How to Gain 21 Million Transit Trips a Year in Chicago?

At a recent hearing of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, experts like Peter Skosey made the case for the types of changes necessary to meet Chicago’s goals for increased transit ridership, focusing on transit oriented development.
March 6, 2014, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn created the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force to “issue recommendations for creating to create a fiscally and ethically sound regional transit system” after the controversial ouster of former Metra CEO Alex Clifford.

John Greenfield reports from a recent hearing of the task force, focusing specifically on the testimony of the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Peter Skosey.

“Skosey noted that Chicagoland’s GO TO 2040 plan calls for doubling transit ridership by 2040. The region is currently adding 12 million new transit trips annually, but we need to be adding 21 million trips a year to meet that goal, he said. It won’t necessarily require doubling the amount of transit spending to achieve that milestone but rather better strategy and urban planning, he added.”

While car sharing and bike sharing programs, along with a transportation demand management program, much of the heavy lifting in getting to the region’s goals must come from the region’s ample opportunities for TOD. “Region-wide, there’s an opportunity for one-half-million new residents to live within a quarter-mile of transit, as well as room for over 100 million square feet of commercial space,” said Skosey at the meeting.

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Published on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 in Chi.Streetsblog
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