Contact Contact

RTA launches new, rider-focused Citizens Advisory Board

March 21, 2024


Following through on a key recommendation from our Transit is the Answer strategic plan, the RTA is excited to launch a newly expanded Citizens Advisory Board (RTACAB) featuring the perspectives of a diverse group of 21 riders and agency leaders from across the region.

The new group met for the first time in March, will meet again in April, and will meet quarterly moving forward. The first two meetings will provide members an overview of the agency and our current strategic plan. Once this orientation is complete, the RTACAB will serve as a key source of input for the agency’s planning for the future of the transit system, existing programs for seniors and people with disabilities, and legislative goals and strategies.

About the RTACAB

The RTACAB is a public body mandated by the state for the purpose of advising the agency’s staff and Board of Directors on the “impact of its policies and programs.” It has always included the chairpersons of CTA, Metra, and Pace Citizens Advisory Boards, as well as representatives from each of the six counties served in the RTA region. These county representatives have often been government agency staff involved with administering ADA paratransit service and free and reduced fare programs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Transit is the Answer called on RTA to “expand the role of the RTA Citizen Advisory Board and strengthen the rider voice in transit planning and decision making.” Developed at a crisis point for the transit system during the pandemic, the strategic plan was informed by rich and proactive rider engagement. Riders urged the agency to adapt to meet the changing times. Our hope is the new RTACAB will be a vital forum for this engagement to continue, along with the Transit is the Answer Coalition.

New Voices

To strengthen the rider voice within the CAB, the RTA created eight new “rider representative” positions: two for the City of Chicago, one for Suburban Cook County, and one each for other counties in the RTA region. These positions are non-voting, allowing the agency to compensate volunteer riders for their time, as the RTA did during the strategic planning process. The RTA Act prohibits the agency from compensating voting members. Overall, the RTACAB is an advisory group with few formal votes, so the agency representatives and riders will be equally empowered to share their perspectives and feedback.

RTA staff worked with our county partners to recruit a diverse group of riders who represent the varied perspectives of people who use transit across our vast region. For example, new City of Chicago rep Xavier Potts is a UIC student working toward a degree in public policy and works as a disability homecare specialist. New Lake County rep Victoria Zimmerman is a trustee for the Village of Deer Park and works in sustainability for the McDonald’s Corporation.

Read member biographies on the RTACAB webpage.

Get Involved

All RTACAB meetings are open to the public, who can attend in person in the RTA Board Room (175 W. Jackson, 16th Floor) or join via Zoom. Meeting dates, agendas, and information for joining remotely are available online. Each meeting includes a request for public comment. Any members of the public wishing to speak can reach out prior to the meeting or identify themselves during the meeting.

Riders and advocates are also invited to join RTA’s Transit is the Answer Coalition. The group meets virtually on a quarterly basis to discuss the challenges the system is facing and how we can work together to win sustainable funding for transit and build a better system.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Type your email address here
What emails would you like to receive from the RTA
Tagged in: Transit is the Answer

Related Articles

22 RTA1127 Explore 2023 RTA Local Planning projects and successes in interactive implementation report

Every year, the RTA’s Local Planning department assists local governments throughout northeastern Illinois on projects that strengthen the region’s transit s...

April 18, 2024
22 RTASAMPLES 007 2 Coalition members provide feedback on rider safety, free and reduced fare programs, and legislative goals

Over 80 riders, agency staff, advocates, and other stakeholders met virtually with the RTA on April 10 for the fourth quarterly Transit is the Answer Coaliti...

April 12, 2024
Aerial shot of the Joliet Metra station next to a baseball field Corridor study, finance district studies, eTOD: Community Planning projects kick off throughout the region

This spring, four projects have kicked off that will make communities throughout the Chicago region more transit-friendly, thanks to support from the RTA Com...

March 29, 2024
22 RTA 0922 RTA selects projects for Access to Transit program, bringing bike and pedestrian improvements throughout the region

The RTA has selected nine new projects for its Access to Transit program, which provides funding to municipalities to complete engineering and construction f...

March 21, 2024
Rtacab RTA launches new, rider-focused Citizens Advisory Board

Following through on a key recommendation from our Transit is the Answer strategic plan, the RTA is excited to launch a newly expanded Citizens Advisory Boar...

March 21, 2024
Low line RTA’s Community Planning Call for Projects with a new Transit Station Activation pilot category aims to fund initiatives that make stations and bus stops more welcoming

Imagine stepping off the train at the end of your workday and being greeted by a local artist exhibit, or a farmers’ market with healthy food to browse and b...

March 12, 2024
Copyright © 2024 Regional Transportation Authority. All Rights Reserved.