RTA staff and leadership hosted or participated in several webinars during the pandemic, links to watch the webinars will be posted below following each event.
RTA Webinar: Improving Transportation Access and Equity in the Chicago Region
A webinar from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), and the McHenry County Division of Transportation discussing the importance of planning for a future with mobility equity. Learn more about recently updated RTA Human Services Transportation Plan -- which includes recommendations on how to use federal funding to improve the transportation experience for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and low income populations, as well as MPC’s “Toward Universal Mobility” report that sets a broad vision for transit accessibility in the Chicago region. Hear about what resources are already available to help residents in these groups move around the region, including the example of McHenry County's MCRide program, what steps need to be taken for a more coordinated and accessible future, and how to apply for funding to make it happen.
RTA Leaders Speak on COVID-19 Pandemic and Transit Response
On Tuesday, May 19, RTA Board Chairman Kirk Dillard and Executive Director Leanne Redden were interviewed by Kelly O'Brien, Executive Director of the Chicago Central Area Committee for a webinar about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it presents the regional transit network.
In May and June 2020, the RTA hosted a four-part webinar series in place of the Annual Planning Workshop because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These four free webinars provided attendees the guidance, insight, and tools necessary to facilitate transit-oriented development and transit accessible communities. Participants heard from regional leaders in transportation planning, community zoning and mobility services management as they discuss the opportunities, challenges, and resources available to the Chicago region.
Tuesday, May 12: One Step at a Time — Creating Vibrant, Active Communities
This session gave attendees tools to build active and transit accessible communities. Attendees gained an understanding of the benefits of investing in active transportation infrastructure and the programs and resources available to their communities. Local partners who have worked to plan and implement projects across the Chicago region shared their experiences. The RTA and past program participants will also provided guidance on the RTA Access to Transit Program, which encourages increasing transit accessibility through small-scale improvements.
Tuesday, May 19: Zoning to Meet Your Community’s Planned Vision
This session included an overview of the RTA’s Community Planning program followed by a more in-depth focus on how the right mix of municipal zoning principles enables development that aligns with a community’s vision. Industry experts provided insights to various zoning strategies that facilitate transit-oriented development (TOD) and how those strategies benefit municipal goals. They also provided focused information about current trends in zoning, including accessory dwelling units, inclusionary zoning, and getting code and map amendments through the approval process. Municipal representatives were on-hand to share success stories about how revising zoning in their transit districts helped their communities achieve their planning goals and objectives.
Tuesday, June 2: RTA Mobility Pilots—Lessons Learned
This session highlighted mobility pilots throughout the region with presentations specific to current and future pilots, planning studies, and coordinating partnerships. RTA staff along with industry experts and municipal leaders presented lessons learned. Discussion focused on leveraging new technology and business models, such as Transportation Network Companies, to ensure that agency and municipal goals and objectives are met while fostering an environment where private partners can thrive.
Tuesday, June 9: The Changing Mobility Environment
This session detailed current regional demographic trends along with a panel discussion focused on how transportation and transit will evolve to meet future needs. Panelists included transportation industry leaders from the public and private sectors, along with experts from academia. Panel questions and discussion provided perspective on topics including connected and automated vehicles, shared-use mobility, electrification, shifts in telework, aging population, and spatial mismatch.