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Advocates Urge Mayor Lightfoot to Keep Transit Running in the Event of Post-Election Unrest

Nine organizations signed a petition to prioritize access to transit during potential post-election protests.
October 22, 2020, 7am PDT | Lee Flannery | @leecflannery
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Chicago, Illinois
The city of Chicago parked snow plows in front of a raised DuSable Bridge to deter civil unrest on several occasions during the spring and summer of 2020..
Big Joe

The possibility of political unrest after the upcoming election has caught the attention of transportation advocates and calling on the Lightfoot administration and Chicago-area transit system to commit to the continuation of public transportation services, even if protests break out. 

The petition, Petition for Racial Justice for Chicago Transit Agencies: CTA, Pace, Metra and Divvy, is signed by nine organizations, including the Active Transportation Alliance, reports Nick Blumberg. Specifically, it "calls on the CTA, Metra, Pace and Divvy to keep operating during protests, to make sure transit and elected officials make decisions about operations rather than law enforcement, and calls for a commitment not to use public transportation as a 'law enforcement tool,'" writes Blumberg.

The petition mentions the disproportionate reliance of communities of color on the bus system: "Shutting down transportation is not the solution and creates undue hardships, especially for essential workers and Black and Brown Chicago residents. Transit is a public good and a necessity at all times. Transporting police officers to protests while concurrently refusing transit access to protesters and other riders is transit racism."

The Lightfoot administration and Metra both responded with statements emphasizing their commitment to the safety of residents and transit employees. 

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