Transit Fast Forward changing the conversation around transit funding

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.

  • Indexes state motor fuel tax to inflation, adjusted annually
  • Directs new incremental revenue to the Public Transportation Fund; road funds unaffected
  • Applies only to the six counties served by CTA, Metra and Pace
  • Helps rebuild aging infrastructure and expand service with projects like Bus Rapid Transit
  • Helps transit agencies manage rising costs due to inflation and partially offset chronic funding shortfalls that have led to service cuts
  • Estimated 2013 increase in state motor fuel tax: two-fifths of a cent per gallon
  • Estimated new revenue for transit in 2013: $11.6 million
  • Estimated total new revenue for transit over first five years: $168 million
  • Last increase in state motor fuel tax: 1990
  • Increase in CTA train fare since 1990: 80 percent

Better transit means a better quality of life.

  • Transit reduces congestion and air pollution, gets people to work affordably and efficiently, attracts jobs, and is vital to the Chicago region’s economy.
  • CTA alone replaces about 400,000 vehicles on regional roads each work day.
  • Metra carries 50 percent of the commuters coming into downtown Chicago during peak hours; without Metra, 29 lanes of expressway would need to be built.
  • Transit investments create more jobs than roadway investments per dollar spent.

Dooring

Idea: How about a "door open imminent" flash of vehicle taillights when the inner door latch is activated? It will take years to become truly effective, but I think a quick flash of the lights would all but eliminate surprise doorings.

IL SB 3236 (Motor Fuel Rate bill) stalled

We still need to press our state senators and reps about Illinois Senate Bill 3236, the Motor Fuel Rate Bill. The Revenue Committee received this bill on Feb 22 and sat on it. They did nothing, so by rule was referred to the Assignments Committee on March 9.

We still have some work to do on this one to help secure funding for alternative transportation!

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