Proposal Wins Runner-Up in Challenge to Increase Transit Ridership

Their proposal to increase transit ridership and revenue in the Chicago region by implementing a transit pass program earned CNT interns, Olympia Moy and Will Glassberg, “runner-ups” in Chicagoland Chamber’s contest to generate ideas for how to achieve a billion transit rides a year in the Chicago region.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s InnovateNow initiative, in partnership with InnoCentive, has chosen the winners of a global open-innovation challenge aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions released by automobiles by increasing local transit ridership to 1 billion rides a year. The challenge generated more than 125 proposals from locations as far away as Kenya, Australia and Japan.

Olympia and Will’s proposal detailed recommendations for a new transit pass program, similar to the successful ECO-Pass program in Boulder, CO which encourages a greater number of people to use the public transit system through deeply discounted prices for year-long transit passes. Based on a medical insurance model, a group of residents can create a neighborhood area that elects to collectively buy into the ECO-Pass program. New riders are attracted by the convenience of having a pass that competes with the “car keys in the pocket,” and transit systems benefit by having a secure influx of revenue at the beginning of each fiscal term.

Read the entire proposal (.pdf).