The November 4 Illinois gubernatorial election is just around the corner. While there are many important topics being debated, we’re hearing next to nothing about funding for improved and expanded public transportation.
For CNT, our Transit Future campaign, and the nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts, this is a critical issue. Our Transit Future partner organization, Active Transportation Alliance, even went as far as to offer recommendations to the candidates.
Transit Future is advocating for Cook County to build a fund that can leverage federal and other financing for transit expansion. Resources must be allocated as an investment for future growth: the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning predicts the region will grow by 2 million people by 2040. Our existing roadway infrastructure will not be adequate to reduce the potential increase in vehicle traffic, and our existing public transit infrastructure won’t keep pace, either.
We’d like to hear more from both candidates about their views on the importance of transit to our economy, our environment, and our future. We’d like to hear more about how we can utilize transit as an economic advantage for the Chicago region and the State of Illinois.
We know that transit isn’t the only issue being neglected. Crain’s Chicago Business political journalist, Greg Hinz, recently described the campaign as “No vision, just dirt — guv hopefuls blowing it.”
Regardless of who wins this election, it’s undeniable that the person who holds the title of Governor should prioritize the Chicago region’s public transportation needs as needs for the entire state. Transit Future has a vision to make it happen – we hope Illinois’ next governor will be on board.