops.
We'll be meeting at the Argo Tea on the corner of Dearborn Street and Madison Street in downtown Chicago, and then spread out to a few downtown train stops to pass out action alert flyers.
Mondays and Wednesdays, starting Wednesday, March 7 and continuing until Wednesday, March 28
7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Argo Tea is at 45 W. Madison Street, at the corner of Dearborn and Madison streets.
If you could lend us a few of your mornings, that would be fantastic. To volunteer, please RSVP to campaign outreach intern Rosette Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org
Riders for Better Transit is holding a press conference and Day of Action today to introduce Transit Fast Forward -- state legislation that would improve and expand train and bus service in Chicagoland through better investment. This is an exciting step forward for our movement!
If Chicagoland wants to compete as a world-class region, then we need to invest in a 21st Century transit system to keep our economy moving and improve our quality of life. Our public transportation system should be moving forward, not backward!
Transit Fast Forward (SB 3236) would provide a new, dedicated source of funding for transit that will grow over time. It would generate an estimated $11.6 million in 2013, and a projected $168 million over the first five years. It indexes the state gas tax with inflation, a move that will dedicate an additional fraction of a penny per gallon to public transportation. The end result will be better commutes for drivers and transit riders alike.
New transit revenue could help build new stations, expand routes and service times, bring back express buses and eliminate slow zones. It could help prevent future service cuts and fare increases.
Today is also our first Transit Day of Action, with volunteers from Riders for Better Transit blanketing train stations across the Loop during the morning rush hour to spread the word about Transit Fast Forward. Please join our Day of Action by contacting your state legislators!
Are you a Lake County resident who wants to see more public transportation options in the county? Here's your chance to share your views and experiences.
Lake County is conducting a comprehensive study to better understand the daily travel of people in the county to consider enhancements to the public transportation system.The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) wants to know where residents are going and when they are traveling.
LCDOT also wants to know how often Lake County residents use public transportation and whether or not public transportation options are available. This survey will provide data to help them evaluate public transportation options and consider reconfiguring the existing Pace Suburban Bus routes, creating new routes, or adding new public transportation services.
The survey is open until Friday, March 16.
Riders for Better Transit is having its first Day of Action!
Chicagoland needs faster, more reliable, more frequent and expanded transit service. Our transit system should be moving forward, not backward. We are hitting the streets to spread this message and we need your help.
Volunteer for our first Transit Day of Action to demand better transit!
We’ll start the day with coffee and a call to action regarding transit funding. Then we’ll spread out to a few key downtown train stations to pass out action alert flyers.
Wednesday, February 29th
7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Meet at Pritzker Park: at the corner of State and Van Buren, next to the Harold Washington Library L stop.
To volunteer, please RSVP with Brenna Conway, Brenna@activetrans.org.
This week, CTA held open houses to update the public on the progress of the Red and Purple Modernization Project. Riders for Better Transit staff attended one of the meetings, and talked to CTA staff about some of the details.
What changes can riders expect?
Well, nothing too dramatic right away, but it’s clear that changes are on their way for these critical routes that provided nearly 20 million trips in 2011.
CTA received over 1,500 comments during the last round of public meetings in January 2011. They heard support for the modernizing four track alternative that does involve station consolidation, but offers benefits such as additional transfers, ADA accessibility and speeding up the route. Many riders also expressed serious concerns about the effects of consolidating stations--like extra walking time and new walking routes.
As a result of last year’s public comments, CTA eliminated two unpopular alternatives and added an alternative to the study that explores modernizing the line without any consolidation of stations.
This leaves four alternatives to be studied in this year’s environmental impact study: No action, basic rehabilitation, modernization with station consolidation and modernization without consolidation.
The CTA will now work to complete the draft Environmental Impact Study on these alternatives by the end of 2012, and riders and community members will have a chance to express their opinion on the findings of the study during the public comment period in early 2013. The revised alternatives, as well as the open house exhibit boards, can be found on the CTA website
The big trade off
When it comes to consolidating stations, no transit rider wants to see his or her station being closed. But most riders also would like to see the trains move faster. Consolidating stations would mean fewer stops and reduced travel time.
Under the consolidation scenarios, new entrances would be added to the stations to shorten walking distances from multiple directions. Some riders would therefore get a station entrance closer than the one they currently have.
But even a few blocks can be a dramatic change to a transit rider’s life. An extra 1/8 of a mile can add time to a commute, and it can be an even greater inconvenience for the elderly, disabled, and those with small children and strollers.
At the very least, overall station accessibility will be improved under any of the alternatives since it is a federal requirement that any major reconstruction must also include ADA compliance.
Ultimately, these are tradeoffs the transit-riding public and the neighborhood residents along the Red and Purple lines will need to decide.
Active Trans and the Riders for Better Transit campaign want to meet you! We’re hosting a social so that we can get together and share our love for transit.
Please join us for this evening of fun and get to know others who want to make transit better in our region.
Riders for Better Transit Social
Tuesday, February 7
Blue Frog’s Local 22 (22 E. Hubbard, near Grand station on the Red Line )
Special guests Greg Borzo and Tracy Swartz will share some insights on Chicago transit. Greg Borzo is author of The Chicago "L", a popular book that covers the complete history of Chicago’s greatest working antique and biggest “mover & shaker.” Tracy Swartz authors the RedEye Chicago column “Going Public” and just recently completed a journey riding every one of Chicago’s 139 bus routes.
The event is free and open to the public; no RSVP necessary. Light snacks provided; cash bar available. Please email any questions about this event to Brenna@activetrans.org.
See you soon!