Agencies Unify in Efforts to Improve the Transit System
April 6, 2011
At the Regional Transportation Authority’s March board meeting, Board Chairman John S. Gates, Jr. announced an effort with the CTA, Metra and Pace (“service boards”) to advance five priorities intended to advance a collective vision for the region’s transit system. Leaders from the three service boards provided input and endorsed this collaboration effort that aims to reduce costs, increase transit ridership and improve service.
The priorities include:
“Specifically what this initiative means for transit riders is that the service boards and the RTA will be able to provide greater mobility, transit that is even more accessible, taps state-of-the-art technology and delivers a better customer experience overall,” said Gates.
He acknowledged earnest efforts in working with all four agencies to achieve efficiencies, but said the five priorities will help maximize results. “These priorities are common sense approaches, because it doesn’t make sense for us to continue having areas of administrative and operations overlap and under-utilization of the transit system,” he added.
Inter-agency teams have been formed to propose short-term priority projects reflected in the 2012 budget process as well as long-term projects, and measurements will gauge progress, successes and challenges, explained Joe Costello, RTA Executive Director. He added, “We are enthusiastic about the prospects to achieve greater efficiencies and increase ridership to demonstrate the important role that transit plays in restoring economic and growth, relieving traffic congestion and improving air quality.” Results will be reported on a regular basis to agency boards, legislators and the public.
The Illinois General Assembly is currently considering House Joint Resolution 24 which would allow the Senate and House to hold joint hearings over the summer. The hearings will focus on the success of this initiative and evaluate where the legislature and new laws could help this agenda.