Active Transportation Alliance: Cuts in transit service will have serious implications on those who rely on it most
From Active Transportation Alliance
Our economy relies on reliable, affordable and accessible transit options. We call on our leaders to find permanent solutions to both the operating and capital needs that our transit agencies face. It is not enough to simply repair and maintain existing services. We need resources to create a world-class transit network that is truly reliable, affordable, fast and convenient.
“Any cuts in service will affect those most in need, which is why we encourage those who can to continue supporting and taking transit,” said Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Rob Sadowsky.
Cuts and fare increases will have serious impact on transit users:
• A large number of transit riders have alternatives that will lead to increased congestion and carbon emissions. Transit works best when it is the most convenient and affordable option.
• Night shift workers will have fewer and less convenient options if bus routes start later in the morning and stop earlier in the evening. This will have an impact on our economy.
• Cutting express buses makes it more difficult for people to get to their destinations quickly. Transit works best when it is fast and convenient.
We understand and appreciate that local transit agencies are in a difficult position. The economy contributed in a major way to the proposed service cuts and fare increases. Last year, right before the economic downturn, the state approved a new source of transit funding: Chicago’s real estate transfer tax. This action was a great step toward improving transit funding. However, home buying rates have dropped, drying up this new revenue source. As a result, transit agencies are now using their capital funds for operational costs.
The proposed service cuts are solutions for a short-term problem. We are hopeful that once the economy turns around and the transit funding sources expand, transit will recover. And we recognize and appreciate that our local agencies are trying to make the best possible decisions about how to manage this economic challenge.
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call (312) 427-3325.
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