(Chicago) – 2017 was a challenging year for public transportation in Northeastern Illinois, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) region.  It’s no secret that Santa’s bag was a little lighter when it came to funding for public transportation.  Challenging economic times and reduced State funding combined to reduce the regional transit operating budget by close to $100 million dollars.  Despite our best New Year’s resolutions, we know the funding challenges will continue into 2018.  In addition, the State hasn’t passed an infrastructure bill since 2009, leaving the transit region without hundreds of millions of dollars per year of important capital funding.

Part of the RTA’s role in the region is to promote transit ridership.  This year, from Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to New Year’s Eve, the RTA “hit the streets” to talk to riders about the challenges we are facing and to highlight the benefits of ridership.  Most importantly, these three videos show first-hand how much riders enjoy and appreciate the regional system.  

“CTA, Metra and Pace work every day to provide safe, reliable public transportation in our region and we know that is what is most important to riders,” said Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director.  “We wanted to find a way to break through the clutter, using humor and the warmth of the holiday season to remind everyone of the importance of continuing to invest in our system. Our operations rely on fares and State funding and if either declines, our system could be in jeopardy.”

The RTA also reminds residents to share their comments on Invest in Transit: the 2018-2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan by December 31.   This next five year transit strategic plan is a visionary roadmap for transit investment throughout the RTA six-county area.  Please submit comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..