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Strategic plan engagement sheds light on value of transit, add your voice to survey open now

October 17, 2022

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Engagement with a wide spectrum of audiences has been a key component of development of the next Regional Transit Strategic Plan. The RTA is considering voices that are too often left out of the planning process and engaging in ways the agency never has before to co-create a plan that the region can get behind for the future of transit. The latest results of a survey, still available now, show that riders value transit and want to see more investment for its future.

Since August 2021, the RTA has published guest blogs from regional and national transit thinkers, invited guest speakers to our board, met with elected officials and community groups, received thousands of responses to surveys, convened stakeholder working groups with more than 100 people from more than 60 organizations, engaged riders at community events across six counties, and continued the conversation with more than 20,000 followers on social media.

There’s still time for your voice to be heard before the draft plan is released in December. Take the RTA Priority Actions Survey by Friday, October 21 to weigh in on the level of urgency and support behind key ideas that will be in the plan.

A look at the survey results so far show that people are passionate about our region’s transit system and want it to continue to adapt to changing rider needs while also concerned about issues like safety and reliability. Respondents also recognize that increased funding will be needed to sustain and improve transit in the Chicago region.

As of mid-October, 800 people have partially completed the RTA Priority Actions Survey. Among survey respondents, 28 percent said they had used transit more than four times a week in the last month. Another group, about 50 percent, said they had used transit one to three times per week in the last three months.

The survey asked respondents to select three advocacy goals from the 2023 Agenda for Advocacy and Action that they support the most. Top answers were

  • Partner with roadway agencies to build more transit friendly streets and advance bus rapid transit
  • Secure increased funding for transit operations
  • Secure increased funding for transit infrastructure

The survey also asked respondents to select three actions from the agenda that they think are most urgent. Top answers were:

  • Make the transit system safer and more secure for everyone
  • Adapt bus and rail service to meet the changing needs of riders
  • Provide more accurate, real-time travel information for riders

The survey also asked people to describe the value transit brings to them and their communities and the responses were inspiring and encouraging as the RTA looks ahead to 2023 and the need to build a coalition of passionate transit supporters committed to ensuring the system is viable for the next generation. A few responses include:

  • “It is incredibly valuable to have public transit nearby. I am not able to afford a car and also having the option to have less of a carbon footprint is important to me”
  • “It is truly at the center of my world, and is so important to who I am. It gives me freedom in a way that nothing else does. Being able to rely on public transit is crucial to my community. I use it to get everywhere, except for biking when the weather is nice enough to. I think that transit is an essential part of what makes Chicago a real city to me.”
  • “Without transit I lose access to everything I need”
  • “Transit is the spine of my community; without it we are cut off from the rest of Chicagoland. In a word, it’s vital.”

Please share your voice and take the RTA Priority Actions Survey by Friday, October 21.

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Tagged in: Making A Plan | Regional Transit Strategic Plan | RTA

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