Critics like to say that transit still accounts for only a tiny fraction of total daily trips in all but the largest cities. What they fail to recognize is that, in many cities, transit’s role during travel peaks is very significant, often accounting for 20 to 50 percent of trips in the high-demand corridors.
Northern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority
The future of public transit is at a crossroads. Constrained local, state and federal budgets, combined with capitol shortfalls and increasing rider demand, combine to make it difficult for transit agencies to keep up with the maintenance and replacement of their assets.
In response to this challenge, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) helped create Getting America to Work (GATW), a coalition of organizations dedicated to finding innovative solutions to funding America’s transit infrastructure. GATW continues raising local and national awareness of capital funding needs by developing turnkey advocacy tools that can be replicated and used by transit supporters nationwide, and encouraging other transit agencies and supporters to join the coalition.
GATW also worked with Congressmen Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) to develop the first comprehensive Congressional Public Transportation Caucus in Congress. This bipartisan caucus provides a forum for members of Congress to engage in constructive dialogue on the challenges and needs of mass transit agencies across the country.
We feel the pain of funding challenges in our own region. For that reason, the RTA oversees regional state of good repair initiatives, including a regional capital asset condition assessment.
The RTA is taking steps to ensure the region moves toward greater transparency and accountability. We move in this direction while assessing and prioritizing transit capital investments within the parameters of regional funding and long-term strategic objectives.